Washington Mutual Inc., Seattle, has announced a $2 billion assistance program designed to help homeowners with subprime mortgage loans avoid foreclosure.Under the program, WaMu subprime borrowers who remain current on their loans and expect payment increases may apply for new discounted fixed-rate loans or other mortgage products. Specialists will provide assistance to subprime customers who want to learn more about their options, which may include prime mortgage products, WaMu said. "We're reaching out to our subprime borrowers to help ensure they are in the best possible position to manage challenges posed by payment adjustments," said Kerry Killinger, WaMu's chairman and chief executive officer. "We want our customers to know what's ahead, to avoid surprises, and to understand the choices available to them." WaMu can be found online at http://www.wamu.com.

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