PASADENA, Calif. -- Countrywide Funding Corp. is offering a program under which mortgage insurance is paid for by the lender. The company said the program would significantly reduce up-front expense to borrowers.

The insurance will be available on all types of Countrywide loans. The program is likely to be especially useful to first-time homebuyers and those with low to moderate incomes, who often have a smaller down payment and limited cash resources, according to the announcement.

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