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10/29/2008 - Improved Homeowner Plans Being Worked On

Officials with the Treasury and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation are crafting a plan under which the government would guarantee the mortgages of as many as 3 million homeowners now struggling to avoid foreclosure, according to three sources familiar with the discussions.

Under the program being discussed, the lender would agree to reduce borrowers’ monthly payments, for example by lowering the interest rate or principal of a mortgage loan, based on the homeowner’s ability to pay. These reconfigured loans could help homeowners avert foreclosure.

To attract financial institutions to the program, the government would then guarantee to repay the lender for a portion of its loss if the borrower defaulted on the reconfigured loan.

The mortgage guarantee program would vastly expand the role of the Treasury Department in helping homeowners, while at the same time ensuring some return for lenders.

It would cost between $40 billion and $50 billion, sources said.
The program is being discussed as members of Congress are voicing frustrations that the $700 billion rescue program thusfar has been aimed at helping banks, but not homeowners.

While Treasury and FDIC officials have reached an agreement on the principles of the program, the White House is resisting, according to the sources, who declined to be identified because the negotiations are ongoing.

Source - Washington Post 10/29/2008

Peter Schulz - Editor - Email M

 
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