President Obama is announcing an expansion of foreclosure-prevent tactics, including a plan to reduce principal balances and special aid for unemployed borrowers.
The bulk of the responsibility for carrying out the new program will be assigned to the Federal Housing Administration, which will insure lenders against part of the losses.
The plan asks banks to write down loan balances to less than the value of the home. If there is both a first and second mortgage, the combined total would have to be no more than 115 percent of the home’s value.
The Treasury would pay part of unemployed homeowners’ loans for three months while they job hunt.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, Nick Timiraos and James R. Hagerty (03/25/2010)