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FDIC to test reduction for borrowers PDF Print E-mail
Articles | Business
Written by Quantumlife on Sunday, 28 February 2010 09:04   

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is developing a program to test whether cutting the mortgage balances of distressed borrowers who owe significantly more than their homes are worth is an effective method for saving homeowners from foreclosure.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is developing a program to test whether cutting the mortgage balances of distressed borrowers who owe significantly more than their homes are worth is an effective method for saving homeowners from foreclosure.

The program would be aimed at a growing population of homeowners who are underwater on their loans, estimated at more than 20 percent of borrowers, or 11 million homeowners. Economists consider these borrowers among the most vulnerable to foreclosure, and some industry officials worry that more of them will simply walk away from their mortgages, or "strategically default," rather than spend a decade or more trying to regain positive equity.

Under the FDIC program, borrowers would be eligible for a reduction in their mortgage balances if they kept up their payments on the mortgage over a long period. The performance of those borrowers would be compared with borrowers given more traditional mortgage relief packages, such as those that cut the interest rate on loans.

"We're thinking about it in terms of earned principal forgiveness. If you stay current on your mortgage, you would earn a principal reduction. It would only be for loans significantly underwater," said FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair.

The program would have a small reach and apply only to loans acquired from a failed bank seized by the FDIC. That would be less than 1 percent of mortgages currently outstanding. The initiative could be launched later this year, FDIC officials said, but a date has not been set.

Read More: Washington Post


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