U.S. asks banks to expand foreclosure prevention

July 10, 2009

House for sale WASHINGTON, July 10 (Reuters) РThe Obama administration is asking the largest mortgage finance companies to quicken the pace of modifying home loans and so help more troubled borrowers avoid foreclosure. The largest 25 mortgage servicers should appoint a special liaison officer to work directly with government officials who are overseeing the program meant to save as many as 4 million borrowers from foreclosure.

“There is a general need for servicers to devote substantially more resources to this program for it to succeed and achieve the objectives we all share,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote in a letter to servicers on Thursday.

Treasury will host a meeting with leading servicers on July 28 to hear how the companies are expanding their aid programs and making sure that those seeking help are not improperly disqualified.

Leading banks, which are among the largest mortgage servicers, have defended their work to prevent foreclosures.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.  says it has approved 87,100 borrowers for lower monthly payments according to the Obama housing rescue plan.

(Reporting by Patrick Rucker)

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