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Treasury's Paulson adds to call for lenders to speed up

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

WASHINGTON (Thomson Financial) - Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson became the third senior official in as many days to call on mortgage lenders and servicers to speed up their efforts to find workouts for homeowners in danger of foreclosure.

In response to questioning in a Senate Budget Committee hearing, Paulson emphatically said, "I'm gonna be all over them," if companies in the mortgage industry are not making maximum efforts to find and help borrowers who face losing their homes when their mortgages reset to higher rates.

Federal Reserve Governor Randall Kroszner and Treasury Under-Secretary Robert Steel both warned mortgage industry executive groups earlier this week that they needed to speed up their efforts for finding and helping endangered borrowers.

He was optimistic that the fast-track programs the administration has worked out with the mortgage industry could be successful. "I will be unpleasantly surprised if we don't find that people who can afford the initial rate are going to be helped," he said.

The refinancing and other programs are aimed at homeowners who have been making their mortgage payments at the initial interest rate, but may not be able to afford the impending higher rates.

Posted by MOHAMED SAID at 10:32 AM  


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