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Inside Washington (02/03/2009)
* WASHINGTON (2/4/09)--The Obama administration has proposed guaranteeing modified home loans to stem the foreclosure surge--similar to a plan backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (Bloomberg News Feb. 3). The proposal seeks to shield lenders from borrowers who default. Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan said details on the proposal are still in the works. James Lockhart, Federal Housing Finance Agency director, said he supported the effort. The administration is also considering a proposal to help servicers rewrite loans by sharing the modification cost. Companies would cut borrowers’ monthly payments, and the government would cover the cost of cutting the payments more ... * WASHINGTON (2/4/09)--Members of the State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group said a report on loan modifications, by the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, is flawed (American Banker Feb. 3). The report lacks methodology information and doesn’t explain if loans re-defaulted because of weak modifications, state officials said. They also noted that nonbank subprime servicers were more successful with modifications than the report indicated. According to the report, 55% of modified loans at national banks and thrifts were more than a month past due during the first six months, while officials say 26% of loans were at the delinquency stage ... * WASHINGTON (2/4/09)--Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is expected to unveil the Obama administration’s plans to help solve the financial crisis (Wall Street Journal Feb. 3). Observers expect Obama to ask Congress for more money, as economists do not believe the second half of the $700 billion rescue fund is enough. The administration also is expected to crack down on executive compensation, but isn’t expected to attach new strings to healthy financial institutions that receive money through the $250 billion Capital Purchase Program ... * ALEXANDRIA, Va. (2/4/09)--National Credit Union Administration
Chairman Fryzel (left) and Ken Ross, Commissioner, Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation. (Photo courtesy of NCUA.)
(NCUA) Chairman Michael Fryzel met last week with Michigan’s Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation Commissioner Ken Ross in St. Joseph. Fryzel said the meeting gave him a chance to underscore the federal commitment to working with state regulators, particularly in times like now when stresses in the market have “real and significant effects” on credit union operations. “Commissioner Ross and I share important safety and soundness and consumer protection responsibilities,” Fryzel said …


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