Treasury to Squeeze Mortgage Lenders
Will expand program to help keep people in their homes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 29, 2009 11:00 AM CST
In this May 9, 2008 file photo, a foreclosure sign stands outside an existing home on the market in Denver.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, file)

(Newser) – The Obama administration, battling a foreclosure crisis that shows no signs of relenting, will step up pressure on mortgage companies to do more to help people remain in their homes, officials said yesterday. The administration will announce its expanded program tomorrow, a Treasury spokeswoman said, and will take "additional steps to enhance servicer transparency and accountability."

She said the goal was to increase the rate that troubled home loans were converted into new loans with lower monthly payments. The new effort would highlight mortgage companies that are lagging in loan modifications. Under the $75 billion Treasury program, companies that lower payments for troubled borrowers collect $1,000 initially from the government, followed by $1,000 annually for up to three years. The program has come under heavy criticism for failing stem a tidal wave of foreclosures.