With unemployment high, FDIC trying to prevent renewed foreclosure trauma

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As the national unemployment rate remains high, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is stepping up efforts to prevent another round of home foreclosures, urging banks to allow some borrowers a six-month forbearance on mortgage payments when times get tough. The new program would allow a loan payment reduction for borrowers who have defaulted on mortgages due to job losses or salary cuts. While the plan extends to 53 financial institutions, it doesn’t include Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup or JPMorgan Chase, four of the biggest U.S. mortgage lenders. Jack Schakett, an executive in Bank of America’s credit loss mitigation strategies department, said that allowing forbearance packages for troubled lenders is a tricky prospect, because their employment outlook is often less rosy. “People who were already struggling with their mortgage payments would be less likely to end up with a job that would help them be successful in the future,” Schakett said.

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