Feds consider rent plan to prevent evictions

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Federal officials at the Treasury Department are considering a plan that would allow borrowers who are behind on mortgage payments to avoid eviction by renting their homes instead. Under the plan proposed by economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic Policy Research, a bankruptcy judge would help determine a fair rent for the property. Banks would be able to sell the occupied homes, but the lease would remain in effect even if the ownership changed. Officials are still figuring out how to replace a loan with a rental lease without disrupting the overall mortgage market. Two possible methods that are being considered by government officials are paying cash to mortgage-service companies to take part in the new program or selling homes to a third party that would write rental agreements.