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White House to Announce Plan to Cut Mortgage Principals

The Obama administration plans to announce a major new housing initiative Friday involving principal write-downs for underwater borrowers and temporary assistance for unemployed homeowners, according to sources.

[IMAGE] [COLUMN_BREAK]

Details at this point are limited, but it's expected that principal reduction will become a central consideration in Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) evaluations, with the Treasury offering servicers additional incentives to trim mortgage debt for those who owe more than their home is worth.

In addition, federal funding is being set aside for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to offer new loans to homeowners whose outstanding mortgage debt is up to 115 percent of the home's value.

The plan will also provide mortgage relief to unemployed homeowners who face obstacles obtaining traditional modifications with their loss of income. It will require lenders to temporarily reduce monthly mortgage payments for at least three months to a set percentage of the borrower's federal unemployment benefits.

_Additional details on the administration's new housing initiatives can be found in_ ""DSNews.com's follow-up story."":http://dsnews.comarticles/white-house-adds-underwater-unemployed-assistance-to-housing-program-2010-03-26

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.
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