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ASF Mulls Support for Expansion of FHASecure; Admits 'Rate Freeze' Impact Limited

The American Securitization Forum, which represents the interests of the secondary mortgage market, is considering support for the expansion of FHASecure to include all delinquent borrowers, as it's becoming clear that the original program's scope isn't having the impact that many had hoped for. Via Reuters, who obtained a study circulated within the ASF:
The current FHA Secure program is only poised to help around 44,000 subprime borrowers, or 5 percent of those who are more than two months behind in their payments, according to a study circulated by the American Securitization Forum.
That's a far cry from the 240,000 borrowers touted by HUD and government officials when the program was first launched in late August of last year. HW was among the first to note problems with the current FHASecure program last December, which has sent HUD officials scrambling to shift the focus away from delinquent borrowers and instead to "at-risk" borrowers who are current on their existing mortgage. The memo also suggests -- as many commenters have noted -- that the voluntary "rate freeze" program isn't likely to be of much help, either:
In its memo, the investor group said the "rate freeze" plan does not reach enough troubled borrowers and that a reform of FHA Secure could aid a very distressed segment of homeowners.
The ASF suggested that opening up FHASecure to all delinquent borrowers, including those with fixed-rate mortgages, would reach 607,000 troubled subprime borrowers -- 68 percent of severe delinquencies, according to Reuters. The ASF report does not consider the impact of a potential raise in the FHA loan limit, as is now being mulled over by the Senate after a tentative economic stimulus deal was reached last week between Bush admistration officials and the House, which included provisions to nearly double current FHA lending limits.

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