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House Financial Services Committee Seeks SEC Guidance on Loan Modifications

Citing rising mortgage foreclosure rates in the United States, the House Financial Services Committee said Friday it has sent a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox regarding the FAS 140 accounting standard. Specifically, the members asked Chairman Cox to respond to the question: “Does FAS 140 clearly address whether a loan held in a trust can be modified when default is reasonably foreseeable or only once a delinquency or default has already occurred? If not, can it be clarified in a way that will benefit both borrowers and investors?� To see the full letter, click here. In the letter, the Committee outlines its concerns:
A number of parties have brought to our attention that FAS 140...may not clearly state at what point a loan may be modified...This lack of clarity may be leading some institutions to withhold making loan modifications that may benefit borrowers -- and bondholders -- for fear of being found in violation of FAS 140.

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