The Treasury Department official leading Obama administration efforts to stem foreclosures said the government is working to ensure borrowers are being treated fairly while avoiding delays that could lower housing prices.
The cost of fixing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac , the mortgage companies that last year bought or guaranteed three-quarters of all U.S. home loans, will be at least $160 billion and could grow to as much as $1 trillion after the biggest bailout in American history.
U.S. bank regulators investigating foreclosure problems could impose fines or seek criminal penalties as soon as January, said Julie L. Williams , chief counsel of the Office of Comptroller of the Currency.
A distressed U.S. homeowner with a temporarily modified mortgage made every payment on time for 13 months. That’s 10 months past the standard three-month trial period, but the servicer was predicting a permanent modification, so the homeowner kept paying.