US working on plan to help homeowners refinance

Financial Crisis Posted on

The federal government is working on a loan-guarantee plan that could help many homeowners escape foreclosure, a banking regulator told Congress Thursday. At the same time former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the financial crisis will get worse before it gets better.

Accused of contributing to the meltdown, but denying that it was his fault, Greenspan told a House panel the crisis left him — an unabashed free-market advocate — in a "state of shocked disbelief."

Federal regulators told Congress they were making steady headway in confronting the worst financial crisis since the 1930s as committees in both the House and the Senate held hearings on a contagious financial collapse that has infected global markets.

Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., told the Senate Banking Committee that the government can do more to help tens of thousands of home borrowers avert foreclosure. She suggested the government set standards for modifying mortgages into more affordable loans and providing loan guarantees to banks and other mortgage services that meet them.

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