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美国讨论提供住房贷款担保 防止止赎

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FDIC's Bair Suggests Guarantees for Loans

2008年10月24日

A new plan to coax mortgage servicers to modify loans by offering them federal loan guarantees and credit enhancements is in the works, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair told a U.S. Senate panel Thursday.

Ms. Bair said the FDIC is working 'closely and creatively' with the Treasury on the plan, saying the recently-passed financial rescue legislation gave the Treasury the authority to offer such incentives to servicers helping borrowers to avoid foreclosure.

Mortgage servicers -- companies that collect payments and work with homeowners -- typically act on behalf of those investors, who often have competing interests.

'Specifically, the government could establish standards for loan modifications and provide guarantees for loans meeting those standards,' she said. 'By doing so, unaffordable loans could be converted into loans that are sustainable over the long term.'

Ms. Bair said she was engaged in 'very good discussions' on the plan with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who she said was 'as concerned as much as anybody' about rising foreclosures.

U.S. Treasury Interim Secretary for Financial Stability Neel Kashkari, who also testified before the panel, confirmed that Treasury was working on new policies to prevent foreclosures. He said Treasury was 'passionate about doing every we can to avoid preventable foreclosures,' but added that the administration didn't want new efforts to interfere with existing programs, such as the recently launched Hope for Homeowners program.

'We share your sense of urgency,' Mr. Kashkari told Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd.

After the hearing, Sen. Dodd told reporters that the FDIC seems ready and able to implement the program, noting that Ms. Bair herself said that the FDIC already has sufficient resources. 'This is the expertise of the FDIC. This is what they do,' said Sen. Dodd.

Sen. Dodd urged the Treasury to use its authority to spur servicers to modify loans with loan guarantees and credit enhancements. 'This slender provision alone can help countless deserving Americans escape the foreclosure trap set by predatory lenders,' Sen. Dodd said in prepared remarks.

Ms. Bair said the incentives could make servicers' decision to modify a loan 'more powerful.' She said such a plan could also create a way for foreclosure prevention to be conducted on an industry-wide basis rather than by the current ad-hoc process. Ms. Bair said the FDIC has the resources to implement the plan, although it would be overseen chiefly by Treasury.

There are signs that Ms. Bair, an early and loud advocate of more ambitious action to stop foreclosures, is gaining traction with fellow federal officials.

She detailed the steps the FDIC has taken to modify systematically a pool of mortgages it acquired from failed thrift IndyMac Bancorp earlier this year. Though the program was still in its early stages, more than 3,500 borrowers have agreed to modification proposals from the FDIC, Bair said. On average, the modifications have cut monthly payments by more than $350.

'While it is clearly too early to declare the end of the crisis in our financial markets, as a result of the coordinated response of the Fed, the Treasury, the FDIC and our counterparts overseas, we are making steady progress in returning money and credit markets to a more normal state,' she said.

JOHN D. MCKINNON / JESSICA HOLZER

美国讨论提供住房贷款担保 防止止赎

国联邦存款保险公司(Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.,简称FDIC)董事长希拉·拜尔( Sheila Bair)周四向美国参议院一个评审小组说,FDIC与政府正在制订一项计划,向按揭贷款服务商提供联邦贷款担保并加强信贷,以鼓励它们修改贷款条件。

Getty Images
FDIC董事长拜尔

拜尔说,FDIC正与美国财政部就此计划展开富有创造性的密切合作,并表示近期通过的金融救助法案赋予了财政部向按揭贷款服务公司提供此类刺激手段的权利,以帮助贷款人免于止赎。

贷款服务商--收款并与房主打交道的公司--通常代表它们的投资者行事,而这些投资者之间常常存在利益冲突。

拜尔说,政府可设立贷款修改标准,并向那些符合标准的贷款提供担保,这样一来,难以负担的贷款将转化为可以承受的长期贷款。

拜尔表示,她与财政长部鲍尔森(Henry Paulson)就该计划进行了很好的讨论,后者对止赎越来越多的情况十分关注。

美国财政部临时负责金融稳定计划的Neel Kashkari也向参议院评审小组作证,他证实财政部正在研究防止止赎的新政策。他说,财政部热切希望尽我们所能,避免可以避免的止赎,但又表示财政部不希望新的举措妨碍现有的计划,比如最近公布的“业主希望计划”(Hope for Homeowners)。

Kashkari对参议院银行委员会(Senate Banking Committee)主席克里斯多夫·多德(Christopher Dodd)说,我们跟你一样有紧迫感。

听证会后,多德对记者表示,FDIC似乎已经做好准备、也有能力实施这一计划,并强调拜尔亲口说FDIC已经有了充足的资源。多德说,这是FDIC的专长,他们就是干这个的。

多德敦促财政部运用其职权,提供贷款担保和加强信贷,以激励按揭贷款服务公司修改贷款条件。多德说,光是这个小小的条款就能帮助无数应当得到帮助的美国人免于掠夺性的贷款机构所设下的止赎陷阱。

拜尔表示,这些激励措施会让按揭贷款服务公司的贷款修改决定“更有力”。她说,这个计划还会创建一个在整个行业范围内防止止赎的方式,而不是像现在这样通过临时程序来防止。她表示,FDIC有实施该计划所需的资源,但这项计划将主要由财政部负责。

拜尔早就极力提倡采取更为积极的措施防止止赎,有迹象表明她对联邦官员的影响力越来越大。

FDIC从今年早些时候破产的IndyMac Bancorp银行获得了一大批贷款,拜尔详细说明了FDIC系统地修改这些贷款而采取的措施。拜尔说,虽然该计划还处于初期阶段,但已有逾3,500名借款人同意了FDIC的修改建议。修改后的贷款月供平均降低了350美元以上。

拜尔说,现在就宣布我们的金融市场危机已经结束显然为时过早,但在Fed、财政部、FDIC和我们的海外同行协力应对之下,我们已经取得稳步进展,让货币和信贷市场回归更为正常的状态。

JOHN D. MCKINNON / JESSICA HOLZER

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