Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Litton Loan Servicing, and HSBC have agreed to a set of principles espoused by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., to take early action to help subprime borrowers through loan modifications to avoid foreclosure."I commend the organizations and companies that have joined me in formulating and agreeing to these principles, and I urge others to participate," Sen. Dodd said. Under the principles, lenders and servicers should contact subprime borrowers with adjustable-rate mortgage loans to make sure they can afford the payments once the loan resets. If not, loan modifications should be explored, including switching the loan to a fixed rate or making the introductory rate permanent. The principles also call for servicers to ramp up so that loan modifications can be done on a scale needed to address the foreclosure crisis. Chase Home Loan chief executive David Lowman said his company supports Sen. Dodd's efforts to help families who are struggling with their mortgage payments. "We believe we can develop the best solutions by working with the Senate committee, our regulators, borrowers, investors, and community representatives," Mr. Lowman said. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bear Stearns & Co., and Self-Help Credit Union also support the principles.

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