Federal regulators want to provide guidance on the accounting and reporting of mortgages and other loans affected by Hurricane Katrina, but they are still in the discussion stage as a 90-day forbearance period nears its close."Lenders are asking what to do now," Deputy Comptroller Julie Williams told a Federal Bar Association meeting. She admitted that the banking agencies don't really have an answer right now. Nevertheless, the agencies want to provide clarification on the accounting treatment of loans where losses are difficult to estimate. "This is an area that the agency staffs have been talking about with the accounting bodies to try and get clarification," Ms. Williams said. The Financial Accounting Standards Board has determined that banks and thrifts should not list Katrina-affected loans as an "extraordinary" loss. Separately, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has issued a technical practice aid on "Accounting and Disclosures Guidance for Losses from Natural Disasters."

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