Servicers should not start foreclosure proceedings until a borrower has missed three monthly payments of principal and interest, according to a Federal Trade Commission attorney.That is a "key provision" in the Fairbanks settlement agreement, FTC attorney Allison Brown told a National Community Reinvestment Coalition conference. The 2003 settlement spelled out best practices that the FTC expects all servicers to follow. And the consumer protection agency said it does not want to find servicers charging delinquent borrowers a lot of fees and using those unpaid fees as justification for initiating a foreclosure. The FTC is also concerned that some forbearance agreements are unworkable, because the borrowers are expected to make double payments when they resume making their monthly payments. "That is an area we are looking at," Ms. Brown said, as well as "how we can encourage better forbearance practices."

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