The National Association of Realtors supports an expansion of the FHA Secure program to help seriously delinquent subprime borrowers refinance into Federal Housing Administration loans, provided lenders/servicers write down the principal amount of the mortgages to compensate the FHA for the risk. The NAR suggests that the Department of Housing and Urban Development require a 90% loan-to-value ratio if the borrower has several late payments and an 80% LTV for riskier borrowers. "Specifically, we believe that where prudent, FHA should modify underwriting criteria in return for a lower loan-to-value ratio thereby assuring the lenders share risk," the NAR says in a letter to HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson. The NAR drafted the letter in response to a plan presented to HUD by the Credit Suisse Group that expands the FHA Secure program to help 600,000 delinquent subprime borrowers. "We are exploring ways to expand access to FHA Secure for delinquent borrowers," one HUD official said. HUD launched the FHA Secure program on Sept. 5, and so far it has helped 1,400 slightly delinquent subprime borrowers refinance into an FHA mortgage.

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