The American Securitization Forum, mortgage servicers, and counseling organizations have formed an alliance called "Hope Now" to create a plan to help as many homeowners as possible avoid foreclosure."Finding solutions for consumers should not and cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach" Michael Heid, co-president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, said at a Treasury Department news conference. "But it can become a much more coordinated process between servicer and counselor." The ASF announced a new servicing recommendation that would allow counseling fees to be expensed against the cash flows of mortgage-backed securities. "We believe that it will facilitate the valuable work of mortgage counseling to help servicers and borrowers evaluate all the available options to prevent unnecessary loan defaults and foreclosures," said ASF associate director Tom Deutsch. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson welcomed the formation of the new alliance, noting that its members service 60% of all mortgages. "The coalition has a lot of work to do," the secretary said. The ASF can be found on the Web at http://www.americansecuritization.com.

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