Members of the House Financial Services Committee are asking the Securities and Exchange Commission for guidance on restructuring troubled subprime loans in mortgage-backed securities so that servicers can prevent foreclosures.In a letter to the SEC, the committee members note that a lack of clarity is causing some servicers to refrain from making loan modifications for "fear" of violating the Financial Accounting Standard Board's servicing rule (FAS 140). "Does FAS 140 clearly address whether a loan held in trust can be modified when default is reasonably foreseeable or only once a delinquency or default has already occurred?" the June 15 letter inquires. "If not, can it be clarified in a way that will benefit both borrowers and investors?" Separately, the SEC, federal banking agencies, the Internal Revenue Service, the Big Four accounting firms, and mortgage industry officials are scheduled to meet with FASB members and staff on June 22 to discuss similar servicing issues involving loan modifications.

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