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Aid for Unemployed Homeowners Boosted by Obama Administration

The Obama administration Thursday increased the aid available to many unemployed homeowners, allowing them to miss up to a year of payments to stave off foreclosure.

Mortgage servicers for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration will be required to extend so-called forbearance on mortgage payments for 12 months -- triple the current requirement of four months -- for borrowers who qualify for the assistance. The Obama administration also is making it easier for homeowners to qualify.

In addition, mortgage servicers participating in the administration's Making Home Affordable program will be required to extend forbearance for unemployed homeowners for the same period "wherever possible under regulator and investor guidelines," the White House said. The major mortgage servicers all are participants in that program.

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