Fannie Mae is retiring one of its mortgage-workout options, underscoring the growing emphasis on loan modifications through a government program and reflecting how much more dire homeowners' struggles are today than a couple of years ago.

The government-sponsored enterprise told lenders late Monday that the HomeSaver Advance program would end Sept. 30. Established in February 2008, HomeSaver Advance enabled servicers to make small unsecured personal loans to troubled borrowers to bring their mortgages current.

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