Servicer guidance along with the net present value (NPV) test for the Obama administration's new loan modification program will be issued "very soon," according to Federal Housing Finance Agency director James Lockhart.

"I'm hopeful we can get this kicked up very fast," Lockhart said in an interview with National Mortgage News Online. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mae have already issued servicer guidance for modifying loans they own or guarantee.

The NPV test will be used to determine which non-agency loans qualify for a loan modification. "That is being finalized," the FHFA director said. Under the new modification program servicers are expected to reduce the homeowner's monthly mortgage payments to a 38% debt-to-income level at their own expense.

To achieve a 31% DTI ratio, the government will share in the cost and reimburse the servicer. Fannie and Freddie are using an existing NPV test because they are not being reimbursed by the government, Lockhart said.

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