Given higher oil prices, contraction in the capital markets and a downturn in the housing sector, a slowing economy appears imminent, said Robert Steel, undersecretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance, who gave the keynote speech last Tuesday at the American Securitization Forum's (ASF) annual conference in Las Vegas. Minimizing the amount of homeowner delinquencies, which could be exacerbated by a lagging economy, is HOPE NOW, Steel said, which he maintained is at the forefront in reducing the number of foreclosures in the market.

HOPE NOW, an alliance formed between counselors, lenders and investors in order to reduce foreclosures among homeowners, is now receiving up to 4,000 calls per day from borrowers, up from 625 calls per day in August 2007, Steel said. He added that all HOPE NOW servicers are contacting subprime borrowers 120 days before their loans reset in order to identify potential delinquencies, another improvement from August, when the group was reaching out to only a select number of borrowers.

Subscribe Now

Access to a full range of industry content, analysis and expert commentary.

30-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Access coverage of the securitization marketplace, including breaking news updated throughout the day.