Excerpt from Nick’s article at the wsj.com:
When the principal reduction program was rolled out two years ago, those incentive payments weren’t extended to Fannie and Freddie, and their regulator has said there are less costly ways to help borrowers avoid foreclosure. The firms are being propped up with massive taxpayer infusions of their own, and the FHFA is tasked with preserving the firms’ assets.
By providing new taxpayer funds, the administration is making it harder for the FHFA to maintain its stance that principal reduction is less costly because Treasury funds will effectively subsidize some of those losses. The FHFA has said it is currently evaluating the newest proposal.
The firms are “working right now…to make a decision on whether they are going to begin principal reduction,” said Mr. Donovan. “We certainly hope that they will start to do that based on these incentives. That’s why we made them available.”