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Obama Housing Plan Wins Banks' Support

Updated from 3:32 p.m. EST

JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Citigroup (C) were among the banks to say on Wednesday that they strongly support President Barack Obama's plan to modify mortgages in order to prevent another wave of foreclosures.

The banks hailed the administration's two-pronged attack, called the "Making Home Affordable" program, aimed at keeping struggling but responsible borrowers in their homes. The first part of the fix seeks to help as many as 4 million Americans by modifying monthly loans payments to be no more than 31% of the borrower's income.

The second half of the plan is expected to help up to 5 million homeowners that have mortgages with Freddie Mac (FRE) or Fannie Mae (FNM) by allowing them to refinance into lower-cost loans.

Wells Fargo said it fully supports and will implement the administration's plan to prevent foreclosures. The lender said it will offer the loan modification program for its own loans and loans it services for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as for all other investors "unless their servicing contracts prohibit it." Wells Fargo said it will also offer the administration plan's refinancing options available to customers with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans.

Mike Heid, co-president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, called the housing plan "thoughtful and comprehensive" and said it did a great job at targeting the complex problems the U.S. faces.

"Importantly, it helps customers facing true financial hardships while guarding against moral hazard," Heid said in a statement. "Wells Fargo has long advocated a standardized mortgage modification process, and we hope all investors will align with the plan so that more families can reach affordable mortgage payments. That, in and of itself, will go a long way toward stabilizing our economy for the benefit of all Americans."

Stock quotes in this article: WFC, JPM, C 

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