The White House said it is altering its Hope for Homeowners mortgage-rescue plan to encourage participation from more homeowners and lenders. The Department of Housing and Urban Development's program took effect at the beginning of October. "These modifications should increase lender participation and help more families who are having difficulty paying their existing mortgages, but can afford a new affordable loan insured by HUD's Federal Housing Administration," said HUD Secretary Steve Preston. In a joint statement Wednesday, the Financial Services Roundtable and the Housing Policy Council acknowledged the importance of the changes, but also encouraged HUD to continue pursuing other avenues to assist at-risk homeowners.

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