Lenders promise streamlined workouts

HOPE NOW coalition services most mortgages

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More than two dozen loan servicers that collect payments on most U.S. mortgages have agreed to adopt guidelines that are intended to expedite the process of working with troubled borrowers to prevent foreclosures.

The new HOPE NOW guidelines state that loan servicers should inform homeowners within 45 days whether their application for a workout — such as a repayment plan, loan modification or short sale — has been accepted or denied.