WASHINGTON, D.C. — Several federal officials, on the front lines in the battle to restore order, activity and confidence in the nation’s housing market, told an audience of real estate journalists on Thursday that curbing foreclosures is key to a housing and economic recovery.

"Our first responsibility is to stem the tide of foreclosures sweeping the country and help people keep their homes," said Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan, who addressed members of the National Association of Real Estate Editors during an annual conference.

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