By a 404-24 vote Thursday, the House approved legislation to limit year-2000 lawsuits.

The bill is the product of a weeklong negotiation between lawmakers and the White House. A Senate vote was expected late Thursday, and President Clinton is expected to sign the bill into law next week.

The legislation includes a provision that would give homeowners with year-2000 problems a brief reprieve from foreclosure.

Through March 15, a borrower who missed a mortgage payment because of a year-2000 glitch would be given four additional weeks to pay, provided he or she notified the servicer in writing.

The Senate passed a much tougher consumer protection provision this month, but intense lobbying by bank regulators and trade groups persuaded lawmakers to soften it.

The bill would give firms 90 days to fix a year-2000 problem before an injured party could file suit. It would also cap punitive damages for small businesses, and would encourage mediation and other alternatives to lawsuits.

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