Facing sharp criticism for not doing enough to help homeowners, the Obama administration is changing the documentation procedures used in its foreclosure prevention program.

The Treasury Department on Thursday said it would give lenders until June 1 to begin collecting up front the documents required to modify loans for struggling borrowers, a change the administration maintained would speed aid to, and reduce hassles faced by, homeowners. The Treasury also said it would require homeowners to submit "simple, standard" documentation packages.

"Once the documents are provided up front, we'll eliminate the back and forth," the Treasury's Phyllis Caldwell said, describing how lost documents and the need to track down tax returns and pay stubs can complicate mortgage modifications. Caldwell heads the Treasury's homeownership preservation office.

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