The Federal Housing Administration is bringing together lenders and investors at a Sept. 29 meeting to ensure that its new "short refinance" program does not stumble like other attempts to address negative equity and strategic defaults.

Launched earlier this month, the program is designed to help underwater borrowers with conventional loans refinance into new FHA-insured products.

But it requires investors to take a minimum 10% writedown on the existing loan, which is always a hurdle.

"Everyone realizes that principal reduction is critical — but there are natural resistance points all along the way," FHA commissioner David Stevens said after speaking at a National Association of Federal Credit Unions conference Tuesday in Washington. "We have done some [short refis] already," he said.

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