More Earthquake Assistance. Ginnie Mae said it is reaching out to distressed homeowners in the San Fernando Valley by authorizing issuers of Ginnie Mae pools containing loans on properties damaged by the Jan. 17 earthquake to buy the loans out of the pools for the remaining principal balance of each loan. The loans do not have to be delinquent before they can be repurchased. Ginnie hopes this new authority will assist those whose homes were directly damaged by the earthquake and aftershocks by allowing pool issuers to buy back the loans and either modify them or ensure that they continue to be insured or guaranteed by FHA or VA, thus lessening the chance homeowners will become delinquent, or worse, default and before closed on. Issuers must request written permission to buy such loans out of existing pools, and the request must specify that the loan - or loans - was damaged in the Jan. 17 earthquake or one of its aftershocks. The buyout clause expires Oct. 13.

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