Rep. Frank: Bush Ready to Discuss Foreclosure Plan

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Rep. Barney Frank said on Wednesday that the Bush administration is getting ready to negotiate a plan seeking to avoid home foreclosures.

"We are now getting some indications that they are ready to talk about it," Frank who chairs the powerful Financial Services Committee, told Reuters before an event in Boston.

The indications are coming "not so much from the White House but from the Treasury," Frank said. "Treasury said, 'let's talk'," Frank said noting the call came late last week or early this week.

The movement comes after a long deadlock between Democrats and the Bush administration over how to help hundreds of thousands of Americans who are facing the prospect of foreclosure.

Frank has proposed a federal program that would provide insurance for up to $300 billion in refinanced, affordable-cost mortgages.

Administration officials had long been cool to Frank's plan, arguing that there should be no "bailout" for lenders.

But Frank said movement came after the collapse of investment Bear Stearns.

"The Bear Stearns thing obviously pushed them although I think there were people within the department who thought we ought to do something about it," Frank said.