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Secretary Henry M. Paulson's Statement: Dec. 6, 2007

Washington, DC -- Good afternoon. Thank you, Secretary Jackson, Chairman Bair, Comptroller Dugan, Governor Kroszner, Director Lockhart, Director Reich and representatives from the American Securitization Forum, HOPE NOW, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the Housing Policy Council for your creativity and flexibility during these recent months. We have worked through an evolving process to help minimize the impact of the housing downturn on homeowners, neighborhoods and the U.S. economy.

The infrastructure to reach struggling borrowers is now in place: outreach letters are being sent to borrowers likely to be facing trouble, a toll-free number has been expanded and there are counselors available to work with struggling borrowers.

The American Securitization Forum represents mortgage investors and mortgage servicers, and they have announced today a set of guidelines to streamline the process of refinancing and modifying subprime loans for able homeowners. We hope that these guidelines will be adopted as reasonable and customary standard practice across the entire servicing industry.

This is a private sector effort, involving no government money; so some may ask "Why are these government officials here today?" We are here because we all know that it is in everyone's interest

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