WASHINGTON — In an environment of rising foreclosure rates, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) sent out a letter to his fellow members of Congress looking for their support in determining government’s role in the scenario.

“Foreclosure rates are rising, housing prices are stagnating and too many consumers are surprised to find out that their monthly payments are spiking,” he wrote. “The difficulties have been concentrated in ‘subprime’ loans, which generally go to borrowers with limited or damaged credit, although there is evidence that some borrowers are shifted into the subprime category because they are African-American or Hispanic. Real damage has been done to families and communities as many adjustable-rate mortgage loans ‘reset’ to higher interest rates and monthly payments.”

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