Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has written letters to the Big Four accounting firms asking what they are doing to let their financial institution clients know about waivers on mortgage accounting standards that could let borrowers refinance their loans.

In July, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox informed House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., that FAS 140 rules allow mortgage lenders to modify the terms of loans when a default is "reasonably foreseeable." The Financial Accounting Standards Board reached a similar conclusion in June.

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