U.S. Treasury to set 2nd mortgage aid soon-official

WASHINGTON, April 6 (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury will soon finalize details on a plan to extinguish and modify second-lien mortgages as part of its overall housing program, a senior Treasury official said on Monday.

The second liens -- home equity loans that were often written in tandem with a primary mortgage during the housing boom years -- have been an obstacle to refinancing and modifying loans to make them more affordable.

The official, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, said assistance would be provided and also guidelines that “comprise a clear path for the reduction of second lien debt.”

He said these range from extinguishing them to keeping them in place as a part of mortgage modifications done under a $75 billion program the Obama administration is implementing to make failing mortgages affordable to home owners. (Reporting by Patrick Rucker, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)