The Obama administration on Thursday laid out additions to its housing-rescue plan that are designed in part to make it easier for financially troubled homeowners to sell houses that are worth less than their mortgages.

The newest initiative creates a standardized process and adds incentives for so-called short sales, in which a borrower -- with lender approval -- sells the home for less than the amount owed.

The government also said it would make it simpler for borrowers to voluntarily transfer ownership of properties to mortgage companies through a "deed in lieu" of foreclosure, helping the companies avoid a potentially costly and time-consuming foreclosure process.

Wall Street Journal