The Hope Now Alliance, a group comprised of major lending institutions, mortgage servicers and government agencies convened under the auspices of the Treasury Department, is expected to announce on Tuesday a broad-based agreement to adhere to guidelines that would help home owners avoid foreclosure, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Citing sources with knowledge of the agreement, the Journal reported that the agreement will set timelines governing the foreclosure process once a home owner seeks help, provide for loan modifications including principle reduction and allow home owners to avoid foreclosure by turning over the deed or holding a short sale.

The Hope Now Alliance includes national banks, major mortgage companies, mortgage counselors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Alliance reported late last month that its members had provided loan workouts to 183,000 homeowners in April 2008, the highest monthly numder since its inception in July 2007.It claims it has helped almost 1.6 million homeowners avoid foreclosure, through workout that include loan modifications and repayment plans.