However, Ben Bernanke also gave his support to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) providing direct financial help to homeowners feeling the housing squeeze - meaning that banks would not have to shoulder the burden alone.
This forms a marked contrast with the stated policy of the current administration, which supports industry-only mortgage refinancing rather than government help.
"Realistic public- and private-sector policies must take into account the fact that traditional foreclosure-avoidance strategies may not always work well in the current environment,'' Mr Bernanke told the Columbia Business School.
He added that this government assistance should be "tightly targeted" to the people facing the biggest repossession risk, Bloomberg reports.
Current Democrat-led proposals to be introduced to Congress this week would see as much as $300 billion in FHA support granted to troubled homeowners.