March 15, 2014
The House has approved a plan aimed at helping homeowners avoid foreclosure.
The bill would expand federal backing of mortgages, through the Federal Housing Administration, which insures mortgages for low and middle-income borrowers.
Under the plan, the agency could back refinanced loans for tens of thousands of borrowers who are delinquent on payments because their mortgages are resetting to sharply higher rates after a low initial "teaser" level.
The measure goes farther than the Bush administration wants. It's the first stand-alone bill from Congress in response to the mortgage-market turmoil from the summer, and the rising tide of defaults and foreclosures.
The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee says he wants to send the measure quickly to the Senate, along with a bill to tighten government oversight of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.