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Inside Washington (02/19/2008)
* WASHINGTON (2/20/08)--The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) may ease some of its FHASecure requirements to help more mortgage borrowers (American Banker Feb. 19). Currently, only 6% of the total $136 billion adjustable-rate mortgages are eligible. The FHA has received 229,597 applications from current borrowers and 5,638 applications from delinquent borrowers, said Bill Glavin, special assistant to Brian Montgomery, FHA commissioner. About 1,487 borrowers have been helped so far. Last month, the American Securitization Forum said if the program were expanded, it could help 607,000 borrowers, or 68% of delinquencies. Glavin noted that the recently approved $168 billion economic stimulus package could help FHASecure by raising FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limits to $729,750, though the loan limits expire at the end of this year ... * WASHINGTON (2/20/08)--National banks will pay roughly 2.5% lower assessment fees effective March 31, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced yesterday. OCC will reduce rates in each assessment bracket, and add two new brackets for the largest banks. The new framework replaces the existing top bracket, which applies to the portion of assets held by a national bank exceeding $40 billion. The two new brackets will be for assets between $40 billion and $250 billion, and assets exceeding $250 billion ...


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