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Inside Washington (04/01/2008)
* WASHINGTON (4/2/08)--Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to move ahead with a foreclosure bill after he and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Tuesday mitigated a Republican filibuster threat that stalled Reid’s bill in the Senate in February (Associated Press April 1). Reid’s plan would provide $200 million for housing counselors to help families facing foreclosure, raise mortgage bond revenue caps, require improved disclosures, and allow Community Development Block Grants to be applied to foreclosed properties (News Now Feb. 29). The plan also includes language modeled from Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin’s (D-Ill.) bill, which would allow bankruptcy judges to forgive mortgage debts. In a conference call Tuesday, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) said he would continue pushing a plan he developed with House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) that would widen the powers of the Federal Housing Administration (American Banker April 1). Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) last week supported Dodd and Frank’s legislation ... * WASHINGTON (4/2/08)--The Federal Reserve Board will finish changing the infrastructure of check-processing centers in early 2010 instead of 2011. The Fed released a revised schedule Monday. Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta and Dallas will serve as regional sites. Other sites will be scaled down. “The transition in consumer and business preferences from paper checks to electronic payments is moving at a very brisk pace,” said Gary Stern, chairman of the Reserve Banks’ Financial Services Policy Committee and president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. The revision “also supports our business strategy to use the authority provided by Check 21 to collect more checks electronically, reducing the reliance on the physical transportation of checks," he added ... * WASHINGTON (4/2/08)--The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sent a letter last week to public companies regarding the deployment of SFAS 157, a new fair value accounting standard. The letter identifies disclosure issues companies should consider when preparing Management’s Discussion and Analysis for quarterly reports on Form 10-Q ...

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