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Inside Washington (04/22/2008)
* WASHINGTON (4/23/08)--The ranking Republican member of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, has introduced what he referred to as Republican legislation to address the recent instability in the housing market. It is co-sponsored by two other GOP members of that committee, Reps. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Judy Biggert of Illinois, and a list of other Republican House members. The goal of the bill, according to its sponsors, is to complement current public and private efforts to help struggling homeowners who face foreclosures on their homes. It intends to protect homebuyers from predatory lending practices and prevent future problems, and safeguard the interests of taxpayers from losses in federally insured programs … * WASHINGTON (4/23/08)--The President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy will convene its second meeting on Monday, May 5. The teleconference meeting will be open to the public. Those interested in listening to the meeting should call 202-622-5770 or e-mail to obtain the conference call number. The public is also invited to submit written statements with the advisory council. The same email address may be used to submit electronic statements. Paper statements in triplicate may be sent to President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, Office of Financial Education, Room 1332, Department of the Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20220… * WASHINGTON (4/23/08)--The Federal Reserve Board could release two proposals next week designed to curb abusive credit card practices. The proposals will likely be open for 60 days’ comment (American Banker April 22). The Fed also could propose a change to Regulation Z to align it with the new credit card practices proposal. The Fed plans to focus on universal default and double-cycle billing, said Sandra Braunstein, director of consumer and community affairs, in testimony last week ... * WASHINGTON (4/23/08)--The Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to vote on two financial services bills May 6 (American Banker April 22). One bill, by Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), will focus on helping borrowers who can’t pay their bills with financing through a less expensive loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration. The other bill involves government sponsored enterprise reform. A discussion draft on the bill is not yet available ... * WASHINGTON (4/23/08)--The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) issued guidance regarding fair value yesterday. The guidance outlines standards for OFHEO examiners to apply when overseeing and evaluating the use of the fair value option already adopted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It sets forth OFHEO’s expectations for practices that will: promote sound risk management and controls, support the integrity of regulatory capital measure and foster transparent and consistent financial reports by the government-sponsored enterprises ... * WASHINGTON (4/23/08)--Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) said in a release Monday he plans to introduce a bill that would ensure students and parents can qualify for Federal PLUS loans even if they have had trouble making their mortgage payments. The loans are available to help students and parents pay college tuition. Borrowers can qualify for the loans regardless of financial need, but are ineligible if they have been delinquent on a mortgage payment for 90 days or have gone through a foreclosure within the last five years. The bill would prevent borrowers from being disqualified from the loan based on their mortgage situation. Dodd is being joined by Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash). ...


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