With Lessons Learned, FHFA Lets Mortgage Giants Ease Credit

Law360, New York (October 20, 2014, 7:03 PM EDT) -- The Federal Housing Finance Agency's plan to boost mortgage lending by allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase loans with 3 percent down payments may stir housing bubble memories, but experts say better underwriting standards and other protections should prevent the worst subprime lending practices from returning.

FHFA Director Mel Watt on Monday said that his agency would lower the down payment requirement for borrowers to receive the government-sponsored enterprises' support in a bid to get more first-time and lower-income borrowers access to mortgage credit and into their own homes.

However, unlike the experience of the housing bubble years —...

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