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Senate passes near-unanimous mortgage aid bill.

By Matt Corley

"Senate passes near-unanimous mortgage aid bill."

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In a 93-1 vote, the Senate passed legislation today to aid “thousands of Americans facing foreclosure because of the ballooning interest rates on their subprime mortgages.” The AP reports:

The bill would allow the Federal Housing Administration to back refinanced loans for tens of thousands of borrowers who are delinquent on payments because their mortgages are resetting to sharply higher rates from low initial “teaser” levels. [...]

President Bush last week announced an agreement with mortgage companies to freeze interest rates for certain subprime mortgages for five years. Democrats in Congress, however, criticized the White House plans as being too limited.

The Senate bill raises the maximum mortgage the FHA can insure in high-cost areas from $362,790 to $417,000 – the same level as loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The House passed similar legislation in September.

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