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Cramdown Bill Passes House

The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation on Thursday that will allow bankruptcy judges to reduce the principal amount of mortgage loans. The proposed law has received stiff opposition from the banking and mortgage industries, but the Obama administration and Democratic lawmakers have been unrelenting in pushing the so-called cramdown legislation through Congress.

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Freddie Launches REO Rental Initiative

On Thursday, Freddie Mac announced the official launch of its new REO Rental Initiative, giving qualified tenants and former owners the option to lease their recently foreclosed properties on a month-to-month basis.

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Treasury Releases Loan Mod Details

The Treasury Department released guidelines on Wednesday that will enable servicers to begin modifications of eligible mortgages under the administration’s Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan – announced by President Barack Obama just two weeks ago.

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Gov. Launches Securities Loan Facility

As part of the administration’s Financial Stability Plan, on Tuesday, the Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board announced the launch of the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF).

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Fannie Reports $58B Loss for 2008

Washington, D.C.-based Fannie Mae reported a loss of $58.7 billion, or ($24.04) per diluted share for fiscal year 2008. The GSE’s annual deficit is a significant increase from 2007, when the company reported a loss of $2.

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Freddie Mac CEO Moffett Resigns

Freddie Mac today announced that its CEO, David Moffett, has resigned from his position of chief executive and as a member of the organization’s board, effective March 13, 2009. The GSE’s board of directors is working with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to appoint a successor to Moffett, and said it plans to name an interim CEO before March 13 to assume chief responsibilities once Moffett leaves.

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Push for Downpayment Assistance Continues

According to AmeriDream, a non-profit organization based in Maryland that provides housing-related programs to low and moderate income Americans, last week’s report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showing yet another decline in January home sales is strong evidence that Congress must provide proven incentives like downpayment assistance (DPA) in order to stabilize the housing market.

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Treasury Ups Stake in Citigroup

The Treasury Department reached a deal late Thursday to increase its stake in Citigroup to an estimated 36 percent as part of a third bailout for the struggling bank. Already, the U.S. government holds an 8 percent ownership in the New York institution.

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