A controversial bill that would extend an increase on guarantee fees (g-fees) on mortgages backed by the GSEs or the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has passed in the House of Representatives.[IMAGE] [COLUMN_BREAK]
The bill, ""H.R. 6429"":http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d112:1:./temp/~bdMrS0::/home/LegislativeData.php?n=BSS;c=112 (""STEM Jobs Act of 2012""), proposes reforms for immigrant visas offered to immigrants who possess advanced training in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. A section added to the bill calls for a one-year extension of g-fee hikes to help pay for the program, changing the end date on the fee increases from October 2021 to October 2022.
The legislation passed 245-139. It still needs to go before the Senate.
The proposal has attracted criticism from trade groups and industry representatives. Only one day before the bill passed, Mortgage Bankers Association president and CEO David Stevens called on Congress to reconsider the use of g-fees for purposes other than aiding the housing industry, noting that ""[d]ipping back into the housing piggybank to pay for unrelated policy items on the backs of America's homebuyers sends the wrong message at a time when the housing market is starting to show signs of recovery.""