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Jeb Hensarling
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac regulator defends 3% down payment mortgages
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac regulator defends 3% down payment mortgages

The regulator for bailed-out housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac told lawmakers Tuesday that new programs to back mortgages with down payments as low as 3% had enough safeguards to make them as safe as loans with higher down payments. Melvin L. Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, faced sharp criticism from Republicans at a three-hour House hearing that he was risking the loss of taxpayer money by returning to the irresponsible lending practices that caused the subprime housing market bubble. "You're once again putting people into homes that they can't afford," said Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), who chaired the hearing by the House...

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