Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Regulator Defends 3% Down Payment Mortgages

Published Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Melvin L. Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, told lawmakers this week that new programs to back mortgages with down payments as low as three percent had enough safeguards to make them as safe as loans with higher down payments. Watt faced criticism at a Congressional hearing that he was risking the loss of taxpayer money by returning to the irresponsible lending practices that caused the subprime housing market bubble. Watt noted that these loans will make up only "a very small percentage" of the mortgages in the portfolios of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.


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