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Inside Washington (03/25/2008)
* WASHINGTON (3/26/08)—National Credit Union Administration board
NCUA board member Gigi Hyland addresses a Women and Housing and Finance luncheon in Washington. Her topic: foreclosure mitigation counseling program grants distributed through NeighborWorks America.
member Gigi Highland Tuesday discussed the efforts of NeighborWorks America to distribute $180 million in government grants to eligible organizations across the nation that provide foreclosure mitigation counseling programs. Hyland, who is a member of the NeighborWorks board of directors, explained during her speech before Women in Housing and Finance here, that the organization acts as a conduit to distribute the funds to the areas in most need. The group announced in February that $130 million had been awarded to 32 state housing finance agencies, 16 HUD-approved housing counseling intermediaries and 82 community-based NeighborWorks organizations, to provide counseling to families and individuals facing the threat of foreclosure. It estimated that 350,000 to 400,000 troubled borrowers will be directly assisted through the counseling funding … * WASHINGTON (3/26/08)—Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) has endorsed a housing stabilization plan by House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Committee Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.). The plan would expand the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) so it could back mortgages whose principal and interest rates had been written down. In a speech in Philadelphia, the Democratic presidential candidate-contender said aggressive action is needed to help borrowers avoid foreclosure. The government, she said, should temporarily purchase the troubled loans and the Bush administration should instigate an emergency study of whether the government should temporarily buy loans to sell in bulk auctions (American Banker March 25)… * WASHINGTON (3/26/08)—The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is floating a new plan under which the agency would operate if it were to return excess premiums to the banking industry. The plan is a compromise between earlier proposals that were not well received by the industry. Back in September, the FDIC issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking detailing two rebate plans; one which favored older banks, another which benefited new ones, such as those chartered after 1996 or those that had increased their deposits rapidly in the ensuing decade. Under its newest version, the FDIC would use two factors to determine a bank’s rebate: its share of the December 1996 assessment base and its premiums in the five years leading up to the rebate. The 2006 deposit insurance reform law requires the FDIC to start issuing premium rebates when its reserves go higher than 1.35% of insured deposits. (American Banker March 25) … * WASHINGTON (3/26/08)--CongressDaily reported in its Monday edition that House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) was hospitalized earlier this month not because of the flu, as first thought, but because he was suffering from viral encephalitis. A Rangel spokesman said the congressman was recovering and expected back in Congress when it resumes session next Tuesday… * WASHINGTON (3/26/08)-- Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who chairs the Senate Appropriations transportation and HUD subcommittee, are claiming Housing and Urban Development Department Secretary Alphonso Jackson is not fit for his job and should be fired by President George W. Bush. The two Senate leaders sent a letter to the White House March 21 after Jackson refused to answer certain questions during two hearings by their respective panels. Jackson was queried on allegations that he is steering contracts improperly to friends (American Banker March 25)…


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