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Inside Washington (04/11/2008)
* WASHINGTON (4/14/08)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) will conduct its first national survey to assess banks’ efforts to reach out to the unbanked this spring. Questionnaires will be sent to a probability sample of FDIC-insured institutions during the second quarter. Questions will focus on banks’ financial education and outreach strategies; deposit, payment and credit products offered to entry-level consumers; and other related topics. The survey will identify challenges insured institutions face in serving the unbanked. Case studies highlighting specific institutions’ programs will be a part of the survey. The FDIC also will consider conducting a national household survey with the U.S. Census to collect data on the numbers and demographics of unbanked and underbanked households, and the obstacles they perceive when deciding how and where to conduct their finances ... * WASHINGTON (4/14/08)--Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has changed his position on home loan aid after two weeks ago saying he objects to government bailouts (American Banker April 11). The senator Thursday proposed the “HOME” plan, which would ask the government to back delinquent subprime loans by allowing borrowers to trade in their subprime mortgages for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Eligible borrowers are those who have subprime mortgages made after 2005 and who are delinquent on their payments or nearing an interest rate reset ... * WASHINGTON (4/14/08)--Republicans have objected to Sen. Christopher Dodd’s (D-Conn.) plan to help the housing crisis. On Thursday, Sens. Robert Bennett (R-Utah) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said the Senate Banking Committee chairman’s plan would cost the government more money (American Banker April 11). Dodd’s plan would allow lenders to voluntarily write down mortgages. Dodd maintained at a press conference after the hearing that his plan would be successful, and said he hopes to bring it to the Senate by Memorial Day ... * WASHINGTON (4/14/08)--Less than 2% of loans set to reset in January and February received a five-year loan modification that would freeze interest rates, the Hope Now alliance said Thursday (American Banker April 11). The Treasury department originally said 600,000 loans would be eligible for the freeze. The Hope Now Alliance released a statement Thursday saying that since July 2007,mortgage servicers have provided loan workouts to borrowers that have helped 1.2 million homeowners prevent foreclosure ... * WASHINGTON (4/14/08)--The witness list for Rep. Paul Kanjorski’s (D-Pa.) Tuesday hearing on the Emergency Mortgage Loan Modification Act of 2008 has been released. Ralph DaLoisio, managing director, Natixis Structured Finance Group; Robert Story Jr., president, Seattle Financial Group, and vice chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association; and Marlo Young, partner, Thacher Proffitt and Wood, will testify ...


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