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Inside Washington (09/05/2011)
* WASHINGTON (9/6/11)--Easing payments for homeowners will help pave the way to economic recovery, Federal Reserve Board Gov. Elizabeth Duke said Thursday. Speaking at a housing finance conference hosted by the Fed, Duke acknowledged that despite near-record-low interest rates, credit conditions remain tight for both consumers and real estate investors. “One way to reduce the flow of foreclosed homes is to ease the payment strain on borrowers, which can be accomplished by modifying loans that are past due or by refinancing performing loans at lower rates,” she said. Duke cited several reasons why the Obama administration's Home Affordable Refinancing Program has not been successful. These include loan-level pricing adjustments, which are upfront fees that are added to refinancing costs; putback risk; and junior lienholders who refuse to let their loans remain subordinate to a possible new refinance loan. She said policymakers have to find a way to make the refinancing process easier for consumers. “Finding different approaches to the policies that are hindering refinancing would likely provide some support to the economic recovery while improving the circumstances of homeowners and reducing the overall level of credit risk borne by the various holders of the risk,” she said … * WASHINGTON (9/6/11)--The Federal Reserve will require more time to release a package of Dodd-Frank-related rules, which were expected to be released by Labor Day. The rules, consider by many as the core of Dodd-Frank, include such issues as risk-based capital requirements, leverage, resolution planning and concentration limits (American Banker Sept 2). The proposals will provide a regulatory outline of how the Fed will oversee a system of interconnected financial institutions including banks and non-banks. They also will address related issues such as capital surcharges and how to unwind systemically important financial institutions. The regulations, which implement Section 165 of Dodd-Frank, are rumored to range between 1,000 to 2,000 pages …

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