Saying Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be allowed to play a greater role in helping troubled subprime borrowers, Sen. Charles Schumer Monday announced legislation that would authorize the government-sponsored entities to buy an additional $145 billion in mortgages. Schumer, D-N.Y., said Fannie and Freddie would be required to use half the authorization to refinance adjustable-rate mortgages with interest rates scheduled to reset between June 2005 and December 2009. The authorization -- which would be accomplished by temporarily raising the $1.4 trillion cap on the GSEs' loan portfolios by 10 percent -- would help only borrowers who are able to meet Fannie and Freddie's underwriting standards. Schumer's bill, the Protecting Access to Safe Mortgages Act, is aimed at helping the 40 perce...
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