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$2B question: Will FHA keep charging borrowers interest on paid-off mortgages?

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California homeowner Renee Bono calls it "unconscionable." Don Bonn, an agent with Champion Realty in Maryland, says it's a federal tax that too many home sellers and refinancers know little or nothing about. Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Ben Cardin, D-Md., have a legislative fix ready to go if the Obama administration doesn't instruct the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to make the change on its own. What's got these folks so riled up? It's the Federal Housing Administration's unique practice of requiring anyone who pays off one of its insured loans early -- whether because of a home sale or refinancing -- to be charged interest on the note through the end of the month, even if the actual closing occurs weeks before and the mortgage debt itself no longer exists. This past spring the agency told Sens. Cardin and Isakson that it would take a hard look at its policy and report back in 90 days with changes, if appropriate. Neither senator has he...