Watt delays mortgage fee hike

Newly minted Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt wasted little time before moving to delay increases to fees that lenders charge to guarantee mortgages, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The fee hikes had been set to begin taking effect in March and are meant to help reduce the footprints of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which currently back more than 60 percent of home loans, according to the newspaper.

The new fees are designed allow private firms to better compete, but analysts warn the fees could be passed on to borrowers.

In delaying the fees, Watt said he wanted more time to assess their likely impact on the housing market.

With the move, Watt, “quickly showed there would be a change in the direction of government oversight of Fannie and Freddie,” the L.A. Times's Jim Puzzanghera writes.

Check out the full Los Angeles Times story here.