House passes homeowner rescue bill 

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Despite a veto threat by President Bush, the House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday that aims to help at least half a million families in danger of losing their homes. The bill would expand mortgages insured by the federal government. Lenders would limit potential losses from foreclosures by reducing the principal balances of loans at risk of default. Borrowers with adjustable-rate loans could refinance 30-year fixed-rate mortgage insured by the federal government. The borrower would pay a monthly insurance fee. Senate Republicans could kill the bill before it ever reaches the president’s desk. One Republican senator, Richard Shelby of Alabama, has drawn criticism because of his ties to the real estate industry. 

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