The House Appropriations Committee has approved an extension of the $729,750 loan limits for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration through September 2010. The committee also increased the lending and guarantee authority of FHA and Ginnie Mae, as requested by the Obama Administration.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill authorizes FHA to insure $400 billion in single-family loans during fiscal year 2010, up from $315 billion in the current 2009 fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The FY 2010 appropriations bill allows Ginnie Mae to guarantee up to $500 billion in securities backed by single-family and multifamily loans.

Congress provided the secondary market agency with $400 billion in MBS guarantee authority in the FY 2009 appropriations bill. The massive stimulus bill that President Barack Obama signed in February raised the maximum loan limit for the GSEs and FHA to $729,750. But the higher limit is due to expire at year-end, if the full House as well as the Senate does not approve this bill.

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