In his first major move as head of the agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, ex-Rep. Mel Watt said Wednesday that he will delay a planned fee hike that would have raised the cost of most home loans backed by the government-sponsored enterprises.

The fee hike had been proposed by Watt's predecessor, Ed DeMarco, who had been acting head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency since 2009 before leaving that post this week. DeMarco, who is now the agency's senior deputy director, had argued that raising the fees would help bring private capital back into the mortgage market and better reflect the credit risks of borrowers.

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