A new pilot program started by Fannie Mae last week may give the market for mortgage-backed securities backed by Community Reinvestment Act-eligible loans the boost it has needed for a long time.

In an attempt to expand the secondary market for the very illiquid CRA-loan sector, the government-sponsored enterprise has made a commitment to purchase $2 billion of "MyCommunityMortgage" loans from a variety of mortgage lenders. The specially targeted loans will have specific variances custom-tailored for low and moderate-income borrowers, and Fannie intends to securitize a portion of them, depending on the demand from banks in different geographic areas for CRA mortgage-backeds.

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