The House passed by a 367-54 vote a bill that revamps the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) Hope for Homeowners' program and gives the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary discretion in setting insurance premiums on refinancings of underwater borrowers.

The Senate is expected to pass the measure later this week. The bill (S.896) allows the HUD to charge an upfront mortgage insurance premium of up to 3% and an annual premium of up to 1.5%.

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