President George W. Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 last week. The event is remarkable in many ways.

For one, it showcases the government’s emphasis on making sure that the agency mortgage market continues to function as it puts the U.S. government squarely behind Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. A separate part of the legislation — the Hope for Homeowners Act — was specifically designed to come to the aid of distressed borrowers.

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