The drive to reform the GSEs is raising two questions that could fundamentally reshape the way borrowers obtain mortgages: will a revamp effectively eliminate the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, and would that be a good thing?

For decades, it's been conventional wisdom that the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is the best option for most homeowners, and any attempt to restrain or supplant it has largely failed to take hold. But efforts to replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are likely to — at the very least — make such mortgages more expensive. Depending on what approach Congress and the Obama administration take, the ultimate plan could eliminate such types of loans entirely.

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