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HUD chief talks mortgages at NC conference

RALEIGH, N.C. - (AP) - The Obama administration is pressing its case for reforming the country's home-loan industry while preserving the fixed-rate, 30-year mortgages distinctive to the American housing scene.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan spoke at a mortgage conference in Raleigh on Tuesday. Industry leaders are talking about reforming the way the country's banks and other lenders do business, and how mortgage loans are collected into securities and sold to investors.

Donovan says President Barack Obama's plan to overhaul the country's housing finance system includes winding down government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which taxpayers bailed out with $187 billion in 2008. They made bad bets in buying mortgages from lenders, guaranteeing them against default and selling them to investors.

A U.S. Senate committee takes up housing finance reform on Thursday.

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