When President Bush talks about jobs and the economy, he also talks about his administration's effort to simplify the mortgage process and to boost homeownership."Listen, if you are a first-time homebuyer and you take a look at one of these mortgage application forms, you pass out over the amount of small words in the thing," the president said while campaigning Thursday in New Hampshire. "It makes you nervous. So we're simplifying it." On Jan. 23, the president told the U.S. Conference of Mayors that the Department of Housing and Urban Development is "working to simplify the contracts and to make it easier and less expensive for people to enter the process of buying a home." HUD has sent a final Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act rule to the Office of Management and Budget. Once the OMB approves it, the rule -- which aims to simplify the mortgage application and settlement process -- can be published in the Federal Register. In related news, the president formally nominated Alphonso Jackson to be the HUD secretary. Mr. Jackson is currently the acting secretary.

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