Despite congressional opposition, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is expected to move ahead with a risk-based premium structure but give Federal Housing Administration lenders more time to adjust to the changes, sources told MortgageWire.House and Senate lawmakers are urging HUD to postpone implementation at least until Congress passes an FHA reform bill. The Senate bill contains a 12-month moratorium on FHA adopting a RBP structure. Currently, FHA charges a 150 basis point upfront premium and a 50 bp annual premium for most borrowers. With RBP, FHA officials say they could increase the upfront premium to 2.25% for the riskiest borrowers with low credit scores and low downpayments and help an estimated 20,000 subprime borrowers refinance into new FHA-insured mortgages in fiscal year 2008. In moving ahead with a RBP structure, sources expect HUD will postpone the Jan. 2 implementation date -- possibly for three months. HUD officials could not be reached for comment.

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