President Bush is likely to mention RESPA reform in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, sources are telling MortgageWire.While the president is not going to say "Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act," he is expected to mention his support for the Department of Housing and Urban Development's efforts to simplify the mortgage process and reduce closing costs. The president is said to consider RESPA reform an important part of his agenda to increase homeownership. On Dec. 16, HUD sent the RESPA rule to the Office of Management and Budget for final clearance, despite the advice of housing industry and consumer groups and key members of Congress. Critics as well as supporters of RESPA reform contend that the RESPA rule needs to be re-proposed so they can review and comment on it one more time before it is finalized and published in the Federal Register.

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