Top Bush administration officials are urging Congress to pass Federal Housing Administration reform legislation before the end of the year, and they appear ready to compromise on a risk-based premium structure for FHA mortgages."We are working with the leadership in Congress to resolve differences on this issue," a Department of Housing and Urban Development spokesman said. A few weeks ago, it appeared that HUD was ready to move ahead administratively with a risk-based premium structure despite congressional opposition. But now HUD does not want to antagonize Congress while there is still a chance the Senate could act on FHA reforms in the next few weeks, which would increase refinancing options for troubled subprime borrowers. "It has been sitting in the Senate for too long," HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson told an Office of Thrift Supervision housing forum. "Each day of delay unnecessarily places thousands of families at risk of foreclosure."

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