Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, has introduced a bill to create a federally insured zero-downpayment mortgage to increase homeownership opportunities for borrowers who do not have the cash for a downpayment or closing costs.The bill (H.R. 3755) is based on a Bush administration proposal to eliminate the 3% downpayment requirement on Federal Housing Administration loans for first-time homebuyers. To cover the higher risk of default, zero-downpayment borrowers would pay higher mortgage insurance premiums than other FHA borrowers -- appropriately $50 more a month on a $100,000 mortgage. Co-sponsors of the bill include two other Ohio Republicans -- House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael Oxley and Rep. Bob Ney. "This legislation will be a top priority for the housing subcommittee this year," Rep. Oxley said. Rep. Ney chairs the housing subcommittee.

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