Democrats and Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee were close to an agreement on a bill to create a federally insured zero-downpayment mortgage program, when the mark-up scheduled for April 29 was postponed.Republican leaders decided that there was not enough legislative business to keep the House in session on Thursday and adjourned early. As a result, the mark-up of H.R. 3755 will have to be rescheduled. Democrats have raised concerns about the extra 50 basis points homebuyers will have to pay for mortgage insurance to get a Federal Housing Administration zero-downpayment loan and the disclosures about the costs of the loan. Democrats also want to be sure that counseling and other mechanisms are in place so that unqualified borrowers don't end up with these loans. Zero-downpayment loans are expected to have higher default rates than the standard FHA loan, which has a 3% downpayment requirement. "We are working through those issues, and we are optimistic we are going to come to an agreement on the bill," said Kay Gibbs, a spokeswoman for the committee Democrats.

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