WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department is still working on a plan to use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lower mortgage rates to 4.5%, but their regulator says rates may soon drop to that level — or below — on their own.

In an interview Thursday, James Lockhart, the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, also said that the federal government does not need to explicitly back the debt of the two government-sponsored enterprises, and that the Federal Home Loan banks will have to accept accounting issues that have sparked losses.

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