Top executives from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae told a House panel Thursday that American homeowners enjoy lower mortgage rates and ready access to home loans because of the mortgage agencies.

The executives - Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. chairman Leland C. Brendsel and Federal National Mortgage Association general counsel Robert B. Zoellick - vigorously disputed recent government reports saying that although the agencies received federal advantages worth about $6 billion in 1995, they passed on only two-thirds to the nation's homeowners.

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