Freddie Mac's chairman, Leland Brendsel, has sent a conciliatory letter to Rep. Richard H. Baker, R-La., clarifying his recent call to eliminate the ceiling on conforming loans.

"Freddie Mac brings homebuyers lower mortgage rates compared to rates charged to families with mortgages above the loan limit, as well as unparalleled innovation and a reliable source of funds," Mr. Brendsel wrote.

"I feel passionately about our mission and our success in meeting it; in that context, I stated my belief that all Americans should have access to the lowest-cost, most efficient source of mortgage credit," said the head of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

"I was not suggesting that this matter was likely to be addressed by Congress in the near future," he added.

Mr. Brendsel ruffled the feathers of at least two key Congressmen last week with his talk of removing the size limits on the loans that may be bought by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae - the Federal National Mortgage Association.

Mr. Baker, who chairs the capital markets subcommittee of the House Banking Committee, and Congressman Rick Lazio, R-N.Y., who chairs the housing subcommittee, each wrote strongly worded letters asking Mr. Brendsel to explain.

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