Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have decided to maintain their maximum loan limits for single-family homes at $203,150 despite a second- straight annual decline in the benchmark index for the conforming loan limits, a move that now has thrifts furious and House Republicans curious.

Fannie and Freddie both decided to maintain the current limit after the Federal Home Finance Board announced that its monthly home price index, the benchmark index for the conforming loan limit, had declined 1.5% from 1993. Both chose not to lower their limits in 1993 and again in 1994, prompting thrifts to intensify their prodding of Congress to amend the law to force both government-sponsored enterprises to adjust the conforming loan limit down when the index goes down.

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