The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Thursday said it has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to implement a congressionally mandated increase in their loan guarantee fees on April 1. The initial rise will be 10 basis points, but additional increases may be coming, said the FHFA's acting director, Edward DeMarco.

The payroll tax cut extension bill passed by Congress this month requires the government-sponsored enterprises to raise the average guarantee fee at least 10 basis points in 2012. "In early 2012, FHFA will further analyze whether additional guarantee fee increases are appropriate to ensure the new requirements are being met," DeMarco said.

The lawmakers relied on a 10-year increase in Fannie and Freddie guarantee fees to cover most of the costs of the legislation that extended the payroll tax reduction along with unemployment benefits for two months.

The bill also directs the GSE regulator to adjust the guarantee fees so all lenders pay the same fee.

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