WASHINGTON — Federal Housing Finance Agency Director James Lockhart's imminent resignation will force the Obama administration to confront the tricky politics of reforming the government-sponsored enterprises sooner than planned.

When the White House released its regulatory reform proposal in June, it put off until next year the question of how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would look when they emerge from conservatorship. But faced with the task of finding a new leader for the Finance Agency, the administration will have to confront these questions earlier.

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