Private mortgage insurers are counting on Federal Housing Finance Agency to reduce some of the fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to spur lending to first-time homebuyers.

Such a move could help the insurers regain market share from the Federal Housing Administration. Fannie and Freddie require borrowers who put down less 20% to have private mortgage insurance. So reducing the government-sponsored enterprises' fees could result in more private policies being written, as more low-down payment borrowers opted for conforming mortgages over FHA loans.

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