“One step forward, one step back” could sum up events for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lately.

In the same two-week period that the government-sponsored enterprises’ new anti-predatory-lending programs brought praise even from consumer activists, new reports put them in unflattering light. They charge that Fannie and Freddie may not save homebuyers as much money as they purport to, and that they buy a disproportionate number of loans from white, higher-income communities than from lower-income and minority communities.

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