Unnoticed by many industry players, Rep. Richard H. Baker late in the congressional session slipped through a measure that he claims will increase mortgage lending to low-income applicants.

The provision, included in the spending bill for housing and other programs that the President signed last week, would reduce FHA coverage from 100% to 26% on loans of less than $70,000. Only certified community development financial institutions could originate and service these loans. It also bars Ginnie Mae, the federal government entity that sells FHA- backed loans, from securitizing these small credits.

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