The dividing line between those opposing and supporting FHA's legislative proposals was resoundingly clear during a House Banking Committee hearing May 5, and equally clear is the fight expected to ensue throughout the year.

During the sometimes tense hearing, mortgage insurers and thrifts vehemently opposed key elements of the FHA proposal, specifically the higher floor and ceiling limits, arguing that the limits are aimed at the wealthy.

Mortgage bankers, Realtors and home builders disagreed. "We believe the proposal returns FHA to its original mission and provides important benefit to thousands of Americans ... 'locked out' of housing opportunities," said Rick Adams of the National Association of Realtors.

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