Federal Mortgage Reform Unlikely In 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Homeowners unable to pay monthly mortgage bills and facing foreclosure shouldn't count on help from Washington this year.

Regulators and lawmakers seem to be taking a wait-and-see approach as they confront the fallout from several years of lenders making too many home loans to people with inadequate credit.

Some say it would be a mistake to overreact to a market that's already showing signs of self-correcting, especially at a time when little evidence has emerged that the broader economy is at risk.

They also note consumer spending remains solid, the nation's jobless rate is still low, and stock indexes have hit record highs in reaction to strong corporate profits.

But with sales of existing homes expected to drop this year and a rising foreclosure rate, consumer advocates say action is warranted.

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