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Ben Bernanke continues to beat the FHA reform drum. Here are some excerpts from an AP article recapping recent comments he made is Florida:

WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke called Tuesday for additional action to prevent more distressed homeowners from falling into foreclosure.

“This situation calls for a vigorous response,” Bernanke said in a speech to a banking group meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Even with some relief efforts under way by industry and government, foreclosures and late payments on home mortgages are likely to rise “for a while longer,” Bernanke warned.

Rising foreclosures threaten to worsen the problems in the housing market and for the national economy, which many fear is on the verge of a recession or in one already.

“Reducing the rate of preventable foreclosures would promote economic stability for households, neighborhoods and the nation as a whole,” Bernanke said. “Although lenders and servicers have scaled up their efforts and adopted a wider variety of loss-mitigation techniques, more can, and should, be done,” the Fed chief said.

On Capitol Hill, a number of measures have been offered to help stressed homeowners.

Overhauling the Depression-era Federal Housing Administration, which insures mortgages for low- and middle-income borrowers, could help, Bernanke said. He also called for strengthened supervision of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Bernanke, who last week signaled that the Fed stands ready to lower a key interest rate again, did not talk interest rate policy in his speech or in a brief question-and-answer session afterward. The Fed, which has been slicing rates since September to help the economy, is expect to reduce them again on March 18, the Fed’s next meeting.

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