NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Congress appears ready to start talking seriously about overhauling the mortgage finance system.
Over the past few months, the conversation on ending government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC) has heated up, with the introduction of the Corker-Warner bill in the Senate and the passing of the "PATH" Act in the House.
President Obama also waded into the debate recently, arguing for a new mortgage finance system that will have a greater role for private capital and a limited government guarantee that would preserve easy access to credit in an economic downturn.
Last week, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas) -- chairman of the House Financial Services Committeee -- said he was hopeful the House would hold a vote to wind down the GSEs as early as this fall, followed hopefully by a conference with the Senate.KBW political analyst Brian Gardner, who has been skeptical of any progress on GSE reform before 2015, now says the legislation might get done sooner than expected, but still not before 2014. "Investors should expect to see a series of hearings in the fall on the topic of mortgage finance and we think it is possible that the