Obama pitches mortgage overhaul as housing rallies

PHOENIX — President Barack Obama says taxpayers can no longer be on the hook for bad decisions by mortgage lenders.

Obama says owning a home is supposed to fulfill the American principle that hard work and responsibility pay off. He says recklessness by lenders and buyers triggered a housing collapse, and the market is still healing.

Obama says it’s time to overhaul the mortgage finance system to help more Americans afford homes with less risk to the government. He’s proposing to shutter government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and give private capital a bigger role in mortgage lending. He’s also pushing to expand refinancing for current homeowners and increase access to affordable rental housing.

Obama is speaking in Phoenix, which was hard hit by the housing crisis but has recently rebounded.

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