(Corrects day of the week in lead)
WASHINGTON Jan 8 The U.S. regulator for Fannie
Mae and Freddie Mac on Wednesday instructed
the two taxpayer-owned mortgage finance companies to delay the
increase in fees on government-backed loans that the agency
announced last month.
Mel Watt, the new director of the Federal Housing Finance
Agency, said he plans to study the "implications for mortgage
credit availability" before moving ahead with the fee increases.
The FHFA would provide not less than 120 days' notice after
completing the study before making final changes.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were scheduled to increase their
guarantee fees in 2014. The fees often trickle down to
borrowers, and result in higher mortgage rates.
(Reporting by Margaret Chadbourn; Editing by James Dalgleish)