Save the Date: Fannie, Freddie Smackdown Planned

A housing smackdown is coming to Capitol Hill.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has set March 2nd as the date for the first hearing on the future of housing finance. Though sweeping in scope, the review will surely center on the uncertain future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

It won't be an easy ride for the embattled Fannie and Freddie. Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, recently declared that the two troubled mortgage giants should be wiped out and replaced, according to news outlets including Bloomberg News. Republicans, too, are calling for drastic changes.

The high-stakes hearings are likely to shape the role of the federal government in the housing market going forward. Considering that almost every home loan written today is guaranteed by Fannie, Freddie, or the Federal Housing Administration, Congress is about to decide nothing less than the future of housing.