The housing market's woes have prompted Congress and the Bush administration to look into proposals for bailing out homeowners who owe more on their homes than the homes are worth. Almost 8.8 million homeowners in the U.S. are in this predicament. Among the plans being considered is a proposal by Bank of America that calls for the creation of a new federal agency that would buy delinquent mortgages at a deep discount and replace them with fixed-rate federally guaranteed loans.

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