With the presumptive HUD Secretary expressing his support for the 30 year fixed rate mortgage and Republican hardliners pushing for full privatization of the mortgage market, we turn here to a pivotal policy and political question:  can there still be penalty-free pre-payable thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages without a federal backstop? No, but how high a hurdle would be pre-payment penalties?  Depends on whom you ask.

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