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While banks were right to be more selective in their lending practices after the financial crisis, access to credit for homebuyers may now be getting too tight for the economy's good, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in Atlanta Nov. 15.  

Some tightening was needed to correct lax standards, "however, it seems likely at this point that the pendulum has swung too far in the other way and that overly tight lending standards may now be preventing creditworthy borrowers from buying homes, thereby slowing the revival of housing and impeding the economic recovery," Mr. Bernanke said during a speech at the Operation HOPE Financial Dignity Summit. 

The U.S. central bank is now working toward policies that walk the line between encouraging "reasonable prudence" on lending while ensuring that qualified borrowers aren't shut out of the system, he said.  

The housing market is seeing signs of recovery, with average home prices across the country rising for each of the last nine months. 

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