Federal Housing Administration

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Federal Housing Agency Almost Out of Money

It may need an unprecedented bailout

(Newser) - The Federal Housing Administration is expected to announce this week that it's on the verge of running out of cash and may need taxpayer help, the Wall Street Journal reports. Rising mortgage defaults are battering the agency, which, though it guarantees fewer mortgages than either Fannie Mae or Freddie... More »

Taxpayers Have Paid Millions to Defend Fannie Execs

FHFA has spent $37M on accused fraudsters since takeover

(Newser) - The US government has sunk almost $100 million into defending a trio of ex-Fannie Mae executives accused of securities fraud, including $37 million since the government took control of the firm, according to a regulatory analysis released today. The Federal Housing Finance Agency is on the hook for those costs... More »

$26B Mortgage Settlement a 'Modest' Help: Experts

Many struggling homeowners not covered in deal

(Newser) - The $26 billion mortgage settlement announced yesterday will be a boon for some—but the terms of the deal leave many homeowners out in the cold. Recipients of loans owned by the Federal Housing Administration, for instance, won't directly benefit from the settlement; nor will those with mortgages held... More »

FHA May Soon Need Its First-Ever Bailout

Auditors say agency will need taxpayer funds if home prices keep falling

(Newser) - The US housing market is in such sorry shape that the Federal Housing Administration may soon need an injection of taxpayer funds for the first time since it was created as part of the New Deal 77 years ago. The agency's cash reserves have dropped to $2.7 billion,... More »

Obama Looks to Keep Feds in Mortgage Biz

Prez reportedly rejects calls to pull gov't out of housing market

(Newser) - Despite two White House proposals floated earlier in the year to get the federal government out of the housing market, President Obama will likely opt for the third option: reforming the housing market over the next decade but continuing to extend federal loan subsidies and insure most mortgages, reports the... More »

Crush of Foreclosures About to Swamp FHA

Taxpayers may foot the bill for defaulting homeowners

(Newser) - The Federal Housing Administration is staring down the barrel of a rash of foreclosures that could force it to dip into taxpayer money for the first time. The number of FHA borrowers who have missed at least three payments jumped by a third last year, to 9.1%, which means... More »

FHA Helps High-End Buyers

Raised guarantee limit may be tough to roll back

(Newser) - When the government last year doubled the amount the FHA will guarantee on a home loan, to more than $700,000, it moved the agency into uncharted territory: backing loans for the middle-class and the wealthy, too. It also moved the FHA, designed to help low-income buyers who can't raise... More »

The Next Mortgage Lender Bailout: The FHA

Critics think fallback agency will need a rescue in next couple of years

(Newser) - Another mortgage lender specializing in low income borrowers is in trouble: the Federal Housing Administration. The agency which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could soon share their fate, as borrowers default on the low-downpayment mortgages it insures, critics told a House subcommittee yesterday. “It appears destined for a... More »

As Slump Eases, High-End Homes Linger on Market

(Newser) - It’s a tale of two housing markets out there. While low and mid-priced homes are enjoying a resurgence, high-priced residences are languishing unsold, their prices falling rapidly, the Wall Street Journal reports. “We’re extremely oversupplied,” says a real estate agent in an affluent Illinois town, where... More »

Borrowers Now Flocking to the Feds to Default on Loans

Same cause of subprime mess blamed for new threats to taxpayers

(Newser) - History is repeating itself, and taxpayers will be footing the bill for it: Flawed lending practices are enabling borrowers to receive mortgage loans they can’t repay—but this time, Washington’s involved, the Washington Post reports. Many of the loans provided by the Federal Housing Administration default after just... More »

Feds Outline Fannie, Freddie Bailout

Gov't will step in as conservator; Treasury will buy preferred stock

(Newser) - Citing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as "critical to turning the corner on housing," Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson this morning announced a bailout of the beleaguered mortgage companies that includes his agency purchasing preferred stock, while the Federal Housing Finance Agency will step in as conservator. Additionally, Treasury... More »

Mortgage Insurers Feel Pinch, Pull Back on Loans

As more home loans fail, lenders ask more of beleaguered backers

(Newser) - Mortgage insurers facing mounting defaults are tightening their standards, adding another hurdle for potential homebuyers, the Wall Street Journal reports. Beleaguered and risk-averse banks are making more mortgage applicants apply for insurance, just as insurers are declaring more parts of the country “declining markets.” making insurance harder to... More »

Senate OKs Foreclosure Relief Bill

House outcome uncertain; Bush will veto unless changed

(Newser) - By a huge margin, the Senate today passed a $300 billion bill to help homeowners avoid foreclosure—but the White House vows to veto it unless the House makes changes, the AP reports. The bill will let struggling homeowners reinsure at cheaper rates backed by the government, but President President... More »

Treasury Boss: Worst Is Over

Paulson says US emerging from storm

(Newser) - The US is emerging from the credit woes triggered by the turmoil over subprime mortgages—despite the continuing wave of foreclosures across the nation, according to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. Paulson, in the most positive comments yet from the White House on the nation's economic troubles, in part credited the... More »

US Must Stop Foreclosures, Bernanke Warns

He warns of cascading crisis

(Newser) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke yesterday called for government intervention to halt home foreclosures, warning that to do nothing could "destabilize communities, reduce property values of nearby homes, and lower tax revenues." Bernanke said in a speech in New York that a million Americans were already three months... More »

Federal Mortgage Plan Not Helping the Neediest: Critics

Only 2K in danger of foreclosure have been able to take advantage, stats show

(Newser) - A plan to federally subsidize the refinancing of troubled mortgages has in fact helped relatively few of the most at-risk borrowers, the New York Times reports. Though Bush administration officials said FHA Secure has benefited 150,000, federal statistics show that only 1,729 of those mortgages were delinquent. “... More »

More Fed Help on the Way for Homeowners

More FHA-insured mortgages to be available for strapped consumers

(Newser) - Homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure are about to get a boost from the Federal Housing Administration. The FHA commissioner is expected to announce plans to expand an aid program that will allow borrowers saddled with negative equity to write down part of their mortgages and refinance their homes with cheaper... More »

Senators Cut Tentative Deal on Housing

Package includes tax credits, $4B in grants, $100M for homeowner counseling

(Newser) - The Senate today struck a deal on a package of legislation intended to soften the impact of the foreclosure crisis, the New York Times reports. The bipartisan measures include $4 billion to help local governments buy foreclosed properties and $100 million for homeowner counseling. Harry Reid called the tentative deal,... More »

Bush Housing Secretary Steps Down

Jackson out after clashes with Congress, charges of favoritism

(Newser) - HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson resigned this morning, after a series of accusations of political favoritism. The departure marks a setback to the Bush administration's efforts to stem the housing crisis, the Wall Street Journal reports, as Jackson has been a central player on key initiatives. He cited family reasons in... More »

Bush Readies Mortgage Bailout

Aid plan would back new loans for homeowners in 'upside-down' mortgages

(Newser) - Homeowners facing foreclosure could soon be getting a helping hand from the Bush administration, the Washington Post reports. Details are being finalized on a plan that would see portions of loans forgiven for people who now owe the bank more money than their house is worth. The remainder would be... More »

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