FHA Taking Steps to Ensure Taxpayer Money during Housing Crisis

The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Charles McMillan:

“The Federal Housing Administration is playing a crucial role in providing mortgage financing to the housing market, as mortgage and banking systems have faced collapse. While FHA’s capital reserve ratio has declined, that is not surprising for an agency dealing in housing finance in today’s market, and there is no sign that a taxpayer bail-out will be required. FHA stands in contrast to entities in the private sector, including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and many large banks that have needed tens of billions of dollars in federal funds.

“Under the leadership of Commissioner Dave Stevens, FHA has announced timely steps to protect taxpayers: implementing credit policy changes to enhance risk management; hiring a chief risk officer for the first time in the agency’s history; shifting responsibility for mortgage brokers away from taxpayers to the lenders who use mortgage brokers; and modifying appraisal requirements including emphasizing appraiser independence and geographic competence.

“Declining home prices have forced many homeowners into underwater positions, regardless of lender or loan product. FHA is still solvent, has significant reserves and remains an essential tool for consumers.”

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