FHA Reserves Look Shaky – Is Another Bailout Pending?

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) once considered one of the safest agencies backing mortgage loans now has many worried that its reserves may have dipped below the Congressionally-required level. The FHA was designed to help first-time homebuyers and those with less-than-perfect credit. During the housing boom, the popularity of FHA loans waned as the standards and documentation requirements remained high and many other loans required few hoops to jump through. In 2006, FHA loans made Read more [...]

Fed Chairman Urges Government to Curtail Foreclosure Crisis

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke advocated for more government intervention in the national foreclosure crisis Thursday in remarks before a Fed housing conference. He called on government officials to take steps such as buying up bad mortgage debt and refinancing endangered loans into more affordable mortgages. “Despite good-faith efforts by both the private and public sectors, the foreclosure rate remains too high, with adverse consequences for both those directly involved and for the Read more [...]

Government-Insured Mortgages Continue to Rise in Popularity

The number of mortgage applications specifically for government-insured home loans continued to grow in October, according to recent data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The government-insured share of all applications (including Federal Housing Administration or FHA loans) rose to 32.9 percent during October 2008, the highest percentage since February 1991. It was also up dramatically from a 10.3 percent share last year at the same time. The percentage has steadily risen since the beginning Read more [...]

Senate Sends Bailout Bill Back to House, New Housing Aid Program Begins

A proposed $700 billion financial sector bailout bill passed in the Senate Wednesday night by a vote of 74-25, after the U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass a similar bill Monday. The legislative package will give the federal government the authority and funding to buy up roughly $700 billion worth of soured mortgage and insurance securities from major corporate players that would otherwise face bankruptcy. In an effort to pass the controversial piece of law, the Senate also included Read more [...]