Agreeing on an acceptable failure rate for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a relevant and important policy issue currently facing America. At an AEI event on Friday, AEI's own Edward Pinto highlighted the deleterious impacts that a national projected foreclosure rate of 10 percent — the FHA's weighted average rate over the last 37 years — can have on working-class families and neighborhoods. Pinto emphasized that the FHA should return to its traditional mission of helping low- and moderate-income families by reforming its loan structure.
The Hudson Institute's John Weicher, a former FHA commissioner, explained the historical tradeoff between reaching the target cohort of FHA's mission and preventing high levels of lending risk as a conflicting issue of FHA loan reform. Sarah Rosen Wartell of the Urban Institute then stressed that picking a hard and fast rule for an acceptable rate of failure could lead to market distortion, detracting from the FHA's function by not taking into account future macroeconomic variables. The Mortgage Bankers Association's David Stevens, also a former FHA commissioner, concluded that moving forward, incorporation of credit quality is necessary for developing sustainable products for homebuyers.
At this event, AEI’s Edward Pinto will discuss his groundbreaking analysis of 2.4 million loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) in 2009–10 that have set working-class families up for financial failure. Among Pinto’s findings was the fact that over 9,000 zip codes have a projected foreclosure rate of 10 percent or more on FHA-backed loans. Currently, one in seven working-class families in these neighborhoods stands to lose its home, savings, and credit score to foreclosures fueled by FHA’s reckless lending policies. Pinto and discussants will address a particularly relevant public policy question: what is the acceptable level of foreclosure for loans under the FHA program?
If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.
Nightmare at FHA: Selling hope, delivering harm | A new website from Edward J. Pinto and AEI
How the FHA hurts working-class families and communities | Edward J. Pinto | White Paper | December 2012