The Federal Housing Administration is in deep trouble. According to its 2012 annual audit report, the FHA’s economic value or capital position is negative $13.5 billion. For the fourth consecutive year, the FHA has failed to meet its congressionally mandated minimum capital standard of 2 percent or $23 billion. One in six FHA loans are delinquent 30-days or more, and this number is growing. These new findings should be cause for significant concern to Congress and taxpayers. Monitor FHA’s position here through Ed Pinto’s FHA Watch series and learn what needs to be done to right the FHA’s listing ship.
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Loan risk is at a higher level than is conducive to long-run market stability. Despite frequent assertions by the National Association of Realtors and other interest groups that the national credit box is too tight, the facts indicate it is loose by historical standards for prudent lending and is getting looser.
Once again, the National Association of Realtors and community advocacy groups call for a loosening of what they term “tight credit” conditions. Yet, in December, nearly one-half of all home purchase loans had down payments of 5 percent or less, and nearly one-quarter had debt-to-income ratios exceeding 43 percent.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported today that existing Home Sales for December came in at 4.87 million. However, home sales are being helped by loose lending standards and interest rates still near their lowest level in decades.
The fate of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue to be debated through 2014, but fundamental structuring will once again not be achieved.