Premium Changes in Store at FHA

by Houston Agent

Changes seem to be pending yet again for FHA financial standards.

Acting Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Carol Galante hinted at further changes in the FHA’s mortgage premium system on Wednesday, referencing revenue models that would complement the recently passed premium hikes for the agency’s loans.

Speaking at the Mortgage Bankers Association conference in Orlando, Galante said the changes would further protect its mutual mortgage insurance fund, which came dangerously close to insolvency.

“I wish I could make this announcement today, but we will be making changes to the streamline refinance program structure of premiums soon to achieve greater use of the program,” Galante said, in a HousingWire piece on the commissioner’s comments. She specified that the changes would only impact loans made before May 2009, when earlier changes to the FHA’s premiums were instituted.

In addition to the fiscal health of the agency, the premium changes would also assist the FHA in gracefully exiting the preeminent role it has uncomfortably played in the mortgage markets since 2008. As cited by HousingWire, the FHA currently has an elevated market share of 32 percent, and in 2009, it endorsed $360 billion in new mortgages; that number fell to $236 billion in 2011, and the agency intends to decrease it further to $150 billion in fiscal 2013.

“We’ll continue working on ways to allow the private sector to pick up market share,” Galante said.

As HousingWire reported, Galante’s comments confirm earlier predictions by Shaun Donovan, the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, that changes were pending to strengthen the FHA’s insurance fund.

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