Mortgage Financing:

Financial Health of FHA's Home Mortgage Insurance Program Has Improved

RCED-95-20: Published: Oct 18, 1994. Publicly Released: Oct 18, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the actuarial soundness of the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, focusing on the: (1) fund's economic net worth as of the end of fiscal years 1992 and 1993; and (2) econometric and cash flow modeling approach used to estimate the fund's net worth.

GAO found that: (1) the fund's economic value has improved in recent years and the fund is accumulating sufficient capital reserves to be actuarially sound under the law; (2) at the end of fiscal year (FY) 1993, the fund had an estimated economic net worth of $4.9 billion and a capital ratio of 1.83 percent under the baseline GAO scenario; (3) at the end of fiscal year 1992, the fund's estimated net worth was $600 million and its capital ratio was 0.21 percent; (4) although legislative and other changes to the FHA single-family mortgage insurance program helped restore the fund's financial health, favorable economic conditions in 1993 were primarily responsible for the improvement; (5) the fund fell below the mandated capital ratio of 1.25 percent in FY 1992, but exceeded the ratio in FY 1993; (6) econometric and cash flow models of the FHA single-family mortgage program were used to estimate the economic net worth of FHA loans; (7) the econometric model estimated the historical relationships between the probability of loan foreclosures and prepayments and key explanatory factors such as the borrower's equity and interest rates; (8) the cash flow model measured five primary sources and uses of cash for loans originated in fiscal years 1975 through 1993; and (9) the fund's ability to maintain its financial health and to meet and maintain mandated reserve levels depends on many economic and program-related factors.

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