The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) differs from other key mortgage industry participants in that it allows borrowers to obtain down-payment assistance from nonprofit organizations (nonprofits) that operate programs supported partly by property sellers. Research has raised concerns about how this type of assistance affects home purchase transactions. To assist Congress in considering issues related to down-payment assistance, this testimony provides information from GAO's November 2005 report, Mortgage Financing: Additional Action Needed to Manage Risks of FHA-Insured Loans with Down Payment Assistance (GAO-06-24). Specifically, this testimony discusses (1) trends in the use of down-payment assistance with FHA-insured loans, (2) the impact that the presence of such assistance has on purchase transactions and house prices, and (3) the influence of such assistance on loan performance.
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