Federal Housing Administration: Modernization Proposals Would Have Program and Budget Implications and Require Continued Improvements in Risk Management

GAO-07-708 Published: Jun 29, 2007. Publicly Released: Jun 29, 2007.
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In recent years, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has experienced a sharp decline in market share. Also, the agency has estimated that, absent program changes, its Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (Fund) would require appropriations in 2008. To adapt to market changes, FHA has implemented new procedures and proposed the following major legislative changes: raising FHA's loan limits, allowing risk-based pricing, and lowering down-payment requirements. GAO was asked to report on (1) the likely program and budget impacts of FHA's modernization efforts; (2) the tools, resources, and risk management practices important to FHA's implementation of the legislative proposals, if passed; and (3) other options that FHA and Congress could consider to help FHA adapt to market changes. To address these objectives, GAO analyzed FHA and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data and interviewed officials from FHA and other mortgage institutions.

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