Tags: mortgage | HUD | Castro | home

Declining FHA Mortgage Volume Mirrors Market, HUD's Castro Says

Monday, 22 September 2014 03:43 PM

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro said a decline in lending backed by the Federal Housing Administration reflects a broader drop in the mortgage market and isn’t specific to the government insurer.

Castro, who joined HUD in July, said in a interview today that the agency wants to ensure entry-level borrowers get loans and is making it a priority to work with lenders to provide greater certainty about FHA rules.

“The goal we have for FHA is that it continue to be a strong provider of opportunity for folks to own their first home and for folks who are credit-worthy but who may be of modest means,” Castro, 40, said in the telephone interview.

FHA loans fell 19 percent in the nine months ending June 30 compared with a year earlier. The decline has occurred as banks including JP Morgan Chase & Co. consider withdrawing from the program’s lending because of legal disputes with the U.S. government over who pays when risky mortgages fail.

The FHA is aiming to ease credit by rewriting its handbook to more clearly spell out when lenders can be forced to bear the cost of defaults. The agency also has asked for public feedback on proposed changes to the way it identifies mortgage defects, with comments due by Oct. 15.

Castro has been traveling the country meeting with housing officials since he took over as head of the agency. The tour has made it clear that HUD’s work on housing is interconnected with other government efforts to shore up neighborhoods by improving education, job training and transportation, he said.

“What you’ll see more and more at the state level and at the local level is that kind of holistic focus,” he said.

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Economy
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro said a decline in lending backed by the Federal Housing Administration reflects a broader drop in the mortgage market and isn't specific to the government insurer.
mortgage, HUD, Castro, home
289
2014-43-22
Monday, 22 September 2014 03:43 PM
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