Federal Housing Administration: Analysis of Options for Modifying Its Products, Market Presence, and Powers

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO identified a number of proposed options for adjusting product terms and conditions to help improve the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) long-term viability. FHA has raised the premiums that it charges borrowers several times in recent years and has taken steps to tighten its underwriting standards--for example, by setting a minimum required credit score. Some mortgage market observers have argued that further changes such as revising underwriting standards to focus on borrowers' residual income, requiring higher down payments, or reducing seller concessions (that is, funds sellers ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. September 9, 2013.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO identified a number of proposed options for adjusting product terms and conditions to help improve the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) long-term viability. FHA has raised the premiums that it charges borrowers several times in recent years and has taken steps to tighten its underwriting standards--for example, by setting a minimum required credit score. Some mortgage market observers have argued that further changes such as revising underwriting standards to focus on borrowers' residual income, requiring higher down payments, or reducing seller concessions (that is, funds sellers provide to buyers to help pay for closing costs) could help FHA better manage credit risk. However, such changes would entail trade-offs. For instance, some said that raising down-payment requirements would improve loan performance, but others said that this move would delay homeownership for many borrowers. Similarly, raising premiums could potentially increase revenue, but this potential would be constrained if it caused volume to decline. Further, low-risk borrowers with fewer down-payment constraints could choose less costly loans from other sources, leaving FHA with more high-risk borrowers. These changes could have a direct effect on the availability of credit for borrowers."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 9, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Federal Housing Administration: Analysis of Options for Modifying Its Products, Market Presence, and Powers, report, September 9, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302067/: accessed December 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.