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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Senate Committee Passes FHA Reform Measure

The Senate Banking Committee voted 21-1 yesterday to approve the FHA Solvency Act. The bill, introduced by chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and ranking member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), would put the Federal Housing Administration on a firmer financial footing by requiring its Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund to have a capital reserve ratio of 3% within ten years, with premium surcharges based on how undercapitalized the fund is at any point.

Before the vote, the committee passed several amendments that would allow HUD to transfer servicing on FHA-insured loans to smaller banks, limit how much principal a borrower can take out on an FHA-insured reverse mortgage, require more aggressive FHA stress tests, prohibit the FHA from backing loans made to borrowers with two or more foreclosures, and other provisions.

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