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Stevens to depart FHA

Former real estate brokerage exec helped steer insurance program clear of bailout

David Stevens, the former Long & Foster Cos. executive tapped by the Obama administration in 2009 to run the Federal Housing Administration, says he'll be moving on in the next few weeks -- perhaps to head up oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, some have speculated.

Early in Stevens' tenure, loans that FHA had insured during the housing boom were going bad at a rate that drained capital reserves to below their congressionally mandated minimums.

Stevens presided over a slew of changes -- ranging from tightened underwriting standards and oversight of lenders to a restructuring of mortgage insurance premiums -- that auditors said will likely keep the government mortgage insurance program self-sustaining, avoiding the need for a taxpayer bailout.

"Assuming this position and the challenges addressed since I took office have been the most intense and significant in my career," Stevens said in a statement. "It has been my honor to serve Pr...