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FHA’s $16.3B deficit raises specter of taxpayer bailout

Annual insurance premiums going up again in 2013

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A fund used to support the Federal Housing Administration's single-family mortgage and reverse mortgage insurance programs ended fiscal year 2012 with a $16.3 billion deficit, according to an annual report submitted to Congress today. The shortfall raises the specter that the agency will require a taxpayer bailout next year for the first time in its 78-year history. In order to avoid a bailout, FHA will raise annual insurance premiums, sign off on more short sales, streamline sales of foreclosed properties, offer "deeper levels" of payment relief through its loss mitigation program, expand sales of delinquent loans, and, for new loans, reverse a policy instituted in 2011 that canceled required premium payments after loans reached 78 percent of their original value. Next year, FHA plans to raise the annual insurance premium paid by borrowers on an FHA loan by 10 basis points, or 0.1 percent, which is expected to add $13 a month to the average borrower's monthly payments. ...