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Number of Fed-backed troubled mortgages rises

April 2, 2009 |  8:37 am


The mortgage woes of FHA borrowers are gaining ground. From an Associated Press brief  at

The government says the number of troubled loans backed by the federal mortgage insurance program is on the rise as economic troubles mount.

However, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan is telling Senate lawmakers Thursday that the Federal Housing Administration is "unlikely to face the catastrophic losses borne in the subprime sector." He says in prepared remarks that that is partly because it didn't back loans for more expensive properties that have plummeted in value.

As of February, 7.2 percent of loans backed by the FHA were either 90 days overdue or in foreclosure, up from 5.8 percent last August.

The FHA is the main source of home loans to borrowers with poor credit and low down payments after the subprime lending market's collapse.

I'd be curious to know what percentage will qualify as a "catastrophic." The trend line sure doesn't look good.

-- Lauren Beale

Thoughts? Comments?

Photo: Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan, left, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair gather at Dobson High School in Mesa, Ariz., for President Obama's recent unveiling of his plan for preventing home foreclosures. Credit: Gerald Herbert  / Associated Press