The negatives, however, are that the FHA is making far fewer loans today due to tighter underwriting and higher fees. That means it is making less money, even though its newer loans are performing extremely well. The estimates for the insurance fund will not be updated until the end of this year, when it will likely show vast improvement.
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“It is estimated that the improvement in recovery rates alone is worth more than $5 billion to the MMIF—which would far exceed the amount of the mandatory appropriation,” wrote Galante.
The FHA, which insures low down-payment loans, or loans with a minimum 3.5 percent down, stepped in to save the housing market. It went from about a 3 percent share of the market to almost a third of the mortgage market during the crash. But now, it’s paying the price.
“Over the years, the FHA has strayed far from its original mission. It has become the nation’s largest subprime lender,” wrote Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.
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Most of the FHA losses, around $70 billion, were from loans originated between 2007 and 2009. The biggest trouble has been in reverse-mortgages for senior citizens and seller-funded down payments; the latter was banned in 2008.
—By CNBC’s Diana Olick. Follow her on Twitter @Diana_Olick.
Article source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101068629