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FHA insured 37% of mortgage originations in 2009: Fed survey

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Mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration accounted for 37% of all originations in 2009, up from 26% in 2008 and 7% in 2007, according to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. The FFIEC develops principles and standards for other government bodies such as the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision in order to examine financial institutions. The FFIEC archived data on mortgage lending transactions on 8,124 U.S. financial institutions covered by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The data includes nearly 15 million applications, which resulted in 9 million mortgage originations. The new FHA Chief Risk Officer Bob Ryan recently told HousingWire that he expects newer mortgages insured by the FHA to perform better than older vintages. However, some have suggested recent policy changes for the FHA insurance fund will not be enough to bring it back to good health. The Federal Reserve held the third of four public hearings Thursday on the potential revisions to Regulation C, which implements the HMDA. The HDMA data highlights the market's growing reliance on loans backed by the FHA. The number of institutions reporting data to the FFIEC fell 13% from 2008, but the total number of originated loans increased 25% to 1.8 million. According to the FFIEC, this increase came from a 67% increase in refinancing. With the FHA launching its Short Refinance program this month, it is possible the reliance on government support will only grow. Home purchases backed by the Veterans Administration increased to 6.7% of the origination market in 2009, up from 4.9% in 2008 and 2.7% in 2007. According to the data, blacks and Hispanics had "notably higher gross denial rates" than whites and Asians. Write to Jon Prior.

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