The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) signed a contract with Michaelson, Connor & Boul (MCB) to ensure the foreclosed properties reported to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) are in acceptable condition. MCB, which specializes in large and small scale property management, will establish a central office for lender compliance oversight in Oklahoma City, creating up to 100 new jobs in the area. In order for the FHA to recoup as much of the claims paid out after foreclosure as possible, the condition of the properties must be reported accurately. "This new contract is part of FHA's continuing effort to reduce risk, increase return, and improve efficiency in the resale of its inventory of foreclosed property," said Vicki Bott, deputy assistant secretary at HUD. "It is critically important that FHA recaptures as much of our claims through the eventual sale of these properties and this compliance management firm will help us do that." The contract was awarded under the FHA Management and Marketing III disposition structure, which was designed to streamline and simplify the process for lenders and servicers to convey foreclosed properties. FHA insured 16.8% fewer mortgages in February from the previous month – totaling 131,978 mortgages. In the single-family insurance system at FHA, there are more than 6m mortgages worth $786.5bn. In February, 9.2%, roughly 550,000, were more than 90 days delinquent. It’s a decrease from 9.4% in January but still above the 7.3% level in February 2009. Write to Jon Prior.