Nevada Real Estate >> Las Vegas Real Estate Specialist: We need to ABOLISH FHA Loans!!!!

We need to ABOLISH FHA Loans!!!!


FHA LOANS need to go !!!!


confused with many FHA loan questions

FHA loans need to go....  so many defaults... GROWING by the thousands. If we don't kill FHA mortgages now, the economy will crumble. Sound confusing?


Okay Jeff, have you flipped your lid?  NOPE - I had written this blog last week, FHA loan rumors have become a reality. Because of this post, I have seen a few comments stating that we need to abolish FHA loans. Here are some comments in regards to these FHA changes in general...

"The FHA is basically bankrupt since they haven't figured out that making loans to people with lots of debt and practically no money isn't such a good idea."

"What continues to frustrate me is that all these government bank bailouts, loan purchasing, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantees, FHA expansion, tax credits, etc. are doing nothing more than temporarily artificially propping up the real estate market.  The government cannot continue with these policies and the result will be another drop when they stop."

"When just putting 3.5% down, the borrower is already underwater from day 1, because it costs more than 3.5% to sell a home. This does not factor well in a declining market. Homes purchased with FHA mortgages will experience lots of foreclosures and short sales. FHA loans need to be abolished."

"Sounds like FHA doesn't want to loan money because of these changes."




First off, I agree that we need to stop artificially stimulating the economy. I wrote about it here : The Welfare Mentality of the Tax Credit   We could spend a whole day just on this topic alone. But let's dig deeper in the comment that we should abolish FHA loans and to why we need to understand FHA and review some facts, not opinions of fear.



fha loan mortgage library


Quick History Lesson :

FHA was established in 1934. (directly from wikipedia) "The goals of this organization are: to improve housing standards and conditions; to provide an adequate home financing system through insurance of mortgage loans; and to stabilize the mortgage market."

Please read the rest of this, FHA being born, and how banks restructured loans and why FHA was brought into the mix after the banking system failed during the Great Depression.





Economy crumbling

The Economy has been crumbling.

Sorry people for negative news, but this is a reality. If we ABOLISH FHA LOANS, what do you think will happen?

Let's look at why some say we need to kick loose FHA mortgages.

  • Thousands of more FHA defaults in the last year.
  • Thousands of more homes with FHA loans have defaulted.

Let me ask you all this question... FHA has been doing pretty well up until the last 3 years. hhhhmmm.. just about the same time when the economy started crashing. Think about this before pointing fingers.




Now, let’s look at the reasons to why this might be happening more, why FHA loans are defaulting at a much higher rate than ever before.


  • FHA Market Share - FHA has gone from about a 14% market share 5 years ago to about 40% just in the last year. This alone should be a no brainer to why we have see so many more defaults and foreclosures, especially in one of the worst and most challenging economic eras ever.
  • Subprime loans disappearing - When subprime loans basically left the mortgage market 3 years ago, the next thing in line was FHA loans. How many times did you see a realtor or loan officer write that FHA loans are the next Subprime loans?  Rut row...
  • Fraud - With many of these loan officers that focused on Subprime loans, some that pushed the envelope by committing fraud, this moved in the FHA sector. I have even heard loan officers before say that they placed a borrower in a subprime loan over FHA because it was easier for them, not the borrower.
  • FHA DE Underwriters - Delegated Underwriters that can approve FHA loans have grown by an astounding number in the last 3 years. We have seen this number multiply 4 times over. This means many new underwriters that have no experience or the knowledge, make more mistakes, and who have their owners pushing them to make more loans at times. Yes, this happens. HUD needs to crack down on such lenders. Brian Anderson wrote about this : HUD terminates 3 lenders ability to originate FHA Loans





Summary :  I am not a big fan of government bailout. But there are times that we need to do this. What Mr. Bernanke did in the 3rd quarter probably saved our economy from a true collapse. (If I could interview Mr. Bernanke) 

Overall, yes, I partially blame HUD for allowing some of this to happen when it comes to the FHA capital reserves falling below their 2% cushion. You can't tell me that they saw this coming over a year ago? Why wait to the last minute? Maybe because the government doesn't want to cast fear so early, because we like to curb all negative news and fears, giving the general public a sense of security. But what about one of the biggest issues, to why even FHA loans are taking a major hit.

How about the ECONOMY in general. How about UNEMPLOYMENT. Isn't this affecting all mortgages?

Shouldn't this be taken into account to why we have so many FHA defaults?  Sure, I think HUD needs to make some changes, which has happened. I wrote about it here. New FHA changes & the Mortgagee Letter - Make your VOICE heard.  But we can also let our voice be heard in regards to some of these changes, so please read my blog post.


The ending result?  We need FHA loans… if we take this away, the REAL ESTATE MARKET will crumble and might not exist.

For those that might be semi lost on my opening statement.. I NEVER think that FHA loans should be abolished. I was trying to get my point across to what others have been saying. My beginning statement was an attention catcher. 



Ken Cook wrote this post - Dispelling Myths about FHA mortgages - Please read the 3rd paragraph about default rates.


Is Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac on Death Row?  by Esko Kiuru - We need to pay attention to what is going on around us...



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Copyright © 2011 by Jeff Belonger of Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc

Comment balloon 72 commentsJeff Belonger • January 26 2010 10:19AM


knowledge filled article. thanks for the post


Posted by Richard Glick (Kingsway Realty) over 10 years ago

Strong writing dude- and a VERY well researched piece. You know I'm with you 100% on this one. No FHA and we have no artificial government influence on real estate prices; but if we do that now the great depression will end up looking like the roaring 20's!

Keep it up Jeff, but I still think we need to keep the 65 seller contribution :)

Gerry Suarez, Jr.

Your FHA Loan Pro!

Posted by Gerry Suarez Jr., FL Mortgage Guru (Jet Home Loans NMLS 1660135) over 10 years ago

Jeff,  Am I reading your post correclty.   YOu start by saying we need to abolish FHA and then you end with "The ending result?  We need FHA loans... if we take this away, the REAL ESTATE MARKET will crumble and might not exist." 

As I believe you have said many times in many different posts we need JOBs in the economy.   I can not agree more.   I also, know you are a big advocate of SKIN IN THE GAME, I have to agree and then also disagree.  Personal responsibility on the part of borrowers as important as anything else.  In the past Defaults or Foreclosures were cause by unfortunate life events on the part of borrowers.  Job cuts today can account for some of the defaults however more and more borrowers are choosing to go into default because everyone else is doing it.  And it is an easy way to erase debt. 

With respect to FHA reserve requirement (which I believe is 2%) The reserves they had in the past were eaten up by the rapid growth of their percantage of the market.  (14% to 40%).   Simple math explains that if FHA should have reserves of 2% and they are only collecting 1.75% that their reserves would drop purely based upon volume.  That coped with losses that are a fact of life and reminds me what a boss told me many years ago: "Tim you have to understand that we/you will never make bad loans, however you will have loans that go bad"   Today we are dealing with those loans that will go bad as well as the Bad people that take advantage of the current economic conditions. 


Posted by Tim Bradford, NMLS 250013 over 10 years ago

All I can say to folks who want to abolish the FHA loan, OR raise the downpayment OR make the buyer pay more closing costs (this one rankles me for a different reason) is BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR!

That's the second time I've said that today.  The first in relationship to abolishing Fannie and Freddie. 

O.K..  Then it should go without saying that the Veterans Administration Loan Guarantee, the USDA loans, the CDA loans and the employer/family/state/county, etc. DPA programs should be abolished too. 

Why not just go all the way and limit home ownership and the myriad benefits to owners and families to just the rich. 

The government/congress/mortgage entities failed in supervising and enforcing good loan practices so the next logical step is to deny home ownership to more and more consumers.

No buyers, no mortgage fraud, no oversight needed, no Fannie, Freddie, FHA needed.

How does that sound???

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 10 years ago

So Fannie and Freddie and FHA are out now? ;) I guess we all have to go into the military ... hmmm ... that's an interesting way to draft ... 

Posted by Stephen Kappre, Helping You Home (KW Hometown) over 10 years ago

So Steve.

What makes you think that the VA loan isn't on the chopping block too? 

BTW, I have a buyer under contract now who's loan options were FHA or 20% down conventional.  He has 10%.



Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Rant cont.

It is NOT FHA, Fannie, Freddie, et al. that is under attact. 

It is the American middle class.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 10 years ago


RICHARD.... .  my pleasure. Thanks for the compliment & for the comment.


GERRY... . lol.. thanks for the laugh when you wrote this part... "but if we do that now the great depression will end up looking like the roaring 20's!" 

How so very true....  I just can't comprehend that if we take something like FHA away, that our economy and the housing market will survey. How did dinosaurs become instinct?  Thanks for those very kind words... much appreciative.


TIM... .  sorry for the slight confusion. My opening statement was to grab peoples attention.. an attention getter. Hell no, do I ever think that FHA should be abolished.. lol  Yes, I promote FHA loans.. but I sell all loans.. it comes down to what best fits my clients needs based on their goals and what they have to work with.

And based on what you said here... "Tim you have to understand that we/you will never make bad loans, however you will have loans that go bad"

Thank you soo much for sharing this... what your boss once told you fits so well with what my point was... that things happen. I am seeing more people not focusing on this, and just that FHA is bad... aarrgggghhh... yes, there could be some improvements.. but take it away completely?  rut row... I might as well find myself a tent and a small piece of land right now..  thanks for the awesome compliment..


LENN.... . you make an excellent point.... why not just get rid of all the types of mortgages that you mentioned that have no down payments...  but wait.. FHA's market share has increased so quickly, that of course the default rates will be much higher.. especially in today's economy.

Overall, you bring up some strong topics that must be discussed in detail..  thanks for the straight talk as usual.


STEVE.... .  lol... as much as your comment made me laugh, that might not be a bad suggestion. I can be given food and clothing.. and still have a small life.  Thanks for the input.


Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 10 years ago

Whew!! Jeff i thought you had jumped off the deep end when i read the title.  Great points. 

Posted by David Krichmar, ( - Legend Lending) over 10 years ago

Lenn - Keep ranting, we love them. (At least I do ;) VA out too? Nothing would surprise me with this administration. When the initial crooks are the ones trying to call the shots, what positive outcome could there be? I would love to rant several novels here ... but I have to work. I'll be back later I hope.

Posted by Stephen Kappre, Helping You Home (KW Hometown) over 10 years ago

Jeff, you had me worried!  Non-conventional loans are predominant in my rural corner. Without FHA, sales would have ground to a halt instead of just slowed down.

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) over 10 years ago

Jeff - Looking at the changes that are heading down the pike from the FHA, all I can say is.....I dont get it.  There are soooooo many ordinary, hard working people that dont qualify for a mortgage. I dont say that we go back to the days of 80/15/5 mortgages with no money out of the buyers pocket, but something needs to give.  How is the average kid out of college going to be able to afford a home and save up 10-20% to put down on a home?   Oh well.....this is your rant, not mine :)

Great article and great information

Thanks for sharing


Posted by Leander McClain, Cecil & Harford County Realtor over 10 years ago

Even better, why don't we stop making loans all together. We can just pay cash for everything. 

FHA is and always has been a great program for first time home buyers. I should know, I used FHA to purchase my first house in 1993.

Posted by Mike Russell, Overland Park Kansas Real Estate (Mike Russell & Associates) over 10 years ago

Hi Jeff,

I'm with Lenn on this one.  Careful what you wish - you just might get it.  And it is the middle class that are under assualt.  This has nothing to do with responsibility or not working hard. This is millions of hard-working people who paid good money for their educations in order to provide for them and their families.  But the jobs evaporated and the bills just kept coming. Many did refinance to get them through what they thought was a "rough patch." The rough patch then became a way of life with opportunities shrinking.  The only thing working was housing - so people piled on more debt thinking this bad period couldn't go on forever and that they would be able to recover lost ground.

What I think is worse, is yanking the rug yet further out from under these folks while BLAMING them for their "failure to be responsible."

Sorry - its your rant not mine...

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) over 10 years ago

Hi Jeff,

I'm with Lenn on this one.  Careful what you wish - you just might get it.  And it is the middle class that are under assualt.  This has nothing to do with responsibility or not working hard. This is millions of hard-working people who paid good money for their educations in order to provide for them and their families.  But the jobs evaporated and the bills just kept coming. Many did refinance to get them through what they thought was a "rough patch." The rough patch then became a way of life with opportunities shrinking.  The only thing working was housing - so people piled on more debt thinking this bad period couldn't go on forever and that they would be able to recover lost ground.

What I think is worse, is yanking the rug yet further out from under these folks while BLAMING them for their "failure to be responsible."

Sorry - its your rant not mine...

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) over 10 years ago

Wow, no FHA...don't you think this will cause prices to drop further and ummmm, make housing more affordable for the average folks...hmmmm...what a concept.

Posted by Leigh (potential buyer late 2010/2011) over 10 years ago

Right on Jeff! We don't need no stinkin' FHA! We don't need no stinkin' Fannie Mae! We don need no stinkin' Freddie Mac, We don't need no stinkin' VA or USDA loans. We don't need no stinkin' real estate market! We don't need no stinkin' Realtors!

Oops...Do Over, do Over! LOL

Posted by Norm Werner, Helping the first time and every time (Real Estate One) over 10 years ago

I read the title, and I thought, "Has the world gone Topsy-Turvy?  How can the FHA Loan Expert be against FHA loans?"

I see that you flipped it over at the end.  I'll have to re-read to take it all in.

Posted by Bob Willis, Orange County & L.A. County Real Estate Agent (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties) over 10 years ago

I folks can't save up for a down payment then how the heck can they afford a home and all that goes with it:  increased property taxes, basic maintainance, unforeseen expenses from burst pipes, roof, hot water heater, paint, etc.

Posted by Leigh (potentail buyer 2010/2011) over 10 years ago

We do need FHA right now.  It is playing a more vital role today than at any other time since its inception.  There is still no secondary market without federal guarantees. HUD is behind the 8 ball on enforcement but they will catch up and no one wants to be on the wrong side of a HUD audit.  Those who are still skirting the rules with all of the writing on the wall...look out.  Been doing FHA since 93 and have gone through indems with HUD.  No Fun...although a little less brutal than wall street buybacks.  But if you lose your stamp in this maket...Goodbye. ~Doug

Posted by Cari Anderson over 10 years ago

Wow. Interesting take on things. I'm gonna have to agree with Lenn on this one, too.

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) over 10 years ago

As you know, living in the New York area, a 3.5% down payment is still a substantial sum of money.  If you are buying a $300,000 house, that is over $10,000 plus the closing costs, which will be down to 3% seller's concession.  Even on a FHA mortgage, that is still quite a sum of money.

Secondly, subprime used to include all those stated income loans where a borrowers would not have to prove their income.  That was a disaster waiting to happen and it did.  FHA was always a full doc program so a lender would have to feel comfortable that the borrower earned enough to pay the mortgage.

Posted by Paul Warkow (Paul Warkow-D.G. Weber Law Associates) over 10 years ago


I know that everyone has a thought or two about FHA, my question -- what can we as agents do about this--- I feel it one thing to point fingers its another to help with a solution.

Posted by Lorraine or Loretta Kratz, Certified Negotiation Consultants (Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions.) over 10 years ago


LENN.... comment # 6 ..... . great example.. 10% down is a nice risk loan, but still depending on that borrower's ability to repay. But your example illustrates the fact that if FHA was not around, then the next best option is 20% down. Just curious though.. why 20% down?  Why not 10% down even on a conventional loan?  Is it an MI (mortgage insurance) issue?  thanks

DAVE... . lol.. well, there have been times this year that I have wanted to jump off the deep end.. but never abandoning FHA loans. My first one was in 1993 and there were never any problems and or concerns until the last 3 years... HHmmm.. about the same time the market took a dive and when subprime disappeared.. thanks, but no fear, FHA and I are still here.. lol

STEVE.... .  yes, I love rants, even Lenn's.. or yours... and yes, we could write a novel just on this weeks events. You made this statement that irks me because of so much truth behind it.. "When the initial crooks are the ones trying to call the shots, what positive outcome could there be?"  So true and sooo scary.

IRENE.... . comment # 11... . sorry to scare you... and yes, this would have an adverse effect in most real estate markets. I am just shocked that someone in the real estate community would even make this kind of suggestion.  thanks  PS>. I did get your e-mail from after the NYC event.. I will be calling you. thanks


MIKE.... . well, I think 5% down is pushing it... does it solve the problems?  Or will it?  I hardly think so.  In my opinion, this is just thought and speculation that might seem good. But do the numbers behind it.. Seriously, do you think another 1 1/2% down would help this mess?  It starts with unemployment.. if I put 5% down and then a few months later, lose my job... and my income was at least 60% of more to help pay for bills, how would the 5% downpayment help?  Hey, it looks like you have a respected favorite to look up to.. and even those that have been successful in business, doesn't mean that we should take their cue on these kinds of issues. I would love to hear Mr. Smith's direct response to what I just said and my example... and how they seriously think 5% would help... and not just because it sounds good. thanks for your feedback.


LEANDER.... .  I agree 110% with everything that you have stated.  We need to focus on jobs and the cost of living.  How can we cut real costs?  How can we keep the cost of living down?  Are we foolishly spending money in the wrong places?  Whose pockets are we lining that actually hurt the American consumer.. so much to think about and to debate. But where will we get the real and truthful answers from? And rant away my friend, I don't mind... and thanks for the polite compliment.


MICHAEL.... . comment # 14... . sure, paying cash for everything would solve the problems.. lol  How about those that allowed you to buy tvs, cars, and other items with not only no money down, but no payments for a year?  Damn, and when they person loses their job then?  Or decides not to pay?  This all extends into the housing sector, just in larger numbers... YES, FHA is an excellent program. Sure, we need to fix a few things... but we take this away, and the housing market will be a dinosaur.  thanks


Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 10 years ago


Jeff, just goes to show some folks don't read to the end of the blogs.

Reminder folks! It was an attention grabber AND it worked! :)


"The ending result?  We need FHA loans… if we take this away, the REAL ESTATE MARKET will crumble and might not exist.

For those that might be semi lost on my opening statement.. I NEVER think that FHA loans should be abolished. I was trying to get my point across to what others have been saying. My beginning statement was an attention catcher. "

Posted by Lane Midgett (1776 Real Estate Group Richmond, VA Local Expert ) over 10 years ago

I had to read your article twice to get it. I guess I am a light thinker. I do think that every time we tinker with programs there are consequences both intended and unintended.

Posted by Teresa Boardman (Boardman Realty) over 10 years ago


RUTHMARIE.... comment #15... .  I hope you don't truly think that I am wishing for this.  But there are some out there that speak this, and that scares the crap out of me. You can't compare our last 3 decades to what has been happening now. Sure, we had some scary issues in the early 80's.... but this has to be the worst in the last 80 to 90 years.

I will say this though.. I slightly disagree and say that some of this does have to do with responsibility. But overall and the end result?  At the end of the day, it does come down to jobs. And you made some excellent points, that so many tapped into unknown markets and their homes,thinking that this possibly couldn't last for ever. This will be a very tough less for so many, to actually save when they could have, for more than a rainy day. Thank you very much for your input and feedback.


LEIGH (a concerned potential home buyer) ... ,. let me pose this question to you... would no FHA lower home prices?  Could be... but let me ask you this. How would anyone buy them if you need 10% down or more? Just because a house goes from $200,000 to $150,000 in price, you will still need a lot of money down. Let's even take FHA and it's 3 1/2% down. You would go from needing $7,000 to $5,250.  That is still a lot of money.  Now, make that 10% down.. and you still need $15,000 down instead of $20,000. My whole point?  NO FHA would be a very bad thing... just ask the many professionals in this forum. Sure, some people can save this amount and have very good jobs and income. But this is not for the average person. Just food for thought.  PS.. if you have any questions with mortgages and or in buying, please don't hesitate to click on my "e-mail me" button on the top right.  Thanks and thanks for chiming in.


NORM... . nah, what good would having these kinds of loans at our fingertips do for us... right?  Ah, maybe a complete disaster?  A real estate market that would die completely.. yes, completely.  We can't even save it when the gov't throws billions of dollars at it in the form of Tax Credit monies for home buyers. Which costs us more money in the short and long run.  thanks


BOB.... . hey, I am American, it's my right... right?  lol  Seriously...  I just need people to understand before they point their fingers at such entities such as FHA.  thanks

LEIGH...(a concerned potential home buyer). . comment # 20 ... . thanks for coming back.  This is partially some of my point to blogs such as the one above and this one... I want your skin in this game!!!Give it up ..  I can see that I argued this same thing when commenting to your previous comment. I am just trying to get a clear idea of where you are coming from on all of this. But again, it's always great to hear from a consumer and hearing what they have to say.


Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 10 years ago

FHA is the strongest option for most buyers at this time and will stay so until we see private money come back into the market. This wont happen with interest rates where they are at and the market stabilizes. I have a buyer with enough cash in the bank to go 20% conventional but is going FHA because the are AFRAID of not having the reserves. The public emotion right now is fear and that will go a long way to keeping the real estate market from recovering.

Posted by James Lyon (Vista Pacific Realty) over 10 years ago


CARI & DOUG.... . Doug,  hell yes does FHA play a vital role... especially more than ever before. I think the 100% fannie loans allowing DTI's of up to 55% was a huge mistake.. I just had a lot of fear in that program.. You know what, I only ever closed 1 of those before.. Seriously, it just scared me.. especially the extended DTI to 55%.  As loan originators, we took no responsibility, as long as the system said APPROVED. But I fault congress for this part, because they were the ones that forced Fannie's hands to extend credit to more people. We got greedy.  And it bit us in the arse. And yes, we need strict audits when it comes to this. If they don't play by the rules, close them down... it's bad enough out there.


MELISSA.... . yes, I think Lenn touched on so many good things.. and the main point. But curious, what about my take?  Did I lose you in regards to my title and first paragraph?  Because Lenn and I basically agree on this. Again, just curious.. thanks for stopping by.


PAUL... . you can get a $300,000 house in the NY area?  Or is that a loft with a parking space?  lol  Seriously... I know NYC and Northen New Jersey, depending on the area, is very expensive. In any case, yes, 3.5% down can still add up. I remember all too well when all you needed was 3% out of pocket and only 2.25% of that went to your down payment.

In regards to stated loans and no docs... first off, they weren't just from the subprime sector. Fannie jumped in a little and so did some other investors, calling these loans Alt-A loans. But yes, your point is that these were easy loans that showed no income or income that was increased just to make it work. Overall, this was a very dangerous loan and again, we got greedy...thinking that this will help the market. People talk about the FHA defaults.. but what about the stated loans and the no doc loans. Your point that FHA loans are full doc loans are an excellent point. But in an economy of people losing jobs?  If you don't have a job after you get a mortgage, then what?  thanks for your feedback..


LORRAINE & LORETTA.... . as a real estate agent, what could you do?  Properly educate your borrowers and most of all... make sure that they are speaking to a trusted loan officer. NOT a loan officer that closes your deals and or gives them great rates or with little fees. EDUCATION.. I recently lost a deal to a lender... that the realtor had her 2 loan officers that she liked.. because they got deals done.. and because they had good rates. Well, I lost a deal by 1/4% on an adjustable loan. Yes, this loan officer under cut the rate a tad to get the deal in the door.. 3 days later, rates came down and I would have been almost right there.. funny though, that loan officers rate never dropped when mine did. But my whole point to this? Both loan officers never took the time to ask the borrowers goals... to explain how the adjustable worked..  or to explain their refinancing options 5 years down the road and to compare FHA now and then, that you still would have mortgage insurance even if you refinanced with 20% equity. This client was lile.. wow, oh really?  On ALL points that I addressed... he got a great education from me,to better help his decision making process, but still went with the other guy. Yet, this other loan officer was 1/8% higher than me and $2,000 more on his fixed rate. Here is my assumption... you could tell that this borrower was leaning towards the adjustable rate.. so why not bait him with a tad lower rate than your competitor?  My whole point to this?  Your borrower needs a loan officer that will do more than just ask a few questions.. give a great rate, and close the loan. You know how many borrowers that I have talked to in the past that were just given a loan, because the payment looked good, yet were never explained much... or went over their goals like a financial planner would?  As you can see, this is a very touchy subject for me. I wrote about this several times.. here is one.. Properly pre-qualifying a borrower & educating them.  thanks


LANE.... comment #26... . yes it was... and that is why I went with what might have sounded very negative, especially coming from someone as myself.  Thanks for bringing this up.

TERESA... comment #27... . hey stranger... so good to see you. Wonder if the title of this post dragged you in. In any case, spot on, about tinkering with these types of programs. I will admit, that raising the UFMIP is a good move... but reducing the seller concessions to 3% could really hurt many markets this summer.


Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 10 years ago

there is a post in her about the client only having 10% down so he had two choices.  A 20% conventional or a FHA ... you could get a 10% conventional, but his MI would be outrageous.  Why did you not show him a home where his 10% could be 20%...he would have lower monthly pmts and be more comfortable.  I know you would lose commission, but is would have been very responsible of you...

Posted by Michael Werbick over 10 years ago

Jeff, will prices go down w/out FHA?   Let's look at the opposite:  the past 5 years running up to the bust:  we had cheap and easy money aka no doc loans, neg am loans, IO loans, Option ARM loans, historically low interest rates yadda ydda yadda and prices skyrocketed...totally unsustainable.

So what happens when you ask folks for income verification?  a down payment?

Wouldn't you get a more realistic, sustainable market?

Posted by Leigh (potentail buyer) over 10 years ago

We are long over due for a correction.  What would happen if credit was harder to acquire?  What would happen if people had to save some $ before buying that car, the watch, the pair of shoes?  What would happen to demand?

I'm just asking that people take more responsibility...asking too much?

Yes, the correction would be painful but it would get prices back in line.  I dream of a day when instant gratification is a story about the olden days.  I dream about the day when the banks don't have us over a barrel.

What would life be like if folks only put 30-40% of their $ into their housing?  Saved for a rainy day?  Saved for retirement?  Defined benedfits are gone, we are now responsible for our retirement.  I heard a stat a few years ago that stated the average 401K of a 50 year was $40K...WTH?!?!  Those people are screwed.  There are gone be a burden on society...more section 8 housing?!?!

Posted by Leigh (potential buyer) over 10 years ago

FHA is an essential tool in the market place; however, it should have stricter guidelines.  A person that can only put down 3.5% should have a better score, better debt/income ration and so on than a person who puts 20%.  Since the person is borrowing more money, more stringent requirements only make sense.


Posted by Aaron Silverman, Improving Real Estate Experience through Education (, Bluewater Property Management, LLC and Lowcountry Turnkey Properties, LLC) over 10 years ago

Wow, this one shook up a lot of folks.  I agree with Lenn, and a few others.  Killing these programs is not the answer, they just need a bigger stronger bandage, and a round the clock nurse.

BTW, most of my buyers are FHA, so if we are going to get rid of the FHA, can we wait until all my buyers have their first meal in their new (FHA) home?

Posted by Jean Hanley, Specializing in Folks Who Want To Buy/Sell Homes (Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters) over 10 years ago

There are countries where people don't own real estate.  That is for the rich. 

Lenn is right the middle class is under attack.  The rich want to own everything and when they screw up have the taxpayer pay for their losses.

There are can be no one more blind than those who refuse to see. 

Wake up American!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Mark Watterson, Utah Real Estate over 10 years ago

Jeff, you got me to come back. We don't disagree on much regarding the need for FHA and HUD backed loans, the bailout, or expected changes about to come due to the re-write of policy that Mr. Stevens wrote his blog on.

I also think the tax credit was a feel good scam that will cost all of us taxpayer down the road for the sake of a few who will benefit from it - I mean besides the Lobbyists.

It is like my Daddy said, "Numbers don't lie, but liars use numbers."

Posted by Gregory Bain, For Homes on the Jersey Shore (Mezzina Real Estate & Insurance) over 10 years ago

NAR lobbies damn hard for housing, not fair housing, just housing sales in general.  Who the heck was behind the $8K credit?  Who benefited, surely not all the buyers that will be upside down in a year (yes, prices will continue to decline especially come May!)  Who else benefitted?!?!  Everyone that got a commission on those sales, realtors, lenders, appraisers, inspectors...just delaying the inevitable.  Please don't act like only the lobbyists benefitted from the tax credit.

Posted by Leigh (middle class screwed tax payer who sold at the peak but over 10 years ago

Jeff: it has been said that FHA loans make up roughly 40% of the market. Take that away and our so-called recovery crumbles. Just some food for thought. Thanks for the post!

Posted by Paul McFadden, Pest Control, Seattle, WA. (Paratex) over 10 years ago

All we need is responsible REALTORS using Responsible Lenders that have a list of Responsible Appraisers.  Sounds simple doesn't it?

Posted by Damon Gettier, Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE (Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert) over 10 years ago

Hi Jeff. It's good to see you posting again. ~ Lana

Posted by Lana Robbins Realtor ® Licensed Real Estate Broker, Licensed in Florida, Washington, and Hawai'i (Aloha Kai Real Estate) over 10 years ago

FHA is an important part of the housing finance market. It's been a tough couple of years, but it could have been much worse.

Posted by Joseph Keech (Blue Atlantic Properties) over 10 years ago

I must say that this is one of my favorite pieces I've read from you, Jeff.  Abolish the FHA?  Catchy title, but a ridiculous assumption if that's the answer for those who truly take that stance.

Frankly, and I've told you this, it worried me when FHA was picking up a large percentage of the cake and the ones baking that cake weren't even familiar with Conventional Lending to begin with.  I think FHA has a market share.  I think Conventional Loans have a Market Share.  I even think there is a Market Share for Sub-Prime lending at the right LTV's and more appropriate (read>>>not competitive with the best rates on the Market as they once were) pricing risks attributed to risk-based lending.

While I'm no economist, Lending has become an instituition that makes about as much sense now as it did when it was handing out 6% Interest Rates on No-Doc Loans.  One extreme to another.  In my short time here on earth and the time spent in the industry, I learned that extremes (any) can be bad for the health. 

Posted by Jason Sardi, Your Agent for Life (Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina) over 10 years ago

It gets down to pure politics and why the program was designed to fail. If you raise the standards you are going to lock many voters out of the market.  When this happens prices will decline for a time. Everyone was happy to take a cut till the bubble burst. Look at who is in charge when the bubble was building at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The companies are bankrupt but the stock is still on the NYSE. How can this be. 

Posted by Eric Bouler, Listening to your Needs ( Gardner Realtors, Licensed in La.) over 10 years ago

MY GOD, how do other countries survive without programs like FHA, VA, Freddie, Fannie, Ginnie?!?! How do they do it?!?!?! They must be so envious of the USA;O)


Look at Germany, Sweden, etc...healthy economies yet lower home ownership rates.....hmmmm...maybe home ownership isn't what it's all cracked up to be....

Posted by Leigh (sold@ peak,would give up profit 4 social sanity) over 10 years ago

Spot on and I hope you submitted this to my outside blog.  With all the BPOs I do guess what type of default is rearing it's ugly head.  YES THE HUD HOME!!  Haven't seen a whole heck of a lot till now but the cycle is starting.  FHA brought sexy back in 2007 and now we are seeing 2007 loans default because they are, yes you guessed it, upside down!!

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) over 10 years ago

Jeff, I've said it before and I'll say it again. Franklin Delano Roosevelt will do more to cure the housing market than Barack Obama. FHA was his baby. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 10 years ago

Some tells me I'd have a heck of a hard time finding someone in RE (realtor, lender, etc) who believes in free market economics.

Posted by Leigh over 10 years ago

90 percent of my business is FHA or USDA right now. Conventional is a dinosaur!

Posted by Mark VanBuskirk, PA REALTOR Specializing in Carbon & Monroe County (Cassidon Realty ) over 10 years ago

I believe that FHA has a good place in the mix. I don't agree it should be abolished.  The borrower has to qualify properly and the information must be provided correctly in order to get the loan.  I see this as a good thing.  What I think really trashed real estate were all the liar loans promulgated by the mortgage brokers.  Really, I saw it all the time.  And that lead to the overflatting of price which has led to FHA problems.  IMHO

Posted by Frank Castaldini, Realtor - Homes for Sale in San Francisco (Compass) over 10 years ago

Now what was the original intent of the FHA? Our country's problem lie deeper.  But the housing /mortgage industry Tis an integral part of it so it is reflected here.  I think the biggest problem lies in our Banking and Legal Systems.  There has been a major heist, and the fat cats are tossing mis-directions at us.  Why haven't they been arrested?  Freddie, Fannie, and FHA....they should all be spared.  Reform, yes, but not abolished.  Let's start be getting rid of the Federal Reserve and open up an American National Bank.  Let's Get Rid of the current Election Finance Laws and Let's start over.  


Posted by C. Lloyd McKenzie, Living Albuquerque over 10 years ago

FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie, Freddie..... Guess they all have to go (kidding).

We are in a different market these days and it is not a buyers market, it is a lenders market. Who owns the market makes the rules and looks like they will all be changing


Posted by Tony Grego, 317-663-4173 #1 Trade Association for Alternative Inv (REISA - 317-663-4173) over 10 years ago


I wanted to thank everyone for their comments… I will try to get to each one of you sometime today… but I did want to make a reference to comment # 54, because I think this comment was spot on and some of the answers could be scary.


C. Loyd states.... "There has been a major heist, and the fat cats are tossing mis-directions at us.  Why haven't they been arrested?  Freddie, Fannie, and FHA....they should all be spared.  Reform, yes, but not abolished.  Let's start be getting rid of the Federal Reserve and open up an American National Bank.  Let's Get Rid of the current Election Finance Laws and Let's start over." 

Overall, there is a lot of truth in his comment about the Federal Reserve and why it was founded in the first place. I am reading this book... I am not finished with it.... but if anyone of you get a chance, please read : "The Creature from Jekyll Island".... by G.Edward Griffin .  This actually might scare you more than your greatest fears... thanks & I will be back later..


Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 10 years ago

Jeff, a very informative post with some great comments.  FHA loans are used a lot in my area...I absolutely agree with Lenn's comments...and we should ALWAYS be careful what we ask for.

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) over 10 years ago


Great post.  Thanks for all the facts instead of rhetoric.  I have always been a fan of FHA.  Most of the homes I have sold (with borrowers using FHA) were to working class people, who didn't have the highest paying jobs, but loved their children and wanted a better life for them.  Knock on wood, none of my past clients are losing their homes due to default.  I wish some of our senators and congressman would read these activerain posts and get in the real world!  We have people making decisions who don't know squat!


Posted by Karen Pannell, Owensboro KY Real Estate -270-903-2167 Homes, Cond (Real Living / Home Realty) over 10 years ago

Jeff... great work in tying multiple factors into the equation. There are so many moving parts to the economy now, that you cannot make adjustments in one are without impacting another. FHA still has a place in the market, they just have to go through the pain that we are all experiencing.

Posted by Michael Gordon - Colorado Springs Mortgage Lender (Peoples Mortgage Corporation) over 10 years ago

You had me at the title.....I knew you didn't mean it because I know you.

Your the FHA guy on Activerain.

I heard they got a blank check on December 31st. Is that not true?


Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 10 years ago


JAMES.. comment # 29 ... . I think many of us can say that FHA is being used a lot. And yes, fear is huge. I personally believe that even if you have 20% to put down, that you put as little down as possible. Just so many unknowns out there now, even if you think your job is stable. Now, I would still work all the numbers for the client, and go over their options. On a FHA mortgage, even if you put 20% down, you still have monthly mortgage insurance for 5 years. And even if you got rid of mortgage insurance on a conventional, it still depends on your pricing hits and such, just to get a conventional mortgage. Just more things that loan officers need to do for their clients.

MICHAEL... . who is that question to?  But I will answer it from my own point of view and I will be writing a blog about this today. Putting an additional 10% down, depending on credit scores and such, might not drop your mortgage payment as much as you would think... even if you lose the monthly mortgage insurance. I know this because I do these types of numbers daily. and I will be writing about it.  thanks

LEIGH... . comment #32... . I am not going to disagree with some of your statements. But you have me confused, because some of your comments point to that getting rid of FHA would be good and having it around is a must. You talk about the fact that it could lower prices if not around, but if not around, that are market would suffer. And then in your last comment, #32, you ask me a question if prices would go down. I will say this.. yes, many of those no docs and stated income loans helped push prices up some. But there were many other factors than just that. You could point the fingers at 4 different things. Overall, my whole point to this post is if FHA would disappear tomorrow, we might as well kiss are butts and the real estate market goodbye.  thanks for adding to this..


LEIGH... .  you had stated this.. "I'm just asking that people take more responsibility...asking too much?"  I agree.. many people don't take responsibility, even when things were going good. You again bring up some excellent points. Many things that I could talk about. But part of what I talk about is to not only educate the average consumer and realtor about mortgages and real estate, but that is to possibly get business.. helping these borrowers directly. Not sure if you have subscribed to my blog..  but please do so.. Not today, but in a few days, I will be writing about how even good loan officers have hurt us. And when I say good, I am talking about ones that claim they can close a loan and give very good rates. That is great... but when the borrower is still not educated on the types of mortgages and or that the loan officer has not gone over the borrowers goals and explain on how refinancing works , etc, etc.. this is another major issue.

In regards to your other statement about people putting 30% to 40% down... that just won't happen in 98% of all cases. Yes, there are more cash buyers now than before.. but these are usually investors that were smart... and have the money to gobble up houses that have dropped in prices. Thank god for some of these investors, otherwise our market would be more in a tank.  In regards to some other great points that you brought up, about the average American and their 401-k.. another excellent yet scary topic... I agree.. it's scary... and maybe home buying should not be the main focus as so many put out there. But it should come with education..and it really doesn't. Who does one trust when getting a mortgage?  Just because the loan officer gives you the best rate?  In my opinion, hell no... and I will tell you why in my blog that I will be writing on Saturday, about this and what I mentioned above.  thanks again for your excellent feedback.


AARON... . comment  #34.. . I am going to semi disagree with you... a better score is not always the answer. Stricter underwriting guidelines won't change a lot of this mess, even if we had it before. Even putting 5% down wouldn't have stopped the bleeding... or even slowed it down. My main point and focus to this was unemployment. There have been thousands of families that even put 5% down and qualified easily, that have now lost their house and or face foreclosure. Yes, there were many bad loans from 2002 - 2005, those COFI arms and stated loans, when loan officers inflated the borrowers income to make the deal work.. we could be here all day on this. We both will agree though that FHA loans are an essential part of our market today.. thanks


Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 10 years ago


MIKE... . comment # 37.. . is Richard Smith trying to do what's right for this housing market? Or maybe trying to make a name for himself?  Or has an agenda?  I see many that sell theory and other things out there, in this real estate market, scary to me... I am leery and careful. Manly because they make it sound easy or that it makes sense.  But they don't give their reasons as to why. They skate around those issues. Hence why I am leery of people like Richard. Please, ask Richard why it really would matter if someone put 5% down?  I still haven't heard direct statements to this fact. All I keep hearing is that people would have more skin in the game, and that it could help.  It could?  An extra 1 1/2% down?  Here is the reality to that argument of his... if I lose my job and I am the primary wage earner in my family, what do you think will happen with my house in a few months?  As I mentioned to Leigh above, in one of my comments..  I will be writing about this on Saturday, if I don't do this tomorrow.  Some of these messes come down directly to the loan officer and on how they educate borrowers. I will get detailed with this in that post.

Overall.. these small numbers that you talk about don't mean much to me.  Look at VA loans and USDA loans. They allow for 100% financing, yet their default rates are lower... I am not sure how much lower. And I would bet that USDA's numbers climb some since it has become more popular in the last year. Which is one of the points that I made above, in my post, that FHA mortgages have increased buy like 30% in the last 2 years. That and with bad loan officers, underwriters, and more jobs being lost, these are the reasons to why more FHA loans are defaulting. People have been putting 2.25% to 3% down on FHA loans since I have been in the business in 1992. FHA has been around since 1934...  why is there such a problem now, with having more money down and harsher underwriting?  I will say this again.. a very bad and unpredictable economy.

About 3 years ago, I spoke with 3 borrowers in one month, all who had gone conventional with 20% down...  all 3 were going to walk away from their house because of financial reasons.  This is huge and not talked about...  and part of the reasons some walk away is because their house is upside down, under water... they don't care about the lost money, even if it ws 20% down. Overall, I am just trying to make some strong points to the fact that you have some of these.... I will be nice..  these people pushing for a little more skin in the game. We need to fix the larger problem at hand.. Jobs.. unemployment.. economy.. making things more affordable... IE. food such as milk, eggs, and so many other things that seem to get lost.. thanks  PS.. I am not singling you out with this loan comment to you.. just the fact that it's long, I didn't want it to be lost in the other comments.. thanks


Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 10 years ago

I think your getting my comments mixed up w/ someone else's.  I am not asking for 30-40% down.  And I'm not sure where you are thinking that I'm for FHA, maybe FHA with higher dp's and higher credit scroes, yes.  I don't think 10-20% is asking too much.  I think what realtors and mortgage brokers fear is that if lending is tightened as it well should be, there will be less folks in the market which will drive prices down which will mean a smaller commissions.


Just think, if prices came down for the average family, that $10K in savings goes a lot further when you are talking percentages.  My little downpayment grows percentage-wise as prices drop and drop they will in my area.

Posted by Leigh (potential buyer in late 2010/2011) over 10 years ago

 I always chuckle when somebody says the homebuyer should have more skin in the game, or the reason for the market collapsed was because of all of these bad buyers who didn't have to put enough money down etc... Having a normal person, that puts now 3.5% down on their first home/condo, decent job, average credit score, even if the real estate market went down 5% they are still going to pay their car payment, pay their bills, pay their mortgage etc. They are not going to walk away from their (to them) New home. They have to live somewhere. YES, there are exceptions. Right now legislation and talk seems to revolve around those exceptions, the 15% that are NOT normal, responsible people. FHA is not perfect, but what is? It still works for those that need it and I still think the good it does (85%) far outweighs the bad (15%).

Thank you

Posted by Scott Baker, Realtor Homes for Sale Cincinnati/Dayton Ohio ( Coldwell Banker West Shell) over 10 years ago
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