The Housing Mess
Lending Over Backward
Joshua Zumbrun and Maurna Desmond 08.26.08, 6:00 AM ET
The FHA has been turned into the mortgage industry's lender of last resort. Taxpayer price tag? Maybe $100 billion.
DENVER -- When the nation's politicians take the stage here and later in St. Paul, Minn., you'll hear a lot of talk about saving the decrepit housing market, and lately that means one thing: The Federal Housing Administration.
Watch your wallet.
Heralded as a savior in reversing the mortgage market’s woes, risks to the agency could cost taxpayers dearly, says one mortgage expert, as Washington morphs the FHA from a helping hand for low-income home buyers into a back door bailout for the imploding mortgage industry. Trouble is, there's little choice at this point.