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FHA Chief Faced Big Challenges

David Stevens to resign as FHA commissioner

March 11, 2011

By staff

The departing chief of the government's mortgage insurance operation has presided over the agency during a stressful time.

In July 2009, when David H. Stevens was confirmed by the U.S Senate as commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration, 90-day delinquency on FHA-insured loans had soared to 7.8 percent from just 6.8 percent at the end of 2008. Delinquency would climb to 9.5 percent by the end of the first calendar year that Stevens was in charge.

But delinquency has since fallen -- ending 2010 at 8.8 percent.

Also on Stevens' watch was the termination of Taylor Bean and Whitaker as an approved FHA mortgagee followed by the lender's subsequent collapse. Taylor Bean was the third-largest FHA lender at the time.

The same happened with LendAmerica.

He also oversaw the development of a new mortgage premium insurance structure and the elimination of mortgage brokers as FHA correspondents.

Now Stevens, whose prior employers include Long & Foster Companies and World Savings, is calling it quits at the housing agency.

"We are confirming that David Stevens is leaving his post as FHA commissioner in the next few weeks," Lemar Wooley, a spokesman for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said in a statement to

A specific date has not yet been determined.

Stevens' boss complimented the outgoing Obama administration official.

"Dave has been singularly focused on restoring FHA to fiscal health to protect taxpayers and ensure it can fulfill its mission of making homeownership available to qualified moderate-income, underserved and first-time home buyers," HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in the statement. "His leadership at a historic time for FHA has not only contributed to a renewed sense of confidence in the FHA, but also a restored trust in government and what it can do."

Donovan added that while Stevens will be missed, FHA will continue progressing.

For his part, Stevens said that his tenure at the agency has been "the most intense and significant" of his career.

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