Main Street, Wall Street share blame

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Suddenly back in vogue are the government-backed FHA loans that always required full documentation of income, verification of employment and a down payment of at least 3 percent of the property value.

FHA loans accounted for less than 4 percent of U.S. home mortgages written in fiscal 2006 and just above 4 percent last year. In fiscal 2008, which ended Sept. 30, the market share for FHA loans jumped to more than 13 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“We all of a sudden are the good guys again,” HUD spokesman Lemar Wooley said. “We’re the new shining knight in town”

Christina Bellantoni contributed to this report.

About the Author
Ralph Z. Hallow

Ralph Z. Hallow

Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.


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