Corker Votes To Confirm Carol Galante To Head FHA

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Senator Bob Corker, R-Tn., a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, on Sunday voted in favor of Carol Galante to be an assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development and commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration.  

Prior to announcing his support for Ms. Galante, who was confirmed by the Senate on Sunday, Senator Corker secured a commitment from her to make substantial changes to FHA underwriting requirements in order to begin restoring financial stability at FHA after substantial losses, primarily from a flawed reverse mortgage program.

“I’m as frustrated as anyone with the losses taking place at FHA and our failure to implement fundamental housing reform, but given Carol Galante’s commitment to make important changes that will help return FHA to its original mission of making affordable loans accessible to qualified first-time home buyers, I voted to confirm her as an assistant secretary of housing and FHA commissioner.  I look forward to working with her as she puts in place the reforms she has promised as well as others that are needed to get FHA back on track,” said Corker.  “The steps that FHA has taken thus far are just a beginning, and going forward, I am fully committed to pushing both Congress and the administration to take up and address the critical issue of structural housing finance reform in this country.”

Ms. Galante sent Senator Corker a letter on Dec. 18, committing unequivocally to the following important reforms to be put in place by Jan. 31:

· Placing a moratorium on the full drawdown reverse mortgage program to assess its viability after $2.8 billion in losses.  This would put a hold on a program that insures reverse mortgages in which people could draw down all of the equity in their homes.

· Substantially increasing underwriting criteria for borrowers with FICO scores between 580 and 620 by establishing a meaningful maximum debt-to-income ratio. This will dramatically decrease borrower default rates.

· Increasing the down payment requirement and the insurance pricing for loans between $625,000 and $729,000 to protect FHA against loss on high balance loans that are outside Fannie and Freddie conforming loan limits. This will also help to scale back the government’s footprint in the housing market.

· Increasing underwriting requirements for borrowers who have been foreclosed upon within the last seven years.

Senator Corker has continually expressed concerns over the pace of reforms at FHA, most recently raising several issues with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan at a December 6 banking committee hearing on the state of FHA’s financial condition. A transcript of the hearing can be found here.  He also continues to work with his colleagues on reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in order to protect taxpayers from further losses and rebuild the private mortgage market.


Crye-Leike Posts Record Year Of $6.36 Billion In Sales

Tennessee-based Crye-Leike, the nation's fourth largest privately-held residential real estate brokerage firm and the largest in Tennessee and the Mid-South, posted a record sales year of $6.36 billion in 2016, the highest sales performance in the company’s 40-year history.  In comparison, the company reached its peak sales performance at $6.10 billion in 2006.   Crye-Leike’s ... (click for more)

City Of Chattanooga Grants HOME Funds For 16 Affordable Housing Units In Chattanooga

Chattanooga City Council approved a plan from the Department of Economic & Community Development (ECD) to administer more than half a million dollars in federal funds for the creation of 16 affordable housing units in neighborhoods across Chattanooga. These funds from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are designated under the HOME program, ... (click for more)

Dallas Bay Firefighters Save Home After Kitchen Fire, But 2 Dogs Die

Dallas Bay firefighters saved a home from burning to the ground on Saturday afternoon. Around 1 p.m., the homeowner called 911 reporting a house fire located at 1856 Cotter Road. Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department responded and arrived on the scene reporting heavy smoke pouring out the front door. Dallas Bay VFD requested a mutual aid response for Red Bank Fire Department ... (click for more)

Man, 39, Shot Late Friday Night In The Vicinity Of North Chamberlain Avenue

Police said a 39-year-old man was shot late Friday night in the vicinity of North Chamberlain Avenue.   He was identified as Ruben Williams Sr.   Officers with the Chattanooga Police Department were informed just before midnight that a shooting victim arrived at a local hospital via personal vehicle.   Officers made contact with the victim who advised ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Trump's Latest Delight

I was quite amused this week when Donald Trump’s administration “locked out” several news organizations from the daily press briefings at the White House. The reason I loved it because in the 50 years I have spent in the news business, I have been locked out of press conferences, too. To be truthful, I am a longtime veteran of a bunch of “you versus me” squabbles and, if I do say, ... (click for more)