Mortgage Crisis

'Destined for a Taxpayer Bailout'

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were two bellwethers of the economic crisis when they went under last year. Now a third government mortgage agency, the Federal Housing Administration, is facing the prospect of a bailout thanks to the ongoing housing crisis around the country. According to FHA commissioner David Stevens, who testified to Congress on Thursday, no bailout will be necessary. But the numbers are grim: Stevens said that as many 24% of loans from 2007 and 20% of loans from last year are in trouble, some of them facing foreclosure. “It appears destined for a taxpayer bailout in the next 24 to 36 months,” Edward Pinto, a former Fannie Mae executive, said in testimony prepared for the hearing.