Banks brace for shutdown mortgage fallout

Home loan processing could be affected.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 8, 2011 1:48PM

By Maria Woehr, TheStreet

 

A government shutdown would curb mortgage processing at some large banks, especially if Uncle Sam went dark for an extended period.

 

A spokesman for the Federal Housing Administration told TheStreet that if the government does shut down, it "will not be able to endorse any single-family loans, and staff will not be available to underwrite and approve new loans."

 

The FHA backs a large swath of the single-family and multifamily mortgages in the U.S. that are eventually underwritten by private banks.

 

Several banks are beginning to plan how to handle their mortgage business in the event of a government shutdown.

"Based on our current knowledge, Bank of America Home Loans will continue originating and closing FHA and VA mortgages in the event of a short-term shutdown of the federal government," Bank of America (BAC) said in an email statement.

 

JPMorgan (JPM) says it will not be able to originate new home loans but will close mortgages that have already been approved by the FHS.

 

Wells Fargo (WFC) said it will take applications and continue FHA loans in most situations.

 

"There may be circumstances that require the FHA to sign off on loans, and in this case these loans will be delayed. If a shutdown goes on for an extended period, we will have to reevaluate the situation," a Wells Fargo representative said.

A representative from Freddie Mac said business will continue as usual, "at least in the short term." Business at Fannie Mae is also expected to continue as usual, according to published reports.

 

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