Head of FDIC Supports Loan Write-Downs

March 11, 2010

Source: Reuters News, Karey Wutkowski

The possibility of solving the underwater mortgage problem by writing down principal has been deemed politically impossible by the Obama administration, but some government officials see write-downs as the best long-term solution.

One of the most outspoken supporters of write-downs is Federal Deposit Insurance Chair Sheila Bair. This week, she called underwater mortgages a continuing problem and said the FDIC is "actively looking" at ways to encourage principal write-downs in the deals it does to facilitate acquisitions of failed banks.

Overall, Bair was positive about housing finance. "After three long and difficult years for housing and mortgage finance, I think we're seeing some progress in stabilizing our housing markets," she said.

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