UPDATE 1-Obama administration housing official set to step down

Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:43pm EDT

(Adds official's comment on future job, background)

WASHINGTON Aug 11 (Reuters) - A top housing official for the Obama administration said on Monday she was stepping down from her post leading an agency that guarantees a big share of new U.S. mortgages.

Carol Galante, commissioner at the Federal Housing Administration, said in a note to her staff that she will leave her job toward the end of this year for an academic position.

Galante took the helm at the FHA in 2012 when the agency's finances were still reeling from a housing market implosion years earlier.

In September of last year, the FHA turned to the Treasury for $1.7 billion in cash to help cover losses from troubled loans.

Under Galante, the agency, which offers mortgage lenders' guarantees against homeowner defaults, has substantially raised the fees it charges. The White House said in March the FHA would not need another injection of taxpayer money this year.

Galante said she will take a position at the University of California, Berkeley.

"I have decided to leave," she said in the note to her staff. (Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Chris Reese and Gunna Dickson)

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