WASHINGTON Dec 30 The U.S. Senate on Sunday
confirmed the head of the Federal Housing Administration in her
position despite mounting losses from souring loans at the
mortgage funding agency that some fear could eventually lead to
a taxpayer bailout.
In a 69-24 vote, the Senate confirmed Carol Galante as an
assistant secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban
Development. Galante had been running the FHA in an acting
capacity since July 2011.
The FHA, a key source of mortgage funding for first-time
home buyers and those with modest incomes, backs $1.1 trillion
in U.S. home mortgages. Last month it reported a projected
shortfall of $16.3 billion due to souring loans that it insured
during the housing market downturn during the past several
An independent audit suggested that the FHA would require
taxpayer funding for the first time in its 78 years, though that
won't be decided until February when the Obama administration
releases its budget.