Senate confirms Galante as FHA head

December 31, 2012 12:00PM

Despite the Federal Housing Administration’s growing losses stemming from troubled loans and talk of a taxpayer bailout, the U.S. Senate confirmed Sunday that Carol Galante would continue to be in charge of the agency.

Galante, who had been running the FHA in an acting capacity since July 2011, was confirmed as an assistant secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, in a 69-24 Senate vote.

The FHA backs a total of $1.1 trillion in U.S. home mortgages. Last month, due to troubled loans issued during the housing market downturn, it reported a projected deficit of $16.3 billion. The agency has taken steps to reduce the amount of money it is hemorrhaging; it recently announced a clampdown on a popular form of reverse mortgage–the so-called “standard” version, which allows large lump-sum drawdowns of cash at fixed interest rates.

Still, a recent independent audit suggested that for the first time in its 78-year-history, the FHA would need to be supported bytaxpayers, though a decision will only be made in February after the budget is passed. [HuffPo]-Hiten Samtani