The Federal Housing Administration could lose hundreds of millions of dollars on loans originated by the bankrupt Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp.

The Ocala, Fla., firm, which filed for bankruptcy protection Monday, originated 119,800 of loans over the past 24 months, making up 4.5% of the agency's total business during that period. Based on the average FHA loan size, Taylor Bean's volume would total about $22 billion. The company was FHA's third largest "direct endorsement" lender — such lenders have the authority to make underwriting decisions without sending paperwork to the agency.

According to the FHA's Neighborhood Watch system, which displays loan performance data for lenders, 7.1% of Taylor Bean's loans are 90 days or more past due or in foreclosure — compared with the 4.6% average default rate for FHA loans. Assuming a loss severity rate of 40%, that would put the FHA's exposure in the nine-figure area.

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