The Federal Housing Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs are backing too many home loans as other mortgage suppliers tighten their standards, said Steven Mnuchin, the chief executive of OneWest Bank.
"A lot of people think this may be the next subprime mess," Mnuchin said Tuesday during a panel discussion at the Milken Institute State of the State conference in Beverly Hills.
Mnuchin's company — in Pasadena, Calif., with total assets of $17 billion — was formed to acquire the failed IndyMac Federal Bank's business and assets from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
The FHA insures mortgages with low down payments. Its market share has soared as private lenders and insurers pulled back amid the housing decline.
In recent weeks officials at its parent agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, have said the FHA will not need a bailout.
The FHA and VA are now responsible for almost 50% of securitized mortgages, Laurie Goodman, senior managing director at Amherst Securities Group LP, said at the Milken Institute conference.
"We are setting ourselves up for some problems in the future," Goodman said.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have tightened lending standards, especially to homebuyers with poor credit and down payments of less than 20%, leaving the FHA and VA to fill the void, she said.
"FHA and VA are way too loose," Goodman said.