Henry Cisneros, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said the shutdown of the federal government has led to a mounting backlog of work and additional expenses for the agency.
At a press conference, he cataloged the adverse effects of the shutdown of his agency's FHA program.
*HUD is unable to insure the 2,500 FHA mortgage loans it normally processes each working day.
*More than 2,000 HUD-owned homes that would have been sold during the shutdown remain unsold. The department is incurring costs to hold the properties.
*Claims cannot be paid during the shutdown. Interest on the claims so far totals $1 million.
*The agency has lost another $1 million in delayed mortgage foreclosures.
*HUD will pay $200,000 in interest and penalties for tax payments that it is unable to make from borrower escrow accounts.
*The agency estimates employees will have to work an additional 2,500 hours to clear present backlogs, at a cost of $100,000.
*The shutdown of Ginnie Mae may slow the circulation of mortgage funds as lenders exhaust their Ginnie Mae commitments. The commitments allow lenders to guarantee mortgage-backed securities. Once they use up their commitments, lenders must wait for Ginnie Mae to reopen before issuing new securities.
Separately, Kevin Chavers, president of Ginnie Mae, has written to lenders that Ginnie Mae will pick up interest payments in excess of 6% on mortgages held by military personnel in Bosnia.
Under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Release of 1940, interest on mortgages held by military personnel automatically falls to 6% from the time they enter active service until they are discharged from active duty.
In the past, lenders have been required to make up the difference between the actual interest rate and the 6% ceiling. This is the first time Ginnie Mae will do so.