The Federal Housing Administration has exhausted its reserves, forcing it to institute another round of measures to shore up its finances. The government agency's capital cushion plummeted to -$16.3 billion at the end of fiscal 2012, according to a study prepared annually by an independent actuary. FHA is scheduled to present the assessment, along with its annual report to Congress, on Friday.
FHA's continued financial troubles may force it to ask taxpayers to bail it out for the first time in its 78-year history. This specter has haunted the agency since 2009, when it first reported that its reserves fell below the threshold of 2% of its loan balances mandated by Congress. The ratio now stands at -1.44%, down from 0.24% last year.