Two influential housing-industry trade groups voiced alarm this month about the fees borrowers are charged when they take out a mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration — a popular source of loans for cash-strapped first-time home buyers.
The National Association of Realtors and the Mortgage Bankers Association wrote to the FHA, asking it to lower the ‘‘annual premiums’’ tacked onto monthly mortgage payments. The agency has raised those fees five times since 2010, from 0.55 percent of the loan’s value to 1.35 percent. Those fees and others are used to cover lender losses when borrowers default on a mortgage. (The FHA itself does not make loans; it insures lenders against losses if the loans go bad.)
The industry groups say the fees have become too expensive, shutting out the borrowers the agency is meant to serve. The Community Home Lenders Association lodged a similar complaint in a letter to the White House this year.
The mortgage bankers group says borrowers who take out a $100,000 FHA loan in 2014 will pay about $600 more in fees each year than they would have in 2008 on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
Still, the FHA is holding firm as the Obama administration pushes to scale back the government’s role in the housing market and protect its coffers.