Mortgage bankers originated $25.9 billion of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-backed mortgages in July, down nearly 2% from June, according to new figures released by the agency.

Roughly three-fourths of the 144,500 FHA loan endorsements ($18.6 billion) were used by borrowers purchasing a home.

Refinancings totaled $5.6 billion with 63% of borrowers trading in their Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loans for an FHA product. FHA also insured $1.5 billion of reverse mortgages, also known as home equity conversion mortgages (HECMs).

The FHA July reports shows that FHA endorsements (not including HECMs) totaled $248.5 billion for the first 10 months of fiscal year 2010, down 5% from the same period in FY 2009.

HECM originations totaled $27.8 billion at the end of July, down 31% compared to the first 10 months of fiscal year 2009.

The July report shows that the Hope for Homeowners program continued to underwhelm, helping just 12 underwater borrowers, up from seven in May. Over the past two years, 83 borrowers with conventional loans have refinanced into a new FHA-insured H4H loan after the investors reduced the principal amount of their mortgage by at least 10%.

Meanwhile, the serious delinquency rate on FHA's $873.5 single-family billion insured portfolio remained unchanged. As of July 31, the percentage of FHA loans 90-days or more past due stood at 8.32%.

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