Ginnie Mae's MBS program has experienced unprecedented growth the past two years and now the agency wants to nearly triple its allotment for salaries to $30 million, allowing it to hire additional staff while reducing its dependence on outside contractors.

The secondary market agency guaranteed $413 billion of MBS in fiscal year 2010 with a staff of 77 and a payroll of $11.1 million, including benefit expenses. All of Ginnie's operational costs, including salaries, are paid for through securitization fees.

The MBS boom allowed Ginnie Mae to post a $542 million profit last year.

The nearly three-fold increase in funding would allow Ginnie Mae to increase its staff to 249 full-time positions, according to new White House budget documents. "This request would allow Ginnie Mae to increase its staff level to serve two purposes: to strengthen its risk management and oversight, and to move in-house some functions performed by contractors," according to budget documents.

Last week Ginnie Mae president Ted Tozer testified before a Congressional panel about the budget increase, saying, "Given Ginnie Mae's continued profitability and strong risk management practices, it is time to use our fee resources to ensure that we are run as efficiently and effectively as possible."

In 2007, the last year before the financial crisis struck, Ginnie Mae issued just $85 million in MBS. Its payroll budget at the time was $10.7 million.

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