At a Glance
- Career History: Head of the FHA (March 2009-April 2011); President and COO, Long & Foster (Oct. 2008 to March 2009);President of Affilliated Businesses, Long & Foster (2006 to 2008); Executive Vice President, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (2006); Senior Vice President and head of Single Family Business, Freddie Mac (1999 to 2006); Senior Vice President, World Savings Group
- Hometown: New York City
- Alma Mater: University of Boulder, B.A., 1983
- Web site
Path to Power
Stevens was born in New York City, but he grew up in Connecticut. After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Stevens took a job in 1983 at World Savings Bank, a California savings-and-loan company. There, he was a jack of all trades, working in sales and marketing, affordable lending, product development, as a loan prospector, and in communications. Eventually, Stevens was promoted to group senior vice president and national sales manager for its mortgage division.
In 1999, Stevens moved to Freddie Mac, which was seized by federal regulators in September 2008 because of a steep rise in mortgage delinquencies, to run the single-family business practice as senior vice president. In that position, he worked with lenders like banks. Stevens moved from there in 2006 to Wells Fargo Home Mortgage as executive vice president dealing with mortgage brokers.
Stevens assumed control of the FHA at a perilous time. Though the agency, which was founded in 1934, doesn't make loans, it insures certain lenders against mortgage defaults. In 2010, the FHA had a $400 billion mortgage portfolio and insures loans with a down payment of as little as 3.5 percent of the home's value.
The crash of the subprime industry also led to an explosion in the number of FHA home mortgages. In the 4th quarter of 2008, the agency insured 30 percent of all new mortgages, compared with about 2 percent three years ago, according to The Washington Post. Additionally, the number of FHA loans that defaulted tripled in 2008.
Stevens worked at HUD alongside Shaun Donovan , the department's secretary and Ron Sims , the department's deputy.
The National Association of Realtors hailed Stevens' selection.