Ben Carson thought an REO was an Oreo.
The Housing and Urban Development secretary mistook the acronym meaning “real-estate owned” to be the popular sandwich cookie while questioned during the House Financial Services Committee hearing on Tuesday.
An REO refers to a property owned by a lender after the event of a foreclosure.
Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) was asking Carson about the foreclosure of homes insured by the Federal Housing Authority — a government agency Carson oversees. She was seeking to have a conversation with him about the disparity in REO rates provided by the FHA.
Below is a snippet of their exchange.
Porter: “Do you know what an REO is?” Porter asked.
Carson: “Oreo?” a perplexed Carson answered.
Porter: “REO. No, not an Oreo. An R-E-O.”
Carson: “Real estate?”
“That’s what happens when a property goes to foreclosure,” Porter then explained. “We call it an REO. And FHA loans have much higher REOs. That means they go to foreclosure — rather than loss-mitigation or to non-foreclosure alternatives such as short sales — than comparable loans at the GSEs.”
Porter later tweeted about her conversation with Carson.
Ben Carson tweeted a few hours later, attempting to make light of the situation.
Watch the full exchange here:
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