Ben Carson mistakes an REO for an Oreo

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Ben Carson. - CHRISTOPHER HALLORAN / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com
  • Ben Carson.

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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