• HUD Secretary Ben Carson mistakes foreclosure term for Oreo cookies at hearing

    By: Shelby Lin Erdman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk


    Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson mixed up his real estate terms at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, mistaking “real estate owned,” a foreclosure term, for Oreo, as in the cookie. 

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    Representative Katie Porter, (D-CA), was asking Carson about the high REO rates. Porter said the Federal Housing Administration has more properties that become real estate owned than other loans.

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    Here’s the exchange: “I would also like to ask you to get back to me, if you don’t mind, to explain the disparity in REO rates. Do you know what a REO is?” Porter asked.

    “An Oreo?” Carson replied.

    “R, no not an Oreo. An R-E-O,” Porter responded.

    “Real estate?” Carson asked.

    “What does the O stand for?” Porter asked Carson.

    “E organization?” he responded.

    Porter went on to explain that when a property goes into foreclosure, it’s called an REO.

    After the hearing, Carson made light of the mix-up, posting a photo of himself with a package of Oreo cookies to social media and tagging Porter.

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    “Enjoying a few post-hearing snacks. Sending some your way!” he wrote on Twitter.

    Oreo got in on the action by Tuesday afternoon, posting a response on social media.

    “REO stands for ‘Really Excellent OREO (cookie).’ Everyone knows that,” the brand posted.


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