WASHINGTON, D.C. - 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.
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.
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.
“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.