7/30/2008

Key Provisions in New Housing Bill


Trying to follow this new law? Like the thread under this little reader, it will take time to unwind and fully realize the impact on buyers, lenders and current homeowners.
The Republicans most in favor of this new law were those whose districts are most impacted by high foreclosures and vacancy rates. Most of the Democrats were happy. It's been a controversial bill, and there are still doubts and disagreements by many as to its complete effectiveness. (Here's a housing example from right here in the Long Beach area: Yesterday, in a comparable market analysis for a specific downtown property, on one street in 90802 there were 20 condos listed under $300,00, 15 of which were listed as vacant. )

Signed this morning without the usual Congressional member representation at the meeting (the President was not originally in favor of it), the Federal Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 includes:


New permanent higher cap on loans that can be purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac--$625,500 (that up from the previous limit, down from the 2008 temporary loan limit). The new loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the greater of either $417,000 or 115 percent of an area’s median home price, up to $625,500. The new FHA loan limit will be the greater of $271,050 or 115 percent of an area’s median home price, up to $625,500. Both new loan limits will be effective at the expiration of the economic stimulus limits on December 31, 2008.


  • New independent agency will regulate the two entities which now own more than half of the nation's $12 trillion of residential mortgage debt.

  • Truth-in-lending requirements that explain a borrower's refinanced mortgage, new purchase mortgage, or home equity line of credit purchase.

  • The FHA may now insure the full value of a home on a reserve mortgage, up to $625,000.

  • Homeowner access to HUD home finance counseling services.

  • Program to help refinance current eligible homeowners into 30-year, fixed rate mortgages--lenders may have to accept a lower loan amount.

  • Community Development Block Grant funds to help rehabilitate foreclosed homes in areas of high foreclosures.

  • Tax benefit of $7500 or 10% of home's purchase price, whichever is less, for first time homebuyer with $75,000 in adjusted gross income or $150,000 for couples filing jointly. The refund serves as an interest-free loan and the homeowner is required to repay it in equal installments over 15 years.

  • Starting October 1, forbid the FHA from insuring mortgages where a seller contributes to the buyer's down payment (seller-assisted programs such as the HART and Nehemiah programs). Down-payment assistance from family, employers and other nonprofits is still allowed.

'Voice this!

1 comment:

Property in Brazil said...

Hi,

I think it's been a controversial bill, and there are still doubts and disagreements by many as to its complete effectiveness.

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