FHA/HUD Websites

Latest Bill Calls for Fannie, Freddie Merger

A bill is expected to be introduced today in the House of Representatives that calls for a merger between government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif., who is introducing the bill and who is also a real estate developer and former home builder, proposes that the newly merged firm also be restructured in how it operates. It would purchase mortgages and sell them to investors as securities that are backed by the government.

Unlike other bills that have called for winding down of the GSEs and privatizing them, Miller’s bill would not seek private owners for the new entity. However, the new firm would be privately capitalized.

Banks would pay a ‘guarantee’ fee on loans that would fund the firm’s operations and maintain adequate capital. Investors would pay an additional fee to finance an insurance fund that would cover catastrophic losses,” The Wall Street Journal explains.

The new firm would be regulated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The FHFA would ensure the firm’s market share never exceeds 50 percent of the mortgage market.

Lawmakers continue to wrestle over the fate of the GSEs, which have cost taxpayers $138 billion since the government took them over in 2008. Earlier this year, the White House called for winding them down. A series of bills currently in Congress are attempting to shrink Fannie and Freddie’s role and privatize them.

Miller’s bill is expected to garner bipartisan support.

Source: “Bill Calls for Fannie, Freddie Merger,” The Wall Street Journal (July 5, 2011

Can a New HUD Program Save Home Owners?

In June, the Department of Housing and Urban Development launched a new grant program to help home owners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments due to unemployment or unexpected medical bills.

The program offers eligible home owners $50,000 in interest-free loans for up to two years.

HUD has until the end of the government’s fiscal year, Sept. 30, to spend all of its $1 billion for the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (or EHLP), which will provide 27 states with aid for the program. Home owners in eligible states have until July 22 to complete their applications.

HUD hopes that 30,000 home owners can be helped through the program.

However, while some are seeing the program as a last chance to help unemployed home owners stay in their homes, others aren’t as convinced the program will do much good in ultimately lessening foreclosures in the country.

“The best foreclosure mitigation program in America is a job,” argues Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. “It’s not a government check, it’s a paycheck.” Earlier this year, Hensarling sponsored a bill to end EHLP, which was supported by the House. The Senate has yet to take up the bill, however.

For a full list of states and eligibility requirements for EHLP, visit the HUD Web site.

Source: “HUD to Give Away $1 Billion to Struggling Home Owners,” The Washington Post (July 4, 2011)


Mortgage Applications Rise
FHA activity rose 17.2 percent last week as stricter rules for those loans neared, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
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How to Reach the Millennials
The millennial generation is a growing segment of buyers in today’s market. But they have different views about home ownership, and they also communicate differently than previous generations. Are you talking their talk?
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HUD Has Loans for Out-of-Work Borrowers
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will offer $50,000 loans to unemployed borrowers who are at least three months behind on their payments, but have a reasonable likelihood of being able to resume payments within two years.
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BofA Is Exiting Wholesale Mortgages
Bank of America will stop making mortgage loans via third-party brokers, focusing on loans offered directly to consumers.
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Industry Pro Joins REALTORS Federal Credit Union
Benny McMahan, former president and CEO of the Texas Association of REALTORS has joined the credit union as director of industry relations.
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Helmsley Mansion Sells at Deep Discount
The Greenwich, Conn., estate of the late hotel magnates Leona and Harry Helmsley sold for $35 million after being listed in 2008 for $125 million.
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www.thinkbigworksmall.com     Watch this short video~
Explicitly ask about transfer fees when buying a home…..another greedy money grabbing scheme against the consumer!!!


LEED Certification Takes the Lead
Green building now accounts for one-third of new construction in the United States, up from 2 percent in 1995.
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Home Purchase Applications Rise 6.3%
Refinancing activity slipped 1.3 percent last week as interest rates rose slightly, according ot the Mortgage Bankers Association.
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FHA Debuts New Plan for Underwater Owners
The latest government program from the Federal Housing Administration allows lenders to choose which borrowers will participate.
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Inventories Climb in ZipRealty’s 26 Markets
Natrionwide housing supply rose 0.4 percent in August for the eighth straight month with steepest jumps on the West Coast.
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California Movers Are Nation’s Busiest
Outbound moves from the Golden State rose 10.3 percent while incomers increased 9.4 percent. Texas gained 50 percent more people than it lost.
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Grubb & Ellis to Offer Residential Management
Commercial brokerage will team with Kettler Inc. to manage more than 16,000 apartments in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
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 The Washington Report – A Weekly Report on Legislative and Regulatory Issues
NAR Comments on HUD’s Required Use ANPR
USDA to Begin Issuign Guarantees in September
FHA Announces Condo Recertification Process Read more…
HUD: Communities Get First Look at Properties

State and local governments and nonprofit organizations will get a jump on investors as part of a new program announced Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.

The National First Look Program is a partnership between lenders and communities to encourage neighborhood stabilization by giving public entities and community organizations the right of first refusal on properties that are likely candidates for renovation as affordable housing or targets for demolition to make way for new low-cost housing.

“This agreement helps us level the playing field to give communities a better chance to stabilize these neighborhoods,” Donovan says.

The First Look opportunity will last five to 12 business days. After that the financial institution will sell the home on the open market. Participating lenders represent 75 percent of the mortgage service companies, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (09/01/2010)


Decision on Fannie and Freddie May Come Soon
The fate of these government-sponsored enterprises will be under discussion at a meeting of government and banking experts next week.
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The Worst Is Over, Some Experts Conclude
Although a few areas still face some turbulence, many observers believe the worst days of the national housing market are behind us.
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Low Rates Finally Spark Refinancings
As mortgage rates continue to fall to record lows, many borrowers are finding refinancing to be an irresistable proposition.
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5 Ways Builders Turn Off Home Buyers
If you and your buyers are considering a home builder, make sure the company isn’t doing things that waste money and annoy customers.
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Moody’s Raises Odds of Double-Dip Recession
Analysts at the rating agency believe the chances that the U.S. will see another downturn in the near future have gone up.
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New York Court Upholds Case Based on ILSA
A federal judge in New York ruled that a developer had to return deposits to purchasers of downtown condos because of inadequate disclosures in the initial offering.
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Fannie Mae Launches New Website to Assist Homeowners

Fannie Mae has announced a new website aimed at homeowners who are struggling with their mortgages, to help them avoid foreclosure. The new website, KnowYourOptions.com, provides information on refinancing and loan modifications, as well as information on short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure for homeowners who can no longer afford their mortgages.

Fannie Mae Press Release
Know Your Options Website

FHA Changes

Congress was busy in the last week related to FHA. Senators Begich (D-AK) and Brown (D-OH) introduced S. 3704, the FHA Reform Act of 2010. This bill implements changes necessary to help FHA remain strong and rebuild its capital reserves. The bill provides a number of taxpayer protection measures, while ensuring that the FHA program remains affordable and available to responsible homebuyers. A companion measure (HR 5072) passed the House in June. NAR strongly supports this bill to continue FHA’s mission of providing responsible borrowers with affordable mortgage financing.

The Senate also passed a measure to increase FHA’s annual premiums. FHA needs to increase premiums to restore their capital reserves fund that had fallen to .55% from the required 2%. The House passed similar legislation the previous week, and President Obama is expected to sign the bill shortly. FHA has published a letter, announcing their intent to implement the new premiums for case numbers issued after September 7, 2010. They will lower the upfront premium to 1%, and increase the annual premium to .85-.90%, depending on LTV. The full letter is available on HUD’s website.

Full Letter Available on HUD’s Website

Jerome Nagy 202-383-1233, Megan Booth 202-383-1222

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