Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Daily Real Estate News | December 17, 2007

Senate Passes FHA Reform Bill

The FHA Modernization Act of 2007, passed Friday by the U.S. Senate, would give borrowers a safer alternative to riskier mortgage products while also helping many home owners who may be facing foreclosure, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

“A reformed FHA is positioned to help home owners who face unaffordable mortgage payments as a result of resetting adjustable subprime loans and help bring stability to local markets and economies,” says NAR President Richard (Dick) Gaylord.

NAR has long supported FHA modernization legislation that would increase loan limits, reduce or eliminate the statutory 3 percent minimum cash down payment, and give FHA increased flexibility and the ability to streamline certain programs, in addition to strengthening the loss mitigation program.

In addition, the increase in FHA mortgage loan limits would help first-time home buyers, minority buyers, and people who do not qualify for conventional mortgages, according to NAR. Increased loan limits would also help people living in high-cost areas; current FHA limits make the program unusable in these areas, Gaylord says.

Gaylord says that FHA has made mortgage insurance widely available to individuals regardless of race, ethnicity or social status during periods of prosperity and economic depression. The FHA program makes it possible for higher risk yet creditworthy borrowers to obtain prime financing.

The House had passed its own FHA bill Sept. 18. House leaders now will have to decide whether to clear the more limited Senate legislation or insist on a conference to reconcile the competing versions.

Source — REALTOR® Magazine Online

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