FHA - Articles

FHA Drops the Ceiling on Home Mortgages

Shutterstock The U.S. Federal Housing Administration will scale back the size of loans it backs to a maximum $625,500 at the beginning of 2014 to reduce its share of the U.S. mortgage market, the agency said on Friday. Currently, the FHA's limits that vary by region, from $271,050 up to $729,750 in the country's most... Continue Reading »

FHA Loans: Credit Scores Loom Large as New Rules Take Effect

Shutterstock New requirements for Federal Housing Administration-approved mortgages go into effect today, presenting potential roadblocks for homebuyers with collections or judgments in their credit histories. While lenders have recently been able to take significant economic events into account in processing loan... Continue Reading »

Reverse Mortgage Program Needs a Bailout, FHA Chief Says

Rusty Clark/Flickr By Andrew Miga WASHINGTON -- A federal housing agency says it needs a $1.7 billion bailout from the Treasury to cover projected losses in a mortgage programs for seniors. At issue are reverse mortgage programs, which allow seniors to borrow against their homes for everyday living expenses. Carol... Continue Reading »

'FHA,' 'Home Loan' Lead Spike in Google Real Estate-Related Searches, NAR Study Shows

Think real estate is a boring topic? Not according to Google! (And us, obviously). According to a new study from the National Association of Realtors, real estate-related searches on Google have skyrocketed 253 percent over the past four years. Apparently, this hike in real estate interest can be attributed to a surge... Continue Reading »

HUD Mortgage Sale Could Help Thousands of FHA-Insured Borrowers but Unfairly Exclude Others

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has begun selling off thousands of seriously delinquent mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a move that could save many distressed borrowers from losing their homes. But it also leaves thousands more who are saddled with equally distressed FHA... Continue Reading »

FHA Bailout May Be Needed, Report Says

For the first time in its 78-year history, the Federal Housing Administration may need a government bailout to stay in operation, The Wall Street Journal reports. The FHA, which insures mortgage lenders against losses, is expected to report this week that it's close to exhausting its reserves and may need to turn to... Continue Reading »

Hurricane Sandy Mortgage Relief: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA Offer Disaster Aid to Storm Victims

Government-sponsored mortgage backers Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the Federal Housing Administration are offering mortgage relief to some borrowers whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy, the superstorm that has crippled communities across the Northeast. The relief is available to borrowers whose homes were damaged... Continue Reading »

Closer to a Bailout? FHA's Mortgage Delinquencies Soar

By Tami Luhby NEW YORK -- The mortgage market appears to finally be stabilizing -- as long as you ignore loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration. Increasingly, FHA-insured loans are falling into foreclosure or serious delinquency, moving in the opposite direction of loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie... Continue Reading »

FHA Lifts Ban on Homebuyers Who Have Credit Disputes

By Jon Prior The Federal Housing Administration rescinded a rule that would have denied financing to potential homebuyers with ongoing credit disputes of more than $1,000, according to an alert sent to lenders Friday. The FHA quietly drafted the rule in March to mitigate risks to its emergency fund. The rule went into... Continue Reading »

REO to Rental: Fannie Mae Dips Further Into Foreclosure Pool

Fannie Mae waded further into the foreclosure pool on Monday as it released new details on its plan to sell its repossessed homes as rental properties. The pilot program, first announced in August as an effort to clear the mortgage giant's backlog of foreclosures, is launching with an initial offering of 2,490 residential... Continue Reading »

Foreclosure Fire Sale: Will Bulk 'REO to Rental' Program Fly?

With an estimated 3.6 million more foreclosures expected over the next two years, the government-backed mortgage giants have a proposition for you: How'd you like to take a couple (hundred) homes off their hands? In a recently announced program, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates the quasi-government... Continue Reading »

Obama Pushes Congress to Pass New FHA Refi Plan

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is rallying support for his plan to expand government assistance to homeowners, pressuring Congress to help lower lending rates for millions of strapped homeowners. Obama, in his radio and Internet address Saturday, urged the public to "get on the phone, send an email, tweet," and... Continue Reading »

FHA Says 'Flippers' Free to Play Through 2012

By Les Christie NEW YORK -- Flippers, the real estate investors who buy homes on the cheap and quickly resell them at a profit, just got a reprieve from the Federal Housing Administration. In an effort to help stabilize housing prices and unload some of the foreclosures that are flooding low-income communities, the... Continue Reading »

$8 Billion Refinance Program Helps Only 301 Homeowners

The $8 billion Federal Housing Administration Short Refi program, launched in September 2010 to refinance underwater mortgages, helped 301 borrowers in 11 months, according to Department of Housing and Urban Development data analyzed by HousingWire. The program was initially expected to reach between 500,000 and 1.5... Continue Reading »

Government Shutdown May Impact First-Time Home Buyers

The government shutdown that will occur if Republicans in Congress and President Obama can't come to terms on budget legislation by midnight tonight could hit the ailing spring home-buying market like a ton of paving stones. The Federal Housing Agency (FHA), a popular source of low-down-payment mortgages of as little as... Continue Reading »

30 Percent Down Payment: The New Normal?

I've always been fond of news stories that are neither new nor particularly unknown, like when some local TV station runs a human-interest story on some local teen who organized a charity drive three months ago. They're cute! And they're no less cute when the Wall Street Journal runs such stories, as it did recently,... Continue Reading »

FHA Mortgage Will Cost More

FHA annual mortgage insurance premiums will match those of private mortgage insurance companies starting today for all new FHA loans. The annual premium will rise from 0.55 percent to 0.9 percent, which is the same as most private mortgage insurance for loans between 95 percent and 97 percent down. The good news is that... Continue Reading »

FHA to Drop Jumbo Support

Jumbo mortgages likely will be taking a bath by the end of the year, when government support for many high-amount loans is scheduled to expire. After two years during which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized by Congress to back loans up to $729,750, the limit in some areas will fall back to the normal $417,000... Continue Reading »

FHA Sets Credit Score Limits for First Time

The most flexible first-time homebuyer loan just became a bit more stringent. Starting Oct. 4, homebuyers must have a minimum credit score of 500 to be eligible for a Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgage. Borrowers seeking a single-family home mortgage with credit scores ranging from 500 to 579 will be limited... Continue Reading »

Homebuyer Tax Credit: Another on the Way?

Could this month's dreadful home sales numbers prompt the feds to offer another homebuyer tax credit? Mum's the word on Capitol Hill, but HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan would not rule out the option during an interview Sunday on CNN. Existing-home sales sank 27.2 percent in July, and sales of new homes dropped to their lowest... Continue Reading »

Underwater Borrowers Get a Lifeline on September 7 - Sponsorship

Is your home underwater? Do you owe the bank more than it's worth? if so, you may finally be able to get a fixed-rate Federal Housing Administration loan with principal reduction. Available to qualified homeowners on Sept. 7, these new FHA loans require banks to write down at least 10 percent of the unpaid balance of the... Continue Reading »

Miami Resales Up, but How Desirable Are the Homes?

Miami home resales are hot and have been driving the market upward for about the last year and a half. But the condos and houses that are the force behind the upswing aren't the most desirable of the lot. There are several factors affecting the recent drop in prices and boom in resales which often are not detailed in... Continue Reading »

Government Projects Fewer Defaults on HAMP Mortgage Modifications

While some seem to think that all the Obama administration is doing is extending or delaying foreclosure procedures, others believe that, without these extensions, home prices would have fallen much further, much faster. Whatever you believe, the numbers seem to indicate that mortgage default and re-default rates are... Continue Reading »

Reverse Mortgages: Seniors Now Expected to Pay Taxes and Insurance

Do you or your parents have a reverse mortgage for which they don't pay the property taxes or insurance? While in the past, the FHA and Fannie Mae would patiently wait until the property owner died or moved to pay off any liens, that practice is about to end. Many seniors don't realize that they can lose their home to... Continue Reading »

Short Refinance: Is It an Option For You? SPONSORSHIP

Homeowners, who are slipping on their mortgage payments and unable to change their financial position, may feel like they are in a dead-end spiral and have no option but to walk away or resort to a short sale. But brokers say that it is possible for underwater homeowners with adjustable-rate mortgages to obtain something... Continue Reading »

Home Tax Credit Extension Is Much Ado About Nothing

Unless you are among the 180,000 people who signed a contract to buy a house before May 1, yesterday's Senate gesture to extend the deal-closing deadline on the federal homebuyer tax credit is the proverbial drop in the bucket. Does anyone think that the closing of 180,000 more home sales on the market, in a national... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Insurance Returns: Is It Right for You?

Private mortgage insurance was all the rage when housing prices were high and down payments were tiny. But ever since the housing bubble burst, people seeking to buy a home with less than 20 percent down -- especially in declining markets such as Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada -- had nowhere to turn for... Continue Reading »

House Flipping in South L.A.: That's So Right!

Like many parts of the nation, but especially here in Southern California, the neighborhood known as South Los Angeles is pockmarked with foreclosed properties, the result of aggressive subprime lending. But unlike some other parts of town, house flipping just may save South L.A. from what would otherwise be a bleak... Continue Reading »

Chinese Drywall: Fix is Coming, But Who Will Pay?

Chinese drywall and electrical wiring should be replaced -- that's the consensus opinion of both the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. With tens of thousands of homes potentially affected, the big question is, who will pay for what will likely be billions of dollars in... Continue Reading »

10 Things You Should Know About the New Appraisal Rules

Heard of HVCC? It's not a heating and ventilation system for the home (that's HVAC), nor is it an infectious disease. HVCC is the Home Valuation Code of Conduct, a controversial set of guidelines established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in May 2009. By setting up a sort of firewall between lenders and appraisers, in the... Continue Reading »

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