HUD - Articles

Reverse Mortgages: New Rules Make Them Safer for Homeowners

Shutterstock The promises of a reverse mortgage -- never having to pay a mortgage bill again and using your home's equity to finance retirement -- can sound too good to be true. It almost was too good to be true during the Great Recession, when more borrowers were withdrawing most of their home equity at closing and the... Continue Reading »

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan Answers Your Questions

Zillow [UPDATE, 2 p.m. EST: The live stream event has ended but video of the town hall is viewable below.] Join today's town hall meeting here with the Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan as he addresses -- via live stream viewable below -- the issues surrounding minority access to housing.... Continue Reading »

HUD Chief to Confront Fair Housing Issues on Live-Stream Town Meeting

Zillow [UPDATED, Jan. 23: The town meeting with Shaun Donovan has taken place and a video recording of the live-stream is viewable at "HUD Secretary Answers Your Questions."] For millions of Americans, owning one's own home is a fundamental part of the American Dream. It's a goal shared equally among all people,... Continue Reading »

HUD Releases New Rules on Mortgages

Shutterstock By Sarah N. Lynch New mortgage rules designed to prevent a repeat of the 2007-2009 financial crisis, when foreclosures spiked because of risky bank practices, were finalized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Wednesday. The agency said the changes are based on work by the U.S.... Continue Reading »

Reverse Mortgage: Why It Soon Might Be Tougher to Get

Getty Images By Christine DiGangi The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development earlier this month announced changes to the reverse mortgage program, which allows homeowners 62 and older to pull equity from their homes without making payments. Once the changes go into effect Oct. 1, it may be more difficult to... Continue Reading »

About Half of HAMP Mortgages Are Back in Default, Report Says

By Margaret Chadbourn Nearly half of the mortgages modified in 2009 under the Obama administration's signature homeowner rescue effort are in default again, according to a report on Wednesday that raised concerns about the program's effectiveness. The report from the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset... Continue Reading »

Obama: Mortgage Help Coming for Military, FHA Borrowers

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is aiming mortgage relief at members of the military as well as homeowners with government-insured loans, the administration's latest efforts to address a persistent housing crisis. In his first full news conference of the year Tuesday, Obama was to announce plans to let borrowers... Continue Reading »

Home Loan Help for Jobless in Jeopardy

Thousands of potentially eligible homeowners may be left out of a $1 billion Department of Housing and Urban Development program that provides interest-free loans to the unemployed because of documentation and timing problems. The Dodd-Frank Act required HUD to develop the Emergency Homeowners Loan Program. Unemployed... Continue Reading »

Unemployed Mortgage Assistance Program Extended

The Department of Housing and Urban Development will begin taking applications again for a new program providing interest-free loans to unemployed borrowers struggling with their mortgage payments. Under the Dodd-Frank Act authority, HUD launched the $1 billion Emergency Homeowners Loan Program in June. Unemployed... Continue Reading »

HUD: Help on the Way for Unemployed Homeowners

The Department of Housing and Urban Development launched a long-awaited program to provide interest-free loans to help unemployed borrowers in 27 states with their mortgage payments. "Through the Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program the Obama Administration is continuing our strong commitment to help keep families in their... Continue Reading »

New Home Sales Rise, But Conditions Remain Unchanged

The market for new homes showed some unexpected life last month. New home sales rose 11.1 percent to annual rate of 300,000, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. While this marks a nice bump up from the February rate of 270,000, it does not yet... Continue Reading »

The American Dream of Homeownership: Bloody but Unbowed

The American dream of homeownership has taken a serious hit in the past five years--or so you might think. No wonder, what with so many Americans pummeled by underwater properties and foreclosures. Even the government piled on, declaring in a February housing report: "The Administration believes that we must continue to... 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 »

Housing Market Data Doesn't Tell the Whole Story

Over the past two weeks we have been bombarded with housing market data, much of it seemingly contradictory. • On February 15, the National Association of Home Builders released their Housing Market Index for February. The Index measures confidence among home builders, where 50 is neutral, higher is positive, and... 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 »

Farewell Fannie and Freddie, Hello Renter Nation

In an earlier AOL Real Estate post, I speculated that the 30-year fixed rate mortgage -- the mainstay of residential housing funding in the United States -- was on its way out. I thought that based on comments from administration officials, think tanks, and other leaders, the goal of the Obama administration was to move... Continue Reading »

Our Homeownership Society: Is It Coming to an End?

After months of processing the input from the Conference on the Future of Housing Finance, as well as countless hours of speaking with various lobbyists from innumerable organizations behind the scenes (resulting, no doubt, in the premature death of many thousands of $250 bottles of wine), the Obama administration finally... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Modifications Get Some Real Help

Since California passed its new law mandating how lawyers can be paid for helping with mortgage modifications, Californians are finding it difficult to get assistance. Charles Martin used his 19 months of fighting for a mortgage modification for his own home in California to learn the ropes and now helps others, not only... Continue Reading »

Foreclosure System Not Busted?

Don't worry, be happy. That seems to be the message from Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary Shaun Donovan (pictured), who said after a meeting with regulators on Wednesday that the recent foreclosure fiasco was not evidence of "systemic issues" at mortgage servicers. While Donovan didn't discount... Continue Reading »

New Obama Housing Fix: $50K Bridge Loans

There's a new federal program to help delinquent homeowners keep their homes as they grapple with loss of income: Up to $50,000 in an interest-free "bridge" loan for lower-to-middle-income mortgagers to cover past-due and future mortgage payments. With so many homeowners disheartened by the lack of acceptance into... Continue Reading »

How to Hold on to Housing for the Disabled

Dear Apartment Guru, Hi! I found you on, and thought you knew what the hell you were talking about. So I've got a question for you: A friend of mine has been renting a Section 8 house, and has a daughter who just turned 18 and is disabled. She moved out for about a year, and was just getting ready to... Continue Reading »

30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage: Will We Become a Rental Nation?

If the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is on its way out, as I declared in Part 1 of this series, many more Americans will be living in rentals. So let's take a brief look at what the future of rentals might look like, since many of you reading this now will be renting for a lot longer than you ever imagined: Continue Reading »

Fannie Mae to Sell Foreclosed Homes With Subprime Lending Terms

Thought those great low down-payment deals were gone? Think again. If you're willing to buy a home foreclosed by Fannie Mae through the new HomePath program, you may be able to purchase one with as little as 3 percent down. Even better, that 3 percent can be a gift from a family member or other third party, or a loan from... 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 »

Obama Conference on Housing Finance, Serving Substance or Softballs?

Back in April 2010, the Treasury and HUD issued a myriad of questions for the public to comment on regarding the future of the housing finance system. They received over 300 responses from everyone from members of the public to specialized think tanks. Now they are taking action: On Tuesday morning, the Obama... Continue Reading »

Obama to Offer Assistance to Unemployed Borrowers

The Obama administration plans to funnel a total of $3 billion in aid to jobless homeowners having trouble making payments through various state agencies. Some $2 billion in payments will be made by the Hardest Hit Fund created through the Treasury Department to state Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs). The other $1 billion... 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 »

Fannie Mae Refi Solution Helps Underwater Homeowners

Are you stuck with high mortgage interest, but think you can't refinance because you owe more than the house is worth? You may still be able to qualify for a Fannie Mae Refi Plus loan. You can get a refi for up to 125 percent of your home's value. That means if the current market value is $200,000, you can get a mortgage... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Modifications: Why a Third Are Canceled

The federal government says foreclosure prevention has helped millions of people. But sometimes it seems hard to find a pundit or news story that mentions foreclosure prevention program without using the word "failed," often in the headline. Whom should you believe? Government officials say 2.8 million homeowners at risk... Continue Reading »

HUD Apartment: Can You Live in One If You're Under 62?

Dear Apartment Guru, I moved in with my grandmother about seven months ago when my roommate moved out and left me high and dry. I recently found out that my gram lives in a HUD-subsidized elderly community. One of our insane neighbors is freaking out because she keeps saying that she was told that this community was for... Continue Reading »


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