Archive for July, 2008

No More Presidential Opposition to Housing Bill

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

It was reported today that President Bush has reversed his pledge to veto the Housing Bill. According to the New York Times, Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson is to credit for Bush’s change of heart:

But Mr. Bush set aside those objections on the advice of the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., who told him that the overall package was necessary to help stabilize the housing and credit markets, according to the White House press secretary, Dana Perino, who announced the switch Wednesday morning. Ms. Perino said the gravity of the crisis, coupled with Congress’ plans to recess next week, was the reason for the reversal.

There is still a possibility that the bill will be held up in the Senate, but a huge obstacle has just been overcome.

FHA Moves To Second Phase Of Helpline For Homeowners

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

The FHA is out there to help. This week, the second phase of the direct mail campaign the agency has in place will roll out. That means that some 675,000 people who are considered at risk for losing their home will get help from the agency, or at least the offer of help.

The agency will mail out thousands of letters this week to those who are going through foreclosure as well as those who are at risk for doing so, to offer help. The agency has used this method to get people back on track for their loans, and help them to avoid foreclosure. The FHA is offering a method that allows these homeowners to get into better mortgages that are safer to the homeowner (and the lender) as well as helps them to get out of the higher costing mortgages they are currently facing.

A few months ago, the organization provided the same type of help to some 280,000 people. In that batch, from February, was just the first round. They plan to help at least 850,000 homeowners by September of 2008. The letters are part of the organization’s public awareness campaign, which stresses that homeowners have options beyond foreclosure.

There has been quite a bit of talk about foreclosure being the only solution for many struggling homeowners. While many people have selected to cut their losses and run, this is highly risky. Not only do they lose any investment into their homes they have made over the last few years, but they also put themselves in a situation where they may not be able to purchase a home for some time through damaged credit and financial struggle. This FHA program is alerting those homeowners best positioned to stay in their home through new loans.

In a statement about the letters going out, the HUD Secretary Steve Preston had this to say, “This letter might be the most important piece of mail many of these families will receive this year. This information could not only help save their current home, it could help provide them with long-term financial security. This outreach campaign will ensure families are aware of the safe mortgage alternative offered by FHA.”

Who Gets The Help?

The letters being sent by the FHA are a small fraction of the help available, but those receiving the letters should take advantage of them quickly. They are headed out to those who have already faced or are currently facing their first reset of the adjustable rate mortgage they have.

If you are one of the many that will receive this letter, act on it. FHA loans are highly desirable because they are backed by the federal government, are more affordable and they are safe, unlike many of the high risk loans out there that many homeowners are struggling with currently.

At the same time, if you are unable to get the help you need, or are facing a reset of your mortgage interest rate soon, you can still get help, even if you do not receive one of these loans. The FHA is available to anyone in the United States, though there are loan requirements.

If you are interested in finding out if you qualify for FHA loans, take the first step. While the organization cannot help all borrowers, it can help those that are struggling, those getting into loans, and even some of the higher loan amounts (the FHA has been approved to lend to those homes with values up to $729,750 through the end of the year at least.)

For those that get a letter from the FHA, do not make the mistake of tossing it out. It will be the most important letter you receive.