Posts Tagged ‘FHA’

What Is The Federal Housing Administration?

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

You are likely hearing a lot about the FHA, or Federal Housing Administration. They have become the backbone of the housing market currently and likely will continue to play a significant role until the economic crisis and financial markets free up. This is a good thing since the FHA has a long history of providing stability in the American housing market. They could be the resource you need to get into a home loan.

While this blog is about the FHA and loan available through it, it may be important to take a step back and find out who this organization is and why they are even around.

The FHA was created by the National Housing Act of 1934. It was created during the Great Depression, as a way of helping to support the American people in finding loans to borrow money to buy homes. The goals of the organization are specific:

• Improve housing standards and conditions
• Provide home loan financing through an insurance program for mortgage lenders
• Stabilize the mortgage market

During the Great Depression, the banking system had fallen and home loans availability was next to nothing. People could not afford their homes. When the banks failed, any mortgages out during that time (which ere shorter term and had no amortization) were called due. This caused many homeowners to foreclose on their homes for lack of funds to pay back the loans. When the Federal Housing Administration was created, its initial goal was to help regulate the interest and terms of the mortgages. Now, more people could afford a down payment and the monthly payment of their loan.

Over the last 70 plus years, the job of the Federal Housing Administration has changed somewhat, but in most terms, it still has the same job of stabilizing the housing market, specifically in terms of the availability of loans to buy homes.

Today’s Job

The FHA provides a level of insurance protection for the commercial lender. You borrow an FHA approved loan through these commercial lenders. They agree to charge you a lower rate of interest for this protection. If you default on the loan, the lender is able to get a payout for your loan.

The FHA has become one of the backbones in the housing market right now and will continue to be so. Home ownership is one of the most important factors of success in an economy. This is why so much attention is being placed on this department of the government right now. To right the economy, the housing market has to stabilize.

If you are interested in getting a home loan, find out what FHA loans are available to help you accomplish this.

New Administration: What This Means For HUD

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

President-Elect Obama announced that he would appoint Shaun Donovan to head up Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. HUD is an important part of the mortgage industry, indirectly. This department is responsible for the housing within the country. In this administration, during this economy, this new Secretary will need to find ways to jumpstart the housing market to help individuals find the homes they need.

In his radio address on December 13th, Mr. Obama said this about the housing market: “To end this economic crisis, we must end the mortgage crisis where it began.” He continued, “This all started when Americans took out mortgages they couldn’t afford. Some were reckless, aware of the risks they were accepting. But many were innocent, tricked by lenders out to make a quick buck.” Later, he added, “This is deeply troubling. It not only shakes the foundation of our economy, but the foundation of the American Dream.”

Later in his broadcast, he mentioned that one in ten homeowners face some level of stress in regards to their homeownership.

What This Means To You

Depending on who you are and what your circumstances are, there is hope available. While the new administration will likely put in place programs to continue to support the housing within the country, there are many programs already in place to help struggling homeowners. Those facing foreclosure or the risk of getting behind on their mortgage should take the time now to contact an FHA loan specialist. Determine what your options are, including programs like HOPE for Homeowners and easy refinancing options already in place.

What about those who are looking for a home to purchase? Are they safe to buy? Many of the predator lenders are gone. They have lost their funding since investors are no longer willing to gamble with high risk mortgages. It is safe to borrow money. Commercial lenders are actively seeking borrowers who are qualified to borrow. Interest rates are very low and FHA loans are readily available to help those who are able to make payments to get into homes.

While you may not be able to improve the economic crisis fully, you can improve your financial security by considering new loans now. Home prices are low. Home interest rates on loans are low. Programs are in place for refinancing quickly and affordably. Determine if you qualify for a home loan through an FHA specialist. You may be happy to learn there are so many options available.

HUD Mortgage Modification Program Offers Some Help

Monday, November 24th, 2008

As a homeowner struggling to make your monthly payment, you may have to choose between things like seeing a movie, Christmas presents or even food on the table just to keep the roof over your head. In a recent press release, HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a new loan modification program, which has plans to offer individuals struggling with their mortgage some help.

Note The Changes

The program, being called Hope for Homeowner, has undergone some further modifications. The goal is to get lenders to participate, something that has to happen for anyone to get their loan under the microscope for improvement. The new modifications to the program allow the lenders to write off less of the loan value than in prior situations.

The homeowner will benefit from this program because the lender will renegotiate the mortgage with them. They get a lower monthly payment and therefore have the money they need to make the monthly payment. In order to help make this possible, the loan terms (the length of the loan) can now go to as much as 40 years.

The Hope for Homeowners program is designed to help individuals to get into new loans if they are struggling with their own. The goal is to make the loans affordable for each borrower, so that foreclosure can be avoided. To do this, the rules of the program state that the monthly payment on the mortgage cannot be more than 31 percent of the homeowner’s monthly income.

The rules also allow for the lender to write down the loan to 96.5 percent f the home’s actual value. This is up from the 90 percent it was when the program first came to be this summer.  Another change is in the amount of debt that the home has. As a homeowner, you may not have household debt of more than 43 percent of your monthly income.

In order to qualify for the Hope for Homeowners program, your home loan must have originated prior to January of 2008. You also have to have a loan amount that is lower than $550,440.

Do You Qualify?

Many people may qualify for this program. Others may not. All should make the move now to find a solution to their current financial situation.  The Hope for Homeowner program is one option that many people have, and anyone who may be struggling right now to make their loan payments should contact a loan specialist to get some help in qualifying.

If you are otherwise struggling with your debts, even if you do not quality for this specific program there is still help available to some. Refinancing your loan is an option. There are also program in place to help you to liquidate the lien you have on your home through a second mortgage or equity line, so that you can actually qualify for the Hope for Homeowners program or refinance your home otherwise.

These changes to the program may in fact help encourage more lenders to start working with their struggling borrowers. You do not have to wait to see if your lender approaches you, though. In fact, you likely should not do this. Rather, you should work with an FHA loan specialist or other lender to try and find a better solution for your loan. In many situations, homeowners are never aware that they do have options for saving their home.

In fact, even if you are not behind on payments or struggling to make them, these professionals can help you to refinance your loan into more affordable terms or to help you simply to save money.

The Stocks Are Tanking: Here’s Where To Put Your Money

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Today, the stock market fell, again. How in the world will people make money if they keep losing it? The fact is, the financial markets are horrible and they are shaking even the most seasoned professional investors. So, as an individual with money, where should you put it?

One option you do have is to put the money towards a home investment. Buying real estate now just makes sense. In some areas of the country, the value of real estate has fallen 10 percent, 25 percent or as much as 50 percent. The good news is that the homes are still as highly valued (outside of the financial sense.) Buying a home now can help you safely invest your money. Consider the following.

Let’s say that in your area you invest in a home selling at $200,000. You secure a home loan at 6% through the FHA with a fixed interest rate. You put down $6000, which is the minimum 3% investment the FHA requires as a down payment.  You have a $1200 mortgage payment.

Over the next few years, the home continues to rise in value, as many real estate investors believe that this is the bottom and that housing values will continue to rise. So, in 5 years, at just a 3% gain in value per year, you could have a home valued at nearly $220,000. This would be a low gain, but a safe one.

As you can see, socking your money away into a home loan could make you a sizable profit over the long term. But, even as the market stays well priced, your money is safe. It is not going anywhere. Even if property values fall, you will still be making money in the long term. There is no telling what the future of the stock market is today, but there is only so much real estate available.  It is one of the safest loans.

Do You Qualify?

To get into a safe loan, do consider FHA loans. These loans are the most well priced homes you will find in the coming months. They offer a low down payment. They also provide you with a low interest rate that is fixed for the life of your loan. Those with credit scores that may be slightly low may still qualify for these loans. There are just so many options available.

It is your money and no one wants to lose their money. When you invest in real estate, you do not put your money on the line with investors who may or may not be too scared to allow the stock market to grow. Rather, you have a security at a very low rate. That home you bought for $200,000 was valued at $250,000 or even higher just a year and a half back. As the housing market picks up, it could be back at that level in just a few short months.  For most, this is an option for you.

Hope for Homeowners Program: Refinancing Opportunity for Borrowers

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

With all the latest legislation passing through Congress specifically aimed at the housing market, it’s getting not only harder to get loans but more difficult to understand it all.  Luckily, the HOPE for Homeowners Program looks to be one with a basic breakdown.  The program has authorization under the National Housing Act, which was amended earlier in the year by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.

What Does It Say?

HUD issued Mortgagee Letter 2008-29 detailing what this program includes.  First, it gives any current or delinquent borrowers the ability to refinance into a 30 year fixed rate loan through FHA. In order to qualify for this aspect, you must have made at least six payments on the mortgage prior to requesting the refinance.

Additionally, the program is designed for those who have a debt to income ratio higher than 31 percent with their current home loan.  The original loan must originate prior to January 1st, 2008.

  • Payment to income is limited to 31 percent while debt to income is limited to 43 percent.
  • These numbers may be higher, according to the program, following a three-month trial modification put in place through the program first.
  • There is a maximum loan of $550,440 on all loans through the HOPE for Homeowners program, (referenced as the H4H program.)
  • There is also a restriction of a 90 percent loan to value in place on these loans.
  • All homes must be owner occupied homes, on one unique properties
  • FHA approved appraisers must appraise the properties within three months prior to the closing
  • Origination fees are capped at 1 percent
  • Buyers do not pay closing costs and prepaid items upfront
  • A 3 percent upfront mortgage insurance premium and annual premium up to 1.5 percent will be applicable.

One of the unique aspects of the HOPE for Homeowners program is that lenders must insure that appraisals are complete within the letter of the law.  In other words, they are responsible for any poor or fraudulent appraisals that lead to an FHA insured mortgage.  Inflated home values, considered one of the problems within the housing market crash today.

More Information

The HOPE for Homeowners program promises to offer outstanding opportunities for homeowners to get out of the hole they are in.  Namely, they are able to get into FHA loans with a fixed rate, often lowering the amount they must pay monthly.

The program is available to those who have government loans and conventional prime loans, as well as Alt-A loans and the worrisome subprime loans. This includes most types of mortgages, too, including negative amortization, payment option and interest only mortgages.  There are legal restrictions, for example, any state or federal fraud conviction within the last ten years can disqualify an individual from obtaining the loans.

For homeowners struggling with their current loans, falling within these areas, there is no doubt that the HOPE for Homeowners Program offers a lifeline.  It is highly encouraged that you seek out FHA lenders to get the process started.