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Tag Archives: FHA

FHA launches short refi opportunity for underwater homeowners

WASHINGTON – Aug. 9, 2010 – In an effort to help responsible homeowners who owe more on their mortgage than the value of their property, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provided new details about a refinance program it announced earlier this year that helps responsible homeowners who owe more on their mortgage than the value of their property.

Starting Sept. 7, 2010, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will offer certain “underwater” non-FHA borrowers a new FHA-insured mortgage. To qualify, an owner must be current on his existing mortgage, and his lender must agree to write off at least 10 percent of the unpaid principal on the first mortgage.

“We’re throwing a lifeline out to those families … experiencing financial hardships because property values in their community have declined,” says FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens. “This is another tool to help overcome the negative equity problem facing many responsible homeowners who are looking to refinance into a safer, more secure mortgage product.”

Other details: A homeowner’s existing loan cannot be FHA insured, and the refinanced FHA-insured first mortgage must have a loan-to-value ratio no more than 97.75 percent. The owner must qualify for a new loan under standard FHA underwriting requirements and have a credit score equal of 500 or higher. The property must be the homeowner’s primary residence, and the new debt must bring the borrower’s combined loan-to-value ratio to no greater than 115 percent.

Interested homeowners should contact their lenders to find out if they’re eligible, and to determine whether the lender will write down a portion of the unpaid principal. If a homeowner qualifies, the U.S. Department of Treasury will provide incentives to existing second lien holders who agree to full or partial extinguishment of the liens. To be eligible, servicers must execute a Servicer Participation Agreement (SPA) with Fannie Mae, in its capacity as financial agent for the United States, on or before Oct. 3, 2010.

The FHA provided complete details in a six-page mortgagee letter that can be downloaded in PDF format. To read the letter, go to:

Updated Lending Info

John Fenech’s
Lending Reminders:

FHA Financing
• FHA maximum loan in Tampa Bay $292,500
• FHA down payment needed from borrower 3.5%. All of this can come from a family gift.
• FHA seller concessions currently at 6% of purchase price
• FHA processing time for SLS is approximately 30 days.
• Owner occupied only

VA Financing
• Maximum loan amount in Tampa Bay $417,000
• 00000 money down required
• Closing costs and prepaids can be paid by seller to 4%
• Limit borrowers escrow money because normally no money allowed back.
• Owner occupied only

• Maximum loan amount is $417,000.
• Minimum down payment is 95% loan to value
• Borrower MUST have their own 5% into the transaction prior to gifts being used unless the gift is 20% of the purchase price or more.
• Rate adjustments for loan to value and credit scores
• Owner occupied, second homes, investor loans.

For more info on lending requirements call John at 727-827-1818

A Golden Opportunity: 203k Program Helps First-Time Buyers Turn Dreams into Reality

FHA 203k streamline loan helps buyers of single family homes renovate and wrap up the renovation costs in to the loan. This is a great program for people buying distressed homes or dated property.

I recently completed my first 203k FHA loan with a young couple purchasing a home in Historic Kenwood, the deal wasn’t as simple as the story below. Our deal was a “short sale” and the buyers didn’t know about this program until after the home inspection revealed several problems that would have prevented our purchase with a normal FHA loan. This home needed electrical updates and plumbing issues as well as pealing paint on the out side of the home.

FHA sends out an inspector, if the home isn’t in good shape they will not fund the loan. In our case the seller wasn’t able to make the repairs so the 203k was our best option.

It did take several months to close due because we needed to renegotiate with the sellers lender on the sales price because of the updates and repairs needed. The FHA 203k loan was the only way they would have been able to buy this home so in the end it all worked out. (Just a FYI the 203k loan does take 90 days + & the cost of the loan is higher.)

If you’re finding all the homes in your price range need of updates (no structural work) the FHA 203k loan maybe a great option.

RisMedia story on a 203K loan

FHA 90 no filling rule change!

This is a great change, in the past FHA required a home be owned for at least 91 days before a buyer using FHA financing could write an offer. This prevented good buyer getting the home they wanted if they needed to use FHA financing to buy a home.

Example: An investor purchased a home at a foreclosure sale at 20% below market value, after closing on the property the investor put the home on the market, at market value to make a profit. Only buyers who were paying cash or using conventional financing could buy the home right away. This prevented FHA buyers being able to bid on the home unless the investor held the property for 91 days before accepting an FHA offer. With the new changes a FHA buyers will be able to make an offer right away.

There are some other conditions like: The investor can’t mark up the property more than 20% unless they had work done to the home and provide receipts. For more info check out

FHA Financing Requirements – The Changes to FHA Financing Requirements For 2010

OK, there are some interesting changes which will take pace later this year to FHA financed loans. The government has been facing higher defaults with FHA insured loans over the past couple of year’s, in order to build up reserves they are making some changes.

If you are looking to buy a home using FHA financing the window to closing and avoid higher fees is closing quick.

Also, I hear the government is going to adjust the key interest rate at which they loan money to banks this will adjust the interest rate you will be able to get when buying a home. Just a 1% jump in interest rates, is like seeing a 10% increase in the price of a home. My advice would be don’t delay, if you find a home you love and plan on living there for 3+ years you should buy now.

Future changes with FHA:

FHA financing requirements, change from time to time to match the market and the risk of loss. Since the collapse of the financial markets in 07,08 FHA financing has been the primary source for home buyers to obtain a real estate loan with a low down payment. This is the reason for the changes you are about to see.

Imagine the market slips by another 5-10% and the unemployment numbers go about 10%, many borrowers who used FHA financing in the past 3-4 years could find them selves in foreclosure or needing to do a short sale to get out of their home because they have little to no equity in their home. FHA being the #1 source for finding for these low down payment loans could find them selves in a very bad situation. The tax payers could also be facing another bailout. So in order to protect government backed loans and us the tax payers these are the latest rounds of changes.

Initial up-front MIP increase will be raised by.50 to 2.25% will be released in a Mortgagee Letter tomorrow Jan 21 and will go into effect in the spring (example $200,000 loan will now costs the borrower $1,000 more, this is to help cover the losses already seen by FHA)

Borrower will be required to have a min credit score of 580 to qualify for 3.5% down, if score less than 580 must have 10% down this will go into effect in early summer

Seller concessions will be reduced from 6% to 3%, will be posted in February will go into effect in the early summer.

Lender performances, Neighborhood watch will be available on HUD website on February 1

Enhanced monitoring of lender performance, implement credit watch termination through lender underwriting ID in addition to origination ID will be released in Mortgagee Letter tomorrow Jan 21 and is effective immediately

Pursuing authority to increase enforcement on lenders to assume liability for all the loans they originate and underwrite

Legislative authority permitting HUD flexibility to establish areas of review and termination to withdraw originating and underwriting approval for lender nationwide on the basis of the performance of its regional branches.

FHA financing is still the only program that allows a borrower to purchase a home with 3.5% down payment. These changes could effect your ability to qualify for a loan so check with your lender to make sure you will meet the minimum requirements before you make an offer.

FHA to provide early relief to struggling homeowners

WASHINGTON – Jan. 25, 2010 – At-risk homeowners with FHA-insured mortgage loans are now eligible for loss mitigation assistance before they fall behind on their mortgage payments. Previously, homeowners weren’t eligible until they missed payments.

The Helping Families Save Their Home Act of 2009 expanded FHA’s authority to use its loss mitigation tools to assist FHA borrowers avoid foreclosure, including those facing “imminent default” as defined by the Secretary.

“Loss mitigation assistance is beneficial to both borrowers and FHA because it helps borrowers retain their homes while protecting the FHA insurance fund from unnecessary losses,” says FHA Commissioner David Stevens. “Now servicers will have additional options for those borrowers who seek help before they go delinquent.”

The change is effective immediately under FHA’s Home Affordable Modification Program (FHA-HAMP) ( with the following rules:

• FHA defines “FHA borrower facing imminent default” to be current or less than 30 days past due on the mortgage obligation and experiencing a significant reduction in income or some other hardship that will prevent him or her from making the next required payment on the mortgage.

• A forbearance agreement allows the loan servicer to postpone, reduce or suspend payments due on a loan for a limited and specific time period.

• FHA-HAMP allows qualified FHA-insured borrowers to reduce their monthly mortgage payment to an affordable level by permanently reducing the payment through the use of a partial claim combined with a loan modification. The partial claim defers the repayment of a portion of the mortgage principal through an interest-free subordinate mortgage that is not due until the first mortgage is paid off. The remaining balance is then modified through re-amortization and, in some cases, an interest rate reduction.

The borrower must be able to document the cause of an imminent default, which may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following types of hardship:

1. A reduction in or loss of income that was supporting the mortgage loan, e.g., unemployment, reduced job hours, reduced pay, or a decline in self-employed business earnings. A scheduled temporary shutdown of the employer, (such as for a scheduled vacation), would not in and of itself be adequate to support an imminent default.

2. A change in household financial circumstances, e.g., death in family, serious or chronic illness, permanent or short-term disability.

Loan servicers must document the basis for its determination that a payment default is imminent and retain all documentation used to reach its conclusion. The servicer’s documentation must also include information on the borrower’s financial condition.

Additional information and guidance can be found on HUD’s website. (

The FHA 90 day no resale rule is about to change Feb 1st. Great News for buyers!

This is some great new for buyers using FHA financing. In an effort to stabilize home values and improve conditions in communities where foreclosure activity is high, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced a temporary policy that will expand access to FHA mortgage insurance to allow for a quicker resale of foreclosed properties. The policy change will permit buyers to use FHA-insured financing to purchase HUD-owned properties, bank-owned properties or properties resold through private sales.

“As a result of the tightened credit market, FHA-insured mortgage financing is often the only means of financing available to potential homebuyers,” says Donovan. “FHA has an unprecedented opportunity to fulfill its mission by helping many homebuyers find affordable housing while contributing to neighborhood stabilization.”

With certain exceptions, FHA currently prohibits insuring a mortgage on a home owned by the seller for less than 90 days. This temporary waiver will give FHA borrowers access to a broader array of recently foreclosed properties.

“This change in policy is temporary and will have very strict conditions and guidelines to assure that predatory practices are not allowed,” Donovan says.

Acquiring, rehabilitating and reselling foreclosed properties to prospective homeowners often takes less than 90 days in today’s market; and FHA’s 90-day rule can adversely impact buyers if a seller is unwilling to hold a property 90 days thanks to holding costs and the risk of vandalism.

“FHA borrowers, because of the restrictions we are now lifting, have often been shut out from buying affordable properties,” says FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens. “This action will enable our borrowers, especially first-time buyers, to take advantage of this opportunity.”

The waiver will take effect on Feb. 1, 2010, and be effective for one year, unless otherwise extended or withdrawn by the FHA Commissioner. To protect FHA borrowers against predatory practices of “flipping,” the waiver is limited to those sales meeting the following general conditions:

• All transactions must be arms-length, with no identity of interest between the buyer and seller or other parties participating in the sales transaction.

• In cases in which the sales price of the property is 20 percent or more above the seller’s acquisition cost, the waiver will only apply if the lender meets specific conditions.

• The waiver is limited to forward mortgages, and does not apply to the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for purchase program.

• Specific conditions and other details of this new temporary policy are in the text of the waiver, available on HUD’s website:

The Waterford town homes in Clearwater FL

David Price with Coldwell Banker is pleased to announce 2525 Harn Blvd #5, Clearwater, FL 33764. A 2 bedroom 1.5 bath town home listed with Coldwell Banker and The Price Group.

First time home buyer and investors! This like new townhouse built in 2004 is light bright, open and has a very functional floor plan with high ceilings. Huge living and dining room, large kitchen w/island for the gourmet cook, wood cabinets and great storage. Inside laundry room on the 2nd floor. Covered front porch for morning coffee and an open back patio for the BBQ. You are walking distance to the Morningside pool & recreation center & the Trail, the perfect place to bike, roller blade & walk.

This property qualifies for FHA financing with a low 3.5% down payment. First time buyers may be eligible for the $8,000 tax credit. You would need to be under contract before 4/30/10 and close by June 30th 2010. Close to Clearwater beach just 8 miles away, malls, medical facilities, Starbucks and local restaurants. 20 minutes to downtown St. Pete. Not a short sale! So no waiting for 3-6 months to close, you could be living in this home in just 3 weeks.

For a private showing call David Price 727-851-6189 anytime.

Federal program to help first-time buyers use tax credit for downpayment

WASHINGTON – May 13, 2009 – First-time homebuyers will soon have another option if they want to use their $8,000 tax credit toward a downpayment. On the tails of a Florida-created program that Gov. Charlie Crist is expected to sign into law, the federal government announced its own downpayment assistance program at the National Association of Realtors® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo taking place this week in Washington, D.C.

While the tax credit applies to “first-time homebuyers,” the term is misleading. In general, anyone who hasn’t owned a home for the past three years is considered a first-timer under the program. Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), hopes to have additional details available within a few days, though it’s still unclear how soon homebuyers can apply for the credit.

Donovan said that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) would allow its lenders to credit homeowners up to $8,000. He made the announcement to several thousand Realtors yesterday at a special daylong session called, The Real Estate Summit: Advancing the U.S. Economy.

“We all want to enable FHA consumers to access the homebuyer tax credit funds when they close on their home loans, so that the cash can be used as a downpayment,” Donovan said. According to Donovan, FHA approved lenders will be permitted to “monetize” the tax credit by using short-term bridge loans. Donovan also said that more will be done, and the Obama administration plans to further stabilize the housing market.

“I do think we have some early signs that the market overall is stabilizing,” said Donovan. “Since January, we’ve seen both home sales moving up and down around a relatively stable number, and we are seeing the first signs that the rapid decline in home prices is starting to abate.”