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The waiver will take effect on Feb. 1, 2010, and be effective for one year, unless otherwise extended or withdrawn by the FHA Commissioner.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: