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Articles Published in: August 2011

FHA Assistance For Iowa Storm Victims

Hurricane Irene and its aftermath have dominated headlines in the last part of August 2011, and while recovery efforts continue other communities are also getting assistance for non-hurricane related issues. The most recent press release from the FHA and Department of Housing and Urban Development announced FHA help for Hurricane Irene victims in Puerto Rico, but in Iowa, help is also on the way for those who experienced storm and flood damage from weather problems in July. According to HUD press release 11-176, “HUD will speed federal disaster assistance to the State of Iowa and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes following severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of July 9-14, 2011.” On August 30, 2011, President Obama declared federal disaster areas | more...

 

Shopping Around for an FHA Home Loan

If you are a first-time house hunter interested in buying a home with an FHA-insured mortgage, there are several things you should know about the FHA home loan process. It’s easy to assume that because a lender is FHA-approved, they offer the same services, rates and other features as any lender participating in the FHA loan program. But is that a safe assumption to make? Borrowers should know before applying for an FHA home loan that the FHA loan program is voluntary–the government does not require lenders to participate. That means a lender is free to withdraw from the program and stop offering new FHA home loans. Banks that do participate must comply with FHA regulations, the Fair Housing Act, and other rules. So while borrowers can safely expect an | more...

 

Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program Extended

Qualified FHA borrowers at risk of foreclosure on FHA mortgages could find help from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. According to a press release from FHA/HUD, FHA borrowers in 27 states and Puerto Rico have another chance to apply for funding from the Emergency Homehowners’ Loan Program. In a release dated August 29, 2011, it was announced, “The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and NeighborWorks America today reopened the application process for the Emergency Homeowners

 

FHA Loan Resources For Those Affected By Recent Hurricanes and Other Natural Disasters

2011 has brought one of the worst summers on record for homeowners–hurricanes, floods, and other disasters have given FHA borrowers plenty to worry about when it comes to their property. The FHA has a lot of resources that can help. Borrowers who need assistance in the wake of disasters can find a wealth of information, application forms and counseling online. Some excellent general assistance is available at http://www.katrinarecovery.disasterhelp.gov/, which was originally set up to assist those recovering in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Another resource many are in need of, especially in the early days of disaster recovery, is assistance with emergency housing and registering with FEMA. Get help with those issues, plus much more at the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s official help page. In federally-declared disaster areas | more...

 

FHA Borrowers Beware: Fraudsters Targeting Homeowners In Trouble

FHA and conventional borrowers in California and elsewhere have been targeted by alleged scam artists claiming to help borrowers avoid foreclosure by adding their names to lawsuits (for a fee) against financial institutions. According to an August 19, 2011 L.A. Times article by E. Scott Reckard, the California Attorney General is pursuing actions against a group of Southern California lawyers and their associates for such activities. The action stems from situations where homeowners were allegedly tricked into paying up to $10 thousand each to be included as plaintiffs in lawsuits. According to legal paperwork filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, “Consumers are led to believe that joining these lawsuits will stay foreclosures, reduce their loan balances, entitle them to monetary benefits and potentially get them their homes free and | more...

 

FHA Loans: What Does It Mean To Be Listed in CAIVRS?

Any type of home loan includes a credit check, including FHA insured mortgages. But FHA loans include an extra requirement when it comes to credit–the borrower is not eligible for an FHA mortgage if he or she is delinquent on any type of federal debt. An FHA approved lender is required to check to insure the borrower is not delinquent on any debt owed to the government; that check is done using a system called CAIVRS, which stands for Credit Alert Interactive Voice Response System. This system provides a list of all people currently in default on an FHA insured mortgage, those who have had a government-backed home loan foreclosed on in the last 36 months, and those who are delinquent on a debt owed to the government. According to | more...

 

FHA Condo Loans and Conversion Projects

FHA loans aren’t just for typical suburban homes–borrowers can apply for an FHA insured mortgage on many different types of properties, including condominium projects. It would be easy to assume that FHA loans are only for existing condo projects since FHA guidelines state all condo loans may be issued only on FHA-approved condos. But FHA loans may also be issued for condo conversion projects if they are approved and meet FHA requirements. One of the first hurdles for a condo conversion project to clear in order to be considered for an FHA insured condo loan is the definition of “conversion”. According to FHA rules, “Conversion to a condominium regime occurs in those projects which involve

 

New FHA Loan Limits: How Do They Affect HECM Loans?

Recently the FHA issued a press release announcing new FHA limits which take effect October 1, 2011. On that day, single family loan limits in high-cost counties would be lowered, but the majority of the country would see no change to FHA loan limits, according to the FHA official site. The new loan limits were originally implemented in 2008 as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, but those limits were delayed under the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. Under the new FHA loan limits, “The current standard (floor) loan limit for areas where housing costs are relatively low will remain unchanged at $271,050 for one-unit properties.

 

FHA Loan Modifications: When Does a Trial Payment Plan Fail?

In a recent blog post we discussed FHA loan foreclosure avoidance options, and what happens when a lender agrees to work with the borrower to do a trial loan modification. In some circumstances a borrower is required to complete a trial payment plan successfully before a more long-term loan modification program can begin. According to the FHA, “A trial payment plan is an important tool for confirming a mortgagor

 

FHA Announces New Loan Limits Effective October 1, 2011

The FHA has issued a press release detailing changes to the FHA loan limits. The new limits will be lower in high-cost counties unless Congress introduces legislation to change the loan limits. According to a Friday, August 19, 2011 press release, “On October 1, 2011, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will implement new single-family loan limits as specified by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA).