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Articles Published in: February 2013

Minnesota Condo Association Settles Housing Discrimination Complaint

A recent press release issued on the FHA/HUD official site announces a settlement in a housing discrimination case. According to HUDNo.13-026, “The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that a homeowners association and property managers for an Edina, MN, condominium will pay more than $40,000 under a Consent Order resolving allegations that they refused to allow children under the age of 18 to live at the property in violation of the Fair Housing Act.” The release adds, “According to a condominium owner’s complaint filed with HUD, the condominium association told him and his wife that they were violating the association’s document by allowing their minor children to live with them for more than 30 days in a calendar year. In addition, the condominium association levied fines | more...

 

FHA Proposes Down Payment Changes For Larger FHA Loans

The FHA is considering changes to the maximum LTV and down payment rules for certain FHA mortgages (described by the FHA as those “in excess of $625,500”) according to the FHA official site. According to HUDNo.13-010, “FHA will announce a proposed increased down payment requirement for mortgages with original principal balances above $625,500.  The minimum down payment for these mortgages will increase from 3.5 to 5 percent.” “This change, coupled with the statutory maximum premiums charged for these loans, will help protect FHA and further facilitate its efforts to encourage higher levels of private market participation in the housing finance market.” In a statement published in the Federal Register Volume 78, Number 25, you’ll find some supplemental information including the following: “…the maximum LTV will be limited to 95 percent | more...

 

FHA HECM Loan Changes: When and How

On January 30, FHA issued guidance about pending changes to the FHA Home Equity Conversion Mortgage or HECM loan program. The changes affect all FHA HECM loans for fixed rate mortgages with case numbers assigned on or April 1, 2013. According to the FHA official site, “To help sustain the HECM program as a viable financial resource for aging homeowners and to strengthen the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, the HECM Saver will be the only initial MIP option available to mortgagors who seek the predictability of a fixed interest rate mortgage and lower upfront closing costs.” This, according to FHA Mortgagee Letter 2013-01, requires the lender to “designate HECM Saver as the initial MIP and use the HECM Saver principal limit factors to determine the amount of funds available to | more...

 

FHA Loan Rules: New Home Loans Following A Short Sale

We get many questions about FHA home loans following bankruptcy, foreclosures, or short sales. The FHA loan rules for new loans following a short sale can be a bit complicated as much depends on the status of the original loan prior to the short sale. What does the FHA say about getting a new loan in the wake of such a transaction? The FHA addresses short sale issues in Chapter Four of HUD 4155.1. Section C states, “A borrower is not eligible for a new FHA-insured mortgage if he/she pursued a short sale agreement on his/her principal residence simply to • take advantage of declining market conditions, and • purchase a similar or superior property within a reasonable commuting distance at a reduced price as compared to current market value.” | more...

 
White House Announces Federal Disaster Assistance For Texas

New “Final Rule” On Housing Discrimination Standards

The FHA and HUD have a new yardstick to measure housing discrimination and take appropriate action where needed, according to a recent press release issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. According to the press release HUDNo.13-022, HUD is “issuing a final rule to formalize the national standard for determining whether a housing practice violates the Fair Housing Act as the result of discriminatory effect.” “Through the issuance of this Rule,HUD is reaffirming its commitment to enforcing the Fair Housing Act in a consistent and uniform manner,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “This will ensure the continued strength of one of the most important tools for exposing and ending housing discrimination.” As the press release states, HUD is “statutorily charged with the authority and responsibility for interpreting and | more...

 

FHA Loan PMI Changes: A Reader Question

A reader asks. “I read somewhere that the PMI will no longer drop off after 78% of the LTV is reached and will remain on the loan until full payment. Is this true?” The FHA has indeed changed its rules concerning mortgage insurance premiums. We covered the FHA announcement in a recent post, but many borrowers or soon-to-be FHA loan applicants wonder if the new FHA loan rules for mortgage insurance apply to their loans. Let’s examine what the FHA has announced about mortgage insurance premiums. The changes are twofold–one is an increase in the MIP premiums, the other change has to do with mortgage insurance cancellation policy. In a press release titled, “FHA Takes Additional Steps To Bolster Capital Reserves” the agency announced; “FHA will increase its annual mortgage | more...

 

FHA Loan FICO Score Requirements: A Reader Question

A reader asks, “My credit score is 678. When my husband tried to get his FICO score, he was told he couldn’t because he did not meet the minimum scoring requirements. (He is just starting to build credit and has nothing). Will we be able to qualify for an FHA loan based on my credit score?” FHA loan rules have a lot to say on this. In HUD 4155.1, you’ll find the following under the section titled Analyzing The Borrower’s Credit: “Neither the lack of credit history nor the borrower’s decision not to use credit may be used as a basis for rejecting the loan application. We also recognize that some prospective borrowers may not have an established credit history. For those borrowers, and for those who do not use | more...

 

FHA Loan Reader Questions: FHA Loans After a Foreclosure

A reader asks, “I had a bankruptcy discharged in 2009. My mortgage was part of this bankruptcy however the bank did not foreclose until 2012. I am employed and have an average credit score of 678. Would I qualify for a FHA loan on a new property?” This is a tricky question because it includes both a bankruptcy AND a foreclosure. In such cases it’s best to contact the FHA directly for advice. Does the borrower’s two situations–bankruptcy and foreclosure–have any special consideration? There are different possibilities depending on the type of bankruptcy (not mentioned in the reader question), but let’s examine the FHA rules for the borrower’s more recent foreclosure issue. Can a borrower apply for an FHA mortgage in 2013 if there was a foreclosure action in 2012? | more...

 

FHA Loans After Foreclosure

We get many reader questions in the comments section asking about how long a borrower must wait in order to be eligible for a new FHA home loan following foreclosure. We’ve answered this question many times quoting the rules and regulations found in the FHA loan rulebook, HUD 4155.1. Now the Federal Housing Commissioner, Carol Galante, has issued some guidance on the subject. While her words are directed toward “stakeholders” and not necessarily consumers in particular, she has an important message that borrowers need to be aware of when considering applying for an FHA loan in the wake of foreclosure proceedings. Galante says, “Recently, we have seen a proliferation of web-based and print advertising regarding the sup- posed ease of obtaining an FHA-insured loan following a foreclosure. Often, this advertising | more...

 

FHA Loan Rule Changes

The FHA has issued several rule changes recently including alterations to the FHA HECM and HECM Saver programs, new guidelines for mortgage insurance, and also the procedures for how some FHA loan applications must be processed with credit scores and debt-to-income ratios that exceed certain new guidelines. For example, FHA refinance loans for borrowers with negative equity in their homes have new guidelines which state, “Refinances of Borrowers in Negative Equity Position where the borrower has a decision credit score below 620 and the debt-to-income ratio exceeds 43.00% must be manually underwritten.” The same is true in cases of FHA Energy Efficient Mortgages. New FHA rules state, “While Energy Efficient Mortgages where the borrower has a decision credit score below 620 and the debt-to-income ratio exceeds 43.00% must be manually | more...