February 23, 2012
A recent reader question included a mention of the Hope For Homeowners program, also known as H4H. The reader was specifically asking whether it is possible to rent a property that qualifies under H4H. But what exactly is Hope For Homeowners? In 2008 the subprime mortgage crisis created a major problem for homeowners–and not just those risking loan default and foreclosure. Property values were falling and many who purchased their homes found themselves owing more money than their property was worth. In an attempt to stabilize the market, Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 was signed into law on October 3, 2008. Part of that new law included Hope For Homeowners, which was created to prevent qualified home owners from defaulting on their loans, and avert foreclosure. H4H allowed qualified | more...
December 14, 2011
In a recent blog post we discussed the FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage Loan (EEM) and some of the basics of the program. The FHA EEM is for new purchase and refinancing mortgages and lets the borrower finance additional costs of energy-efficient upgrades or improvements to the home. Because the FHA loan program has loan limits and specific rules that govern those limits, it is easy to see how borrowers new to the FHA loan program could be confused by the terms of such a loan. After all, if a borrower can add at least $4,000 (or as much as $8,000 depending on the circumstances) to the FHA loan, how does one roll the costs of the improvements into the mortgage without exceeding the FHA loan limit for that purchase? According | more...
December 8, 2011
According to HUD.gov, there are a variety of options for borrowers to consider when trying to avoid FHA loan default or foreclosure. The options are not guaranteed for all borrowers–you may be required to qualify for each program depending on your circumstances, whether or not you are current on the FHA home loan and other factors. It’s very important to consider these options before you have missed any payments or are in ongoing financial trouble on the loan–doing so keeps you eligible for the most advantageous terms and options. FHA Borrowers who want to modify or refinance their loans for lower payments should consider one or more of the following options: Home Affordable Modification Program: This program, also known as HAMP, lowers the borrower’s monthly mortgage payment to 31 percent | more...
September 20, 2011
Time is running out on the Hope For Homeowners program which is currently set to stop permitting endorsements after September 30, 2011. During the sub-prime mortgage crisis, the Hope For Homeowners program was created to help stabilize the housing market. It was originally created to prevent qualified home owners from defaulting on their loans, and avert foreclosure. Those in danger of defaulting on FHA home loans were urged to call their lenders and request an evaluation for eligibility in the program. According to the Hope For Homeowners Act of 2008, borrowers were eligible of the original loan originated before 2008, the loan default was not caused intentionally, and the borrower didn’t have multiple home loans. This was not a simple refinancing plan similar to other loan forbearance or FHA loan | more...
June 14, 2011
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has sent guidance to lenders and FHA mortgagees about the phase-out of the Hope For Homeowners program, which is due to effectively end on September 30, 2011. During the housing market crisis of 2008, the federal government created several programs in an attempt to help stabilize the American housing market. As part of that effort, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 was signed into law, which included authorization to create programs like HOPE For Homeowners. HOPE was intended to prevent qualified applicants from going into default and foreclosure by offering affordable refinancing programs featuring fixed-rate mortgages. FHA Mortgagee Letter 11-20 announced the phase-out of HOPE For Homeowners, including a July 29, 2011 deadline for new case numbers under the HOPE refinancing program. | more...
April 19, 2011
FHA borrowers have a new resource to look to in order to become more educated borrowers and avoid foreclosure scams. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced a new awareness campaign called Know It. Avoid It. Report It. According to an April 18, 2011 HUD press release, the campaign has launched in Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles and has two missions; one to direct homeowners in financial trouble toward reputable counselors and anti-foreclosure resources, the other to get the help of homeowners to shut down scams and con artists. The HUD press release warns home owners, “Newly deceptive scam artist tactics lure homeowners into misleading agreements. Their tactics include giving the false impression that they are affiliated with the government, charging illegal up-front fees, and executing fraudulent lease-back, | more...
January 4, 2011
When borrowers get into trouble on their FHA mortgages, the FHA encourages them to act quickly in order to save their homes. But some borrowers don't act fast enough and fail to qualify for some government home loan modification or refinancing programs. Other borrowers aren't qualified for certain programs even when they do act. In cases where a borrower has tried loan refinancing, modification or other home owner bailout programs there may be an alternative to foreclosure in the form of something known as the short sale.
December 17, 2010
When an FHA loan applicant completes paperwork for the first time, they may notice the FHA has different requirements for those who are self-employed than for those who are employees. If you work for an employer, your income reporting requirements are comparatively simple; self employed FHA borrowers must furnish tax returns and other business documentation to prove a regular, dependable flow of income from their business ventures. But what about FHA borrowers who don't own their own business but are employed by a business owned and operated by their family?
November 3, 2010
First time home buyers often feel a bit lost in the sea of loan vocabulary, federal laws and credit requirements they have to deal with in order to buy their new home. If you want to buy a new home with an FHA loan, there are plenty of people willing to help. Unfortunately not all of them have the home buyer's best interests in mind. That's one of the reasons for the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act or RESPA for short, which requires lenders to provide a standardized Good Faith Estimate -- a document that clearly lists the terms of the home loan and closing costs.
June 12, 2009
FHA borrowers were told they could use the loan as a down payment on their homes, but legal issues prevent banks from issuing down payment assistance on FHA mortgages. Since the initial May announcement, the rules have been revised so that such bridge loans are used within federal guidelines.