Monday, March 29 2010
The government’s newest housing rescue effort, which was announced Friday, includes these key tenets:
· As much as $14 billion of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) will be made available to pay for writing down second liens for loans whose borrowers refinance through the Federal Housing Administration.
· Lenders that facilitate refinances through the FHA will be required to write down the principal of the first mortgage by at least 10 percent so the home owner has a loan-to-value ratio no higher than 97.75 percent.
· Lenders of second liens will be offered incentives of 10 cents to 21 cents per dollar of principal they write down in connection with an FHA refinance.
· Borrowers who lose their jobs can apply to have their mortgage payments reduced for three to six months while they search for a new job.
· Borrowers with a payment still greater than 31 percent of income after they find a job will be considered for a permanent loan modification.
· To encourage more short sales and “deed in lieu” of foreclosure transactions in which the lender settles the loan for less than is owed, the government will double assistance to borrowers to $3,000 and increase incentives to subordinate lien holders and investors to $6,000.
Source: Reuters News (03/26/2010) http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2010032901?OpenDocument
Thursday, September 24 2009
U.S. home prices rose 0.3 percent in July compared to June, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said Tuesday.
The index is 4.2 percent below what it was in 2008 and 10.5 percent off its peak in April 2007.
The index excludes most expensive homes from its calculations, so prices appear to have declined less than they have by other measures.
The report "supports other evidence that the three-year long decline in prices has come to halt," Paul Dales, U.S. economist with Capital Economics, wrote in a note to clients.
Other economists were less positive. "We think house price indexes are likely to edge somewhat lower in the fall when foreclosures become a larger share of home sales," Barclays Capital economist Nicholas Tenev wrote in a note to his clients.
Source: The Associated Press, Alan Zibel (09/22/2009) http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2009092301?OpenDocument