Wednesday, January 20, 2010

FHA announces significant policy changes

This is important news for first time home buyers or other buyers who will be using FHA to finance their next home!! Listen up and read this.....

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures about 30 percent of new loans, and its health is vital for the housing market. But as foreclosures have risen, the government agency has seen its losses rise and its reserves sink below the minimum level required by Congress. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) more than 18 percent of FHA borrowers are at least one payment behind or in foreclosure, compared with 14 percent for all loans. In addition, some unscrupulous operators have shifted their business to the FHA after the subprime business went bust. Last week, the FHA served subpoenas on 15 mortgage companies with suspiciously high default rates for FHA loans, part of a broad crackdown on dubious lenders. To address the problems, the FHA announced policy changes designed to more revenue into the agency, while at the same time keeping loans available. The changes include: 1) homebuyers will Pay an upfront mortgage insurance premium of 2.25 percent of the
total loan amount, up from the current level of 1.75 percent. FHA officials also plan to ask Congress to increase the maximum annual premium that FHA can charge. Borrowers will still be able to wrap these fees into the total amount borrowed. 2) homebuyers will need a credit score of at least 580 to qualify. Borrowers with a score lower than 580 will need a down payment of at least 10 percent. There is also talk that the down payment guidelines maybe changing! As of today a buyer needs 3.5% down. A new bill was just introduced changing this to 5% down!!

It is time to get off the fence before it is to late. This will people a lot of potential buyers out of the market completely!!