About Government Refinance and Home Purchase Programs

Information and Updates on Government Mortgage Programs

Archive for January, 2010...

Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

The Obama Administration’s Home Affordable Refinance Program, like so many other programs before it, has not delivered as well as hoped. One of the hurdles borrowers and lenders are facing is the documentation required to qualify for the program. The Fed recently announced it was going to reduce those documentation requirements in a bid to speed the program along. We get this from a Washington Post article on the topic:

Facing mounting criticism about the effectiveness of the government’s foreclosure-prevention efforts, the Obama administration announced Thursday that it will tighten the documentation requirements for borrowers applying for its marquee mortgage relief program.

Starting June 1, borrowers must prove they qualify for the mortgage help upfront, providing two pay stubs and other paperwork before their payments can be lowered. The change attempts to prevent a repeat of the current backlog of borrowers who received mortgage relief after a phone conversation with their lender but did not satisfy the government’s documentation requirements within three months.

While lenders blamed borrowers for not submitting their documentation on time, homeowners and housing counselors have complained that banks often lost the paperwork. In some cases, lenders have been slow to complete the loan modification even after the borrower met all the requirements, they have said. Government officials said the new paperwork requirements will be easier to understand and less onerous for borrowers.

Comments (0) Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Friday, January 29th, 2010

Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

See the official mortgagee letter here for the details. Right now the upfront FHA fee is 1.75%. Starting on April 5th 2010 that will increase to 2.25%. When you combine that with the fact that interest rates will likely be rising soon now is definitely the time to refinance with the FHA if you are a candidate. Contact us in the sidebar if you are a candidate for an FHA refinance.

Comments (0) Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

Several news sources are reporting that the FHA is about to raise the upfront mortgage insurance premium for an FHA loan from 1.75% to 2.25%. This will make refinancing more expensive. We’ll report more details on the timing of the forthcoming changes as they are announced.

Comments (0) Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

The Obama Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) are still getting mixed reviews as we approach their one year anniversary. Several new outlets are reporting that the programs are still moving along pretty slowly. Here are some bits from a WSJ article on the topic:

Thousands of homeowners participating in the Obama administration’s foreclosure-prevention plan could miss a government deadline for completing necessary paperwork, putting them at risk of disqualification.

The program, a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s housing-rescue effort, was launched in February and has been bedeviled by paperwork problems from the start. Many companies have given borrowers modified mortgage terms on a trial basis, based on verbal information, and have struggled to get the documents required to finalize mortgage modifications.

According to data released by the Treasury Department Friday, more than 900,000 borrowers have begun trial modifications under the program, but just 7% of them have received permanent changes so far. …

he administration has said the mortgage program could help as many as four million borrowers. It provides financial incentives for mortgage companies and investors to reduce loan payments to affordable levels.

Through December, 66,465 borrowers had received permanent fixes; an additional 46,056 modifications have been finalized, but await the borrower’s signature. The number of borrowers who have received completed modifications, while low, has more than doubled since November. The Treasury Department announced in December a “conversion drive” designed to increase permanent fixes.

Comments (0) Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

The pending mortgage rate increase is becoming a foregone conclusion. If you have an ARM mortgage or would like to lock your mortgage rate in below 6% for any other reason contact us now in the sidebar. Rates will likely be above 6% again soon so the window of opportunity to refinance is closing.

Here is an excerpt from a recent Reuters article:

U.S. home loan rates could rise by as much as three-quarters of a percentage point in the spring as the Federal Reserve ends its mortgage bonds purchase program, a top Fed policymaker said in an interview published on Saturday.

Comments (0) Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

The Fed has been buying billions of dollars of mortgage backed securities in the last years or so, fueling the huge drop in mortgage interest rated we saw in 2009. Well the plan is to cut that program off in March and that is fueling fears that rates will be skyrocketing soon. We get this from a recent WSJ article:

The Federal Reserve’s pledge to stop buying mortgages by the end of March is sparking fears among home builders, mortgage investors and even some Fed officials that mortgage rates could rise and knock the fragile housing recovery off course.

The recent rise in mortgage rates could be a prelude to even bigger increases in coming months as the Fed steps away from support for the market. That prospect has some in the markets counting on the Fed to change course and keep buying past March, which many officials are reluctant to do.

When such a big investor stops buying, “that could lead to material increases in [interest] rates across the board,” said Ronald Temple, portfolio manager at Lazard Asset Management. He sees mortgage rates rising by a percentage point when the Fed stops buying. A withdrawal of government support, combined with high unemployment and rising mortgage foreclosures, could push home prices down 20%, he said.

Comments (0) Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Friday, January 8th, 2010

Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

There was an article in the LA Times recently talking more about the likelihood of mortgage interest rates increasing dramatically in 2010. Here are some bits from that piece:

Mortgage rates are continuing their creep upward in a trend that well may choke off a recent refinancing boom and provide a test of the strength of the housing market in 2010. …

The climb comes even though a government effort to keep rates low is in place for a while longer. A Federal Reserve program to spend $1.25 trillion to support the market for mortgage-backed securities is scheduled to end in the spring.

Every tick up in loan rates makes it less likely that someone with an existing mortgage will refinance to save money.

But rates in the 5% range remain extraordinarily low by historical standards, offering a huge incentive for buyers.

For example, principal and interest payments on a new 30-year fixed-rate mortgage were about one-third less than they were in May 2000, when rates peaked at 8.6%, said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s vice president and chief economist.

Comments (0) Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Saturday, January 2nd, 2010