About Government Refinance and Home Purchase Programs

Information and Updates on Government Mortgage Programs
Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

The White House recently announced a major economic stimulus package. Here are the portions of it related to mortgage relief:

The Administration Has Taken Steps To Help Struggling American Homeowners

In September, the President and his Administration launched a new initiative at the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) called FHASecure. FHASecure expands the FHA’s ability to offer refinancing by giving it the flexibility to work with homeowners who have good credit histories but cannot afford their current payments. By the end of 2008, the FHA expects this program to help more than 300,000 families refinance their homes.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson have facilitated the private-sector HOPE NOW alliance. HOPE NOW has developed a plan under which up to 1.2 million homeowners could be eligible for assistance. This plan will help subprime borrowers who can afford the current, starter rate on a subprime loan, but would not be able to make the higher payments once the interest rate goes up.

President Bush signed the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, which will help Americans avoid foreclosure by protecting families from higher taxes when they refinance their home mortgages. This Act created a three-year window for homeowners to refinance their mortgage and pay no Federal taxes on any debt forgiveness they receive.

Congress Has More Work To Do To On Measures To Help Families Stay In Their Homes

The President has called on Congress since August to complete work on responsible legislation modernizing the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). This bill will give FHA the necessary flexibility to help hundreds of thousands of additional families qualify for prime-rate financing.

Congress needs to pass legislation permitting State and local governments to help troubled borrowers by issuing tax-exempt bonds for refinancing existing home loans. Under current law, cities and States can issue tax-exempt bonds to finance new mortgages for first-time homebuyers, but States are unable to do the same for homeowners seeking to refinance. Congress needs to pass legislation to reform Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. GSEs provide liquidity to the mortgage market that benefits millions of homeowners, and it is vital that they operate safely and soundly. The President has called on Congress to pass legislation that strengthens independent regulation of the GSEs and ensures they focus on their important housing mission.

The President strongly believes that government assistance must be responsible — the wrong answer, such as a bailout, could actually prolong the problem.

Comments (0) Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Saturday, January 19th, 2008


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