About Government Refinance and Home Purchase Programs

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

FHA reform is only one component of the economic stimulus bill that is working its way through the senate after passing in the House of Representatives already. Once the senate approves the President is expected to sign the bill immediately. The goal date set by Senate majority leader Harry Reid is Feb. 15, 2008. Here is a portion of a recent AP article that touches on the mortgage related aspects of the new bill:

The House plan includes two provisions designed to boost the ailing housing market, although lawmakers, under pressure from the Treasury Department, limited the duration of one of them.

The measure increases the size of Federal Housing Administration-backed loans from $362,790 to as high as $729,750 in expensive parts of the country such as the Bay Area, but only until the end of the year.

Democrats believed that the Bush administration was open to making that limit permanent for FHA loans. But Treasury officials insisted over the weekend that the new FHA limits expire by year-end, Steve Adamske, spokesman for Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said Tuesday.

Another measure included in the House plan raises the maximum size of mortgages Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy from $417,000 to as high as $729,750 in expensive parts of the country. House leaders had agreed early on that the increase would expire at the end of the year.

Congressional leaders are aiming to send the package to Bush by Feb. 15. The goal was to start mailing out rebate checks in May and to have most of them to taxpayers by July so that people would spend the money and kick-start a slumping economy. But the divergent plans – and bids by Senate Democrats and some Republicans to enlarge the package with more add-ons – could drag out that schedule.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, said she hopes the Senate would “take this bill and run with it.”

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