On this week’s Your Home, Ryan Peterson gives us some good news on the housing market and what the Federal Government is doing to help move us out of this slump.
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There have been some major developments recently, at the federal level, as the country continues to claw its way out of the housing slump. During his State of the Union address last month, President Obama outlined an ambitious re-financing plan for homeowners and just last week the President announced a multi-billion settlement with the five leading mortgage lenders. Good news. But just how good remains to be seen.
Anthony Ianniello, Real Estate Attorney said, “He announced a program, the object of which is to allow for the re-financing of homes that had mortgages which exceeded the value of the homes. This would allow for interest rate reductions, not principal reductions.”
The idea is to put more money in your pocket for you to spend elsewhere in order to jumpstart the economy. However, the program is designed to convert privately held mortgages into federally backed, FHA loans. Which is why Ianniello fears it's dead on arrival.
Ianniello said, “Currently FHA guidelines prohibit issuing mortgages to a homeowner if the value of a home is less than the amount of the mortgage. Who knows if Congress will ever take it up, much less enact it.”
On February 9th, a landmark $25 billion settlement with the nation's top mortgage lenders was hailed by President Obama as some long overdue relief for victims of foreclosure abuse. Ianniello, on the other hand, echoes the cries of consumer advocates who say far too few of them will actually benefit.
“If you're a homeowner who has not been current on your mortgage, it won't mean anything. For those who have already had their homes foreclosed, it's possible that upon application and review of the application by one of the lenders, you might be entitled to some cash back. About $2,000,” said Ianniello.
The good news here, if you're looking to buy a home, now's the time to do it. But be prepared and make sure your credit is in order. The criteria for getting a mortgage now is much stricter and for good reason, so make sure you're prepared.