NAR Sees Growing Support For FHA Reform
Washington, DC, August 13, 2007 - The National Assn. of REALTORS® today applauded President George W. Bush’s statement of support for programs that would give homeowners greater flexibility to refinance their loans through the Federal Housing Administration.
NAR has been advocating regulatory changes to the FHA program to help families keep their homes in light of the decline of the subprime market and impending interest-rate adjustments. In a press conference last week, President Bush signaled his support for such an effort in “making sure that financial institutions like the FHA have got flexibility to help these folks refinance their homes.” At present, FHA programs do not allow homeowners to refinance if their mortgage is in jeopardy.
“This represents a step forward in helping families who strived to achieve the American Dream keep their homes,” said NAR President Pat V. Combs, vice president of Coldwell Banker-AJS-Schmidt in Grand Rapids, MI. “NAR encourages everyone — government agencies, lenders, individuals, and REALTORS® — to work together to address this issue.”
In April, NAR sent a letter to Alphonso Jackson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, asking that FHA waive the requirement that a homeowner’s mortgage be current to refinance into an FHA loan product. NAR also supports legislation that would give FHA greater flexibility by increasing loan limits, eliminating the statutory 3% minimum cash down payment, allowing FHA flexibility to provide risk-based pricing, and revising the condominium program.