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Emergency Homeowners Loan Program

Jul. 21, 2011
Categorized in: Foreclosures/Short Sales

IMPORTANT information about the Emergency Homeowners Loan Program.










HUD is administering $1 billion Emergency Homeowners Loan Program to provide assistance -- for up to 24 months-- to homeowners who have experienced a substantial reduction in income due to involuntary unemployment, underemployment, or a medical condition and are at risk of foreclosure.  The EHLP offers a forgivable, deferred payment "bridge loan" for up to $50,000 to assist eligible borrowers with their mortgage arrearages and payments on their for mortgage principal, interest, mortgage insurance premiums, taxes and hazard insurance for up to 24 months.



HUD has delegated key program administration functions to NeighborWorks America - an experienced and highly regarded national network of affiliated housing counseling agencies. Those functions include coordinating intake counseling, document preparation, and outreach.




West Virginia has $8,339,884 and Virginia has $46,627,889 to help struggling homeowners through EHLP.



Homeowners’ best course of action is to contact www.FINDEHLP.org or 855-FIND-EHLP (346-3345) to be connected with a local housing counseling agency assisting to administer the program. 


Housing counseling agencies funded through the Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program can provide information and assistance needed  to apply for the program. Pre-Applicant Screening Worksheets are due July 22, 2011.

















Kickbacks Are Illegal

Jul. 8, 2010
Categorized in: Business of Real Estate

There has been some funny business going on around home warranties in the real estate industry. OK, maybe it's not just home warranties. Sometimes stopping kickbacks seems a lot like a Whack-A-Mole game. Eliminate it here, it pops up over there. Some people just don't get this whole "spirit of the law" thing.

So, here's how I've seen it work. A certain home warranty company makes an arrangement with a certain real estate broker. For every warranty that is sold the agent gets a fee, let's say $35.

Is $35 enough to change the behavior of a real estate agent? I'd surely hope not. But these are desperate economic times for some and who knows. More importantly, in my eyes, this is definitely providing the appearance of impropriety. For that reason alone it's a bad idea.

Last week HUD agreed and said:

A payment by an HWC for marketing services performed by real estate brokers or agents on behalf of the HWC that are directed to particular homebuyers or sellers is an illegal kickback for a referral under section 8

This is great news for the industry. No one was making a fortune off these kickbacks. It certainly wasn't worth it in terms of the damage to our reputation.

$8000 is Back

Jun. 1, 2009
Categorized in: Buyers

If you remember, a couple of weeks ago HUD announced that the first time homebuyer tax credit of $8000 would now be allowed as an upfront loan that could be used as a down payment. Because of concerns over no down payment purchases in general and down payment programs in the past, that announcement was recalled almost as fast as it was put out there.

The new and improved version is now out. The $8000 can not be used as a down payment. However, you can get taht $8000 up front, rather than waiting and using the tax credit on your 2009 taxes, provided you use it for closing costs.

The details are in a HUD letter on their web site. I'm a little skeptical that this will be a huge boost to the market. Most sellers were already paying a substantial portion of the buyer's closing costs. But I do appreciate that the government continues to look for ways to backstop a tough real estate market.

HUD Rethinks

May. 26, 2009
Categorized in: Buyers

The HUD announcement that it would allow the $8000 first time homebuyer tax credit to be used for a downpayment didn't last out the week. All mention of it was pulled from HUD's home page.

Apparently the program as orginally discussed looked too much like the down payment gift programs that were essentially eliminated last year because of the higher foreclosure rates associated with those programs.

NAR (National Association of REALTORS) says HUD is retooling the program and that there will still be a way to do this.

Stay tuned to this space for updates.

Cash for Down Payment

May. 18, 2009
Categorized in: Buyers

Last week Shaun Donovan, Secretary of HUD, announced that the Obama administration is coming out with a plan to allow buyers to use the $8000 tax credit up front, as a down payment. The plan will apparently be to utilize FHA to monetize this credit.

Basically lenders that provide FHA loans will be allowed to show an $8000 down payment at settlement, coming from the tax credit. Full details are not yet available, but presumably there will be additional paperwork to sign at settlement acknowledging the source of this financing and waiving the right to the tax credit in the future.

We don't know all the details yet. There may be eligibility restrictions that aren't immediately obvious.

And, of course, some of you will still prefer to have the $8000 tax credit. This appears to be an option. You should be able to take the credit now as a down payment or use it as originally intended for a tax credit on your 2009 income taxes.

More details should be available this week.

Foreclosures: More Than We Thought

Oct. 7, 2008
Categorized in: Foreclosures/Short Sales

NPR had a story this morning on their show, Morning Edition, about how foreclosures are counted.

It turns out that they've been undercounted in rural counties by RealtyTrac, the company everyone's been using for these statistics.

HUD is now responsible for counting these, at least temporarily. I'll be digging into how we look locally with these new numbers.

Piedmont Real Estate Blog

Blog by Julie Emery
Amissville, Virginia

An ongoing dialog on real estate news, opinion and trends in Northern Virginia and the greater Piedmont area. Julie is an Associate Broker at Frankly Real Estate Inc, 6304 Crossroads Circle, Ste 102, Falls Church, VA 22044


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