Monday, February 8, 2010

Borrowers will assume more costs as a result of FHA changes

The move is designed to generate additional income to ensure FHA solvency.

Borrowers who choose Federal Housing Authority (FHA) programs will see increased costs involved with that agency’s mortgage insurance and will have to have higher FICO scores. The move provides more financial stability for the FHA as rising defaults dipped below required reserves. Right now one in six FHA borrowers is behind on payments.

David Stevens, FHA commissioner, says “the FHA has a responsibility to be fiscally sound and to protect homeowners who trust the FHA to give them financing that will allow them to live in their homes for the long term.”

Up-front Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP) will be 2.25 percent, an increase from 1.75 percent. With FDA mortgage insurance, buyers can put as little as 3.5 percent down in comparison to the traditional 20 percent most lenders expect. However, to qualify for the 3.5 percent, borrowers must have a credit score of 580; prospective buyers whose credit scores are lower will have to put down 10 percent.

Another change is the amount of seller concessions from six to three percent. This change brings the FHA more in line with traditional industry standards and gives the borrower a greater stake in their home purchase.

Created by Congress in 1934 during the Great Depression and in economic times very similar to what we are experiencing today, the FHA provides mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders, but does not issue the loans. The agency currently insures 5.5 million mortgages.

Written by Myra Vandersall

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