The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – HUD announced Wednesday that it is awarding $10 million in grants to four non-profit organizations that will create homes for hundreds of families.
These grants are known as “Sweat Equity” grants, which combine efforts and labor from volunteers and homebuyers themselves. The non-profit organizations recipients of these grants are: Community Frameworks ($540,000), Habitat for Humanity International ($6.21 million), Housing Assistance Council ($1.56 million), and Tierra del Sol (Western States Housing Consortium, $1.68 million).
Homebuyers are required to contribute a minimum number of “Sweat Equity” hours toward the building and development of their own homes as participation for this self-help homeownership programs, according to HUD. The minimum sweat equity requirement is 100 hours for a household consisting of two or more persons and 50 hours for a household consisting of one person.
Community volunteers labor participation is also required. Sweat equity and volunteer labor includes any number of activities related to the construction of a home such as painting, carpentry, foundation work, drywall, trim work, roofing, or siding, among others.
Falling interest rates precipitated a major refinancing rally according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA’s) Refinance Index. The MBA’s Refinance Index is a weekly measurement put together by the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Real Estate Finance Industry Association.
Strong job growth, coupled with low mortgage rates, should reflect now the increase in home sales and purchase originations. Great time for purchases but even better for refinancing.
Mortgage rates are historically low, and many owners have the opportunity to take advantage, but not all owners pay close attention to these numbers.
You have the opportunity to investigate the possibility of refinancing through HARP or stream line if your loan is FHA to take advantage of the historic rates.
You can analyze what financial options give you the best interest rate and most convenient terms according to your personal situation, and you do this by comparing these rates from various financial institutions through the Good Faith Estimate. This simple action prompts banks to be more competitive and offer rates lower while they.
Mortgage rates are closely linked to the action of the Federal Reserve – Fed and the economy, so it’s important that you analyze your financial situation to see if you could take advantage of the today historic rates, before they take off.
Let me explain with numbers in this example:
Balance of mortgage: $ 200,000 –
§ Interest @6.5% Monthly Payment $ 1,440.
§ Interest @3.75% Monthly Payment $ 1,014.
§ Total Savings Monthly $ 426.
§ Total Savings Per Year $5,112.
§ 30 Years Total Savings $153.360.
Check your mortgage payments, interest rate, balance and the pending term of the life on your loan, so you can determine if refinancing is best for you. The Government Program HARP that does not require evaluation of the value of the property, conventional and FHA Streamline Refinance are great choices to consider allowing substantial savings.
Mortgage Rates put on quite the show today after Fed minutes announcement, resulting in the lowest rates we have seen since June 2013.
Today’s improvement was all about the Fed. Investors who trade securities that dictate mortgages, were concerned about last month’s Fed Announcement that could it justify a higher move in rates. That speculation contributed to the increases in rates seen in the first half of September.
After the 2pm release today, bonds-including the mortgage-backed-securities that dictate mortgage rates-moved to their best levels of the year. After beginning of this morning in a more conservative stance, most lenders released new rates sheets reflecting the market improvements.
A recent report revising the waiting periods for distressed borrowers with a derogatory credit event such as a foreclosure, bankruptcy, short sale, or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure on their credit history to obtain a new loan has been released by Fannie Mae. This revised statement reduces the waiting period up to two years for borrowers with a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure on their record if there are extenuating circumstances that borrowers can prove.
According to Fannie Mae, extenuating circumstances are defined as “nonrecurring events that are beyond the borrower’s control that result in a sudden, significant, and prolonged reduction in income or a catastrophic increase in financial obligations.”
If a borrower has a foreclosure on his or her credit record, the new minimum waiting period is seven years. Under extenuating circumstances, that period is shortened to three years with some additional requirements for up to seven years. For those with a bankruptcy the waiting period is four years but two years with extenuating circumstances from the discharge date.
Fannie Mae said in the report that it is “focused on helping lenders to provide access to mortgages for creditworthy borrowers while supporting sustainable homeownership” and that the new policy “provides opportunities for borrowers to obtain a loan to Fannie Mae’s maximum LTV (loan-to-value) sooner after the Pre-foreclosure, Short Sale or DIL.”
After announcing the details of the U.S. Department of Justice’s settlement with Bank of America, which includes $7 billion in relief to consumers U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder lamented Congressional inaction to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act.
For homeowners meant to be helped by the settlement funds will instead be penalized on their income taxes. Holder called on Congress to do the right thing for financially distressed American families who lost homes to foreclosure or short sales this year.
The tax relief expired on December 31 last year, and unless Congress acts to extend it, every person who has already sold or plans to sell a home in a short sale in 2014, will pay taxes on nonexistent mortgage debt, which is money many don’t have. Taxing forgiven mortgage debt as income is an unfair practice that also incentivizes defaults and foreclosures, which could torpedo the housing recovery.