Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac on track to buy delinquent mortgages -- Fed proposes term deposits to drain reserves

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac on track to buy delinquent mortgages, analysts say
By Bloomberg News
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The U.S. government's expanded capital backstops and portfolio limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increase "the prospect of large-scale" purchases by the companies of delinquent mortgages out of the securities they guarantee, according to Credit Suisse Group analysts.
The Treasury Department announced Thursday that the two mortgage-finance companies, which were seized by the United States almost 16 months ago, could tap an unlimited amount of capital for three years, up from as much as $200 billion each. It reworked caps on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's mortgage-asset portfolios to require the holdings to fall to $810 billion each by Dec. 31, 2010, rather than about $690 billion.

Fed proposes term deposits to drain reserves
By Associated Press
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The Federal Reserve on Monday proposed allowing banks to set up the equivalent of certificates of deposit at the central bank, a move that would help the Fed mop up money pumped into the economy and prevent inflation from taking off later.
Under the proposal, the Fed would offer "term deposits" that would pay interest. Doing so would provide banks with another incentive to park their money at the Fed, rather than having it flow back into the economy.

Short Sale Tips for Buyers and Sellers

Author: Roby Pagong

A short sale takes place when the value of the property declines to be lesser than the remaining value of the mortgage. The homeowner decides to sell his property because he can no longer keep up with the monthly payments. In this case, the approval of the lender has to be approved. This is necessary because he has to agree to receive a discounted payment of the mortgage loan. This makes it difficult because the lender often rejects the proposal of the seller.

This is why you have to know how to present a good short sale package. It should convince the lender to approve the proposal. First, you have to understand that the lender wants to minimize the loss, so make sure that you have a decent offer for the property. Make sure you have all the requirements as well.

How to qualify

There are various requirements needed to qualify for a short sale. First, there should be a decline in the property value. This can happen if there is decline in property prices in your area. This may also occur if you neglect your property. Aside from the price, the lender will also check your mortgage. It should be near default or in default. This can be a result of a hard time that you or your family is facing.

Another important requirement is the hardship letter. This should explain the hard time you are experiencing which caused you to miss your payments. Not all hardships are acceptable for the lender. You cannot qualify for a short sale if you are unhappy with the current home you are in or that you want to relocate. Some of the acceptable incidences are unemployment, death in the family, divorce and health expenses.

The lender will also require your financial statement. The lender will check if you have other assets. They do this because as much as possible, they want to avoid the short sale. They do not want to resort to this because of the significant loss they will be incurring. Additionally, there are sellers who are doing this to avoid their responsibilities. Some just want to get an approval so that they can move to a more beautiful home.

If you want to apply for a short sale, remember to be patient as this can take longer. You might even need to reapply for it.

For the buyers

If you are a buyer, purchasing a short sale is a good deal. It is not only cheap but it also shows a lot of promise. However, you need to conduct a research before you make a purchase. It is also essential that you know how much the remaining balance of the mortgage is. This will give you an idea of how much to offer the seller. Finally, if you are going to hire an agent, see to it that he is experienced with short sales to be able to represent you properly.

A short sale property is a good investment. However, you have to be careful when making the purchase. If the lender rejects the first proposal, you need to be ready to increase your offer.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - >Short Sale Tips for Buyers and Sellers

For more information about Short Sale view our FORECLOSURE RESCUE page.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Top Updates: Week of December 28th, 2009

Tweaking a successful financial formula
By Michelle Singletary
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Despite a still funky economy, many people are doing well.
Yes, the unemployment rate is too high. People continue to lose their homes. And credit card debt is smothering many consumers. But as the year comes to a close, I wanted to address questions from readers who are fine financially yet need some tweaks to the way they handle their money.

Weak economy motivates Americans to save more
By V. Dion Haynes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 27, 2009
As crazy as it sounds, losing a $70,000-a-year job has been good for Marty Morua's finances. The former Wall Street stockbroker says the setback forced him to scrutinize his family budget and snip away at expenses. And soon, even with less income, their savings grew.

Senate banking committee leaders close to a deal on financial regulatory reform
By Binyamin Appelbaum
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 25, 2009
The chances that the Senate would produce bipartisan financial reform legislation seemed to grow longer with each passing minute at the mid-November hearing at which Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) read 2,600 words of scornful disapproval for the draft bill circulated by Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.).

U.S. promises unlimited financial assistance to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac
By Zachary A. Goldfarb
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 25, 2009
The Obama administration pledged Thursday to provide unlimited financial assistance to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, an eleventh-hour move that allows the government to exceed the current $400 billion cap on emergency aid without seeking permission from a bailout-weary Congress.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Top Updates: Week of December 14th, 2009

Citigroup, Wells Fargo to repay bailouts
Both sides eager to wind down TARP
By David Cho and Binyamin Appelbaum Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The federal government continued to wind down its bailout of the nation's biggest banks on Monday, reaching an agreement to eliminate its stakes in Citigroup and Wells Fargo.The willingness of banking regulators to strike a deal with the two firms -- both of which continue to face serious problems -- underscored the eagerness of both sides to end an extraordinary period of federal support for the financial industry. Banks have chafed at some of the conditions placed on the federal rescue money, such as limits on executive pay, while the administration has been criticized for using taxpayer funds to bail out Wall Street.

House Democrats discard larger debt limit

By Paul Kane, Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
House Democratic leaders, bowing to their party's deficit hawks, will move the year's final must-pass piece of legislation without a long-term increase to the national debt and without a large boost in infrastructure funding that was aimed at creating jobs.

Obama calls on banks to ramp up lending
Executives brought to White House as loans dry up in recession
By Binyamin Appelbaum and Michael A. Fletcher
Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday
December 15, 2009
President Obama exhorted the nation's biggest banks on Monday to make "extraordinary" efforts to increase lending, even as some of those firms are racing to distance themselves from government control.

Ending the Housing Crisis One Short Sale at a Time – How One Company Provides Security to the Process
By Paige Tepping, RISMEDIA
December 14, 2009
Short sales and home warranties seem to go hand in hand, especially considering the realities of today’s real estate market. “Short sales have a hundred moving parts; a hundred problems that all need to be solved at the same time,” says Bonnie Overbeck of Three Blondes and a Short Sale. “While you are dealing with a stressed seller, a buyer who doesn’t entirely trust the situation and money problems everywhere, the home warranties we provide through HSA Home Warranty act as an extra layer of security.”

Obama presses bank chiefs to lend more
White House to push for greater regulation, curbs on executive pay
By Binyamin Appelbaum
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 14, 2009
President Obama, who lashed out Sunday at "fat cat bankers" who "still don't get it," plans to gather the heads of major banks at the White House on Monday to urge them to make more loans and to accept the necessity of greater regulation...

Turnaround seen for area retailers
Dismal sales in 2009 mirrored rest of U.S.
By V. Dion Haynes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 14, 2009
While steady expansion of the federal government has shielded metropolitan Washington from the soaring unemployment rates seen elsewhere, troubles among the region's retailers are mirroring national losses in that sector with steep job cuts and a sales decline projected to reach 7 percent this year, a new study says.

Home buyers can afford to wait awhile
By Steven Goldberg
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Mortgage interest rates are at a 50-year low. Congress has extended a tax credit for home buyers through April. The economy is beginning to crawl out of what by some measures is the deepest recession since the 1930s. One survey already shows housing prices beginning to rise.
So isn't it time to buy a house? If I were in the market for a new home, I would wait. Housing prices typically don't rebound quickly after a bust; instead, they level out and stay near that low base line for years.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Top News, Week of Dec 7th, 2009

The Nation's Housing. In trouble and thinking about a short sale? Help is on the way.
By Kenneth R. Harney
Saturday, December 12, 2009
If you're in trouble on your mortgage and can't get a loan modification, check out the Obama administration's new standardized short-sale plan that's scheduled to roll out during the next several months. The program, outlined Dec. 1 by the Treasury Department, is an attempt to streamline what has traditionally been a contentious, time-consuming process by requiring lenders and others to use nationally uniform documents, timelines and financial incentives...

Short sale plan should standardize, quicken the process
By Kenneth R. Harney, Special to the Times
In Print: Saturday, December 12, 2009
Short sale plan should help standardize, quicken process. WASHINGTON — If you're in trouble on your mortgage and can't get a loan modification, check out the Obama administration's standardized short sale plan that's scheduled to roll out during the coming months. The program, outlined Dec. 1 by the Treasury Department, is an attempt to streamline what has been a contentious, time-consuming process by requiring lenders and others to use nationally uniform documents, time lines and financial incentives.

Standardized short-sale plan may relieve big headache
By Kenneth R. Harney Syndicated columnist, The Seattle Times
WASHINGTON — If you're in trouble on your mortgage and can't get a loan modification, check out the Obama administration's new standardized short-sale plan scheduled to roll out during the coming months. The program, outlined Dec. 1 by the Treasury Department, is an attempt to streamline what has been a contentious, time-consuming process by requiring lenders and others to use nationally uniform documents, timelines and financial incentives.

Ginnie Mae enables the firms to issue more taxpayer-backed loans
By Brian Grow and Zachary A. Goldfarb Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 10, 2009
The trouble signs surrounding Lend America had been building for years. A top executive was convicted of mortgage fraud but still helped run the company. Home loans made by its headquarters were defaulting at an extremely high rate. Federal prosecutors alleged in a civil suit that the company falsified loan documents and committed fraud.

Thousands now risk losing mortgage help
By Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 11, 2009
The government's foreclosure relief program is sputtering, according to government data released Thursday showing that the pace of help being offered to struggling homeowners slowed last month and many borrowers are at risk of losing the aid they have already received.

Lawmakers growing frustrated with mortgage-relief failures
By Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 9, 2009 Most of the struggling homeowners who have enrolled in the Obama administration's marquee mortgage-relief program still haven't proved they qualify for help, illustrating lingering weakness in the effort to aid distressed borrowers. About 70 percent of the borrowers who have signed up for the program, called Making Home Affordable, have yet to provide adequate documentation, and many homeowners continue to struggle even after their mortgage payments are lowered, industry and government officials told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Top Updates: Week of Dec 30th, 2009

An attempt to open banks' doors to all

By Michelle Singletary
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Millions of Americans -- 60 million, in fact -- conduct their day-to-day financial business outside the banking system, leaving many to be preyed upon by payday-loan companies, rent-to-own establishments and other non-bank institutions.

Quarter of borrowers in anti-foreclosure plan are behind
Delinquencies worry some; other experts say it's too early to judge
By Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 5, 2009
About 25 percent of borrowers helped under the administration's massive foreclosure prevention plan have already fallen behind on their new mortgage payments, according to government data that raise new questions about the program's effectiveness.

By Fannie Mae
Housing Forecast: November 2009

Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA)

The U.S. Treasury Department announced new guidelines this week designed to make short sales go more smoothly. To qualify under these new guidelines:
* The property must be the home owner’s principal residence.
* The home owner must be delinquent on the mortgage or close to defaulting.
* The loan must have been made before Jan. 1, 2009, and be for less than $729,750.
* The borrowers’ total monthly mortgage payment must exceed 31 percent of their before-tax income.
Under the plan, borrowers will receive $1,500 from the government for selling homes for less than the amount of their mortgages. Mortgage-servicing companies will get $1,000 for each completed short sale.
Second-mortgage holders can receive up to $3,000 of the sales proceeds in exchange for releasing their liens.
Investors who hold the first mortgage can collect up to $1,000 from the government for allowing the payments. Borrowers who complete a short sale under the program must be "fully released" from future liability for the debt, according to the guidelines.

Short Sale Reforms Receive Mixed Reviews
By: Brittany Dunn, DSNEWS.com
As DSNews.com reported earlier this week, the U.S. Treasury Department announced new guidelines to the short sale process on Monday in hopes of speeding up the recovery of the housing market. Occurring when a lender accepts the sale of a home at a price below the actual amount owed, short sales have become a growing part of the real estate business as troubled homeowners seek out alternatives to foreclosure.

Government unveils new short-sale rules
By J.W. Elphinstone
Tucson, Arizona Published: 12.03.2009
The Treasury Department unveiled sweeping rules this week to help financially troubled homeowners who need to sell but can't get a price high enough to pay off their mortgages. Homeowners will even get $1,500 to help cover their moving costs.
The plan is designed to help homeowners who don't have the income or debt levels to qualify for a loan modification under the Obama administration's $75 billion Making Home Affordable program. The plan establishes timelines, a standard process and documents, and cash incentives for participation.

Press Releases from MakingHomeAffordable.gov
Read New Articlies here
Servicer Performance Report through October 2009

Government Will Provide Financial Incentives To Encourage Short Sales
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Written by: Jon Prior , HousingWire.com
The US Treasury Department has announced plans to launch a foreclosure program aimed at encouraging borrowers, servicers and investors, to pursue short sales. Scheduled to launch in April 2010, the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA) will offer up to $3,500 in incentive payments to qualified borrowers, servicers and investors who complete short sale transactions for properties with loans on the verge of foreclosure.

Weekly Updates from Making Home Affordable
This site provides mortgage servicers with the information and tools needed to participate in the Obama Administration's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and other program updates related to the Making Home Affordable (MHA) Program.
December 2, 2009
HAMP Update - Q4 2009 Base NPV Model Documentation Supplement Now Available

Short Sale Incentives Coming in 2010, Treasury Says
December 1, 2009 10:38 AM CST
As HousingWire first reported, the US Treasury Department will launch the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA) in 2010.

Guidelines Aim to Ease Short Sales
By RUTH SIMON , Wall Street Journal
December 1, 2009
The Obama administration laid out final guidelines on Monday that should make it easier for some financially troubled borrowers to sell their homes.
The guidelines are designed to encourage the use of short sales, transactions in which the borrower with lender approval sells the home for less than what is owed on the loan. The program also makes it easier for borrowers to voluntarily transfer ownership of properties through a "deed in lieu of foreclosure."

On November 30, 2009, the Treasury Department released guidelines and forms for its new Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA).
by Realtor.org
HAFA is part of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). HAFA provides incentives in connection with a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL) used to avoid foreclosure on a loan eligible for modification under the HAMP program. HAFA applies to loans not owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which will issue their own versions of HAFA in coming weeks.
HAFA is a complex program, with 43 pages of guidelines and forms, designed to simplify and streamline use of short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure. HAFA:
Complements HAMP by providing a viable alternative for borrowers (the current homeowners) who are HAMP eligible but nevertheless unable to keep their home.
Uses borrower financial and hardship information already collected in connection with consideration of a loan modification.
Allows borrowers to receive pre-approved short sales terms before listing the property (including the minimum acceptable net proceeds).
Prohibits the servicers from requiring a reduction in the real estate commission agreed upon in the listing agreement (up to 6 percent).
Requires borrowers to be fully released from future liability for the first mortgage debt (no cash contribution, promissory note, or deficiency judgment is allowed).
Uses standard processes, documents, and timeframes/deadlines.
Provides financial incentives: $1,500 for borrower relocation assistance; $1,000 for servicers to cover administrative and processing costs; and up to $1,000 for investors for allowing a total of up to $3,000 in short sale proceeds to be distributed to subordinate lien holders (on a one-for-three matching basis).
The program does not take effect until April 5, 2010, but servicers may implement it before then if they meet certain requirements. The program sunsets on December 31, 2012.

Introduction of Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives – Short Sale and Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure
Making Home Affordable
November 30, 2009
Help for America's Home Owners
Supplemental Directive 09-09

HAMP Update – New Program Offers Borrowers Foreclosure Alternatives
Making Home Affordable
November 30, 2009
Help for America's Homeowners
Supplemental Directive 09-09: Introduction of Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives – Short Sale and Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure was published

Monday, November 30, 2009

Weekly News Review

Fannie Mae to tighten lending standards
Banks will demand higher credit scores, lower borrower debt
By Dina ElBoghdady
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Fannie Mae, the giant mortgage finance company that helps shape lending guidelines, plans next month to raise minimum credit score requirements and limit the amount of overall debt that borrowers can carry relative to their incomes.

New economic numbers offer modest hope
New jobless claims reach 14-month low
By Neil Irwin and Dana Hedgpeth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 26, 2009
A new round of economic data released Wednesday offers evidence that the economic expansion has continued through the latter part of the year but raises questions about the strength of the industrial sector in the months ahead.

New-home sales rise as supply starts to wane
October figures for U.S. get boost from South; other regions suffer
By Dina ElBoghdady
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Sales of newly built homes rose to the highest level in more than a year while the supply of these homes dropped to new lows, according to government data released Wednesday.

American Capital nears agreement with all its lenders on debt restructuring
Bethesda firm scrambling to avoid bankruptcy
By Thomas Heath
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 28, 2009
American Capital, a key financial player in the Washington region for decades, said it has reached agreements with lenders on 95 percent of its loans in an attempt to avert bankruptcy, the company said in a regulatory filing Friday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Washington Post Articles

2.8% drop in lending is largest since 1984
Reduction, especially by large banks, seen as impediment to recovery
By Binyamin Appelbaum
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Lending by U.S. banks plunged by 2.8 percent in the third quarter, the largest drop since at least 1984 and the fifth consecutive quarter in which banks have reduced lending, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported Tuesday.

Economy limping back to strength

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Metro News

Fairfax County Sales Still Down from Last Year

By Julia O'Donoghue
Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Fairfax County retail sales in June 2009 declined significantly from the same month the previous year, according to Fairfax County’s Department of Management and Budget newsletter in September. Virginia distributed about $13 million in sales tax receipts to Fairfax County this past August. That sales tax revenue, which reflects retail purchases at county stores in June, has dropped off by 10 percent from the same time period in 2008. One percent of all sales tax collected in Fairfax goes to fund the public school system. In September, Fairfax County Chairman Sharon Bulova (D-At-large) and Supervisor Patrick Herrity (R-Springfield) announced intentions to start a "Buy Fairfax" campaign, to encourage residents to make purchases at local stores and shops. Shopping in Fairfax’s retail shops, as opposed to online or in another locality, is better for the community, said Herrity.Some of the local sales tax not only goes to funding public schools but shopping at local businesses also helps retain jobs in the county during a difficult economic period, he said.

MCA Approves Three ProjectsVinson Hall expansion, organic food market, storage facility all head to Planning Commission.
By Mike DiCicco
Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On Wednesday, Nov. 4, the board of the McLean Citizens Association approved three projects proposed for the McLean area.Vinson Hall Retirement Community agreed to downsize and alter its proposed expansion, although the facility already had approval to build more units than it had been asking for. The expansion has been debated since the facility filed last year for a plan amendment that would allow it to expand from its current 169 independent living units to 350 units over several years. Currently, up to 276 independent living units are allowed on the site, along with the facility’s 49 assisted living units and 21 nursing beds...

Home sales rebound to early-2007 level

DOUBTS ABOUT RALLY LASTINGMarket still propped up by tax credits

By Dina ElBoghdady
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Freddie Mac trying to minimize exposure from failed lender, regional bank

Mortgage giant files claim with $1 billion in assets at risk
By Zachary A. Goldfarb
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Freddie Mac, the government-backed mortgage finance giant, said Monday it's trying to minimize losses on more than $1 billion in assets at risk because of the summer collapse of mortgage lender Taylor, Bean & Whitaker and a regional bank with which it did business.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Today Real Estate News

Obama calls for White House summit on job creation Unemployment is 'one of the great challenges that remains'
By Michael A. Fletcher and Neil Irwin
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, November 13, 2009
President Obama plans to hold a White House forum on job creation next month, an attempt to signal his concern about the growing ranks of the unemployed and build consensus on future action to stoke the economy.

Fewer losing homes in D.C. area Bank repossessions down but on track to surpass 2008 total
By Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 13, 2009
Bank repossessions of homes in the Washington area declined last month but are on pace to surpass last year's total in most parts of the region by the end of the year, according to data released Thursday by RealtyTrac.

Banks to prepay FDIC for failures Agency to collect 3 years of insurance premiums in advance
By Binyamin Appelbaum
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 13, 2009
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will collect $45 billion from the banking industry to cover the rising cost of bank failures, an unprecedented assessment that reflects the agency's projections that the current round of failures will not peak until next year.

Upbeat reports lift home builder stocks Unemployment, end of stimulus programs could upend gains
By Dina ElBoghdady
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 12, 2009
U.S. home builder stocks surged Wednesday, invigorated by Toll Brothers' announcement earlier this week that orders for its homes have jumped during the latest quarter, outpacing expectations.

U.S. foreclosure program helping more people, but how much still unclear
By Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The number of homeowners getting help from the government's massive foreclosure program is growing, according to data released Tuesday, but it is unclear how many of these borrowers might still lose their homes.

Friday, November 6, 2009

House votes to extend jobless benefits, expand home buyers' tax credit

$24 billion bill intended to shore up economy and political support

By Neil Irwin, Dina ElBoghdady and Perry Bacon Jr.Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, November 6, 2009

Congress gave final approval Thursday for an additional $24 billion to help the jobless and support the housing market as climbing unemployment poses a growing liability for elected officials.
The bill, passed overwhelmingly by the House and headed to President Obama for his signature Friday, extends unemployment insurance benefits that were due to expire and renews an $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers, while also expanding it to cover many other home purchases.
The legislation represents an effort by Democrats to strengthen the anemic economy. The Senate passed the measure unanimously Wednesday, reflecting the unwillingness to be seen as opposing measures to stimulate growth even among Republicans who are skeptical of greater government spending.
Despite tentative signs of revival in the economy, unemployment continues to pose a challenge to incumbents. A report due from the Labor Department on Friday morning is expected to show another rise in the jobless rate in October -- possibly into double digits.
Congress and the Obama administration are casting about for policies of limited scale to help buttress the economy. Like the "Cash for Clunkers" program enacted this year to promote auto sales, the latest bill has broad popular support even though economists disagree about its value.
Economists generally support extending unemployment insurance. The bill would prolong benefits for at least 14 weeks for people out of work. The jobless in more than two dozen states where unemployment rates exceed 8.5 percent would receive to 20 additional weeks of benefits.
Because unemployed people tend to be strapped for cash, they often spend most if not all of the money they receive as benefits. This in turn tends to give a bigger boost to the wider economy than do many other forms of government spending...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The $8,000 Tax Credit For Buying A New Home has been expanded!

FHA delays the release of disputed audit of its finances
By Dina ElBoghdady
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The Federal Housing Administration abruptly delayed the release of a long-awaited independent audit of the financial soundness of the agency, citing potential problems with the accuracy of some of the study's economic models.
The audit, compiled by Integrated Financial Engineering of Rockville, was scheduled to be released Wednesday, and the agency's top officials planned to brief reporters on its results.
But on Tuesday evening, the agency postponed the event, saying the report had yet to be finalized. In a separate statement Wednesday, FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the delay was related to economic scenario tests that the agency requested "above and beyond" what was originally to be included in the audit so that the FHA could "better understand a broader range of risk scenarios..."

Fed stands by rock-bottom interest rates for near future
Policymakers detail factors that could change view By Neil Irwin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Federal Reserve leaders are sticking with their policy of very low interest rates for some time to come, they indicated Wednesday, but gave new details of the factors they will use to decide when to change course.
Fed policymakers, following a two-day meeting, said that "economic activity has continued to pick up." But they also said that conditions are "likely to remain weak for a time," and left their target interest rate at a range of zero to 0.25 percent, as was widely expected. They also said that low rates are likely to be warranted "for an extended period..."

Senate votes to renew tax credit for first-time home buyers
Provision for $8,000 refund part of bill to extend jobless aid>
By Dina ElBoghdady
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The Senate voted Wednesday to renew the government's $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers through the first six months of next year as part of a broader bill designed to extend unemployment benefits.
For the first time, the tax credit program would also enable many homeowners who buy a new primary residence to receive a $6,500 refund.
The measure was attached to a bill that would provide 20 weeks of unemployment benefits in more than two dozen states with jobless rates above 8.5 percent and up to 14 weeks elsewhere. Another provision in the bill would allow businesses that had operating losses in 2008 and 2009 to seek refunds for taxes paid on profits over the past five years.
The bill, which passed 98 to 0, should reach the House floor by Thursday, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said in a statement. His office said the legislation would then go to the White House for the president's signature...

Deal struck to expand home-buyer tax credit
By Robert Schroeder, MarketWatch
October 29, 2009
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Senators have struck a deal to extend a popular tax credit for home buyers beyond those buying their first house, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office said Wednesday. Legislators also have agreed to extend the tax credit through the end of April, according to a Reuters report.An $8,000 credit for first-time home buyers is set to expire at the end of November. Under a compromise reached by senators, the credit would be expanded to those who have lived in their home for five consecutive years, a Reid spokeswoman said. The credit for repeat buyers would be $6,500...

Extension of home buyers' credit has wide Senate support
By Dina El, Boghdady
Washington Post Staff WriterThursday
October 29, 2009The Senate has reached a broad bipartisan consensus on extending a lucrative tax credit for first-time home buyers beyond the Nov. 30 deadline and expanding it to include some current homeowners, according to the Senate's Democratic leader. Under the plan, people buying their first home would receive an $8,000 tax credit if they sign a contract by April 30 and close on it by June 30...

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation
If you owe a debt to someone else and they cancel or forgive that debt, the canceled amount may be taxable. The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence. Debt reduced through mortgage restructuring, as well as mortgage debt forgiven in connection with a foreclosure, qualifies for the relief. This provision applies to debt forgiven in calendar years 2007 through 2012. Up to $2 million of forgiven debt is eligible for this exclusion ($1 million if married filing separately). The exclusion does not apply if the discharge is due to services performed for the lender or any other reason not directly related to a decline in the home’s value or the taxpayer’s financial condition. More information, including detailed examples can be found in Publication 4681, Canceled Debts, Foreclosures, Repossessions, and Abandonments. Also see IRS news release IR-2008-17. more... FORECLOSURE RESCUE

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


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Are you worried About Foreclosure?Are you falling behind on your mortgage payments?Do you have a few mortgages and negative equity?Need to sell your home and WALK AWAY DEBT FREE? This group is created for people who are facing foreclosure as well as many of those who successfully avoided it. If you need valuable advise regarding your home ownership or you would like to give one... welcome to this group!As you know the housing market is in crisis. We cannot avoid hearing it on the news everyday. Foreclosure rates are skyrocketing, the federal government is spending billions, and house values are declining. In response to the crisis, my team and I have taken the steps to become the Washington D.C. Area's Short Sale Specialists. A short sale is a way for homeowners, maybe even your friends and neighbors, to sell their home for less than they owe.If you were forced to walk through one of two doors (a life changing experience) and one of them led you to foreclosure disaster and the other led you to foreclosure freedom... Wouldn't you like to know which door led to freedom? Unfortunately, there are thousands of people every month who are facing this exact situation. That's why we want to arm you with the knowledge to make the best decisions about your property. Once you know all of your options, you can make wise and informed decisions that will impact the rest of your life.Our goal is to put power back in your hands and getting you back in financial control. A brief phone conversation with us may actually be life-changing. We can provide references from others who benefited from our expertise in dealing with: Foreclosure, Bankruptcy, Relocation, Little or No Equity, and many other complicated real estate problems. Know the facts and understand your options.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Case-Shiller Shows Home Prices Are Still On Their Way Up

Case-Shiller cities July 2009

For the second month in a row, 18 of the 20 Case-Shiller real estate markets posted higher home values. It's the 6th consecutive strong showing for the benchmark private-sector housing index.

Combined with falling home supplies and rising sales figures, this month's Case-Shiller Index suggests that housing may have bottomed sometime earlier this year.

It's cause for optimism.

Even Case-Shiller respresentatives seem excited. In its press release, the publishers singled out the index's winning streak, commenting on the recent "stabilization in national real estate values".

But, in that statement, we see the Case-Shiller Index's biggest flaw. The index ipurports itself to be a national real estate metric but, in reality, there is no such thing as a national real estate market.

All real estate is local.

The Case-Shiller Index reports home values for 20 U.S. cities. Each of those cities, however, is comprised of smaller neighborhoods, each with its own character, desirability, and price points. Case-Shiller attempts to lump it all together -- an impossibility.

As an example, New York City posted a nearly 1 percent increase in July but that figure is just a city summary. The actual market in three distinct neighborhoods -- Upper East Side, Chelsea, and Flatbush -- vary tremendously. Not to mention Long Island, too.

Flaws aside, though, Case-Shiller is still important. It helps to identify broader trends in housing and housing may hold the key to our economic future.

With July's Case-Shiller Index, we see that the housing market's recovery is being sustained.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Existing Home Supply Falls By Nearly A Month

Existing Home Supply August 2008-August 2009As reported by the National Association of REALTORS®, the number of Existing Home Sales dipped last month, ending the metric's 5-month winning streak.

Newspaper headlines today are overwhelmingly negative on housing. You'd almost believe this year's housing recovery had ended.

That's hardly the case.

See, the other side of the Existing Home Sales story is that -- while the number of units sold did fall by 3 percent -- the existing supply fell by nearly an entire month.

To home buyers and home sellers, this is huge. Home prices are based on supply and demand and with supplies plummeting, it means that home prices are poised to rise.

Indeed, dwindling inventory isn't "news" to today's buyers. Multiple offer situations have been common since the start of the summer and, should supplies fall further, they may soon be the home-buying rule rather than the exception.

Since peaking in November 2008, existing home supplies are down 23%.

Fannie Mae Passes New, Tougher Mortgage Guidelines

Fannie Mae is changing guidelines againGetting approved for a mortgage is about to get harder.

For the second time in less than 3 months, Fannie Mae announced changes to its mortgage guidelines.

In its official announcement, Fannie Mae details the updates, meant to reduce the mortgage firm's overall risk.

The first major change is with respect to credit scoring. All Fannie Mae loans -- whether underwritten electronically or manually -- require a 620 credit score minimum. There are very few exceptions.

A second change relates to loans with private mortgage insurance. Homeowners whose loan-to-value exceeds 80 percent now have a choice:

  1. Accept higher mortgage insurance premiums month-after-month
  2. Accept a one-time fee paid at closing to compensate for higher risk

Both options pass higher costs to consumers.

Then, a third change relates to maximum debt-to-income ratio. As announced in a separate document, Fannie Mae will no longer approve expense ratios exceeding 45 percent except with very strong assets and credit to back it up. In no case can expense ratios exceed 50 percent.

There are other changes, too, including the elimination of seldom-used mortgage products and new risk-based pricing on "expanded level" approvals.

Fannie Mae implements its updates during the weekend of December 12.

Therefore, if you're going to need (or want) a new mortgage later this year, consider moving up your timeframe to October or November. Once the guidelines change, getting approved for a mortgage is going to be tougher.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ranked #16 America's 100 Top Real Estate Professionals


Dear visitor of Saab Realtors' Blog,

I'm pleased to announce that I made this year America's Top 100 Real Estate Professionals.
Please read the article posted on 06/04/2009 in following publications:

Wall Street Journal

Lore Magazine

Real Trends

Ranked #1 in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area: VA-MD-DC by Sun Gazette

click here

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