This is the text of a letter that I emailed to
The issue is that the increased loan limits for FHA that were included in the Economic Stimulus package are set to expire at the end of the year. NAR supports an FHA Reform Bill that includes realistic and permanent increases in the loan limits.
Subject: Permanent Loan Limit Increase Key to FHA Reform BillAs a constituent and a REALTOR®, I want to stress how important it is for FHA reform legislation to be quickly enacted. These bills, passed the House and Senate in 2007, are now stalled in conference. Permanent increases in the FHA loan limits, lowered FHA downpayment requirements, and new opportunities for condominium purchases are needed to create safe and affordable mortgage options for our state's homebuyers and those wishing to refinance. These changes will also provide much needed stability to our local housing markets and economies.
The new loan limits passed in the recently enacted Economic Stimulus bill will expire in less than 10 months. Dramatically reducing these limits at year's end will push our nation's fragile housing markets into turmoil once again. Realistic loan limits that permanently help ALL areas of the country are needed to bring stability to the marketplace.
FHA's down payment levels led many borrowers to opt for the exotic, risky mortgages that have been the hallmark of the foreclosure crisis. The FHA reform bills will allow FHA to modify down payment requirements and offer flexible financing to eligible borrowers.
In many areas of the country, condominiums remain the most affordable option for homeownership, but FHA owner/occupancy and documentation requirements, make it very difficult to purchase a condominium using FHA mortgage insurance. The FHA reform bills will move condominium financing programs into FHA's single-family program where they belong and ease the way for condominium purchases.
We cannot wait any further for FHA reform. Pass a permanent FHA reform bill NOW to give American homebuyers and homeowners the peace of mind they so desperately need.
Henry B. Nathan is a Florida Realtor at United Realty Group Inc.
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