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Mortgage News

UI Says HARP 2.0 Could Help Pandemic-Era Borrowers

April 20 2021

The Urban Institute (UI) is advocating for a streamlined refinancing program similar to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) which aided many homeowners during the Great Recession to assist those impacted by the pandemic. HARP, which was used by more than 3.4 million borrowers between 2009 and 2018, offered simplified documentation, automated appraisals, no or reduced loan-level pricing adjustments, and mortgage insurance transferability to existing GSE (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) borrowers. Because home prices had dropped dramatically, leaving many borrowers underwater, eligibility was determined without regard to a mortgage's current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Brighter Outlook For Housing and Economy - Fannie Mae

April 19 2021

Incoming data for March has caused Fannie Mae to again revise its forecast for the year's growth in gross domestic product (GDP). The company's Economic and Strategic Research (ESR) team said a sharp uptick in the economy last month followed a weather-related retreat in February. Most evident was a jump in employment to 916,000 new jobs in March from 468,000 in February, the fastest pace since August 2020. This growth is expected to continue. Auto sales were also up, and consumer confidence surveys jumped to their highest levels since the April 2020 downturn. As a result of these and other heightened indicators, Fannie Mae now sees growth reaching 6.8 percent by the fourth quarter on a year-over-year basis, up from 6.6 percent in the earlier forecast. Expectations for 2022 are unchanged at 3.0 percent.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Draft Housing Infrastructure and Assistance Bill Presented to FSC

April 19 2021

The House Committee on Financial Services (FSC) held a virtual hearing last week on ways to provide equitable and affordable housing infrastructure. The memorandum setting out the hearing's purpose stated that, not only is affordable housing a crucial part of the nation's infrastructure and a stable asset that boosts individuals, families, and communities' ability to thrive, but it also generates construction activity and jobs that stimulate the economy. Prior to the hearing the FSC published 17 draft bills centering around housing that have been introduced into the current congressional session. They deal with everything from flood insurance to lead paint abatement to housing on Native American lands. One proposal, presented as a draft for discussion, is the "Downpayment Toward Equity Act of 2021." It is of particular interest because it builds on a much discussed housing policy set out during the presidential campaign.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

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