March 9, 2011

Our Commitment to America’s Homeowners

Last week I testified before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity to discuss how the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Short Refinance Option will help the housing market recover from the economic crisis.  The following day, the committee voted to eliminate the FHA’s Short Refinance Option.

Home values across the country have fallen significantly during the Great Recession. Ending FHA’s short refi program would be detrimental to responsible homeowners across the country with good credit scores who owe more than their homes are worth.  It also damages communities in states like California and Florida, where foreclosures have taken a massive toll on home values, causing neighboring home values to plummet,  putting many homeowners into being “underwater.”

This is not the time to cut back on programs that may help homeowners stay in their homes. The short refi program is now underway and needs time to ramp up.  Already, we are seeing an increased participation from lenders.  As of mid-February, numerous institutions have opted to participate including Citi, Wells Fargo and GMAC/Ally.  These institutions are aware that they will bear the majority of the costs for this program.

If we cut this program now before it has a chance to gain momentum, what are we saying to the American people?

Our message needs to be clear.  We are committed to improving the housing market.  We are committed to seeing this program through.  And we are committed to doing our part to improve the economy.

3 Responses to Our Commitment to America’s Homeowners

  1. Commissioner Stevens: Here are some other thoughts to accompany your commendable goal of keeping as many folks as possible in their homes. There are nearly 310,000 community associations — condominiums, cooperatives and planned communities — in the U.S. Many of these associations are located in the states that you mention as examples. The associations themselves, of course, are not the source of the mortgage problems that your insureds may have. In fact, these associations do everything possible to protect and maintain the property in which the homes are located. They are doing this in an environment where lenders will not take title to avoid paying their responsible share of that maintenance. And, FHA’s guidelines, as expressed in Mortgagee Letters, are making things worse by applying standards that don’t apply to the risks. These adverse FHA actions impact borrower/buyers, the associations and those association owners seeking HECMs and possibly refinancing. The short re-fi program can help; but for those in community associations there may be no access to this assistance.

  2. Dear Sir;
    Will me help us, why can’t we find anyone to help us with mobile home lot rental? It say on Huds site that they help low income with rental, but when i try for help they say its only for apartments or houses. We are very low income, and need help, but can’t seem to find it. Will you help us?

    Thank you for your time.

  3. can you please help me how long does it take for a loan moderfacation. with advise from a lawyer it has been 2 years now. then out of the blue my houses were up for an auction. the lawyer told us to give him 10,000. dollars on a saturday or our houses were being sold the following tuesday. well we panicked went to another lawyer paid him 2,800. to save our homes and he put us through chapter 13. has anyone ever had a problem like mine.i feel that the lawyer led us down the wrong path when we only wanted to lower our monthly mortage

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *