Reforms For American Homeowners and Consumers

Written By: Joan Ewing, Op-Ed Writer 

Hello Everybody – Hope you are keeping busy. With interest rates up and down, depending on the day and hour of the week – refinances have been fluctuating as often. However, there seems to be a trend that home sales are on the rise and many lenders are keeping busy.

According to the Office of the Press Secretary of The White House - On May 20, 2009 the President signed the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act and the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act into law. I don’t know about you – but I cannot recall hearing about these Acts, however, they are very important to the real estate industry.

We are going to outline the fact sheets on both pieces of legislation:

The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act - The deep housing market recession has created devastating consequences for homeowners and communities throughout the nation. However, by reducing the number of foreclosures, the average homeowner could see their house price bolstered and as many as 9 million may increase the affordability of their mortgages and prevent foreclosures.

New guidelines have been introduced for loan modifications which will establish a new standard practice for affordable modifications. Services covering more than 75% of loans in the country have now begun modifications and refinancing under the Making Homes Affordable Act. – Also please check out the government’s website – which is a consumer website for the program.

There has been improvement to Hope for Homeowners which should significantly improve the ability of borrowers to benefit from the opportunities provided in the Administration’s housing plan. Incentive payments will be available for successful Hope for Homeowners refinances and services will be required to evaluate ALL applicants for eligibility for Hope for Homeowners and Home Affordability Modification Program.

Hope for Homeowners targets help to borrowers who are faced with the risks of foreclosure. The help would entail the write down of the principal amount to help homeowners increase the equity they have in their home. This program will ease restrictions on eligibility and enable refinancing of mortgages with no equity for a greater number of borrowers.

Increasing Consumer Protections Related to Housing

Consumers who are renters living in foreclosed homes is a very big problem which has not gotten a lot of attention. The problem exists when a property is foreclosed that renters reside. Tenants, who are being forced out of their homes with no notice, will require that in the event of foreclosure - existing leases must be honored, except if the lease is month-to-month; in that case the tenant must be given a 90 day notice to vacate the property.

This will also gives the homeowner the right to know who owns their mortgage. Many times mortgages are sold and then sold again and borrowers do not know who owns their mortgage or who to contact when there is problem. This legislation requires that borrowers be informed whenever their loan is sold or transferred. I also feel it is the homeowner’s responsibility to read all information that is sent by the service of their mortgage.

There seems to be much more legislation before the Senate regarding the rights of the homeowners and renters and what type of assistance will be available. I am doing my best to try and keep up with this legislation because I feel all homeowners and renters need to know their rights. If just one person is helped by this topic, I will have done my job.

In closing – if anyone has any ideas for a topic, please do not hesitate to contact me. – Till next week – More later.

About The Author

Joan Ewing - As an op-ed writer and active FHA DE Underwriter for the past 15 years, Joan Ewing is a proud NAMP® Certified Ambassador Loan Processor (NAMP®-CALP). Joan brings years of FHA Government experience to her writings, letting her readers tap into her underwriting knowledge base.


Opinion-Editorial (Op-Ed) Disclaimer For NAMP® Library Articles: The views and opinions expressed in the NAMP® Library articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official NAMP® policy or position. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world application as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of NAMP®. Nothing contained in this article should be considered legal advice.