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FHASecure News You Can Believe….

by Peter G. Miller
August 7th, 2008

We have been a critic of the FHASecure program since HUD first began issuing news releases which claimed vast success in preventing foreclosures, claims not supported by HUD’s own figures — but claims gleefully repeated at the White House and various news outlets.

You could say that in the past year HUD “mis-wrote.” Frequently.

Below is the latest FHASecure release from HUD and — here goes — it’s actually within the realm of reason. There are NO claims of saving huge numbers of delinquent conventional borrowers from foreclosure.

Could it be that the new HUD Secretary, Steve Preston, has decided to play square with the public? If so, that’s a great.

No one expects any government department or agency with any administration to avoid puffery or to be without an agenda, but there ought to be some relationship between what’s claimed and what actually happened.

As to the release below, it’s vastly better than past FHASecure efforts but still requires an English major to parse the fun parts….

>>>”President Bush launched a new initiative at HUD’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA) called FHASecure to help hundreds of thousands of struggling homeowners — especially low-income families and minorities — avoid foreclosure.” This is literally true. The President did call on the FHASecure program to help struggling homeowners, especially those facing foreclosure. He called, but not much has happened for those in need of foreclosure assistance.

>>>”Rather than go into foreclosure, eligible borrowers can refinance with FHA and lenders can voluntarily write down the outstanding subprime mortgage principal balances.” This is literally true. Unfortunately, since last October 1st only about 3,000 “eligible” borrowers have been found nationwide who have meet the program’s standards. Meanwhile, figures from RealtyTrac.com show that more than 8,000 homeowners a day are receiving some form of foreclosure notice.

>>>”President Bush signed into law a plan for the FHA to continue providing targeted mortgage assistance to homeowners.” This is literally true. It’s also true that the President threatened for weeks to veto the legislation.

The release is below:

HUD SECRETARY: FHA HAS HELPED 300,000 FAMILIES FIND RELIEF WITH GOVERNMENT-BACKED MORTGAGES

FHASecure on pace to help half-million homeowners by year’s end

WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Steve Preston today announced that 300,000 families have refinanced their mortgages with HUD’s affordable mortgage insurance program. Since September 2007, FHASecure – the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) refinancing product – has provided struggling families with expanded access to safe and affordable mortgage financing. FHA is on pace to help 500,000 families by the end of the year.

“FHA remains a source of hope for families who want to stay in their homes,” said Preston. “The Bush Administration’s smart, practical solutions to expand FHA-insured financing are offering a safety net for hundreds of thousands of families in need of affordable home loans. We are focused and determined to work through the current challenges in the mortgage market.”

Timeline: Bush Administration’s Responsible Plan to Help Families Stay in Their Homes

* August 2007 — President Bush launched a new initiative at HUD’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA) called FHASecure to help hundreds of thousands of struggling homeowners — especially low-income families and minorities — avoid foreclosure. This product expanded FHA’s ability to offer refinancing to homeowners who have good credit histories, but cannot afford their mortgage payments after their teaser rates reset.

* February 2008 — President Bush requested $65 million for housing counseling in his Fiscal Year 2009 budget request. The Administration has increased funding for HUD’s 2,300 approved housing counseling agencies by 150 percent since 2001. Fifty million dollars was approved for counselors in Fiscal Year 2008. Another $180 million went to the non-profit NeighborWorks this year to help them prevent foreclosures.

* March 2008 — As part of the bipartisan economic growth package, FHA temporarily increased its loan limits until the end of this year, enabling hundreds of thousands of more families to purchase or refinance their homes at an affordable price. The new temporary limits will range from $271,050 to $729,750.

* July 2008 — FHA expanded FHASecure to help homeowners with adjustable rate subprime mortgages who can no longer afford their mortgages and missed up to three monthly mortgage payments over the past 12 months. Rather than go into foreclosure, eligible borrowers can refinance with FHA and lenders can voluntarily write down the outstanding subprime mortgage principal balances.

* July 2008 — President Bush signed into law a plan for the FHA to continue providing targeted mortgage assistance to homeowners. The Hope for Homeowners program will allow certain borrowers facing difficulty with their mortgage to be eligible to refinance into FHA-insured mortgages they can afford. The program will be implemented on October 1, 2008.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 7th, 2008 at 3:22 am and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

One Response to “FHASecure News You Can Believe….”

  1. Patricia Gamarra and Raul Gamarra Says:

    I want to drop my monthly payments then forclosure

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