As of Monday July 14th, 2008, the government has passed new laws which cause a decent amount of change within the mortgage industry and how these companies give out loans to homeowners. Even though they were passed on Monday, these rules wont take effect until October 2009 to give time for companies to transition to the new set of standards.
The concept being birthed in 2007, was in response to the treatment homeowners were facing from mortgage companies and to the foreclosure crisis that took place. It has been stated that the basis for these new rules are to protect future home buyers from mortgage companies.
The Foreclosure Crisis
Within the late 2006, the housing industry felt a large blow when a mass amount of foreclosures occurred due to rates on mortgages and also because of the fact that many of the new loans were made to individuals with either bad credit or too low of an income.
Experts believe that the basis for so many of these home loans being in place was the fact that many homeowners thought they could reap benefits when refinancing later on. Even though, their ideology failed because with the interest rates reset higher, refinancing was hard to come by which led to approximately a million foreclosures.
Mortgage lenders, banks and other financial institutions felt the impact dramatically reporting 100’s of billion dollars in losses. Not only was the housing industry devastated, but the US economy in a whole was also rocked by the housing crisis. These issues led to the US Federal Reserve cutting down interest rates and to the creation of the economic stimulus package which was passed by the government in 2008 to help offset debt and to spur on economic growth and instill belief in the US economy.
The Economic Stimulus Package
The Economic Stimulus Package of 2008 was passed in order to restore good faith within the economy. Its main purpose was to provide assistance to low and middle income citizens. From the economic stimulus package, all recipients were set to receive at least $300 and an extra $300 per dependent under the age of 17. The maximum pay that a person would receive would be no more that $600. Any individuals with an annual income over $75,000 would not receive any monetary funds except for those who had qualifying children.
In addition to citizens, the law also applied to businesses offered them certain tax incentives. Those include tax deductions on eqiupment meant to improve ones business and an increase in how much a business can deduct in business expenses.
In an article by James Temple from SF Gate he lists several key changes in mortgage practices that was just passed on Monday.
General Mortgage Rules:
– Prohibit creditors and mortgage brokers from coercing appraisers into misstating a home’s value.
– Require additional information about rates, monthly payments and other loan features in all advertising.
– Ban seven deceptive or misleading advertising practices, including calling a rate or payment “fixed” when it can change.
Lending Rules For Higher Priced Subprime Loans:
– Force lenders to consider a borrower’s ability to repay loans from income and assets other than the home’s value.
– Require lenders to document a borrower’s income and assets.
– Ban penalties for borrowers who pay off loans early, if the payment can change in the first four years. In certain cases, a prepayment penalty period can’t exceed two years.
– Mandate that creditors ensure certain borrowers set aside money to pay for property taxes and insurance, by establishing escrow accounts.
In reference to the new mortgage rules, many claim that these rules will assist many homeowners and aspiring homeowners from companies that prey on them to make a profit despite the views on their practices are questionable. Yet with this belief intact, many individuals still hold firm in their opinion that these rules are just a tip of the iceberg and much more needs to be done within the housing industry and in relation to some of the illegal practices carried on by some of the lending companies.