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By Nelson Schwartz and Nelson Schwartz,Contributing Writer | October 9, 1994
WASHINGTON -- The proposal to raise the ceiling on FHA loans -- which would have made thousands more homebuyers eligible -- has fallen victim to partisan bickering in the Senate.Passed by the House but stalled in the Senate, the Housing and Community Development Act of 1994 would have eased restrictions on eligibility for mortgage insurance from the Federal Housing Administration.The FHA insures mortgages for families who cannot qualify for mortgage insurance from private insurers.In high-priced areas, including Baltimore, the FHA insures mortgages up to $151,725.
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BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | April 4, 2013
Municipal Employees Credit Union of Baltimore Inc. announced Thursday that it had agreed to acquire Advance Bank, another Baltimore-based institution. A sale price hasn't been determined and will be based on which Advance assets regulators say MECU can acquire, said Dorothea Stierhoff, senior public relations manager with MECU. MECU, a state-chartered credit union, and Advance Bank, a mutual savings bank, are each owned by their depositors. MECU has about $1.2 billion in assets and nine locations.
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BUSINESS
By Ken Harney and Ken Harney,Earthlink | March 16, 2007
With the subprime mortgage industry in virtual free fall, where do homebuyers with less than perfect credit turn for financing? The news reports are grim: Not only have dozens of subprime lenders closed their doors or cut back sharply on new mortgage offerings, but they're also severely tightening the loose underwriting standards that got them into trouble. As a result, many people who would have been approved for a loan months ago now find all the doors suddenly closed. But here's some potentially helpful news: There is a mortgage source that is actually expanding its business nationwide for credit-impaired and first-time home purchasers.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | December 16, 2012
Homes with federally insured mortgages - afforded to mostly lower-income borrowers - are expected to see a spike in foreclosures because of dicey lending practices, according to a recent study. More than a dozen ZIP codes in the Baltimore metropolitan area could see foreclosure rates above 15 percent and as high as 43 percent for Federal Housing Administration-backed loans, according to the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank. Historically, such loans have put homeownership within reach for Americans who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford it. The minimum down payment on an FHA loan is 3.5 percent, while private lenders typically require as much as 20 percent.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella and Lorraine Mirabella,Sun Staff Writer | November 13, 1994
Mortgage lenders are making a practice of approving marginal loans to meet reinvestment requirements in the inner city, leading to high default and foreclosure rates and deterioration of once-stable Baltimore neighborhoods, housing advocates say.Instead of reducing their risk by putting borrowers into federally insured mortgage programs, lenders should help buyers get extensive pre-purchase counseling, approve conventional loans or reject the application, said...
BUSINESS
By James M. Woodard and James M. Woodard,Copley News Service | August 8, 1993
For years, Federal Housing Administration mortgage financing has been dismissed as virtually useless in many cities.The FHA, which insures mortgages, had pegged the maximum loan amount so low that the program was ignored by many consumers and brokers in areas where home prices are high.But that is changing. A higher maximum amount for FHA loans, coupled with lower home prices in most areas and a greater flexibility in FHA loan terms, has again made FHA a viable form of home financing.Nationally, about 18 percent of purchases of single-family homes in the past quarter were financed by FHA-insured loans, according to the Research Department of the National Association of Realtors.
BUSINESS
November 30, 2003
Some readers ask whether there is any way to cancel mortgage insurance on Federal Housing Administration loans. Mortgage insurance on FHA loans does not automatically cancel even if the loan-to-value ratio has improved substantially. This is different from private mortgage insurance. With FHA loans, you must pay the monthly mortgage insurance premium as long as you own the home or keep the loan. But in the current real estate market, with rising home values and low mortgage interest rates, folks who are paying government mortgage insurance should investigate refinancing to a conventional loan which does not require mortgage insurance.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins and Jamie Smith Hopkins,jamie.smith.hopkins@baltsun.com | September 14, 2008
It was the mortgage of last resort when home sales were booming. Buyers balked at the paperwork. Sellers hated the home-repair rules. What a difference a housing bust makes. "Now, it's almost automatic that it's FHA," said Keith L. Cross, a real estate agent with Century 21 Downtown in Baltimore. Mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration are enjoying a tremendous resurgence as beleaguered lenders and private insurers make it harder to qualify for conventional loans. Home buyers and refinancing owners nationwide took out nearly 530,000 FHA loans in the first half of the year, 160 percent more than in the corresponding months last year.
BUSINESS
By Robert Nusgart and Robert Nusgart,SUN STAFF | May 22, 2002
A survey of 22 cities that showed Baltimore to be the second-worst urban area when it comes to excessively high default rates for government-backed loans is being disputed not only by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, but also by some of the lenders listed as poor performers. The survey released yesterday showed the citywide default rate for Federal Housing Administration loans in Baltimore at 17.8 percent of the loans made between 1996 and 2000. Only Miami had a higher rate at 20.9 percent.
BUSINESS
By Robert Nusgart and Robert Nusgart,SUN REAL ESTATE EDITOR | February 1, 1998
The Department of Housing and Urban Development wants to raise the maximum FHA loan limit, which -- if approved by Congress -- would allow more homebuyers to take advantage of the program and create more competition in the mortgage marketplace.HUD Secretary Andrew M. Cuomo said last week that the Clinton administration would place in its 1998 budget a proposal to raise the Federal Housing Administration maximum to $227,150.That figure would put it on a par with conventional limits made by giant mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.Current FHA loan maximums vary depending on metropolitan areas, with the ceiling on the highest possible loans in high-cost areas set at 75 percent of the maximum conforming rate.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | March 22, 2012
More Howard County residents are renting out their homes amid the slump in the housing market, local officials say, sometimes leaving a burden of unpaid fees for condo and homeowners associations. The issue has prompted the County Council to consider a bill that would require owners to show that they don't owe any outstanding fees or penalties before they are allowed to rent their properties. The bill would also allow associations to request that the county suspend or revoke existing rental licenses.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins and Jamie Smith Hopkins,jamie.smith.hopkins@baltsun.com | August 16, 2009
Near the peak of the housing frenzy four years ago, 75 percent of homes sold in the Baltimore metro area went to buyers with conventional mortgages - loans not insured by government agencies. Now such deals are much fewer and farther between. Thirty-five percent of Baltimore-area buyers got conventional loans last month, according to Metropolitan Regional Information Systems. The share of buyers turning to Uncle Sam - particularly for Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages - is way up in these post-bubble, post-subprime times.
NEWS
By Robert J. Strupp | March 16, 2009
After 10 years of near-dormancy, the Federal Housing Administration - unable to compete in an era dominated by the subprime loan market - has lately been making a comeback as an insurer of home loans in Baltimore. Unfortunately, today's FHA-approved mortgage brokers are frequently yesterday's subprime brokers. Fraud has tainted the FHA loan process - and strong steps must be taken in response. Available financing is essential to ending the housing crisis and enabling qualified buyers to purchase or refinance responsibly.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins and Jamie Smith Hopkins,jamie.smith.hopkins@baltsun.com | September 14, 2008
It was the mortgage of last resort when home sales were booming. Buyers balked at the paperwork. Sellers hated the home-repair rules. What a difference a housing bust makes. "Now, it's almost automatic that it's FHA," said Keith L. Cross, a real estate agent with Century 21 Downtown in Baltimore. Mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration are enjoying a tremendous resurgence as beleaguered lenders and private insurers make it harder to qualify for conventional loans. Home buyers and refinancing owners nationwide took out nearly 530,000 FHA loans in the first half of the year, 160 percent more than in the corresponding months last year.
BUSINESS
By KEN HARNEY | June 22, 2008
What's wrong with down-payment "gift" programs, in which all or most of a homebuyer's equity stake comes from the seller, funneled through a third party? And why is the federal government determined to ban them as quickly as possible? Here's how they work: Say you want to buy a house, but you don't have the required cash for a down payment. You sign up with a third-party intermediary - typically a tax-exempt charitable organization that advertises its specialty. The seller of the house sends a contribution to the organization roughly equal to the money you need.
BUSINESS
By ILYCE GLINK | May 23, 2008
If you're a first-time homebuyer, you'll find it a little harder to qualify for a mortgage than the first-time buyer who walked in your shoes two years ago. The credit crunch on Wall Street and record foreclosure rates have made investors nervous about homebuyers who have small down payments and lower credit scores. While the number of first-time buyers is down, there are plenty of folks who are tempted by falling home prices and low interest rates. What kinds of loans are out there for them?
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | December 16, 2012
Homes with federally insured mortgages - afforded to mostly lower-income borrowers - are expected to see a spike in foreclosures because of dicey lending practices, according to a recent study. More than a dozen ZIP codes in the Baltimore metropolitan area could see foreclosure rates above 15 percent and as high as 43 percent for Federal Housing Administration-backed loans, according to the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank. Historically, such loans have put homeownership within reach for Americans who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford it. The minimum down payment on an FHA loan is 3.5 percent, while private lenders typically require as much as 20 percent.
BUSINESS
By Daniel B. Wroblewski and Daniel B. Wroblewski,Sun Staff Writer | April 30, 1995
The recently passed bill to reduce closing costs for first-time buyers may not be as helpful for those who use FHA loans, according to some lenders.One provision of the bill requires sellers to pay the local transfer and recordation taxes for the buyer, unless the sales contract says otherwise. Typically, buyers pay half these taxes.But FHA rules require the buyer to pay for customary closing costs. In many cases, if a seller or lender pays for a buyer's closing costs, the amount the buyer can borrow is reduced, increasing the down payment and the money needed at closing.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins and Jamie Smith Hopkins,Sun reporter | October 13, 2007
A Gaithersburg nonprofit that provides down payment assistance to homebuyers is battling a government plan to ban the practice by the end of the month. AmeriDream Inc. is one of the biggest groups that help low- and moderate-income buyers with the 3 percent down payment required for loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration. The aid is financed by money from home sellers. About a third of the 314,000 people who received FHA loans in the 2006 fiscal year had down payment assistance from nonprofits.
BUSINESS
By Kenneth Harvey and Kenneth Harvey,earthlink | June 29, 2007
If real estate finance is the art of the possible, what's possible right now for homebuyers and sellers worried about rising mortgage rates, Wall Street bond market jitters and soft home prices? Plenty. Although certain aspects of today's postboom marketplace might look scary on any given day, most of the traditional problem-solving tools of real estate finance are still at your disposal, whether you're a buyer or a seller. Interest rates of 6 3/4 percent and higher needn't be deal breakers or impediments to selling or buying.
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