Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Housing Legislation email from Costello

Our local Representative just sent out the following email regarding proposed housing legislation:

I wanted to drop you a note to update you on legislative matters that may be of interest.

The Congress and the Bush administration have approved a major package of housing reforms to restore confidence in the mortgage and financial markets while helping homeowners and communities deal with rising home foreclosures and falling home prices. The bill includes:
  • A $7,500 tax credit for first time home buyers.
  • Provisions to expand the Federal Housing Administration’s loan limits to increase its market share and promote greater stability in the mortgage market.
  • Provisions to better regulate Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank System.
  • $3.92 billion for state and local governments to purchase abandoned and foreclosed homes and residential property to keep neighborhoods from deteriorating and further reducing home values for everyone.
  • A voluntary program where the government will back loans that have been written downby 10-15%. If the home owner sells the house within five years, they must reimburse the government for a portion of the sale. Importantly, this should not help speculators as it can only be used for a mortgage on a primary residence.
  • The bill will make the implicit federal backing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac explicit, providing temporary authority to purchase their stock (expires at end of 2009).
The legislation is the result of over a year of bipartisan negotiations and is backed by a wide range of realtor, civil rights and business organizations. The Congress will monitor the implementation of the bill closely and will continue to examine ways to bolster the U.S. economy during the remainder of the 110th Congress.

You are invited to sign up for future electronic newsletters. Please feel free to forward this message to friends and neighbors you think might be interested in this issue.

Sincerely,

Jerry F. Costello
12th District of Illinois

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