Trump Administration Overturns Obama’s FHA Mortgage-Fee Cut

Soon after Donald Trump was sworn in as president, his administration undid one of Barack Obama’s last-minute economic-policy actions: a mortgage-fee cut under a government program that’s popular with first-time home buyers and low-income borrowers.  The new administration on Friday

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Should your Condominium Association be VA Certified? (MI)

One out of every 11 citizens in Michigan is a veteran and may receive benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA may help service-members, veterans, and certain qualified surviving spouses of service-members and veterans become homeowners

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HR3700-affected condo rules in 90-day comment period

New rules on condominiums affected by HR3700 (The Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016) that must make them eligible for the Federal Housing Administration insurance are now in the 90-day comment period, according to Mortgage News Daily.    Read

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FHA Condo Certification Rule Awaits Review by Trump Administration

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recently issued its long-awaited proposed rule regarding standards for condominiums in which individual unit owners are eligible to obtain FHA-insured loans. However, final action awaits review by new housing agency officials in the Trump Administration.

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Cabinet Posts – A Non-Political Commentary

Ben Carson is the wrong pick for HUD Secretary.  Really wrong. He not only knows little-to-nothing about fair housing law, and the other laws under HUD’s jurisdiction, he believes the Federal Fair Housing Act has ‘gone too far.’  Fair Housing

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New FHA Owner Occupancy Requirements Could Benefit Some Condo Communities

A few months ago we informed you that both houses of Congress voted unanimously to pass the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA) which, in part, required FHA to lower the required percentage of owner occupied units in condominiums from

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New HUD Neighbor to Neighbor Discrimination Regulations Impact Community Associations

On September 13, 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) released final regulations that change how the Federal Fair Housing Act (“Act”) is applied to quid pro quo and hostile environment housing claims within community associations. The

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FHA Reforms Bringing New Risks as Well as Rewards

Now that President Obama has signed Federal Housing Administration condominium reforms into law, it is time to make a clear-eyed assessment of the risks and rewards that HR 3700 will bring.  It’s great that Congress has acted to ease regulations

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New FHA Certification Guidelines to Land Soon, Ending a 5-Year Holding Pattern

On June 30, 2011, the Condominium Project Approval and Processing Guide (“Guide”) was published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”). The Guide was designed to provide Federal Housing Administration (“FHA) condominium project approval processing requirements. Since

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Change to the FHA “10% to Reserves” Rule?

FHA approval is a status condo associations can attain, allowing unit owners/buyers to receive FHA insurance on their loans which make those loan more attractive to lenders. Depending on your location, as much as 30% – 40% of all residential

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New Harassment Rules Added to Fair Housing Act

HUD recently issued its final rules regarding quid pro quo (“this for that”) harassment and hostile environment harassment under the Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and

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FHA pulls housing head fake on condo communities

Call it a housing policy head fake — one with potentially painful consequences for moderate-income buyers, sellers and seniors in hundreds of condominium projects around the country. If you were thinking about purchasing a condo unit with a low-down-payment Federal

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Condo Residents Urge FHA to Ease Rules on Reverse Mortgages

It has been nearly one month to the date since the Federal Housing Administration proposed new rules that could make it easier for condo-dwelling seniors to obtain reverse mortgages. With the public comment period underway, various stakeholders are voicing their

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FHA Proposes Condominium Rules Update (CAI)

On September 27, 2016, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) released a proposed regulatory update to its condominium unit mortgage insurance program. On balance the rule has many positive aspects, including a limited “spot approval” process. The rule further allows individual

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New Fair Housing Harassment Rules Apply to Community Associations

Condominiums, housing co-ops and homeowner associations may be liable for the conduct of community residents which subjects other residents to “hostile environment harassment” under new rules issued by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  The new

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Must HOA’s act to end discriminatory actions by others?

A few years ago one of our HOA clients came to us with a discrimination lawsuit that had been filed against them by the local housing agency. Apparently a group of homeowners had started a Facebook page using the HOA’s

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Barriers to condo mortgages may be coming down, but details remain to be set

For many condominium buyers and sellers, the Obama administration delivered what seemed like encouraging news last week: The Federal Housing Administration, once the primary source of mortgage financing for moderate-income and first-time condo buyers, is coming back, big time.  But

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Community Association Liability – Neighbor to Neighbor Discrimination

There is a dangerous trend being established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) under the Federal Fair Housing Act (the “Act”) and the enforcement of the Act of which community associations must be aware.  On April

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New FHA Condo Rules Expand Access to Reverse Mortgages

In response to changing conditions in the condominium market, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today proposed new rules that would allow individual condo units to become eligible for FHA financing, including Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs), an agency spokesman confirmed

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New FHA Rules to Create New Association Duties

On September 13, HUD released new rules for the Fair Housing Act (FHA) that will impact community associations. Under these new rules, which take effect on October 14, 2016, a community association could face liability for the discriminatory acts of

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Condominium Leasing Restrictions’ Impact on FHA Home Loan Eligibility

Frequently, the governing documents of condominium associations contain limitations on the ability of owners to lease or sell their property, such as provisions requiring owners to obtain the Association’s approval before such leases or sales may take place. Although these

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New Federal Law Eases FHA Restrictions on Condominium Mortgage Loans

Congress has just enacted new legislation on housing that should have a positive effect on condominium mortgage loans. The new law requires the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to loosen the burdensome restrictions that, in recent years,

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HOA HOMEFRONT: New law eases condominium lending requirements

While HOA law is primarily a state law issue, federal government is increasingly involved in issues including housing discrimination, satellite dishes, amateur radio antennae and environmental law.  One of the largest expansions of federal involvement occurred in 2009, when the

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FHA pulls rug from under resident’s retirement

Her three-bedroom condo in Talega Gallery no longer qualified for Federal Housing Administration-insured loans. As a result, she can’t get a reverse mortgage.  Even more aggravating is that Talega Gallery actually does not violate the FHA rules, which ban FHA

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Want to buy a condo? See how a new law could expand FHA options here in O.C. (CA)

For 15 years, Judy Johnson planned to get a reverse mortgage when she retired, supplementing her Social Security with proceeds from her San Clemente condo.  But after she stopped seeing clients and shut down her public relations business last year,

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New Law Makes Changes to FHA Condominium Approval Process

Unless a condominium association is certified by FHA, lenders may not offer borrowers FHA-insured mortgages. In 2009, FHA implemented a number of changes to the agency’s condominium approval requirements. As a result, the number of FHA-approved condominium associations has plummeted.

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President Obama Signs Legislation Modernizing FHA Condominium Approvals

The White House announced President Barack Obama has signed H.R. 3700, the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act. H.R. 3700 is now federal law.  H.R. 3700 reforms the process used by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to determine if condominium unit

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New FHA bill brings good news for condo buyers

Congressional Democrats and Republicans haven’t agreed on much lately, but they’re together on one issue that affects condominium buyers and sellers across the country: The Federal Housing Administration has bungled its condo finance program.    Read the article…………..

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Senate Passes Bipartisan FHA Condo Reform Bill

The Senate approved a bill Thursday by unanimous consent that includes major reforms to the Federal Housing Administration condominium loan program and the Rural Housing Service loan program.  The bill, which has already cleared the House, would streamline the FHA’s

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Reverse Mortgage Industry Voices Concerns Over FHA’s HECM Proposals

Other commenters raised concerns over FHA’s proposals related to its rules on HECM eligibility for community association, such as condominium homeowner associations and housing cooperatives.      Read the article………….

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FHA Proposes Rule Restricting Reverse Mortgages in Super Lien States

Recently proposed changes in FHA lending programs and guidelines could have drastic effects for 22 states (including Colorado) and the District of Columbia. The proposed reforms would restrict owners’ eligibility for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (i.e., reverse mortgages) in states

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Legislation easing FHA loan restrictions on condos remains in holding pattern

A bill that would make it possible for more condo buyers to get financing through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has run up against inertia in the U.S. Senate after gaining unanimous support in the U.S. House.    Read the

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Proposed HUD Rule Would Make Associations Guardians of Civil Rights

Community associations are microcosms of democratic society. They are relatively self-sufficient communities, each with their own rules and citizens, and they are governed by an elected board of directors that serves to manage and operate the community as well as

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New FHA proposal puts reverse mortgages above HOA super liens

The Federal Housing Administration proposed a new rule today that could strengthen its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Program.  Perhaps one of the largest reforms, is the prioritization of the HECM lien above all others — the establishment of a so-called

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FHA may be open again to financing condos

Could the Federal Housing Administration finally be opening its doors again to financing more condominium units? If so, that could be excellent news for young, first-time buyers and for seniors who own condo units and need a reverse mortgage to

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HUD’S Fair Housing Decision Upheld by First Circuit Court of Appeals

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it has won an important Fair Housing Act victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The decision upheld a Final Order of the Secretary

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New HUD Guidance on Use of Criminal Background Checks

On April 4, 2016, HUD’s General Counsel released guidance for all housing providers (not just those who are HUD subsidized) regarding how the use of criminal background checks could potentially violate fair housing laws. If you are a Landlord and

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New rules for condo buyers with FHA, VA loans

Did you know a homeowners association could have an impact on whether you can buy a condominium with a government-backed loan?  As of 2009, both the Federal Housing Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs require a condominium’s homeowners association to

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Changes Coming in FHA Condominium Guidelines?

If you’re a listener to “Condo and HOA Buzz” you heard over the past two weeks that Congress recently passed a bill that includes important provisions affecting all condominiums in the country. On February 2, 2016, HR 3700 was approved

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HOA HOMEFRONT: Understanding VA and FHA lending practices

Q. I own a condo that is for sale. My agent tells me she had two offers with VA loans, but the development is not approved for VA or FHA loans. Never heard of such a situation, please enlighten me.

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FHA Condo Approval Changes

FHA loans are government-insured housing loans that make it easier for people with low credit, low income or a high debt-to-income ratio to get a home loan. The Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act of 2015 is an act that suggests

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Landslide vote in House bodes well for easing limits on condo sales

By a 427-0 vote, the House passed the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act, co-sponsored by Reps. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) and Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) Among other provisions, the bill would force the Federal Housing Administration to ease rules and restrictions

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FHA condo buyers: Beware of the lifestyle enhancement fee (CA)

None of the condominiums in Ladera Ranch are FHA approved because the mandatory Life Style Enhancement Fee, paid every time a Ladera Ranch property is sold, does not meet FHA guidelines.   Read the article…………

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Changes in FHA Condo Approvals?

On Tuesday of this week, H.R. 3700 – Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2015 passed out of the U.S House of Representatives, and yesterday it was received in the U.S. Senate and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing

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Quick Update: Proposed Changes to FHA Condominium Project Approval Process

According to Community Associations Institute (“CAI”), a leading national community association organization, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote today on important changes to the Federal Housing Administration’s (“FHA”) condominium project approval process. The changes to the FHA condominium project

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Easier-To-Understand Mortgage Disclosures Benefit Consumers and Community Associations

It is often difficult to decipher all of the information and terms on a mortgage loan disclosure. Yet with a signature, they bind us far into our futures. On October 3, 2015, those disclosure requirements changed for the better. They

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New Lending Guidelines Making It Tough on Some Condo Buyers- Condo HOAs and Owners You Can Help

A recent article in the Seattle Times, discussing buyer’s challenges with loan guideline changes, reminded me of the importance of HOA and condo buildings doing their best to stay viable and eligible for FHA, VA and Fannie Mae approvals not

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Non-warrantable condos

I shared with you one of the most important things to understand when attempting to obtain financing for a condominium is an HOA Certification, or Homeowner(s) Association Certification. Without a completely acceptable HOA Certification by a lender, your condo loan

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