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Biden administration acts to extend mortgage terms and reduce interest rates for affected borrowers
With the foreclosure moratorium for federally backed mortgages set to expire next week, the Biden administration is giving borrowers additional options to reduce their mortgage payments.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will give homeowners options to reduce their monthly principal and interest by lengthening the term of the mortgage, bringing the agencies “closer in alignment with options for homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” a White House press release said.
The ban on foreclosures for federally backed mortgages will expire on July 31, after the Biden administration extended it a final month. The enrollment period for forbearance will conclude at the end of September.
Approximately 1.75 million homes are still in forbearance. For borrowers who can resume paying their mortgage, federal agencies will allow them to move their payments to the end of their mortgage. But the White House said some homeowners will need “deeper assistance” to become current and keep their homes.
“In order to ensure a stable and equitable recovery from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for homeowners to exit mortgage forbearance, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking action to keep Americans in their homes and support a return to a more stable housing market,” the White House said.
For borrowers unable to make monthly payments after the foreclosure ban expires, HUD will give servicers the ability to lengthen the mortgage term. Borrowers could see their mortgage terms extended to 360 months at market rate, to reduce their payments by 25%. In addition to a term extension, borrowers could receive an interest-free subordinate mortgage not due until after the first mortgage is paid off, otherwise known as a partial claim.
HUD will offer a partial claim to borrowers who can start making their mortgage payments again.
The USDA will also offer new options to help borrowers attain a 20% reduction in their payments. The tools include an interest rate reduction, term extension and a mortgage recovery advance, to help cover past due mortgage payments and related costs. The options can be used separately or combined.
There are also options for VA borrowers to reduce their monthly payments after. The VA can purchase up to 30% of borrowers’ unpaid principal balance and arrearages, and provide an interest-free subordinate loan similar to a partial claim. Servicers can also extend the loan term to up to 40 years.
In addition, the Homeowners Assistance Fund provides $10 billion to states, D.C., territories, and tribes for relief to COVID-impacted homeowners after the foreclosure ban expires. In addition to the payment reduction options, homeowners can use those funds to pay mortgage, homeowners’ insurance or utilities. Those with federally backed mortgages and borrowers whose mortgages are not backed by federal agencies will have access to the relief funds.
Ginnie Mae said that its new securities pool for mortgages with a 40-year term will be up and running later this year, giving federal agencies the flexibility to extend mortgage terms, if they choose to do so.
Courtesy of Housingwire
Gen Xers—the highest-earning generation, with a median income of $113,300—make up a quarter of home buyers, according to National Association of REALTORS® data. And they’re choosing specific areas to call home.
SmartAsset, a financial resource, identified the top states where Gen Xers who earn at least $100,000 annually are moving. Southern and Western states dominate the list. Some have no state income tax, which could be a factor driving more high-earning Gen Xers there, researchers say.
High demand for home products continues to cause supply chain disruptions throughout industries related to real estate. Shortages of appliances, furniture, and building materials are most acute and not expected to ease any time soon.
The problem largely began at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns—during which time demand soared as many people started remodeling their homes—disrupted supply chains. The shortages also came from foreign suppliers who contribute appliance materials and parts, Gay Cororaton, director of housing and commercial research at the National Association of REALTORS®, told bankrate.com. “The pandemic has impacted production in the U.S. manufacturing plants, as factories have to operate with less workers onsite or on staggered shifts as part of social distancing precautions,” Cororaton said.
Earlier this year, nearly 90% of builders said they were having difficulty securing appliances, according to a survey from the National Association of Home Builders. Some new-home buyers are having to wait out delays or make compromises for appliances. Furniture shortages also abound. The furniture industry has reported delays of four months or longer, according to the Commerce Department.
Paint shortages, which could hamper summer home improvement projects, also are being reported.
Courtesy of Realtor Magazine
Oregon will send up to $1,088 to most of the state's children over the next three months to help pay for food. The payments are intended to make up for free and reduced-price school meals they missed during the pandemic. Lots of food but no people visible
Those schools include Benson, mcdaniel, Jefferson, Roosevelt, Hillsboro, Parkrose, Reynolds and David Douglas high schools and Beaumont, Lane, Ockley Green, George, Tubman, Rowe, Parkrose and South Meadows middle schools. Dozens of elementary schools in the Beaverton, Centennial, David Douglas, Forest Grove, Hillsboro, North Clackamas, Parkrose, Portland and Reynold school districts also offer the meals benefit to every student.
With camping more popular than ever, a Portland-based app called The Dyrt makes it easier to score a great camping spot.
PORTLAND, Ore. — More and more people are getting out in nature and campgrounds are filling up faster than ever. But Portland-based company called The Dyrt has an app to help you find all the free camping you can handle, along with every other type of camping experience.
“The Dyrt makes it easier to find camping," said co-founder Sarah Smith. "We have the most campgrounds listed on our platform than anyone on the internet and we have the most photos, videos and reviews of campgrounds.
Smith and her husband Kevin Long started the company seven years ago.
In 2021, the popularity of camping has never been stronger, and the popularity of The Dyrt has grown with it. Smith recommended camping on public lands as a solid and budget-friendly choice.
“Camping has exploded in popularity. Millions of new campers have come online this year, so campgrounds are getting full,” said Long. “So when you look at what are some other options, dispersed camping on free public land is a great option because there's a lot of public land and a lot of free camping potential.”
Long said the biggest fear people have about camping on public lands outside of traditional campgrounds is that they're not experienced enough to do it. He and Smith said to just be prepared, follow local regulations and leave no trace, and the rewards can be great.
“We will stay in a place for a weekend and not see another human being, absolutely incredible. And the peace of mind you get from being out there, it's amazing,” said Long.
Long and Smith said they have grown The Dyrt into one of the most popular camping apps on the market. They have 40 employees helping to keep it going. Now the couple is set for a big adventure in a new camping van they just bought.
“Sarah and I, as married cofounders, after seven years are finally living the dream,” said Long.
Starting Saturday, they are hitting the road for six months and exploring dozens of campsites along the way.
Courtesy of KGW