The following is from an email I received from the California Association of Realtors
How economic stimulus package addresses mortgage crisis
President Bush Wednesday signed off on the $168 billion stimulus packaged approved by Congress last week, which, in addition to tax rebates for millions of working Americans and business owners, includes a vital, but temporary increase in the conforming loan limit. The economic stimulus package will allow the Federal Housing Administration, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to offer mortgages above the current conforming loan limit of $417,000 to as much as $729,750 in high-cost areas using a formula that considers an area’s median home price. The increase would only apply to loans originated between July 1, 2007 and Dec. 31, 2008. A host of details remain to be worked out, including how the median home price is established.
MAKING SENSE OF THE STORY FOR CONSUMERS
· It could be several months before the impact is felt in the mortgage markets. Wall Street is still working out whether investors will want to bundle securitized loans above $417,000 with loans below that level, or if they will invest in them separately.
· Rates for such loans might be higher because banks fear larger loans are riskier, but they’d still likely be lower than current jumbo rates.
· Even though the proposal does not apply to loans made before July 1, borrowers with older mortgages could refinance into new loans that would be sold to Fannie and Freddie, because those loans would be considered new loans.