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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Feds cut down-payment assistance programs




October 16 Best-Mortgage-Companies.com
For a decade, credit-challenged homebuyers have used a regulatory loophole that lets them get Federal Housing Administration mortgages without putting their own money down, while at the same time avoiding costly subprime loans. About 7,000 buyers per month were exploiting the loophole, and now the feds are squeezing it shut.

The new policy means that prospective homebuyers with marginal credit will have to act quickly if they want to buy houses without putting any money down. Otherwise, they will have to save for down payments or wait for the FHA to roll out its own zero-down program.

At issue is a controversial method of scraping together the down payment for a house. Many subprime lenders require down payments of at least 5 percent. That's a high hurdle for people who already have credit problems; luckily for those borrowers, loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration require smaller down payments -- as little as 3 percent.

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