by Nancy Osborne, COO of ERATE®
May 19, 2008 - In an effort to rally the sagging housing market, GSE giant Fannie Mae announced that it would reverse its December 2007 decision requiring stiffer down payment guidelines for borrowers purchasing properties located in designated declining real estate markets. Fannie Mae initiated this stricter ruling late last year in an effort to help shield itself from the rising tide of problem loans. Declining or at risk markets throughout the country were defined by zip code and the result of the GSE giants tougher requirements may have been to further stall an already sliding market as potential buyers of homes in these areas struggled to meet the higher down payment requirements. But in the wake of concern from Washington that this policy may be contributing to the housing crisis, Fannie Mae has agreed to reduce its down payment guidelines to 3%-5% for all mortgage loans it guarantees. GSE counterpart, Freddie Mac, had already made an announcement earlier in the month that they would accept loans having down payments as low as 5% in so-called declining housing markets and it had been Freddie Mac's policy to allow appraisers to define what was a declining market rather than attaching that label to a particular zip code. Both Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, guarantee over 5 trillion in mortgage debt, thus housing market analysts are confident this move will help ease the mortgage financing credit crunch nationwide.
Nancy Osborne has had experience in the mortgage business for over 20 years and is a founder of both ERATE, where she is currently the COO and Progressive Capital Funding, where she served as President. She has held real estate licenses in several states and has received both the national Certified Mortgage Consultant and Certified Residential Mortgage Specialist designations. Ms. Osborne is also a primary contributing writer and content developer for ERATE.
"I am addicted to Bloomberg TV" says Nancy.
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