WASHINGTON (10/24/11)--Legislation that would return the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) insurance limit for single-family home loans to $729,750 was approved by the Senate in a 60-38 vote, and attached to a minibus spending bill, late last week.
The minibus spending bill was passed by the House earlier this year. A Senate vote on the spending bill is expected in the coming weeks.
The mortgage-related legislation, known as the Homeownership Affordability Act of 2011, was introduced earlier this year by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), and co-sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). The legislation would allow the FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Veterans Administration (VA) to guarantee mortgages up to $729,750, or 125% of local median prices for single family homes, through Dec. 31, 2013.
The maximum conforming loan limit was previously set at $729,750, but fell to $625,500 on Oct. 1 when a loan limit extension could not be agreed to by Congress. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008 requires that Congress set maximum conforming loan limits each year.
Menendez earlier this year said that allowing the loan limits to expire "would be bad medicine for our economy at a time when we need a booster shot," and Isakson added that he is "concerned that failing to extend these limits would make it even more difficult for the average homebuyer get a mortgage and buy a home when credit is already tight."
WASHINGTON (UPDATED: 10:15 A.M. ET)--President Barack Obama has announced his intent to nominate D.C. Federal Credit Union President/CEO Carla León-Decker to become a member of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) board. Gigi Hyland, whose six-year term on the NCUA board technically ended in August, congratulated León-Decker, saying the credit union executive “has extensive knowledge of the credit union system” and will “bring her acumen to the regulatory realm.” NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said León-Decker “will bring valuable perspectives to the NCUA Board—particularly her inspiring commitment to providing affordable financial services for recent immigrants, low-income families, and many people of modest means.” León-Decker served as Operations Manager and, later, as president/CEO PAHO/WHO FCU between 1994 to 2000, and also served as branch manager of Transportation FCU between 1988 and 1994. She is also a credit union development educator and director of the Network of Latino Credit Unions & Professionals. Her nomination is subject to congressional approval.