House Approves Stimulus Bill, Higher Loan Limits Temporary

January 29, 2008 No Comments »

The House approved the so-called economic stimulus bill, or HR 5140, by a vote of 385-35 this afternoon.

The legislation would send one-time rebates to roughly 111 million families, provide tax breaks to businesses, and ease mortgage loan limits.

With regard to the housing measures, section 201 of the bill would temporarily increase the conforming loam limit for mortgages originated during the period beginning on July 1, 2007, and ending December 31, 2008.

The new conforming loan limit could be as high as of $729,750 in the most expensive housing markets, allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase loans up to this amount for the duration of the term of the mortgage.

The bill also includes provisions for a FHA loan limit increase “for mortgages for which the mortgagee has issued credit approval for the borrower on or before December 31, 2008.”

It would raise the limit on Federal Housing Administration loans from $362,790 to as high as $729,750 in expensive areas.

Previously, the bill was expected to include measures to address FHA reform, along with a permanent increase to the FHA loan limit.

The bill now needs to be approved by the Senate, though their proposal outlined by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus currently has no such housing provisions.

However, Senator Charles Schumer said today that he plans to make certain those changes are part of the Senate stimulus bill.

The hope is that the bill will move swiftly through the Senate and on to the president so this thing can become law sooner rather than later.

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