Recognizing the need for immediate action, President Obama signed into law two timely pieces of housing legislation yesterday – the “Helping Families Save Their Homes Act” and the “Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act.”
The “Helping Families Save Their Homes Act,” which encourages banks to let people stay in their homes, expands the "Hope for Homeowners" Program that was enacted in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act last August and began October 1, 2008.
Moreover, in late April, the Administration announced that it would incorporate Hope for Homeowners to the “Making Home Affordable” Program to further remove hurdles that made it difficult for certain homeowners to receive help under the program.
Specifically, the new law encourages lenders to adjust a mortgage if the homeowner agrees to pay an insurance premium. Set to expire in 2011, the program would swap out a homeowner's high-interest rate for a 30-year fixed loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration.
Additionally, the “Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act” nearly doubles resources for the FBI’s mortgage and financial fraud program and provides prosecutors and regulators with new tools to crack down those trying to take advantage of troubled borrowers.
To learn more about the impact of these two new laws, please see this recent article from the Boston Globe.