Congressman Sherman: Report on Home Mortgages and Property Values
Keeping Affordable Home Mortgages Available
Under a new provision championed by Congressman Sherman, those buying or refinancing a home in the Valley will be eligible for an FHA-insured mortgage of up to $729,750. FHA loans offer a lower down payment and a much lower interest rate. It also increases the likelihood that someone buying a home will get approved for a loan, and that those trying to sell their home will find an eligible buyer. Without this provision we would have seen another sudden decline in Valley home prices, severely harming the Valley economy.
The increased limits do not require a dime of additional spending by the federal government. The FHA operates entirely from its self-generated income and costs the taxpayers nothing.
Protecting the Mortgage Interest Deduction
Congressman Sherman strongly supports preserving the current tax deduction for mortgage interest. Various tax proposals to eliminate this critical deduction would saddle middle-class Californians with a huge tax increase, and could cause home prices to fall even further -- a disaster for the Valley economy. The home mortgage deduction provides benefits for everyone by spurring economic activity. A change in tax laws that undercuts home values hurts all residents, including senior citizens whose equity in their homes is critical to retirement plans. Congressman Sherman will continue working to ensure this deduction is preserved.
Refinancing at Lower Rates for Those with Low Equity (or No Equity)
Mortgage rates are at historic lows and many homeowners want to refinance to reduce their monthly payments by hundreds or even thousands of dollars. But many homeowners do not have the 20 percent equity required to refinance, and some owe more than the current value of their home.
Congressman Sherman cosponsored the HOME Act which allows those with mortgages owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to refinance – even if they owe more than their home is currently worth. Even if you write your check to a major bank, your mortgage is probably owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
This provision will help create jobs in the San Fernando Valley. Homeowners who save hundreds of dollars each month are good customers for local Valley businesses. Furthermore, it does not expose the federal government to additional risk because these mortgages are already guaranteed or owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
News You Can Use
Mortgage Modification for those Facing Hardship
Congressman Sherman helped create the HAMP program to help those having significant difficultly making their mortgage payments. The goal is to reduce foreclosures, which are a tragedy for the families involved, and adversely affect the neighborhood. Qualifying homeowners often have their payments reduced to 31 percent of their monthly pre-tax income.
For help finding out if you’re eligible for a lower payment under these new policies, you can contact our Valley office at (818) 501-9200.
You can find out if your mortgage is owned by Fannie or Freddie by going online to:
For more information you can also visit: https://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/
More on Home Finance
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives will vote on and is expected to pass Congressman Brad Sherman’s (D-CA) Disaster Protection Workers’ Credit Act, as included in the HEROES Act. This bill is House Democrats’ latest legislation to address the continued public health crisis and provide desperately needed support for struggling families and essential workers.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks), who is also Chair of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets, has introduced legislation to temporarily waive certain mortgage underwriting requirements that call for a new in-home appraisal to be completed for a mortgage to be eligible for a federal program or to be guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The current coronavirus outbreak makes it imperative that individuals limit their contact with one another as much as possible.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) introduced legislation to ensure that individuals’ credit scores are not negatively impacted as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. For those who rely on steady paychecks to make rent, utility, credit card or mortgage payments, the months ahead will be difficult, and there will be missed payments. And that means lower credit scores. Lower credit scores will result in higher interest rates and reduced opportunities for homeownership.
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for 2019 will increase.
“Loans eligible to be purchased by Fannie and Freddie generally have lower interest rates and are easier to qualify for than non-quality so-called ‘jumbo’ loans,” said Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks).
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Brad Sherman, a senior member of the Financial Services Committee, joined Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA) in introducing legislation to increase transparency for homeowners who take out loans to make environmentally-focused home improvements.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Brad Sherman, a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, joined Congressman Mark Sanford (R-SC) in introducing legislation that would permanently prohibit the use of guarantee fees (g-fees) as a budget offset.
The bipartisan Risk Management and Homeowner Stability Act, would add a section to the Budget Act of 1974 permanently prohibiting the use of g-fees to offset unrelated spending.
Washington DC – Today, The Homebuyers Assistance Act, a bill introduced by Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Congressman French Hill (R-AR), passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 303 to 121. Sherman, a senior member of the Financial Services Committee, designed the bill to assist smaller title and escrow companies as well as small lenders in complying with the a complicated new regulation issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Brad Sherman (CA-30) along with Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE), and Rep. Gary G. Miller (CA-31), Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, sent a letter to Edward DeMarco, Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), opposing any FHFA action to reduce loan limits. The letter was signed by a bipartisan group of 66 House Members.
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) made the following statement after a House Financial Services Committee markup on the Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners Act. To watch a video of his full remarks, click here.