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Critical Housing Bill HR-3221 Passes the Senate – Headed to Congress

July 23, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Here’s an important update from our friend Glen Reiley over at Bell Mortgage regarding HR-3221, a bill that will have far reaching consequences in the housing and mortgage lending industries.




Important Legislative Update


It looks like HR 3221 – has passed the Senate and is headed back to the House of Representatives. If passed, the President could be seeing this Bill very soon.

This is an enormous bill and contains more provisions than I can tell you. There are some favorable provisions and some not so favorable provisions in this bill.

The obvious issues facing us in the near term would be:

1)       Increased FHA Loan limits (could be raised to $417,000 or even higher in some areas)

2)       Elimination of the Seller funded Downpayment plans i.e. Nehemiah

3)       Could allow Tax exempt bonding (MHFA, CityLiving, Maricopa County) to include certain refinance transactions

4)       Much, Much, Much More!!!


You can view a summary of this legislation at:


If the bill is passed we do not know how quickly these provisions will take place. It is assumed that HUD would need to digest the bill and issue Mortgagee letters to make the changes. HUD could already have these Mortgagee letters drafted and we could see implementation quickly. We just don’t know for sure.


We need to remain flexible and nimble as the changes could come quickly – for example – HUD could eliminate Seller funded DPA’s immediately and we might not have a Nehemiah option – this could happen in days or it could be weeks.


We will do our best to keep you apprised of the status and possible passing of this bill.


Below is a recent excerpt from a Housing Association Website:


“As we last reported, the Senate passed a version of this bill (H.R. 3221) late on Friday, July 11, and sent it over to the House for its concurrence. If you remember from our previous report, the Senate leadership had hoped to pass a version of the bill referred to as the “managers’ amendment,” that included refinements to the bill made after it was reported out of committee. However, due to procedural maneuvering by a couple of Senators, the managers’ amendment could not be brought to the floor for a vote. Instead, the prior version of the bill, with the language exactly as it was reported out of committee, is what was brought to the floor and passed.


The House has several items it wants to amend in the version passed by the Senate, including some items of concern to House members and other items that would have been included in the managers’ amendment had it been passed. In addition, after the Senate passed its bill last weekend, the White House called for a plan to provide financial support for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The White House plan requires Congressional action on a few of its provisions. Congressman Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, is incorporating these new provisions providing financial support and supervision to the GSEs into the version of H.R. 3221 that he is planning to bring to the House floor on Wednesday.


It is expected that the House will approve this bill fairly quickly and send it back to the Senate, which could follow suit and act quickly, as well. That means it is quite possible that this major housing bill could be sent to the President sometime this week. That could bring us to the end of this saga – unless the President chooses to veto the bill, a threat that he has made on and off again throughout the deliberation on this bill.”


Please check it out as you will want to know what your Government is doing to fix the “housing crisis”.