Blogging Across Atlanta Real Estate News

Atlanta property tax relief is in sight!  Yesterday, Governor Nathan Deal hosted a ceremony at which he signed HB 820 - capping your City of Atlanta property taxes to an increase of no more than 2.6 percent per year, with the starting assessment rolled back to the lowest of the years 2016, 2017 and 2018.   One final step is required:  the bill must be approved by a majority of voters at a referendum in November, to take effect in 2019.
         It will benefit homeowners in every Atlanta neighborhood, each of which had their property tax assessments increased by more than 50% from 2016 to the initial 2017 assessment.  HB 820 will lock in assessments for City of Atlanta taxes (but not APS taxes) at the 2016 amount, increasing a maximum of 2.6% a year thereafter.   Atlantans must have stable, predictable property taxes in order for our city to be able to grow and prosper.
Posted in:Real Estate Taxes Atlanta and tagged: Atlanta
Posted by Deborah Blue & Marcus Robinson on May 9th, 2018 5:08 PM


Our Fourth Quarter 2017 Homeownership Program Index reports a new record high number of homebuyer programs -- now 2,507 -- available for today's homebuyers. In addition, the programs remained well funded during 2017. More than 87 percent (87.4%) of programs currently have funds available for eligible homebuyers. While individual program funding can vary, overall funding trends for homebuyer programs across the country remain roughly unchanged from the previous quarter.

Down Payment Resource communicates with 1,309 program administrators to track and update the country’s wide range of homeownership programs, including down payment and closing cost programs, grants, Mortgage Credit Certificates, affordable first mortgages and more. 

Learn the primary types of program administrators and funding sources.
Posted by Deborah Blue & Marcus Robinson on February 9th, 2018 1:49 PM
Posted by Deborah Blue & Marcus Robinson on January 30th, 2018 10:55 PM
Posted by Deborah Blue & Marcus Robinson on January 30th, 2018 10:37 PM

FICO, VantageScore Reps Comment on Potential FHFA Credit Changes

FHFAWith the Federal Housing Finance Agency [1] (FHFA) currently considering changing the credit score requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, representatives from both FICO and its potential competition have been weighing in on the potential changes.

On December 20, 2017, the FHFA issued a Request for Input [2], seeking feedback about the possibility of changing the credit scores the GSEs requires lenders to use to evaluate borrowers. According to the FHFA’s December press release [3], “The Enterprises currently use Classic FICO for product eligibility, loan pricing, and financial disclosure purposes.” The Request for Input seeks public comment on the possibility of allowing the GSEs to also let lenders use FICO 9 (an updated version of FICO’s original scoring algorithm) or VantageScore 3.0 (a rival model developed by credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).

Those critical of the GSEs’ current requirements claim that they bar millions of Americans from home ownership.  According to a 2015 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau study [4], 26 million Americans do not have any credit record, and another 19 million have credit records considered unscorable due to insufficient credit history or a lack of recent credit history.

As reported by Financial Times [5], VantageScore said in a public statement that “Monopolies never benefit markets or consumers and they create the opportunity for pricing power unchecked by competition.”

FICO Senior Director Joanne Gaskin replied, saying, “FICO welcomes competition—we just want to have fair competition.”

FICO’s algorithm attempts to predict a consumer’s likelihood to repay their debts based on factors such as payment history, assigning a rating between 300 and 850. The updated FICO 9 system, according to FICO, provides a more sophisticated analysis of a borrower’s potential creditworthiness than the original system currently required by the GSEs. The competing VantageScore 3.0, first released in 2013, uses the same scoring range but different criteria [6], including payment history, age/credit type, percent of credit limit used, total balances/debt, recent credit, and available credit.

Gaskin also countered VantageScore claims that the GSEs adoption of VantageScore would bring in millions of new borrowers. “All of our data would suggest absolutely the otherwise,” said Gaskin.

Options being considered by FHFA include using both FICO and VantageScore scores, or allowing lenders to choose one or the other. The FHFA is seeking comment until February 2018. Input can be submitted electronically by clicking here [7].

By David Wharton On In Daily Dose

Posted by Deborah Blue & Marcus Robinson on January 4th, 2018 10:18 PM
Posted by Deborah Blue & Marcus Robinson on December 29th, 2017 12:28 PM
Posted by Deborah Blue & Marcus Robinson on December 24th, 2017 7:47 PM
Posted by Deborah Blue & Marcus Robinson on December 20th, 2017 4:37 PM

Fannie and Freddie Announce Holiday Eviction Moratoriums

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac today announced eviction moratoriums for the holidays, designed to help buy struggling homeowners time to explore their options.

Fannie Mae [1] will suspend evictions of foreclosed single-family properties during the holiday season from December 18, 2017, through January 2, 2018. This suspension applies to single-family and 2-4 unit properties. The moratorium doesn’t stop legal and administrative proceedings for evictions, but families will be allowed to stay in their homes during the process.

"We’re taking steps to support families and to extend the timeline of help for struggling borrowers during the holidays," said Jacob Williamson, VP of Single-Family Distressed Assets at Fannie Mae. "We also encourage homeowners who may be struggling with their mortgage to reach out to Fannie Mae or their servicer to get help. Options are available to avoid foreclosure, and we want to help pursue those options whenever possible.”

Homeowners can visit [2] for resources on how to prevent foreclosure, including how to find out if Fannie Mae owns their loan. Homeowners also can contact Fannie Mae at 1-800-232-6643 for more information.

On the Freddie Mac [3] side of things, Freddie announced a nationwide suspension of eviction lock-outs during that same window of December 18, 2017, through January 2, 2018. The moratorium applies to all foreclosed, occupied homes owned by Freddie Mac.

Yvette Gilmore, Freddie Mac's VP of Single-Family Servicer Performance Management, said in a statement, “As we have done in past years, we are suspending evictions over the holidays. For borrowers who may be experiencing financial challenges we strongly urge them to contact their mortgage servicer to explore one of the Freddie Mac workout options."

Freddie also confirmed that it has “suspended all foreclosure sales in eligible disaster areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.”

Credit:  Posted By David Wharton On 

Posted by Deborah Blue & Marcus Robinson on December 11th, 2017 2:38 PM
Posted by Deborah Blue & Marcus Robinson on November 28th, 2017 10:07 PM

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