Fannie Mae Announces Guidelines for Loan Limits in High Cost Areas
2009/04/06, 3:05 pm
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On March 30, 2009, Fannie Mae issued Announcement 09-08, implementing the 2009 conforming loan limits for high cost areas (“high-balance” loans above $417,000). The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) raised loan limits for high cost areas for 2009 to the higher of the permanent limits in effect for 2009 or the temporary limits in effect for 2008. In most cases the 2008 limits are higher. The guidelines apply to loans delivered to Fannie Mae starting May 1, 2009.

The Fannie Mae announcement specifies eligibility requirements for high-balance loans, including:

—Loan must be conventional, first-lien mortgages only.

—One to four unit properties are eligible.

—Loans must be fixed-rate or adjustable rate loans (no balloons).

—Loans must meet loan-to-value (LTV) and minimum credit score requirements. For one unit properties with a fixed rate mortgage, the maximum LTV is 90% and the minimum credit score is 700 for LTVs above 75% and 660 for LTVs at or below 75%. For one unit properties with an adjustable rate mortgage, the maximum LTV is 75% and the minimum credit score is 680. For second homes and investment properties, the maximum LTV is 65% and the minimum credit score is 740. Other rules apply to other categories.

Fannie Mae Announcement 09-08, Temporary High-Cost Area Loan Limits and Revised Eligibility Requirements for High-Balance Mortgage Loans

Jeff Lischer 202-383-1117, Tony Hutchinson 202-383-1120


Special tax break available for new car purchases this year
2009/04/06, 3:02 pm
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The IRS has released IR 2009-30 to remind taxpayers of a temporary tax incentive that will be available to them for the purchase of a new car, light truck, motor home or motorcycle during 2009. The deduction is available for the cost of all state and local sales and excise taxes paid on up to $49,500 of the purchase price. The amount of the deduction is phased out for taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income is between $125,000 and $135,000 for individual filers and between $250,000 and $260,000 for joint filers. The vehicle must be purchased after Feb. 16, 2009, and before Jan. 1, 2010, to qualify for the deduction. The special deduction is available regardless of whether a taxpayer itemizes deductions on their return.

The IRS reminded taxpayers the deduction may not be taken on 2008 tax returns.