April 10th, 2008 7:37 PM by Uletas Greene Carter
The U.S. Senate made its most aggressive effort yet to address the collapsing housing market, passing a combination of tax breaks and funding intended to help homebuilders and struggling borrowers.
These are my favorite parts of the bill:
--Large tax breaks for homebuilders and a $7,000 tax credit, spread out over two years, for people who buy foreclosed properties.
--$500 or $1,000 property tax reduction to homeowners who do not itemize their tax returns.
--States would be authorized to issue $100 billion in tax-free bonds to help refinance troubled borrowers.
-- increase in the size of loans FHA can insure to $550,000, while also increasing the down payment borrowers must provide to 3.5%
-- $4 billion in grants for local entities to purchase and maintain foreclosed properties.
-- $180 million for counseling and legal services for at-risk borrower.
The House is pushing forward with its own housing stimulus proposals, including a package of tax credits for first-time home buyers, increased assistance for low-income rental housing, and a more modest property tax deduction. Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank D-Mass., is also pushing a plan to use the Federal Housing Administration to guarantee up to $300 billion in loans to help refinance at-risk loans.
If you are thinking of buying, selling or refinancing property, please call me today for a free, no-obligation consultation. 213-804-3369.