You'd think that by now the government would have gotten the message that homebuyers who lack down payments are poor credit risks, says Eric Falkenstein head of Falkenstein Financial Data.
Instead, the FHA continues to aggressively promote its 3.5 percent down mortgage loan program — and it still allows first-time homebuyers to use their $8,000 tax credit toward the down payment.
“A good realtor can apply the tax credit to last year’s taxes, making sure that the buyer actually gets the money right away, and the HUD is actually okay with using the $8K to make buying a home a no-money-down proposition,” Falkenstein writes at Falkenblog.com.
“No private bank would lend in such a manner, but FHA wants to take the risk, because unlike the greedy bank, it sees the 'bigger picture', presumably,” he notes.
“Stupidity in the private sector actually loses people money, causing them to change their ways. For the government, it's just more incentive to double down.”
President Obama will soon sign into a law a bill that extends the credit for months more and expands it dramatically beyond first-time buyers.
The measure would let more people qualify for the credit, including some who already own homes and those with higher incomes: Homebuyers who have lived in their prior residence for at least five years could receive a credit of $6,500.
Couples earning as much as $225,000 a year and individuals earning up to $125,000 would qualify, up from the current $75,000 limit for individuals and $150,000 for couples.
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