As was expected, trading volume in the bond markets was minimal today as traders leave early for the Holiday weekend and the bond markets closed early at 2:00 PM EST.

This week was marked by interesting new regarding FHA loan requirements, low trading volume, interesting Foreclosure data from the first quarter and a new HAMP NPV website that enables homeowners to run their own HAMP tests.

New Proposed Guidelines For FHA Mortgages

House Republicans have proposed legislation that would raise the FHA minimum down payment from 3.5% to 5.0%. Additionally, they have indicated that they believe that FHA Borrowers should not be able to finance their closing costs into their loan. While FHA maximum loan limits are scheduled to fall in October, they also believe that the current adjustments will not be enough and that they should be lowered even more.

If the suggested proposals are enacted, prospective home buyers will be looking at significantly higher costs when purchasing a home with an FHA mortgage. This is yet another reason to take advantage of the low rates and advantageous FHA options that are available now.

Foreclosure Home Present Buying Opportunity for Many

Realtytrac.com, today released its Q1 2011 U.S. Foreclosure Sales Report, which shows that sales of bank-owned homes and other foreclosure properties accounted for 28 percent of all U.S. residential sales in the first quarter of 2011. This figure is up slightly from 27 percent of all sales in the fourth quarter of 2010 and the highest percentage of sales since the first quarter of 2010, when 29 percent of all sales were foreclosure sales.

RealtyTrac reported that Arizona, Nevada and California had the highest percentage of foreclosure sales, with California accounting for 45% of all Residential sales. Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky posted the highest foreclosure discounts.

Ohio foreclosures sold for an average discount of 41 percent in the first quarter, the biggest discount percentage of any state.

U.S. Treasury and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Unveil New HAMP NPV Website

Until the launch of CheckMyNPV.com, homeowners that have been struggling with their housing payments have been in the dark about how to calculate the Net Present Value of their home. CheckMyNPV.com solves this problem by giving consumers tools to check their NPV and help better understand their standing in relation to a loan modification request.

CheckMyNPV.com is a free tool provided by the United States Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development in conjunction with the Obama Administration’s Making Home Affordable Program.

CheckMyNPV.com provides only an estimate of a mortgage servicer’s NPV evaluation. While the NPV formula used on CheckMyNPV.com is required to be the same as that of your mortgage servicer’s, differences in input data and other industry-related data may result in different outputs. After using CheckMyNPV.com, it is recommended that you save a copy of the evaluation and share it with your mortgage servicer to discuss options available to you.

Mortgage Opportunity and Window Timeline

There is a clear window of opportunity that may close sooner rather than later with existing rates and programs. This means that now is a great time for us to help answer questions you might have about a refinance or purchase and determine whether or not now is the time for action.

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