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HR3548 Home Buyer Tax Credit

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (Pub.L. 110-289, H.R. 3221) was passed by Congress on July 24, 2008 and signed by President Bush on July 30, 2008.

The act authorizes the Federal Housing Administration to guarantee up to $300 billion in new 30-year fixed rate mortgages for subprime borrowers provided they qualify and if lenders write-down principal loan balances to 90 percent of current appraisal value.  

This is suppose to prevent foreclosures because this option will be less costly to the lenders.  It's intended to restore confidence in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by strengthening regulations and injecting capital into the two large U.S. suppliers of mortgage funding. 

The H.R. 3221, or Housing Recover Act, or Finance Reform Act, or WHAT EVER, ... is confusing to almost everyone because it had so many other "Acts" folded into it.  The industry is in a total state of confusion at this point because official mortgagee letters have not been released and new regulations are not yet formalized.  Many are also confused about WHEN this or that becomes effective.

I hope this helps and as things unfold I will update this page.  Good luck to all and if I am in error or if you have more I should add to this please let me know.


  • Housing Assistance Tax Act of 2008 
  • FHA Modernization Act of 2008 
  • Federal Housing Finance Regulatory Reform Act of 2008 
  • HOPE for Homeowners Act of 2008 
  • Mortgage Disclosure Improvement Act 
  • Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 

Housing Assistance Tax Act of 2008

The Housing Assistance Tax Act has a first-time home buyer refundable tax credit for purchases on or after April 9, 2008 and before April 1, 2009 that is equal to 10 percent of the purchase price of a principal residence, up to $7,500.

  • Phases out the credit for taxpayers with incomes over $75,000 ($150,000 for joint returns).
  • Requires taxpayers receiving the credit to repay it over 15 years in equal installments by imposing a surcharge on the taxpayers’ annual income tax.

The Act provides emergency assistance for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes.

FHA Modernization Act of 2008

Increases the FHA loan limit from 95 percent to 110 percent of area median home price up to 150 percent of the GSE conforming loan limit, or $625,000, effective January 1, 2009.

  • Requires a down payment of at least 3.5 percent for any FHA loan. effective Oct. 1, 08.
  • Places a 12-month moratorium on HUD implementation of risk-based premiums.
  • Prohibits seller-financed down payments from non-profits like Nehemiah or Ameridream.  Effective Oct.1, 08.
  • Allows down payment assistance from family members.

HOPE for Homeowners Act of 2008

Authorizes the FHA to insure up to $300 billion of 30 year fixed rate refinance loans up to 90% of appraised value for distressed borrowers.

  • Covers mortgage commitments made on or after October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2011.
  • Requires existing mortgage holders to accept the proceeds of the insured loan as payment in full for all pre-existing indebtedness.

Federal Housing Finance Regulatory Reform Act of 2008


Mortgage Disclosure Improvement Act


Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008




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