There is established in the Federal Housing Administration a HOPE for Homeowners Program.
In carrying out any of the program requirements or standards established under paragraph (1), the Secretary may issue such interim guidance and mortgagee letters as the Secretary determines necessary or appropriate.
The Board shall advise the Secretary regarding the establishment and implementation of the HOPE for Homeowners Program.
The Secretary is authorized upon application of a mortgagee to make commitments to insure or to insure any eligible mortgage that has been refinanced in a manner meeting the requirements under subsection (e).
The mortgagor shall provide a certification to the Secretary that the mortgagor has not intentionally defaulted on the existing mortgage or mortgages or any other substantial debt within the last 5 years and has not knowingly, or willfully and with actual knowledge, furnished material information known to be false for the purpose of obtaining the eligible mortgage to be insured and has not been convicted under Federal or State law for fraud during the 10-year period ending upon the insurance of the mortgage under this section.
The mortgagor shall agree in writing that the mortgagor shall be liable to repay to the Secretary any direct financial benefit achieved from the reduction of indebtedness on the existing mortgage or mortgages on the residence refinanced under this section derived from misrepresentations made by the mortgagor in the certifications and documentation required under this paragraph, subject to the discretion of the Secretary.
As of the date of application for a commitment to insure or insurance under this section, the mortgagor shall have had, or thereafter is likely to have, due to the terms of the mortgage being reset, a ratio of mortgage debt to income, taking into consideration all existing mortgages of that mortgagor at such time, greater than 31 percent (or such higher amount as the Secretary determines appropriate).
All penalties for prepayment or refinancing of the eligible mortgage, and all fees and penalties related to default or delinquency on the eligible mortgage, shall be waived or forgiven.
All holders of outstanding mortgage liens on the property to which the eligible mortgage relates shall agree to accept the proceeds of the insured loan and any payments made under this paragraph, as payment in full of all indebtedness under the eligible mortgage, and all encumbrances related to such eligible mortgage shall be removed. The Secretary may take such actions as may be necessary and appropriate to facilitate coordination and agreement between the holders of the existing senior mortgage and any existing subordinate mortgages, taking into consideration the subordinate lien status of such subordinate mortgages. Such actions may include making payments, which shall be accepted as payment in full of all indebtedness under the eligible mortgage, to any holder of an existing subordinate mortgage, in lieu of any future appreciation payments authorized under subparagraph (B).
The Secretary may establish standards and policies that will allow for the payment to the holder of any existing subordinate mortgage of a portion of any future appreciation in the property secured by such eligible mortgage that is owed to the Secretary pursuant to subsection (k).
This paragraph may not be construed to require any holder of any existing mortgage to participate in the program under this section generally, or with respect to any particular loan.
The principal obligation amount of the eligible mortgage to be insured shall not exceed 132 percent of the dollar amount limitation in effect for 2007 under section 1454(a)(2) of this title for a property of the applicable size.
A mortgagor may not grant a new second lien on the mortgaged property during the first 5 years of the term of the mortgage insured under this section, except as the Secretary determines to be necessary to ensure the maintenance of property standards.
In complying with the FHA underwriting requirements under the HOPE for Homeowners Program under this section, the mortgagee shall document and verify the income of the mortgagor or non-filing status in accordance with procedures and standards that the Secretary shall establish (provided that such procedures and standards are consistent with section 1709(b) of this title to the maximum extent possible) which may include requiring the mortgagee to procure a copy of the income tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service, for the two most recent years for which the filing deadline for such years has passed.
The mortgagor shall not have been convicted under Federal or State law for fraud during the 10-year period ending upon the insurance of the mortgage under this section.
The duty of the mortgagee to ensure that the mortgagor is in compliance with the prohibition under subparagraph (A) shall be satisfied if the mortgagee makes a good faith effort to determine that the mortgagor has not been convicted under Federal or State law for fraud during the period described in subparagraph (A).
The mortgagor shall provide documentation satisfactory in the determination of the Secretary to prove that the residence covered by the mortgage to be insured under this section is occupied by the mortgagor as the primary residence of the mortgagor, and that such residence is the only residence in which the mortgagor has any present ownership interest, except that the Secretary may provide exceptions to such latter requirement (relating to present ownership interest) for any mortgagor who has inherited a property.
The mortgagor shall not have a net worth, as of the date the mortgagor first applies for a mortgage to be insured under the Program under this section, that exceeds $1,000,000.
The Board shall conduct a study of the need for and efficacy of an auction or bulk refinancing mechanism to facilitate refinancing of existing residential mortgages that are at risk for foreclosure into mortgages insured under this section. The study shall identify and examine various options for mechanisms under which lenders and servicers of such mortgages may make bids for forward commitments for such insurance in an expedited manner.
Not later than the expiration of the 60-day period beginning on July 30, 2008
No mortgage lender, mortgage broker, mortgage banker, real estate broker, appraisal management company, employee of an appraisal management company, nor any other person with an interest in a real estate transaction involving an appraisal in connection with a mortgage insured under this section shall improperly influence, or attempt to improperly influence, through coercion, extortion, collusion, compensation, instruction, inducement, intimidation, nonpayment for services rendered, or bribery, the development, reporting, result, or review of a real estate appraisal sought in connection with the mortgage.
The Secretary may impose a civil money penalty for any knowing and material violation of paragraph (1) under the same terms and conditions as are authorized in section 1735f–14(a) of this title.
The Secretary shall, by rule or order, establish standards and policies to require the underwriter of the insured loan to provide such representations and warranties as the Secretary considers necessary or appropriate to enforce compliance with all underwriting and appraisal standards of the HOPE for Homeowners Program.
The Secretary shall not pay insurance benefits to a mortgagee who violates the representations and warranties, as established under paragraph (1), or in any case in which a mortgagor fails to make the first payment on a refinanced eligible mortgage.
The Secretary may establish such other standards or policies as necessary to protect against adverse selection, including requiring loans identified by the Secretary as higher risk loans to demonstrate payment performance for a reasonable period of time prior to being insured under the program.
For each eligible mortgage insured under this section, the Secretary may, upon any sale or disposition of the property to which the mortgage relates, be entitled to up to 50 percent of appreciation, up to the appraised value of the home at the time when the mortgage being refinanced under this section was originally made. The Secretary may share any amounts received under this paragraph with or assign the rights of any amounts due to the Secretary to the holder of the existing senior mortgage on the eligible mortgage, the holder of any existing subordinate mortgage on the eligible mortgage, or both.
There is established in the Federal Housing Administration a revolving fund to be known as the Home Ownership Preservation Entity Fund, which shall be used by the Secretary for carrying out the mortgage insurance obligations under this section.
The HOPE Fund shall be administered and managed by the Secretary, who shall establish reasonable and prudent criteria for the management and operation of any amounts in the HOPE Fund.
The aggregate original principal obligation of all mortgages insured under this section may not exceed $300,000,000,000.
The Secretary shall carry out outreach efforts to ensure that homeowners, lenders, and the general public are aware of the opportunities for assistance available under this section.
The Secretary shall take such actions as may be necessary to ensure that securities based on and backed by a trust or pool composed of mortgages insured under this section are available to be guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association as to the timely payment of principal and interest.
To carry out the purposes of section 1721 of this title, the Government National Mortgage Association may enter into new commitments to issue guarantees of securities based on or backed by mortgages insured under this section, not exceeding $300,000,000,000. The amount of authority provided under the preceding sentence to enter into new commitments to issue guarantees is in addition to any amount of authority to make new commitments to issue guarantees that is provided to the Association under any other provision of law.
The Secretary may not enter into any new commitment to insure any refinanced eligible mortgage, or newly insure any refinanced eligible mortgage pursuant to this section before October 1, 2008 or after September 30, 2011.
The term “approved financial institution or mortgagee” means a financial institution or mortgagee approved by the Secretary under section 1709 of this title as responsible and able to service mortgages responsibly.
The term “Board” means the Advisory Board for the HOPE for Homeowners Program. The Board shall be composed of the Secretary, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or their designees.
The term “existing senior mortgage” means, with respect to a mortgage insured under this section, the existing mortgage that has superior priority.
The term “existing subordinate mortgage” means, with respect to a mortgage insured under this section, an existing mortgage that has subordinate priority to the existing senior mortgage.
The term “HOPE for Homeowners Program” means the program established under this section.
The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, except where specifically provided otherwise.
A member of the Board who is an officer or employee of the Federal Government shall serve without additional pay (or benefits in the nature of compensation) for service as a member of the Board.
Members of the Board shall be entitled to receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, equivalent to those set forth in subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5.
The Board may prescribe, amend, and repeal such bylaws as may be necessary for carrying out the functions of the Board.
A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum.
Upon request of the Board, any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the Board without reimbursement, and such detail shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.
The Board shall procure the services of experts and consultants as the Board considers appropriate.
This section shall not be construed to require that any approved financial institution or mortgagee participate in any activity authorized under this section, including any activity related to the refinancing of an eligible mortgage.
Except as otherwise provided for in this section or by action of the Secretary, the provisions and requirements of section 1709(b) of this title shall apply with respect to the insurance of any eligible mortgage under this section. The Secretary shall conform documents, forms, and procedures for mortgages insured under this section to those in place for mortgages insured under section 1709(b) of this title to the maximum extent possible consistent with the requirements of this section.
Funds received pursuant to section 4568(b) of this title shall be used to reimburse the Secretary of the Treasury for amounts borrowed under paragraph (1).
If the net cost to the Federal Government for the HOPE for Homeowners Program exceeds the amount of funds received under paragraph (2), remaining debts of the HOPE for Homeowners Program shall be paid from amounts deposited into the fund established by the Secretary under section 4567(e) of this title, remaining amounts in such fund to be used to reduce the National debt.
Amounts collected under the HOPE for Homeowners Program in accordance with subsections (i) and (k) in excess of the net cost to the Federal Government for such Program shall be used to reduce the National debt.
The Secretary, with the concurrence of the Board, shall, if feasible, establish a structure and organize procedures for an auction to refinance eligible mortgages on a wholesale or bulk basis.