“We’ve just been through an economic shock in this country when people lost their jobs through no fault of their own,” says Brian Sullivan, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees the FHA. “Now we’re in a recovery, and many borrowers have become re-employed and are able to sustain a mortgage again.”
To qualify, borrowers must fit the FHA’s profile of those who deserve an early second chance.
They must have lost their homes in a foreclosure or short sale because they were unemployed or experienced a big drop in household income due to circumstances “beyond the borrower’s control.” They have to show they have recovered financially and otherwise have a clean credit record. And they have to complete housing counseling.
The new guidelines are gradually gaining attention.
“We’re still in the digestive mode,” says Dan Starelli, senior vice president with Umpqua Bank in Sacramento.