CAI Mortgage Matters Program – What is it, What it does and how it can help Homeowner Associations

Article from CAI - Community Association Institute

Mortgage Matters – Ensuring access to mortgages for the 62 million Americans in community associations

Mortgage Matters—Protecting communities, homeowners and homebuyers

  • Ensuring that Americans can obtain mortgages for homes in  community associations.
  • Preserving the ability of community association homeowners to sell their homes.
  • Safeguarding the financial well-being of homeowners and condominium associations.

View our free CAI Mortgage Matters Webinar*

The federal government is undertaking sweeping changes that will determine who gets mortgages, for what type of home and in what type of community. The impact of these changes will be profound and have the potential to impact the value and viability of tens of thousands of homeowner and condominium associations and the homes within them. In fact if there is one element of the federal response to the mortgage and housing crisis, it is that regulators and legislators lack a basic and clear understanding of the principles that govern housing in community associations.

Decisions that Congress and federal agencies are making today will determine the marketability of your home and your ability to get a mortgage in the future.

CAI’s Mortgage Matters initiative is a comprehensive response to critical challenges at the federal level. The common thread to each of these challenges is to ensure that potential homebuyers have access to affordable mortgage products and that the criteria used to determine loans in community associations are realistic measures of an association’s financial health. As the rules being developed today will likely govern mortgages and thus the financial health of associations for the next several decades, the stakes could not be higher.

CAI is working on four fronts to protect America’s community associations:

·         Working to revise the FHA Condominium Insurance Guidelines.
·         Opposing the misguided FHFA Private Deed-Based Transfer Fee Regulation.
·         Providing expertise to several government agencies as they create the new regulations for mortgages called Qualified Residential Mortgages (QRM).
·         Providing essential perspective on the larger issues of ensuring the flow of capital into the mortgage markets when Congress eliminated Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as they undertake reform of these Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE Reform).

Through our work in these four areas, CAI is fighting to ensure that homebuyers have access to affordable mortgages for homes in community associations and that associations remain a vibrant part of America’s housing mix.

Why is this important?

Common-interest communities—including homeowners associations, condominium communities and cooperatives—are home to more than one in five Americans—62 million people! Because community association residents assess themselves for the upkeep of their communities and their services and amenities, associations save state and local governments more than $40 billion a year in expenses that would otherwise fall on local taxpayers. Because of resident support amenities and rules to protect property values, homes in community associations are also worth more than similar properties that are not located in an association.



Tue, 26 Jul 2011

On Friday, July 22, 2011, CAI filed a challenge to provisions of the FHA Mortgage Insurance Guidance with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. CAI’s letter asserts that FHA failed to perform neither the necessary due diligence nor appropriate research prior to issuing Mortgagee Letter 2011-22. Under federal policy embodied in Executive Order 12866, federal agencies are required to meet procedural and substantive requirements prior to issuing regulations. CAI challenged the FHA guidance in four areas: the fidelity insurance mandate for management companies, the 30 day delinquency standard, project certification requirements and provisions related to deed restrictions. Read More…

Wed, 20 Jul 2011

In Mid-July 2011, the Associated Press ran a story on association assessments with the typical sensationalism and lack of accuracy that so often is a hallmark of today’s journalism. The story was titled “Associations Pit Neighbor against Neighbor” and focused on “mighty” association boards who abuse their powers by seeking to collect association assessments. The story did not touch on the fact that assessments are a critical part of an association resident’s responsibilities or that if too many residents are late in their assessments, the property deteriorates and the delinquency rate may preclude all residents from qualifying for mortgages. Only in the press could folks who don’t pay their bills be held up as victims and those who do pay their bills be assailed as villains. You can read CAI’s response to AP here.

Wed, 20 Jul 2011

CAI’s work on federal issues involving mortgages and FHA condominium underwriting are making headlines. After the release of new guidance on June 30, 2011, CAI’s strong critique is helping shape news coverage across the country. Features are currently being run by AP, USA Today, Reserve Mortgage Daily and Columbus Dispatch. Read them at the links below:

FHA’s New Rules: More Pain for the Condo Market

FHA Condo Changes: More Questions Than Answers

Neighbor vs. neighbor as homeowner fights get ugly

Federal rules no boost to condominium industry

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