Real Estate & Land Use Newsletter: Summary of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008


On July 30, 2008, President Bush signed into law the ?American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008? (H.R. 3221), commonly known as the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (the ?Act?), legislation targeted to allay public fears stemming from the U.S. housing market crisis and dwindling confidence in U.S. financial markets. The Act amends certain provisions of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 and creates several sub-acts that (1) tighten the regulation of the housing government-sponsored enterprises (?GSEs?) such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (prior to their being put under conservatorship by the federal government), and the Federal Home Loan Banks (?FHLB,? together with the GSEs, collectively referred to in this article as the ?Regulated Entities?), (2) improve the missions of the Regulated Entities, (3) allow for temporary emergency authority to the U.S. Treasury (the ?Treasury?), (4) establish a standard licensing and registration system for all loan originators, mortgage brokers and loan officers; (5) expand lender disclosure requirements, (6) create an FHA program to help distressed homeowners refinance their loans, (7) reform the existing FHA program to allow additional homeowners greater access to the FHA program, (8) revise tax provisions relating to LIHTC, taxexempt bonds, and REITs, and (9) provide temporary tax credits for first-time homebuyers and new property tax deductions for certain current homeowners. This article, however, focuses specifically on those sub-acts relating to lenders covering items (1) through (5) above.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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