Senator Pleads Ignorance, Revealing Incompetence

There is a scandal brewing in Washington involving members of the Senate Banking Committee and Countrywide. Apparently these guys were getting “special deals” from Countrywide and are now pleading ignorance. I guess the trick is when you’re getting special treatment the best thing to do is not ask questions. I’ll have to keep that in mind if I should ever become a politician. 🙂

Denial. Ignorance. Incompetence. Fill your word here __________ after you watch the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee revealing to reporters that  he doesn’t know the interest rates these days. Geez. Why are you then spearheading one of the most important mortgage banking reforms of the modern era? Twitter me Senator, I’d be happy to send you hourly updates on mortgage rates:

More on the brewing scandal.

New Conforming Loan Limits Published

The temporarily increased conforming loan limits have been released. As you may recall this is part of the $168 billion Economic Stimulus Plan which was rushed through Congress last month. Here is an excerpt from the statement issued by the Office Of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO):

TEMPORARY CONFORMING LOAN LIMITS RELEASED FOR HIGH-COST AREAS

Washington, DC – The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) today released the maximum conforming loan limits that will be in effect through year-end as a result of The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. That legislation permits Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to raise their conforming loan limits in certain high-cost areas. The new jumbo limits are a function of median home prices as estimated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Not surprisingly Arizona is not significantly affected by the new conforming loan limit. In fact only the Flagstaff area experiences any change. There the conforming mortgage loan limit is increased to $450,000 (from $417,000). The new loan limits are based on the median home price by county. The limit was increased for only those areas where the median prices are greater than the current conforming loan limit ($417,000).

The Western States most affected are CA, CO, OR, WA. You can view the OFHEO published list of areas affected here.

Rates Climb Back Up to Early January Levels

What the market gives the market takes away. As you can see the 30 year mortgage rate is almost back to where it was earlier this year (2008). The ride back up has been very volatile, with two and on occasion three rate changes on any given day. Sometimes the changes have been in the opposite direction and has occurred within hours. Sign of the times.

Mortgage Rates Jan-Feb 2008

Data source: Freddie Mac

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