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ICBA: More Community Banks Offer FHA Home Financing Options

FHA Flexibility Benefits Community Bank Customers—Especially During Economically Challenging Times

Washington, D.C. (June 15, 2009)—June is National Homeownership Month and the nearly 5,000 members of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) are calling attention to the range of mortgage products community banks offer to help borrowers finance their home purchase or refinance an existing mortgage, including the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) programs.

“During these economically challenging times, ICBA is seeing more and more community banks offering FHA mortgages as part of their mortgage product portfolio,” said R. Michael Menzies, ICBA chairman and president and CEO of Easton Bank and Trust Co., Easton, Md. “New standards and modern processing options make FHA a more attractive option for community bank customers.”

Because FHA loans are backed by the government, borrowers may have greater flexibility when using FHA financing. Benefits associated with obtaining an FHA mortgage include:

  • Current and temporary FHA loan limits range from $271,050 to $729,750,
  • Lower down payment requirements,
  • More flexible total debt and housing debt to income ratios,
  • No reserve requirements for single-unit properties,
  • Lower monthly mortgage insurance premiums compared with the conventional conforming market,
  • Acceptance of limited or non-traditional credit history,
  • No minimum or credit score needed,
  • Third parties can pay for closing costs, prepaids and escrow,
  • Down-payment assistance and secondary financing allowed,
  • Non-occupant, co-borrowers permitted.

“For more information about FHA financing and other mortgage programs, customers should speak with their community bank first,” Menzies said. “Community banks are common-sense lenders that will work with their customers to find the best possible mortgage option.”

For more information, visit www.icba.org. To find a community bank near you, visit the ICBA community bank locator.