When you apply for an FHA guaranteed home loan, you'll learn there is no single dollar amount listed as the "maximum loan" allowed for an FHA mortgage. But there is an FHA loan limit established by county based on market conditions and other factors.

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News, updates, and explanations to keep you informed.

FHA Loan Limits for 2012

When you apply for an FHA guaranteed home loan, you'll learn there is no single dollar amount listed as the "maximum loan" allowed for an FHA mortgage. But there is an FHA loan limit established by county based on market conditions and other factors.

Every year the FHA publishes a list of the loan limits to help borrowers understand how much potential borrowing power they may have in their area (assuming the borrower qualifies for the maximum loan amount.)

The Federal Housing Administration posts its maximum loan limits for FHA loans as a downloadable PDF in the Mortgagee Letters section of the official website. The current posted loan limits as listed in FHA Mortgagee Letter 11-39 are effective between October 1, 2011 to December 31, 2012.

Unlike some previous years, the FHA loan limits for 2012 were actually in effect prior to the new year. For some borrowers in late 2011, there was some additional research needed for loans closed under the new loan limits.

According to HUD Mortgagee Letter 2011-39, for forward mortgages (new purchase FHA home loans, for example, as opposed to reverse mortgages or HECM loans) issued between November 18, 2011 through December 31, 2011,

"The Forward loan limits (floor, ceiling and county loan limits) that were in effect from January 1, 2011 through September 30, 2011, as announced in ML 10-40, shall apply for case numbers assigned from November 18, 2011 through December 31, 2011."

What about borrowers applying for FHA loans from January 1, 2012 and beyond?

The FHA mortgagee letter has some additional information for 2012 borrowers, too, stating that for all loans between January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012, "The FHA Floor and Ceiling loan limits will remain the same as those that were in effect from January 1, 2011 through September 30, 2011, as announced in FHA Mortgagee Letter 10-40. The individual county loan limits contained in Attachments I and II of this Mortgagee Letter will be in effect."

You can search those limits by viewing FHA Mortgagee Letter 2011-39 at the FHA official site.