On July 30, 2008, President Bush signed H.R. 3221 - Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. Section 2113 of the bill prohibits seller-funded DPA (Down Payment Assistance) for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration. Prior to this bill, the seller could contribute up to 6% to the buyer to cover either a down payment or closing costs on an FHA loan. The changes took effect on Oct. 1, 2008.
We provide this information for reference only.
The Housing Action Resource Trust or HART program is a non-profit housing organization offering help to home buyers who qualify for FHA "first mortgage" loans. A first mortgage does not mean "first-time home buyers only," but rather those who are getting the initial mortgage and not applying for a second mortgage or home equity loan.
Those who have pre-approval for an FHA loan or have an approved FHA loan qualify for HART. This program is aimed at those who have the right credit and employment to qualify for an FHA loan but lack the money for a down payment and/or closing costs. To use the Housing Action Resource Trust:
As with other down payment assistance programs, the seller must agree to participate in the HART program. Your loan officer will let you know when funds are scheduled to be transferred in your name for the down payment and/or closing costs.
If your seller has not signed up for the HART program but is willing to participate, ask your loan officer and/or realtor for details on how the seller may register with the House Action Resource Trust.
Down payment assistance programs generally require the seller to pay a fee to participate. This fee is considered a payment for services rendered and not a tax-deductible charitable contribution.
Since this program is no longer available, we recommend that you get pre-approved for a low down payment FHA home loan.