Halts implementation to review claims of “unlawful destruction” by Native American group
The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Wednesday that it was delaying the implementation of new rules regarding down payment assistance for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration in response to a lawsuit filed by a Utah-based Native American group.
Last week, HUD issued what it called “informal guidance” to clarify documentation required for borrowers using funds from another person or entity to cover part of the FHA’s minimum down payment requirement of 3.5%.
But according to the Cedar Band of Paiutes, a federally recognized American Indian band that operates the Cedar Band Corp. and the CBC Mortgage Agency, the rules have far-reaching and damaging consequences, and effectively put its down payment assistance program out of business.
The group filed a lawsuit Monday claiming that the new guidance – which was set forth in Mortgagee Letter 19-06 – represents “a radical shift in longstanding HUD policy that effectively outlaws CBCMA’s business and pulls the rug out from under many borrowers, who now will be unable to close on their home purchase.”
The group further claimed that the mortgagee letter “unlawfully targets American Indian tribes and bands by prohibiting them from participating in home-purchasing assistance programs and thus threatens a critical source of revenue for the Cedar Band.”
The lawsuit sought an order to immediately halt the policy’s enforcement on the grounds that it was adopted without issuing proper notice and opportunity for comment, and that it stands in violation of federal law.
Now, HUD has backed off its guidance, issuing a 90-day stay to review the policy in light of the Cedar Band’s claims.
The group’s lead counsel, Helgi Walker of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, said the harm caused by HUD’s mortgage letter was staggering.
“We are pleased that the government understood the need to hit the pause button and return to the status quo for a period of time,” Walker said. “We remain confident that we will prevail in permanently rectifying this unlawful agency action.”
Author: Jessica Guerin – Editor at Housing Wire – April 25th, 2019 https://www.housingwire.com/articles/48882-hud-delays-new-rule-on-fha-down-payment-assistance-in-response-to-lawsuit
Jessica Guerin is an editor at HousingWire covering reverse mortgages and the housing wealth space. She is a graduate of Boston University and has a master’s degree from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. She worked previously as the editor-in-chief of The Reverse Review magazine, which was recently acquired by HousingWire.
Governor: California’s housing crisis is a threat to our state’s future.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced recently that the state of California is suing Huntington Beach for “standing in the way of affordable housing production and refusing to meet regional housing needs,” causing “harm to Californian families’ ability to find affordable places to live.”
According to the Governor, California has attempted for quite some time to work with Huntington Beach to comply with the proposed state housing law, but even after several attempts to convince the city to create affordable establishments, the city has refused to build more affordable housing.
The law emphasizes that a city’s housing plan must accommodate a “fair share of the regional housing needs and provide zoning that encourages the development of housing that is affordable to the city’s residents across all income levels, including affordable housing and middle-income housing.”
The issue at hand is Huntington Beach has altered its housing plan to drastically reduce the number of affordable housing.
According to the Governor, the state has attempted to work with the city to ensure that there are more affordable housing projects getting approved, therefore bringing the city of Huntington Beach into compliance with state law. However, the city council recently voted to reject a proposal to build more affordable housing in the city.
As a result, Governor Newsom was forced to take action and sue the city of Huntington Beach.
“The state doesn’t take this action lightly,” Newsom acknoledged. “The huge housing costs and sky-high rents are eroding
The state’s lawsuit against Huntington Beach “seeks to ensure housing equity, requiring the city to amend its housing plan to bring it into compliance with state law by planning for the development of additional housing units that are accessible to residents of all income levels,” Newsom’s office said.
“Cities and counties are important partners in addressing this housing crisis, and many cities are making herculean efforts to meet this crisis head on,” Newsom said. “But some cities are refusing to do their part to address this crisis and willfully stand in violation of California law. Those cities will be held to account.”
Reference: Ben Lane (2019) California sues one of its own cities for not building enough affordable housing
Put these tips to work and get a healthier bank account — starting today.
If someone were to take a hefty amount from your bank account, you’d most likely notice, especially if a transaction was declined or a payment bounced. But how quickly would you notice if a small amount were being removed, say $5 or $10, every month?
Most of us have a general idea of how much money is in our accounts, but we pay little attention to each expenditure — especially if your bills for that apartment in Raleigh, NC, are set on autopay. So while the ship may still be afloat, small money leaks could end up wreaking havoc below the surface. Here are a few unexpected ways you might be siphoning cash — and how to manage your money and plug those leaks.
Five Unexpected Money Leaks
1. Food waste. Ask the average American where they overspend and chances are they’ll mention food, both at restaurants and the grocery store. Yet while you may shovel a large portion of your budget toward this expense, there is probably a large amount of waste as well. A study by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that Americans waste 40% of their food purchases — which equates to an average of $2,000 per year, per household. Meal planning and resisting the urge to buy in bulk can do wonders when it comes to cutting down on excess spending and combating this socially-prevalent money leak.
2. Bank Fees. Banks have found plenty of ways to cash in on fees, and many act as cash parasites on your accounts. Case in point: overdraft fees. Before 2010, many banks automatically equipped accounts with overdraft protection, resulting in an average charge of about $35 for each transaction that put a customer in the red.
However, after enactment of the Overdraft Protection Law, banks were required to get customers to opt in to receive the “protection.” A 2014 study conducted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that opted-in customers paid seven times more in overdraft and nonsufficient-funds fees than those who hadn’t opted in.
If you’re paying a monthly fee simply to access your funds or for services you don’t need, it’s time to re-evaluate how you bank and whom you bank with.
3. Energy Hogs. Energy costs typically vary throughout the year. But the change in price isn’t always a direct reflection of the weather. It can also display the energy-saving efforts you have or haven’t taken at home. Programmable thermostats, for example, create a contented environment when it matters most — when you’re actually at home. During the winter, thermal curtains or draft stoppers can keep the hot air inside, and closing your shades during the summer will keep things cool. If your heat or air conditioning is overworking during the hours you’re away, you could be wasting hundreds of dollars each year. Other overlooked energy suckers that could be breaking the bank slowly, are outdated appliances and incandescent light bulbs.
4. Subscriptions and memberships. Subscription services are easy to sign up for, but most of us aren’t as quick to put a stop to them when they’re no longer useful — probably because a $10 monthly charge isn’t a noticeable enough hit to our checking accounts. But if you’ve signed up for more than one of these services, whether it’s getting razors in the mail or a cooking magazine you never crack open, those small fees can quickly add up. Take a moment to audit your subscriptions and say goodbye to the ones you no longer use.
Another potential money drain is a gym membership. If you joined with the January crowd but didn’t stick to your gym routine, it may be time to look into the financial benefits of canceling your membership and searching for apartments with fitness centers or even investing with an upfront, one-time fee for a workout application.
5. Price Creep. Cable and internet providers are frequent culprits of “price creep.” New-customer pricing eventually expires and sometimes fees get attached incorrectly. If you aren’t paying attention, you could be paying far beyond your budgeted amount.
Just remember: every little bit helps! With a little planning and some thoughtful decision making, your bank account could become much healthier. Just put these tips to work and plug up those money leaks.
– See more at: https://www.trulia.com/blog/are-invisible-money-leaks-draining-your-account/#sthash.SDy5usW6.dpuf