FHA Officially Raises HECM Loan Limit

Mortgagee Letter 2009-07 Raises Limits to $625,500

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development published Mortgagee Letter 2009-07, which officially raises the national limit for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages from $417,000 to $625,500 for the remainder of 2009.

The new limit took effect yesterday, 2/24/2009, the date of the Mortgagee Letter.

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Section Of the Mortgagee Letter…

February 24, 2009

MORTGAGEE LETTER 2009-07

TO: ALL APPROVED MORTGAGEES

SUBJECT: Loan Limit Increases for FHA

Home Equity Conversion Mortgages

Under ARRA, the national FHA loan limit for HECM will increase from $417,000 to $625,500 (from 100 percent to 150 percent of the conforming limit). HECM loan mortgagors do not undergo the same procedures for credit approval as do mortgagors for forward mortgages. FHA does not deem the credit approval process to be complete until the HECM loan is closed. Therefore, HECM loans closed on or after the date of this Mortgagee Letter are subject to the higher maximum dollar amounts.

In those areas, the maximum claim payable by FHA is 150 percent of the Freddie Mac conforming limits. To avoid potential cases where a claim could be less than the national limit, as adjusted for the special exception areas, HUD had decided not to make the adjustment. Therefore, these few special exception areas will have the same $625,500 limit as all other areas.

FHA will, for a limited time, allow HECM loans that received case number assignments but did not close prior to the effective date of this mortgagee letter to be closed using either the old limit that was used to originally calculate the loan, or the new limits as prescribed herein. An option will be made available in FHA Connection for the lender to choose which rate to use. This option will be available until April 30, 2009.