High Balance Loan Limit One More Year

Maximum Conforming and High Balance Loan Limits Remain the swame for HERA Loan Limits for 2014: Summary of High-Cost Areas

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced today the extension of High Balance Mortgage Loan Limits. Frankly we are fortunate as our government seems to be backing out of the loan business.
Metropolitan Statistical Areas: 

Statistical Areas and Rural Counties where Maximum HERA Conforming Loan for 2013

Limits for Mortgages Acquired in 2014 exceed $417,000 in Contiguous U.S. or $625,500 for locations in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands

Published November 27, 2013
ORANGE COUNTY CALIFORNIA Most zip codes $ 625500. High Balance Mortgage Loan remains available

VA Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV (Metropolitan Area)

Component Counties (VA): Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier,

Loudon, Prince William, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Warren

Component Cities (VA): Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg,

Manassas, Manassas Park

$ 625,500 $ 8 00,775 $ 967,950 $ 1,202,925

VA Cumberland $ 535,900 $ 6 86,050 $ 829,250 $ 1,030,600

VA King and Queen $ 535,900 $ 6 86,050 $ 829,250 $ 1,030,600

VA Lancaster $ 442,750 $ 5 66,800 $ 685,100 $ 851,450

VA Louisa $ 535,900 $ 6 86,050 $ 829,250 $ 1,030,600

VA Surry $ 458,850 $ 5 87,400 $ 710,050 $ 882,400

WA Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (Metropolitan Area)

Component Counties: King, Pierce, Snohomish

$ 506,000 $ 6 47,750 $ 783,000 $ 973,100

WA San Juan $ 483,000 $ 6 18,300 $ 747,400 $ 928,850

WV Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV (Metropolitan Area)

Component County (WV): Jefferson

$ 625,500 $ 8 00,775 $ 967,950 $ 1,202,925

WY Jackson, WY-ID (Micropolitan Area)

Component County (WY): Teton

$ 625,500 $ 8 00,775 $ 967,950 $ 1,202,925

MP Northern Islands $ 524,400 $ 6 71,300 $ 811,450 $ 1,008,450

MP Saipan Municipality $ 529,000 $ 6 77,200 $ 818,600 $ 1,017,300

MP Tinian Municipality $ 532,450 $ 6 81,650 $ 823,950 $ 1,023,950


rain chain


203K The Fixer upper Loan


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Fair Lending

ECOA Violations identifying mortgage lenders and fixing or penalizing mortgage companies, banks and lenders who are "unfair"
Corrective action is required “…when the self-test shows that it is more likely than not that a violation occurred, even though no violation has been formally adjudicated” (12 C.F.R. §1002.15(c)(1)).  In order to secure the privilege that comes with self-testing and corrective action, the corrective action must be “appropriate.” 

Regulation B provides guidelines for determining whether a creditor’s response to potential ECOA violations is appropriate.  First, the corrective action must be “…reasonably likely to remedy the cause and effect of a likely violation…” (12 C.F.R. §1002.15(c)(2)). 

regulations state that corrective action is reasonably likely to remedy the cause and effect of a violation if it:

  • Identifies “…the policies and practices that are the likely cause of the violation…” and
  • Assesses the “…extent and scope of any violation…”

(12 C.F.R. §1002.15(c)(2))

If self-testing reveals evidence of an actual or potential compliance failure, the creditor must determine whether it is necessary to provide remedial relief.  If the self-test involved the use of testers, and one of the testers received discriminatory treatment, the creditor is not required to provide remedial relief to the tester (12 C.F.R. §1002.15(c)(3)(i)). 

However, if the self-test shows that a credit applicant’s rights “…were more likely than not violated,” then the creditor is required to provide remedial relief to that applicant, unless the statute of limitations on an action available to the applicant has expired (12 C.F.R. §1002.15(c)(3)(ii-iii)).

In 2009, the DOJ, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the federal banking regulatory agencies wrote a Statement of Policy to address concerns regarding evidence of discriminatory treatment experienced by prospective homebuyers and borrowers.  This Statement includes answers to questions asked by financial institutions, including answers to inquiries regarding what a lender should do if self-testing shows evidence that lending discrimination exists.

·         Determining whether the discriminatory act or practice was the result of faulty lending policies, poor implementation of lending policies, or an isolated incident
·         Correcting policies or practices that may have led to a discriminatory act or practice
·         Disciplining and training employees involved
[1] Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Justice, et al. “Policy Statement on   Discrimination in Lending.”  3 Dec. 2009. Question 6.
Noting that while it does not “expunge or extinguish legal liability for violations of the law,” proactive measures that include self-testing and corrective action “…will be considered as a substantial mitigating factor by the primary regulatory agencies when contemplating possible enforcement actions.” [1]  The Statement also notes that self-testing and self-correction are regarded as a “substantial mitigating factor” when the DOJ and HUD determine whether to seek penalties in an action for ECOA violations.
Photographs of birdhouses in my Laguna Beach neighborhood, to cheer you up and make this legal information not so boring.


Fair Credit Laws

Laguna Beach Home

A little quiz with the answers as a cheat sheet if you are wondering about your rights to fair credit. Have you been denied employment or a loan? Quote the law noted in red
Penalty amounts under the Fair Housing Act depend on a respondent’s history of noncompliance.
2. Harassment is not considered a form of discrimination under the Fair Housing Act.
3. The Fair Housing Act prohibits any person or business engaged in real estate-related transactions from discriminating because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
4. The Fair Housing Act was actually the first law that Congress enacted to address redlining and other issues related to fair housing and nondiscriminatory mortgage lending practices.
5. When HUD receives fair housing complaints, the parties to the dispute, known as the complainant and the respondent, will have an opportunity to enter a conciliation agreement.
6. Disparate treatment involves treating one group of consumers differently from others, based on whether or not they are qualified for a loan.
7. The process of securitization includes collecting loans with similar credit risks, loan terms, and other comparable features into a “pool” and selling an interest in this pool to investors as mortgage-backed securities.
8. The protected classes, or those individuals or groups of individuals who will receive protection under the Fair Housing Act, are identical to those established under ECOA.
9. The Fair Housing Act provisions that prohibit discrimination based on familial status also apply to qualified senior housing.
10. Even though the Fair Housing Act does not expressly include sexual orientation or gender identity as protected classes, discrimination against LGBT individuals is arguably discrimination based on sex and in violation of the existing law.
1. A class that the Fair Housing Act expressly names as a protected class and that ECOA does not expressly name as a protected class is:
2. HUD’s new fair housing policy prohibits an assessment of eligibility for an FHA-insured loan that is based on a consideration of:
National origin
Marital status
3. HUD has a new policy that seeks to ensure the availability of HUD lending and housing programs without consideration of particular personal characteristics. All but which of the following is a personal characteristic that is protected under the new policy?
Marital status
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Political party affiliation
4. The Fair Housing Act provisions that prohibit discrimination based on familial status do not apply to:
Mortgage brokers
Qualified senior housing
HUD housing
5. A conciliation agreement cannot be finalized without the signature of:
The CFPB Director
A judge in a federal court in the district where the discrimination allegedly occurred
An administrative law judge
HUD’s Assistant Secretary
an employer refuses to promote an employee because of information contained in a consumer report, what does the Fair Credit Reporting Act require of the employer?

That it send notice of the decision not to promote to the consumer reporting agency

Nothing is required because FCRA does not apply to decisions to promote
That it give the employee a copy of the report

That it provide the employee with reasons for the decision not to hire him or her
Consumer reporting agencies are not allowed to give an entity asking for a report a record of inquiries in connection with a credit or insurance transaction not initiated by a consumer. However, consumer reporting agencies are allowed, upon request, to disclose to a consumer a record of all inquiries received by the reporting agency within the one-year period prior to a consumer’s request that identified the consumer in connection with a credit or insurance transaction not initiated by the consumer (15 U.S.C. §1681g).
report provided in a credit or insurance transaction may contain the following pieces of information, except:

An identifying number used to identify the consumer

The consumer’s name

The consumer’s address
The consumer’s Social Security number
FCRA gives consumers the right to prevent a consumer report from being provided in connection with a credit or insurance transaction that they did not initiate (15 U.S.C. §1681b(e)). To get on the do-not-send list, a consumer has two options. First, the consumer can use the notification system that the consumer reporting agency uses (FCRA requires that all consumer reporting agencies establish a notification system, which could be as simple as a toll-free telephone number).
provisions of this subsection alter, affect, or supersede the applicability of any other provisions of federal law relating to medical confidentiality.
Which of the following accurately states the rule for sharing information about medical treatment histories?
Only consumer consent is required in an insurance situation, but more is required for an employment or credit transaction

The information cannot be shared even where the consumer consents

Only consumer consent is required in a credit situation, but more is required for an insurance or employment situation

Only consumer consent is required in an employment situation, but more is required for an insurance or credit transaction
  • Arrest records that are more than seven years old, unless the statute of limitations has not expired, at which point the arrest may be reported until the statute of limitations expires
  • Tax liens that are more than seven years old
  • Accounts placed for collection (or charged off) that are more than seven years old
  • Any other adverse information that is more than seven years old, other than conviction of a crime (conviction of a crime can always be reported, no matter how old);
  • The name, address, and telephone number of any medical information provider unless either:
    • That information does not convey information on the nature of the services (the name of a psychiatric center, for example, would not qualify because it conveys information that the consumer has mental health problems), or
    • The report is being provided to an insurance company for purposes related to an insurance matter not involving property and casualty insurance
(15 U.S.C. §1681c(a))

FCRA also contains a list of situations in which the rules about what can be contained in a consumer report do not apply. The rules do not apply in the following situations:
  • A credit transaction involving, or which may reasonably be expected to involve, a principal amount of at least $150,000
  • The underwriting of life insurance involving, or which may reasonably be expected to involve, a face amount of at least $150,000
  • An employment situation in which the employee is expected to receive an annual salary of at least $75,000
(15 U.S.C. §1681c(b))

Beach Patio by Caroline Gerardo
NMLS 324982