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Stimulus bill, ‘TARP II’ offer housing incentives

$15,000 homebuyer tax credit, higher loan limits, lower rates in play
Published on Feb 10, 2009

A $15,000 homebuyer tax credit, higher loan limits for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA, and government spending to lower mortgage rates are all in play as Congress and the Obama administration near agreement on an economic stimulus bill and financial stability plan for banks. The Senate today approved an $838 billion economic stimulus bill that includes a $15,000 homebuyer tax credit, just hours after President Barack Obama's new Treasury secretary unveiled a multitrillion-dollar financial stability plan that includes $50 billion for foreclosure prevention programs. The financial stability plan may also lead to an expansion of existing efforts by the Federal Reserve to drive down mortgage interest rates by buying mortgage-backed securities and debt issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae. The version of the economic stimulus bill passed by the Senate in a 61-37 vote relies less on government spending and more on tax cuts to kick-start the economy than the version...

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