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Fannie: First-time buyers need counseling

Real estate brief

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Fannie Mae is reinstating required homeownership counseling for first-time buyers who don't have a solid credit history or are seeking loans tailored for low- and moderate-income buyers. Beginning Jan. 1, Fannie Mae will require counseling for home buyers relying on nontraditional credit or obtaining a MyCommunityMortgage loan to purchase a single-family home. Fannie Mae already requires pre-purchase counseling, including landlord education for borrowers purchasing a two- to four-unit property using a MyCommunityMortgage loan. Counseling must be provided prior to closing by an independent and certified third-party agency or counselor, Fannie Mae said, and cover topics including budgeting and credit, selecting a home, and obtaining a mortgage. Homebuyers will receive a personalized assessment of their financial position and readiness for homeownership, and an analysis of their credit history and current financial situation. Although Fannie Mae will encourage face-to-face co...