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New FHA standards for insured mortgages

New standards from

the Federal Housing

Administration's insured loans program:

Minimum 580 "Fair Isaac Corporation" credit score to qualify for a minimum 3.5 percent down payment, effective early summer.

Less than 580 FICO

requires 10 percent down payment (instead of 3.5 percent under current rules) effective in early summer

Mortgage insurance

premium increases from 1.75 percent of loan to 2.25. That amounts to an extra $2,000 for a $400,000 mortgage, effective in spring.

Maximum seller

concessions fall from

6 percent to 3 percent,

effective early summer

after comment period.

Report card ranking

FHA-approved lenders' performance, on Internet

by Feb. 1.

A lender's FHA loan-

making and underwriting licenses can be terminated nationwide on the basis of its regional performances. Congressional approval required.

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