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Bill would make low-income mortgates easier in the valley

WASHINGTON – Beleaguered San Joaquin Valley homeowners might catch a break, under a bill the House of Representatives passed today.

As part of a larger federal housing bill, the House approved an amendment designed to make it easier for homeowners to get mortgages in low- and moderate income areas. With foreclosure rates in the valley higher than the national average, Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced, called the measure an important step forward.

“Sadly, I represent communities that have been dubbed ‘foreclosure capital USA,’” Cardoza said in a prepared statement.

Cardoza co-authored the amendment that raises the Federal Housing Administration single family loan limit. Currently, the limit restricts the FHA loans to 95 percent of the median house price in an area. The amendment raises this limit to as much as 125 percent of the area’s median house price.

Cardoza noted that the foreclosures now claim one of every 79 homes in Stanislaus County and one of every 82 homes in Merced County. Nationwide, foreclosures claim only one of every 510 homes.

The House bill must still be reconciled with a Senate version.

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