House Passes Stimulus Package

The U.S. House of Representatives approved an $819 billion stimulus package — the Economic Recovery Package — this week, which if approved by the Senate will extend all 2008 Metropolitan Statistical Areas’ (MSAs’) Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA loan limits through the end of this year. The extension will prevent an MSA’s 2008 loan limit from being reduced in 2009 for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA. The bill also specifies that if an MSA’s loan limit is set to change, it can increase, but is prohibited from decreasing.

What does all that mean?

The passing of the stimulus bill contains a provision that will increase the conforming loan limit from the current $598,000 for Ventura County back to last year’s limit of $729,750.

The proposed legislation will eliminate an existing payback requirement on the first-time home buyer tax credit for qualified buyers who purchase a home between Dec. 31, 2008 and July 1, 2009.

The package also will provide up to $1,000 per year in tax relief for most families, increase funding for alternative energy production, and direct more than $300 billion in aid to states to help rebuild schools, provide health care, and reconstruct highways and bridges.

The Senate currently is working on its version of the stimulus legislation, and is expected to vote on it next week. Congress would like to get a bill to the President’s desk by President’s Day, Feb. 16.

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