The Housing Action Resource Trust (HART) program is a non-profit housing organization offering down payment assistance for home buyers qualified for FHA "first mortgage" loans. If you have pre-approval for an FHA loan or an existing FHA loan you qualify for HART. This program requires good credit and a solid employment history. If you have both, but lack the money for a down payment and/or closing costs, HART is for you;
Make an offer on a home from a participating seller.
Tell your loan officer you want to buy the home using the Housing Action Resource Trust program.
Your loan officer applies to HART on your behalf.
Your loan officer will let you know when funds are scheduled to be transferred in your name for the down payment and/or closing costs.
Most down payment assistance programs, including HART, require the seller to participate and pay a fee. If your seller has not signed up but wants to participate, ask your loan officer or realtor to explain how the seller may register with the House Action Resource Trust.
Elimination of Non-profit Down Payment Assistance
On July 30, 2008, President Bush signed H.R. 3221 - Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.
Section 2113 of the bill prohibits seller-funded DPA (Down Payment Assistance) for loans backed by
the Federal Housing Administration. Prior to this bill, the seller could contribute up to 6% to the buyer to
cover either a down payment or closing costs on an FHA loan. The changes became effective October 1, 2008.
Since this program is no longer available, we recommend that you get pre-approved for a low down payment FHA home loan.
Q: What types of closing costs are associated with FHA-insured loans?
A: Except for the addition of an FHA mortgage insurance premium, FHA closing costs are similar to those of a conventional loan. The FHA requires a single, up-front mortgage insurance premium equal to 2.25% of the mortgage to be paid at closing (or 1.75% if you complete the HELP program). This initial premium may be partially refunded if the loan is paid in full during the first seven years of the loan term. After closing, you will then be responsible for an annual premium - paid monthly - if your mortgage is over 15 years or if you have a 15-year loan with an LTV greater than 90%.