The Department of Housing and Urban Development expects to issue the new loan limits for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Federal Housing Administration loans by March 7, sources have told MortgageWire. Congress raised the loan limits as part of the economic stimulus bill that President Bush signed on Feb. 13. And lenders are waiting for HUD to compute the new loan limits, which are based on 125% of median home prices, with a $729,750 cap. In a Feb. 20 conference call with industry groups and lenders, HUD officials indicated that separate lists of the higher-priced metropolitan statistical areas would be issued for FHA mortgages and for Fannie and Freddie mortgages. However, FHA lenders were disappointed that HUD has not decided whether the effective date should be determined by the date the lender receives an FHA case number or the date FHA insures the loan. The stimulus bill raised the FHA floor from $201,060 to $271,050, and lenders could begin making those higher-balance loans right now if HUD chose the date the loan is insured.

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