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Peters Reintroduces Bipartisan Bill to Bolster Housing Financial Literacy

Michigan Business Network
June 13, 2024 4:00 PM

S. Gary Peters

Rising Home Prices and Low Housing Supply are Impeding Housing Affordability for Many Americans, Especially First-Time Buyers

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) reintroduced bipartisan legislation that aims to improve housing affordability and financial literacy among prospective first-time homeowners. The Housing Financial Literacy Act would provide those who complete a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-certified housing counseling course the opportunity to claim a .25% deduction on their Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance premium. The bill also specifies that first-time homebuyers must complete the counseling course prior to applying for a mortgage or entering into a sales agreement. The bill was introduced in conjunction with National Homeownership Month, which takes place each June to support affordable home ownership in communities across the United States.  

“Purchasing a home can be a confusing and complicated process, and it is essential that all Michiganders have access to the training and resources needed to prepare for successful homeownership,” said Senator Peters. “This bipartisan bill incentivizes first-time homebuyers to learn these important skills by giving them a leg-up on their mortgage payments.” 

“Owning a home is part of the American dream, but it can seem daunting for first-time homebuyers,” said Senator Cornyn. “This legislation would help Texans manage their finances responsibly and make them less likely to face foreclosure down the road.” 

Below are statements from stakeholders in support of the legislation: 

“Improving financial education and providing communities with the resources to invest is a hallmark of the credit union industry. This bipartisan legislation from Senators Peters and Cornyn would incentivize first-time homebuyers to participate in financial literacy programs by offering a discount on Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage-insurance premium payments – a welcomed contribution as mortgage interest rates remains high and closing costs on the rise. Research has shown that financial literacy programs drastically lower late payment and default rates. Credit unions across the country are committed ensuring their members have access to the best products and services so the American dream of homeownership is more attainable and affordable,” said Jim Nussle, President/CEO of America’s Credit Unions. 

"Empowering first-time homebuyers through financial literacy is vital to ensuring stable and successful homeownership. The Housing Financial Literacy Act reintroduced by Senator Peters and Senator Cornyn offers a pathway towards this goal. This bipartisan initiative has the potential to not only encourage responsible homeownership, but also fosters economic resilience in communities nationwide. The National Association of Realtors® proudly supports this bill that shares in our commitment to empowering consumers with the knowledge and resources they need to make informed decisions in the housing market today,” said Kevin Sears, President of the National Association of Realtors. 
“Mortgage insurance premium fees can add additional cost burdens to home buyers in this high borrowing cost environment, and Senator Peters and Senator Cornyn’s bill goes a long way in helping to make homeownership more affordable and sustainable through a reduction on Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage- insurance premium payments and completing homeownership counseling.  We commend Senator Peters and Senator Cornyn for their bi-partisan leadership and hope that this proposal gets the support that it deserves and that this ultimately becomes law,” said Dr. Courtney Johnson Rose, President of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers.


“The Housing Financial Literacy Act is smart legislation to support First-Time-Homebuyers who are getting FHA insured loans, by providing a modest mortgage insurance premium reduction if they complete homebuyer housing counseling. This prepares the homebuyer, reduces risk for the lender, and helps protect the FHA fund against delinquency and default losses. This is the classic win-win situation for homeownership,” said Bruce Dorpalen, Executive Director of the National Housing Resource Center.



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