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Peters Reintroduces Bipartisan Bill to Bolster Housing Financial Literacy

Legislation Comes as Coronavirus Pandemic Forces Families to Make Critical Financial Decisions

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today announced he reintroduced a bipartisan bill that would aim to bolster financial literacy among prospective first-time homeowners. The Housing Financial Literacy Act, which Peters reintroduced with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), 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. A bipartisan companion bill reintroduced by Representatives Joyce Beatty (OH-03) and Steve Stivers (OH-15) passed the House of Representatives unanimously last month.

“As we work to emerge from this pandemic, it is has never been more important that Michigan families have access to resources that will help them manage their personal finances,” said Senator Peters, member of the Congressional Financial Literacy Caucus. “This bipartisan bill would give more first-time homeowners a leg-up on their mortgage payments, but also the tools needed to maintain long-term financial stability for them and their loved ones.”

“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.”

The bipartisan legislation would grant qualifying first-time homebuyers a .25% reduction on their FHA mortgage insurance premium. For example, if a homebuyer were about to accept a 30-Year FHA mortgage at a 3.25% interest rate, they could take a HUD-approved housing counseling course and reduce it to 3%. 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.

Peters’ effort is supported by the National Association of Realtors, NAFCU, CUNA and the National Housing Resource Center.