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Full Text of this Amendment

SA 4435. Ms. LANDRIEU submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill H.R. 3221, moving the United States toward greater energy independence and security, developing innovative new technologies, reducing carbon emissions, creating green jobs, protecting consumers, increasing clean renewable energy production, and modernizing our energy infrastructure, and to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax incentives for the production of renewable energy and energy conservation;
which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

At the end, add the following:

This title may be cited as the ``Home Ownership Made Easier Act'' or the ``HOME Act''.
(a) In General.--Section 502(h) of the Housing Act of 1949 (42 U.S.C. 1472(h)) is amended--
(1) by amending paragraph (3) to read as follows:
``(3) INCOME LIMITS FOR ELIGIBLE BORROWERS.--To be eligible to receive a guaranteed loan pursuant to this subsection, the income of a borrower--
``(A) shall not exceed the current 4-person household limit, as defined by the Secretary, for a borrower living in a 1 to 4 person household;
``(B) shall not exceed the current 8-person household limit, as defined by the Secretary, for a borrower living in a 5 to 8 person household; and
``(C) shall not exceed the current household limits for households greater than 8 persons, as defined by the Secretary, for a borrower living in a household of more than 8 persons.'';
(2) in paragraph (4)--
(A) in subparagraph (A) by inserting ``and'' after the semicolon;
(B) by striking subparagraph (B);
(C) by redesignating subparagraph (C) as subparagraph (B); and
(D) in subparagraph (B), as so redesignated, by striking the period and inserting the following ``having a population of not more than 40,000.'';
(3) in paragraph (8), by striking ``1 percent'' and inserting ``2 percent'';
(4) by amending paragraph (9) to read as follows:
``(A) IN GENERAL.--Any loan guaranteed under this subsection or any loan not guaranteed under this section, but which is owed by an individual who would qualify as an eligible borrower under paragraph (3) on a residence that would qualify under paragraph (4), may be refinanced or extended for any of the following purposes:
``(i) To pay off any other loan (including a first or second purchase mortgage) not made or guaranteed under this section.
``(ii) To repair mechanical or structural deficiencies to the residence of the borrower, provided that such repairs are made under the supervision of an eligible lender, as that term is defined in paragraph (6).
``(iii) To pay for closing costs as may be authorized by the Secretary, which shall include a discount not to exceed 200 basis points and an origination fee not to exceed 100 basis points. For each 100 basis points of discount, there shall be a minimum corresponding reduction of a 50 basis points in the maximum note rate, as defined by the Secretary, charged to the borrower.
``(iv) To allow the borrower to consolidate the debts of the borrower up to the greater of $10,000 or 10 percent of the loan amount, provided that such amounts shall be disbursed by the settlement agent at the time of the loan closing.
``(v) For any other purpose, and under such terms and conditions, as the Secretary shall prescribe.
``(B) LIMITATION.--Any loan described under subparagraph (A) may not be refinanced or extended for an additional amount or term which exceeds the limitations under this subsection.''; and
(5) by adding at the end the following:
``(15) ELIGIBILITY NOT DEPENDENT ON QUALIFYING UNDER OTHER HOUSING PROGRAMS.--In no event or circumstance shall an otherwise eligible borrower be denied a loan or loan guarantee under this section solely because such borrower is not eligible (or is eligible and has not applied for) assistance under any other loan, housing, housing assistance, or other housing related program administered, in whole or in part, by the Federal Government.
``(16) AUTHORITY TO HIRE ADDITIONAL STAFF.--The Secretary, in his or her discretion, may hire such additional administrative full-time personnel as is necessary to carry out the administration of the guaranteed loan program established under this subsection.''.
(b) Additional Funding.--There are appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated for the fiscal year 2008--
(1) $1,000,000,000, to remain available until expended, for gross obligations for the principal amount of guaranteed loans as authorized under section 502(h) of the Housing Act of 1949, to be available from funds in the rural housing insurance fund under section 517 of such Act; and
(2) such sums as are necessary to the Secretary of Agriculture to hire additional staff as authorized under section 502(h)(16).
Section 501(b)(5)(A) of the Housing Act of 1949 (42 U.S.C. 1471(b)(5)(A)) is amended by inserting before the period the following: ``, except that for purposes of this title the mandatory exclusion amount for minors, students, and persons with disabilities under the definition of adjusted income shall be $2,400''.

(As printed in the Congressional Record for the Senate on Apr 4, 2008.)