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Rush of moving activity before FHA deadline

Many moving families rushed to complete their mortgage application ahead of a federal deadline.

Many moving families rushed to complete their mortgage application ahead of a federal deadline.

Statistics from the Mortgage Bankers Association show that many families may be accelerating their moving plans in order to get ahead of regulations from the Federal Housing Administration.

The MBA's weekly survey found that during the week that ended October 1, mortgage applications for the purchase of a new home jumped 9.3 percent compared to the previous week, led by a 17.2 percent surge in the number of FHA applications. Jay Brinkmann, the MBA's chief economist, said that the increase may be because many people worked to get their applications in before new FHA regulations took effect.

Starting this past Monday, the FHA - which provides government-sponsored mortgage insurance for some loans - instituted minimum credit score requirements in order for borrowers to qualify for its programs, some of which include down payments as low as 3.5 percent.

FHA-backed loans have taken on a growing importance among moving families in recent years. A review of mortgage activity earlier this year by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council discovered that the FHA insured more than a third of all mortgages issued last year.