Archive for FHA Lending

 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced a quarter-percent reduction in mortgage insurance premiums on certain FHA loans. According to HUD, homeowners may save $500 per year on mortgage insurance.
FHA loans have benefits that can include small down payment requirements and, in some cases, easier qualification. Whether you purchase or refinance, the recent reduction may help by:
• Improving affordability
• Allowing access to higher loan amounts
• Offsetting the impact of recent increases in mortgage interest rates
If you have questions about FHA loans, mortgage insurance or any other aspect of mortgage financing, I’ll be happy to help. Please call or send me an email at your convenience.

Categories : FHA Lending
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A good credit score translates into lower interest rates for home-shopping borrowers. In a mortgage lender’s eyes, the higher your score is, the less risk you are, and the more likely it is you will pay off your debt. For this reason, borrowers with lower scores usually end up paying higher interest rates on their loans.If this is you, don’t panic. There are a number of things you can do to adjust your credit score to receive a favorable review from the underwriter. Here are a few suggestions:

Should I pay off all my past due balances and charge-offs?
This is usually a good idea, but you only need to worry about the past due balances and charge-offs that have occurred in the last two years. Items more than two years old have little effect on your current credit score. In fact, if you pay off delinquent items over two years old, it can actually bring your credit score down – something you don’t want to do. Bringing that score up means you’ll get a better interest rate on your loan.

Should I close existing credit card accounts that I don’t use?

No. Part of your credit score is based upon credit history. If you have old credit cards that you don’t use very much, you still have the benefit of the credit history they represent.

Rather than trying to pay off all your credit cards, you can move part of the debt from one card to another to even out the distribution of debt. Try to keep balances as close to zero as possible, and definitely below 30% of the available credit limit when trying to purchase a home. Also, if your credit provider will increase your line of credit, the ratio of debt to available credit is automatically reduced.

When married couples have separate credit card accounts, the debt can be transferred from one spouse to another to clear up credit issues for the other spouse. That spouse with clean credit can be designated as the sole borrower on the loan, but ownership of the home can still go in both names.

What about errors on my credit report?

If you have items that are showing up on your credit report that you know you have already paid, request that these items be removed by the credit bureau. They are obligated to rectify this within 30 days.

If there are items on your credit report that are less than two years old, send in your payment if possible and mark the back of the check with the following notation: “Accepting this check is evidence that the transaction is complete and this charge will be deleted from my credit record.” If necessary, the cancelled check will be proof that this should be promptly removed from your credit report if it interferes with the closing of your loan.

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We have recently reported on the misconception that many buyers have regarding the down payment necessary to purchase a home. Multiple studies reveal that 40-50% of Americans believe you need between 15-20% of a down payment to be eligible to purchase a home.

This misconception came about as the government just last year debated new guidelines for residential mortgages because of the housing collapse in 2007. Some were arguing that there should be a minimum of 20% or even 30% down payment on all mortgage loans. However, those standards were never implemented.

To counter this misunderstanding, Christina Boyle, Freddie Mac’s VP and Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management, in a recent Executive Perspectives explained that a person “can get a conforming, conventional mortgage with a down payment of as little as 5 percent”.

3% Down Payments Available Soon?

Just last week, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt announced that mortgages requiring only a three percent down payment may soon be available:

“To increase access for creditworthy but lower-wealth borrowers, FHFA is also working with the Enterprises to develop sensible and responsible guidelines for mortgages with loan-to-value ratios between 95 and 97 percent. Through these revised guidelines, we believe that the Enterprises will be able to responsibly serve a targeted segment of creditworthy borrowers with lower-down payment mortgages by taking into account “compensating factors.”

Bottom Line

If you are saving for either your first home or that perfect move-up dream house, make sure you know all your options. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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FHA will increase its annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) for most new mortgages by 10 basis points or by 0.10 percent. FHA will increase premiums on jumbo mortgages ($625,500 or larger) by 5 basis points or 0.05 percent, to the maximum authorized annual mortgage insurance premium. These premium increases exclude certain streamline refinance transactions.

Term > 15 Years
Base Loan Amt. LTV Previous MIP New MIP
< $625,500 < 95.00% 120 bps 130 bps < $625,500 > 95.00% 125 bps 135 bps
> $625,500 < 95.00% 145 bps 150 bps > $625,500 > 95.00% 150 bps 155 bps

Term < 15 Years Base Loan Amt. LTV Previous MIP New MIP < $625,500 78.01% - 90.00% 35 bps 45 bps < $625,500 > 90.00% 60 bps 70 bps
> $625,500 78.01% – 90.00% 60 bps 70 bps
> $625,500 > 90.00% 85 bps 95 bps

The changes outlined below are effective for all mortgages with FHA case numbers assigned on or after June 3, 2013:

FHA will also require most FHA borrowers to continue paying annual premiums for the life of their mortgage loan. Commencing in 2001, FHA cancelled required MIP on loans when the outstanding principal balance reached 78 percent of the original principal balance. However, FHA remains responsible for insuring 100 percent of the outstanding loan balance throughout the entire life of the loan, a term which often extends far beyond the cessation of these MIP payments. FHA’s Office of Risk Management and Regulatory Affairs estimates that the MMI Fund has foregone billions of dollars in premium revenue on mortgages endorsed from 2010 through 2012 because of this automatic cancellation policy. Therefore, FHA will once again collect premiums based upon the unpaid principal balance for the entire period for which FHA is entitled. This will permit FHA to retain significant revenue that is currently being forfeited prematurely.

This second table shows the previous and the new effective annual MIP rates for loans with an LTV of less than or equal to 78 percent and with terms of up to 15 years.

Term < 15 Years Base Loan Amt. LTV Previous MIP New MIP Any Amount <78.00% 0 bps 45 bps Borrowers are currently able to access FHA-insured financing no sooner than three years after they have experienced a foreclosure, but only if they have re-established good credit and qualify for an FHA loan in accordance with FHA’s fully documented underwriting requirements. It has come to FHA’s attention that a few lenders are inappropriately advertising and soliciting borrowers with the false pretense that they can somehow “automatically” qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage three years after their foreclosure. This is simply not true and such misleading advertising will not be tolerated.

Categories : FHA Lending
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by Dean Hartman

I learned a long time ago that “common sense is NOT common practice“. This is especially the case during the emotional time that surrounds buying a home, when people tend to do some non-commonsensical things. Here are a few that I’ve seen over the years that have delayed (and even killed) deals:

Don’t deposit cash into your bank accounts
. Lenders need to source your money and cash is not really traceable. Small, explainable deposits are fine, but getting $10,000 from your parents as a gift in cash is not. Discuss the proper way to track your assets with your loan officer.
Don’t make any large purchases like a new car or a bunch of new furniture. New debt comes with it, including new monthly obligations. New obligations create new qualifications. People with new debt have higher ratios…higher ratios make for riskier loans…and sometimes qualified borrowers are no longer qualifying.
Don’t co-sign other loans for anyone. When you co-sign, you are obligated. With that obligation comes higher ratios, as well. Even if you swear you won’t be making the payments, the lender will be counting the payment against you.
Don’t change bank accounts. Remember, lenders need to source and track assets. That task is significantly easier when there is a consistency of accounts. Frankly, before you even transfer money between accounts, talk to your loan officer.
Don’t apply for new credit. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new credit card or a new car, when you have your credit report run by organizations in multiple financial channels (mortgage, credit card, auto, etc.), your FICO score will be affected. Lower credit scores can determine your interest rate and maybe even your eligibility for approval.
Don’t close any credit accounts. Many clients have erroneously believed that having less available credit makes them less risky and more approvable. Wrong. A major component of your score is your length and depth credit history (as opposed to just your payment history) and your total usage of credit as a percentage of available credit. Closing accounts has a negative impact on both those determinants of your score.

The best advice is to fully disclose and discuss your plans with your loan officer before you do anything financial in nature. Any blip in income, assets, or credit should be reviewed and executed in a way to keep your application in the most positive light.