How It Works, Loan Application

Government Shutdown

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Hello all,

I disappeared for a while, and it shows.  It’s October already!  Work took off and I lost sight of my blog. I’m 12 days late on this post but I thought I would share some of the issues we are seeing with the shutdown:

The IRS is working with only 9% staff. This effects the ability for us to pull tax transcripts. 

Since 2009, Fannie Mae ‘highly recommended’ that lenders pull transcripts from the IRS prior to closing a loan.

What’s a transcript? 

After you file your taxes the IRS turns your income information into an electronic record which can be requested with the borrower-signed form, 4506-T.

Why do we pull a transcript? 

When you complete a loan application, you typically give your loan originator a copy of your tax return by which she calculates your income for qualifying.  It would be possible to give them a fake, unfilled tax return with ’embellished’ income.  To prevent such fraud, we pull the IRS record and compare it with the return you provided.

It’s not required to do this, yet we know Fannie Mae will do it if they audit that loan. To avoid any issues, most lenders have adopted the policy of ordering and reviewing tax transcripts.

http://www.ctne.ws/archives/266

Several days into the shutdown our institution made a business decision to close loans without these transcripts as did a number of other investors.  There are some; however, that refuse to purchase a loan without transcripts and that’s their choice.

USDA is closed. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture insures loans through their Rural Development program. These loans are currently suspended.

Why?

USDA issues a ‘conditional commitment’ once they receive certain pieces of information.  With no one to issue a conditional commitment, loans are unable to close.

Verification of Employment 

We’ve seen several instances were we have been unable to obtain a verification of employment for government workers. In come cases we can get around it.  There have been instances were getting this information was painfully slow and the closing was delayed.

Business as usual:

For the most part, we have been conducting business as usual with very few delays.  For those of you affected, as frustrating as it is, don’t blame your lender or financial institution.  We are as annoyed as you are with the situation. We are doing our best to work around the issues.

Photo credit: Nick Papakyriazis via photopin cc

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Quick Tips, Your Mortgage File

Quick Point #1 Co-Signer vs. Co-Borrower

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Mortgage Quick TIp

Co-signer and co-borrower are not synonymous.  There is a difference.

A co-signer is responsible for repayment of the mortgage note but otherwise has no ownership interest in the property.  While a  co-borrower is also responsible for the debt  they do have ownership interest in the property. This means they are on title to the home.

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Disclosures, How It Works, Your Mortgage File

The Right of Rescission

Three weeks ago, one of our borrowers exercised the right to rescind.

Most will never exercise this right but should be aware of the details in the event it is needed

The right of rescission applies to several different types of credit, but for our purpose today, I’m referring to closed end credit “in which the security interest is or will be retained or acquired in a consumer’s principal dwelling” (FIDC§ 226.23). In other words, the refinance of your primary residence.

What is the right or rescission?

The right to rescind allows each “consumer whose ownership interest is or will be subject to the security interest” the right to rescind or cancel the transaction. If, after signing your mortgage documents, you desire to cancel the transaction, you have until midnight of the third business day to do so.

When you sign your loan closing documents, you will receive several copies of the right to cancel. I’ve posted a copy to the right. It outlines your right and how to cancel should it be necessary.

Why would you cancel?

I’m sure there are many reasons although in my ten years I’ve witnessed it only twice.

Why?

First off, the process of refinancing can take several weeks, if not months. This leaves plenty of time to determine whether or not refinancing is the right decision. Most will cancel well before consummation of the loan.

Second, regulations require lenders to disclose early on and then obligates them to those charges –within certain tolerance. The right or rescission was intended to provide an escape when a borrower found themselves in a bait and switch – were the terms in the beginning are different than at the closing table.

What happens now that you have rescinded?

Within 20 calendar days after receipt of a notice of rescission, the creditor shall return any money or property that has been given to anyone in connection with the transaction and shall take any action necessary to reflect the termination of the security interest.

In most cases, your lender will require you to wait the three days before they fund the loan. In other words, they will not payoff your previous lender or record the mortgage. The transaction simply dissolves, no questions asked.

Below is a link to the regulation that outlines this right.

FDIC. Law, Regulations, Related Acts § 226.23 Right of rescission

<http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/rules/6500-1400.html >
photo credit: thinkpanama via photopin cc

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How It Works, Your Mortgage File

A number of mortgage questions crop up during a divorce. I remember working with a married couple on the purchase of their first home. They were excited, giddy almost, about this purchase. Three months later I listened as he explained the situation. It was going to end badly and he wanted options.

Another time, a young unmarried couple moved to the area and couldn’t stand the thought of renting. What a waste of money. Nearly a year later she was on my phone, desperate to stay out of forclosure.

I’ve seen it all to often. Each time questions come up:

  • Both of us are on the loan. Can I get the loan in just my name without a refinance?
  • Why can’t I just take my spouse off the title?
  • What happens if I can’t qualify for a refinance?

Unless neither side wants it, the home is awarded to one party. In each situation, the divorce decree will outline who was awarded the home, how the equity is split, and the timeframe necessary to complete these changes.

Let’s tackle the questions.

Both of us are on the loan. Can I get the loan in just my name without a refinance?

Typically, no. The note is a contract which obligates both parties to repay the loan. A refinance is required. You must be able to qualify for the loan under your own financial strength. Once you close on the new loan, the old one will be paid off, removing your spouse from obligation.

Why can’t I just take my x-spouse off the title?

The title or deed is the document that tells us who owns the property. The loan note tells us who is obligated to the debt. The mortgage connects it all together. Make sense?

Think of it this way: Ownership vs. Obligation.

So, removing someone from title eliminates their ownership interest but does not relieve them from their obligation to repay the debt.

Typically, it’s a tradeoff: One party refinances, the other party agrees to sign a quit claim deed to remove any ownership interest.

What happens if I can’t qualify for a refinance?

This is usually the hardest question to answer. A number of things will happen if you are unable to refinance.

Note: A finalized divorce decree is required to complete a refinance transaction. This means a court approved, recorded document. Nothing short of this will work. Divorce situtaions are complex and the terms constantly change until the judge signs and stamps the document.

Run the gamut of options with your lender. There are a lot of programs out there including some tempoary solutions. Be cautious and weigh your options. Tempoary loans like adjustable rate mortgages might offer a solution but will they fit your long term goals?

Try to find a co-borrower. A parent or sibling might strengthen the loan if they are willing take the risk for you.

If you are unable to qualify for a refinance within the required timeframe, you might end up listing the home for sale. If this happens, keep your head up. There will be many good things headed your way.

Remember, good memories are the only invaluable real estate. You’ve got this!

Divorce . . Nasty Business

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Income, Your Mortgage File

Income, Stable and Dependable

Quality-Risk-ManagementRecently, I had a situation where a young borrower applied for a mortgage. Less than a month ago she started a new job but before that she had less than one year of work history. She had good credit but it was recent due to her young age. The underwriter came to me, unsettled.

Why?

In our industry, underwriters are taught to determine if the income is stable and dependable. After all, if you were going to lend your own funds, wouldn’t you want to determine if that person could pay you back?

There is little guarantee when it comes to income. You can be fired, quit or be laid off in a heartbeat.

So, to give us some insight, we look at the history of employment and income. We typically go back two years.  If the borrower hops from job to job, it might be a sign of instability. But, we won’t give up, and we will dig deeper by looking at the borrower profession, and their historical wages. Some jobs are seasonal, and others require people to drift from one employer to another and we won’t penalize someone for this.  Instead, we’ll look back at several years of wages to see what they have historically earned. We will base our decision instead on the continuity of income.

In the above example, does our borrower have a job history worthy of dependability?  If no, then has she demonstrated a continuity of income?  If no, then my underwriter has a right to feel unsettled.  

What if our borrower decides she dislikes her new job and quits?

What if her employer lets her go because she can’t cut the mustard?

What if she has to take a job of lesser pay?

There are all sorts of questions we ask when it comes to income. I realize history can mean little in the way of the future but it’s the only way we can see how that individual handles responsibility. And handling a mortgage is a large responsibility.  So, don’t be discouraged if an underwriter determines your income is not stable or dependable and instead, use it as a learning experience to better your situation. You will be better for it.

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Mortgage Philosophy, Your Mortgage File

Bank or Borrower . . . . or?

Our economy continues to stumble through a storm of uncertainty and hesitation, unable to take a confident step in any direction. We can trace the tailings back to the mortgage crisis which began a crescendo in 2008, climaxed in 2010, and now, what we hope is the diminuendo going into 2014.  I’ve been in the industry for over ten years and I’ve watched and read as the media attempted to find a scapegoat. Since personal accountability flew out the window years ago, let’s blame the cold, heartless banks, right?  After all, they were just in it for the buck and obviously willing to screw the poor, unfortunate American out of a home.

Really? You think a bank wants a foreclosure? Do you know how much that costs them?! Check it out here.

So while the borrower is busy blaming the bank, and the bank is busy dealing with the hemorrhaging associated with the foreclosure trauma, the real culprit is busy baking up that red herring they love so much.

In this NY Times article we get a glimpse into the events that started it all. In 1999, the Clinton administration pressured Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to loosen the belt on lending in an effort to accommodate minorities and low income consumers. This idea –regardless of best intentions– had unintended consequence and the reality was far opposite the plan

The payment for this government debacle will cost our country billions, if not trillions in the long term. Since no one feels responsible we have been shrugging off the financial burden of this catastrophe in every way imaginable: TARP, Government MBS Program, no budget, etc. The bill is due, and if we fail as a country to handle it as adults, it will be handled for us.  The latter, as I’ve discovered in my life, is not as pleasant as when you willfully resolve the problem yourself.

Good luck, America.

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Assets, Your Mortgage File

Large Deposits

One of the things a processor/underwriter is looking for on a bank statement is the presence of large, non-payroll deposits.

Why?  What business is that of theirs?

I’ve had that question shot at me a million times when I attempt to address a deposit on a bank statement. But seriously, why do they care?

That money came from someplace, and underwriters want to make sure it came from an acceptable source.

What does it matter, acceptable or unacceptable?

There are regulations that dictate which types of funds are acceptable for down payment and closing costs. Here are some acceptable funds:

  • Gift from a relative
  • Payroll or funds saved from payroll
  • Secured borrowed funds ( a loan against an auto, or 401K)
  • Funds derived from a sold asset
  • Funds from stocks, or bonds

Here are unacceptable funds:

  • Unsecured borrowed funds. (from a credit card or unsecured loan)
  • Gift from a non-relative
  • Cash saved at home or outside a financial institution

You get the picture. So as you prepare to refinance or purchase a home, remember to watch what goes in or our of your account and speak with your loan originator about the details.bottom

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