Do I Need to be Late on My Mortgage to Qualify for a Short Sale? – Don’t Take Yes for an Answer!

I have a lot of people call me to get pre-qualified to purchase a home using FHA financing after a short sale. Early on, not a lot of these scenarios panned out but these days, more and more of them do. When they don’t, the number one reason is because they took bad advice from a party to their short sale transaction. That advice? “Mr. and Mrs. Short Seller, you need to be late on your mortgage to qualify for a short sale.” This is often false and has devastating consequences. In many cases, proving imminent danger of default is …

How Often Do Seller’s Pay Closing Costs? . . . . . Never.

The role of closing costs in a purchase agreement can be confusing both for buyers and sellers.  In the present market, it is customary for there to be sales concessions.  A real estate sales concession can be many things including but not limited to price, repairs and yes, . . closing costs.  Asking the seller to pay for closing costs, pre-paids and discount points is common.  At the end of the day though, a buyer may have several value added considerations such as seller paid closing costs and repairs after an inspection contingency but the seller will (or at least should) always negotiate …

So HVCC is Over? – Nope, it Still Lives On – Fannie Mae’s Appraisal Policy Broken Down

Breaking Down Fannie Mae’s Appraisal Rules Have you heard of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC)? If you are a lender or Realtor, of course you have. What I wanted to do with this post is breakdown Fannie Mae’s policy now that HVCC has expired. Basically the Code lives on and has been slightly rewritten from the original. Unlike HVCC, Fannie’s policy has the force of law behind it. This new policy is clearly illustrated in Fannie Mae’s Appraiser Independence Requirements, Fannie, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and others developed this specifically to replace HVCC. So whether …

Seller Contributions Towards Closing Costs on a Home Purchase

Doesn’t the Seller Pay for All of Our Closing Costs? We all have to remind buyers that they are responsible to pay the required down payment percentage (3.5% for FHA or 3-10% etc for Conventional) AND their closing costs/pre-paids too. Even if you stipulate that the sellers contribute towards “closing costs and pre-paids” in the purchase agreement it may not cover ALL of those fees. If you want a smooth purchase transaction make sure that you ask your favorite mortgage guy if there is a NEED to try to get all/most of the closing costs/pre-paids included with the offer. It …

Can I Buy a Home While I’m Getting Divorced in Minnesota?

It has been widely and wrongly asserted that someone who is getting divorced in Minnesota cannot purchase a home prior to finalizing a divorce decree and at the same time prevent their soon to be ex-spouse from being entitled to marital property rights in the newly purchased home.  This used to be a serious problem that made the already long and painful process of getting divorced in Minnesota even longer and more painful yet.  In 2004, the Minnesota legislature put this recurring issue to rest. In 2004, the MN legislature enacted MS 507.03 PURHCASE-MONEY MORTGAGE; NONJOINDER OF SPOUSE.  Amongst other …

What are Compensating Factors When Qualifying for a Mortgage?

Although we wouldn’t know it from watching the six o’clock news, mortgage underwriting guidelines and mortgage insurance underwriting guidelines have been in a pattern of loosening, not tightening.  This trend started in late 2009 and continues today with such examples as lower minimum credit scores for mortgage underwriting guidelines and fewer declining markets for mortgage insurance guidelines.  As this has happened, another trend has emerged.  The phrase “underwriting exception” is coming back in practical contexts rather than a nostalgic reference to days gone by.  These days, underwriting exceptions are more and more common where a mortgage loan file has “Compensating …

Converting a Primary Residence into a Second Home or Investment Property

You may not be familiar with the term “buy and bail” but lenders are. And if you’re not familiar you may be very surprised when a lender denies your loan when you try to convert your primary, current residence into a second home or rental.  That is, unless you stumbled upon this blog.  First let’s talk about conventional loans (those backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.) If you are applying for a conventional loan, the guidelines are as follows: Borrowers who currently own their own home typically have three (3) options when they decide to purchase a new Primary …

What are extenuating circumstances?

Many people trying to buy a home after a short sale find it difficult to navigate through loan programs that they may be eligible for and various waiting periods that may be applicable.  If late payments occur, most people are told that the waiting period for buying a home after a short sale is 3 years because that’s what FHA requires if late payments occur.  Then they learn that Fannie Mae will back a loan for someone after a short sale after 2 years with a 10 percent down payment if there are “extenuating circumstances.”  But what are extenuating circumstances? Fannie …

Mortgages for Saint Paul, Minnesota Community Land Trusts (CLT) Housing

Community land trusts are created to preserve long-term affordable housing by purchasing homes in their communities, then leasing the land using a long-term ground lease to low-income and moderate-income families at affordable monthly ground rents. Community Land Trusts (CLT) have had a foothold in the Twin Cities for decades. More broadly, the leasehold form of home ownership is more common in Minnesota than many would think. It is a market that Realtors would do well to be skilled in. More especially, it is a market that is crying out for more readily available, quality financing through Fannie Mae. For the …

Fannie Mae Guideline Changes – Gifts, 97% Financing and Mortgage Insurance

There has been some recent excitement about Fannie Mae (FNMA) changing her guidelines on down payments and allowing gift funds as an acceptable form of down payment in lieu of a borrower’s own funds. Before we all get excited about FNMA getting a little FHA in her with respect to gift funds, we need to realize that the guidelines for mortgage insurance and FNMA are not aligned. So long as they aren’t, this change will only have minimal effect. This chart outlines the new accepted forms of down payment from FNMA’s perspective: Here’s the Fannie definition of acceptable donors for …

Waiting Periods on Bankruptcy, Foreclosure and Short Sales for Mortgages

Since late 2007 and the MORTGAGE MELTDOWN started we’ve had many “inquiries” from prospective MN & WI buyers who’ve wanted to get into a new home or BACKinto home ownership.  The last couple years have been hard on many people even though the Federal Government says that the recession is behind us.  People have had their incomes cut back, lost jobs, bankruptcies, foreclosures and short sales. What I wanted to share with you is a current (as of today) crib sheet of how long certain negative things need to be “seasoned” before different types of mortgage financing can be offered. Let’s …

It’s High Noon on Shadow Inventory as Banks Halt Foreclosures

So Ally’s GMAC, Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase are halting foreclosures in 23 states. More importantly, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have stepped in to outline correct foreclosure processes and are demanding lenders adhere to them. What’s more, many more lenders are sure to follow the big 3’s changes. That’s great but what does it mean for us?

Unsolicited Advice for a Loan Officer’s Evolution – Learn to Underwrite

Since mid 2007, the mortgage originator as we know it has ceased to be. The requirements for technical knowledge, industry awareness and precision have skyrocketed to the extent that a modern day loan originator is more of an “Under-iginator.”He/she must be 50% loan officer, 15% customer service/sales rep, 5% appraisal reviewer and 30% underwriter to have any business talking to a customer about a mortgage. As well, the role of a processor has too changed. Some repetition-based duties have been replaced with technological automation. While those responsibilities have gone to the wayside, the secondary mortgage market has forced the job …

Upside Down on Your Home? – Here’s Your Playbook

In my home state of Minnesota, Minneapolis and Saint Paul have nearly 39 percent of homeowners under water. I’ve had the question, “I’m upside down on my home, what are my options?” so many times that I wanted to prepare a menu of options for people to reference. This article briefly outlines 9 potential solutions that may serve you well. The target audience here is not necessarily someone who’s in default on their loan but simply one who owes more than the home is worth. All too often, when one is upside down on their home and/or struggling with their …

Are Realtors Ready for the New Self-Employed Borrower Guidelines?

For all loans this year where the borrower has ANY kind of self employed income feature, they will have extra steps to go through after 2010. This means that even if they have a very passive (anything more than 5% or total income; positive or negative) business or a rental property or anything like that, they’ll be put through the Spanish Inquisition of income documentation. What’s more important as a Realtor, is that you’re working with a loan officer that is very proficient in tax transcript analysis and knows how to prepare an accurate Self Employed Income Analysis quickly (an …