Tag Archive: FHA

Jun 22

FHA Reverses Recent Changes

June 15th 2012, FHA issued Mortgagee Letter 2012-10 that rescinds two changes outlined back in February in Mortgagee Letter 2012-3.  Both of the sections covered in this month’s letter refer to issues on the borrower’s credit report.  The first item covers how to address disputed accounts and the other one covers collections and judgments.

A disputed account is when an individual submits a formal complaint with one or more of the credit repositories claiming information on their credit report is inaccurate.  In other words they dispute the information.  This tactic is most commonly used in an attempt to remove negative information, such as late payments or collections.  Any third grader would know it is wrong to tell a lie and their parents should know that doing so in order to get a mortgage loan approved is a felony offence.   

An open disputed account is a red flag for any DE underwriter.  In February FHA removed the flexibility underwriters had when they came across a dispute on a credit report.  Basically, any dispute on an account over $1,000 or combination of accounts that totaled over that amount would cause the loan application to be denied. 

I know, if you read the letter it doesn’t say that exactly, but don’t forget I am bilingual, my language of choice is slow southern drawl but am also fluent in mortgage mumbo-jumbo.  Here is how it translates, before February the subject was left up to the underwriter, after that it is only left up to the underwriter if the amount is less than $1,000.     

Actually, I agree with the change that tightened up this loop hole.  Mortgage fraud is serious and it hurts all of us.  Disputing accurate information should not be allowed period unless the borrower has solid evidence like a cancelled check showing the payment was made on time, etc.

Evidently this little change caused quite a ruckus because it has been reverted by the most recent Mortgagee Letter.  I personally believe this is a step in the wrong direction.  I didn’t like removing any discretionary abilities from my underwriters but thought it was the right thing to do for the overall good of the nation.

Here is the gut level truth; people that actually qualify for a mortgage are not in the habit of disputing garbage on their credit report.  Most, not all, but most of the people that have multiple disputes are trying to commit fraud.  The government should not allow it to be easy to do.   So I believe this recent change is a step in the wrong direction.

The second change covered collections and judgments.  In the past the underwriter was able to make a decision on collections, the change in February limited that to collections under $1,000.  Judgments of any size needed to be paid off.  A judgment is simply a collection that has been taken to the next level so I have never understood the logic of ignoring one and not the other.  A large collection could morph into a large judgment and that would always happen when the individual could afford it the least.  I believe that is some kind of financial universal law similar to Murphy ’s Law.

Both of the changes from February have been rescinded which makes it easier to get approved for an FHA mortgage.   

May 10

KHC Funds Down Payment Assistance Programs

I noticed earlier this week that KHC had funded two of the more popular down payment assistance programs.  Check Available Funds.

The Regular DAP must be repaid over a ten-year period at 6%.  It is provided in the form of a second mortgage loan up to $6,000, and can be used to purchase a home up to a price of $243,500. This DAP is NOT restricted to first-time home buyers.  Home buyers that recently sold a home but do not have enough funds to purchase another can use this program!

Home-DAP goes up to $4,500 and does not require repayment, it is forgiven over five years.  The ceiling price for homes when this program is being used is $195,700. 

Okay, here is how both programs can be used for maximum benefit.  The buyer can borrow the entire down payment and have the seller pay all of the closing cost and pre-paids. It is possible to purchase a home with less than $100.  The only reason any money may be needed is because the down payment could be an odd number and the DAP’s are made in $100 increments.  

Apr 29

FHA Changes Have little Impact

The recent changes to FHA’s mortgage insurance premiums have had little impact locally.  The largest change, an increase to the Up Front MI, nearly double the previous factor, has not slowed the number of FHA applications.  In fact, the number seems to be on the upswing. 

I do not have access to all of the stats in our market but my government applications have picked up the pace considerably.  As a percentage in the first quarter FHA slipped a little in my pipeline but only because of a spike in conventional applications.  The number of both types of loans saw a huge increase. 

Earlier this week a Realtor told me they will not allow their clients to use an FHA mortgage to finance a purchase.  My first thought was, “Good luck with that.” 

That’s half of my pipeline! 

My second thought was something I learned 30 plus years ago from Warren G. Harding, author of the book, “Trade Secrets of Exchanging.”  Warren asked me, “What is the value of a life preserver?  If you are drowning in the middle of the ocean it is worth a lot more than it was in the store.”

FHA is still one of the most affordable options available to homebuyers.    

 

     

Apr 23

Down Payment Assistance In Kentucky

Ever had a loan officer GIVE you money? I am not talking about a $100 knocked off of the closing cost but cold hard cash ranging from $4,500 to $10,000 for down payment!

We had another training session this morning regarding Kentucky Housing Corp (KHC) loans, this time a DE Underwriter helped with the presentation.  In addition to being a Direct Endorsement Underwriter for FHA she is also delegated to sign on behalf of KHC.  That can speed up the timeline in our shop by as much as a week compared to other lenders.

We talked a great deal about the different combinations using an FHA/KHC first mortgage with down payment assistance (DAP).  The DAP’s are in the form of a second mortgages, some forgivable over time and one that must be repaid.    Kentucky Housing DAP’s range from $4,500 to $6,000. 

This is how it works.

The first mortgage is an FHA/KHC loan for 96.5% of the purchase price.

The DAP is a second mortgage for 3.5% of the purchase price. 

The seller can pay all of the closing cost and pre-paids.

The borrower only needs to pay for an appraisal (unless the seller pays for that too). 

Inside scoop for you, I spoke to my source in Louisville Metro last week, they are expecting funding for their DAP program in July.  Last year it was $10,000 a pop plus another $2,000 for closing costs.  This program requires FHA home ownership classes so sign up soon if you want to grab this round.

 

Need Assistance with a Down Payment?

Visit my online application site or print and use this simple form to get started. If you prefer we can do it over the phone, call my direct line during normal office hours, (502) 753-4127.

 

Apr 03

FHA Changes Mortgage Insurance

This post expands on another recent post FHA Mortgage Changes.  On the way to the office this morning I thought about what opportunities may be created by the upcoming changes.  I focused on the increase in the Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP).  This Friday 4/6/12 is the last work day to pull an FHA case number using the existing premium, currently 1% of the loan amount.  Case numbers pulled on Monday will use the new premium of 1.75%, a significant increase.  

Any big change creates an opportunity if we search hard enough.  This little slice of the mortgage terrain is weird even without the upcoming change.  In the last post it was compared to a premium on a home owner’s insurance policy regarding how the payments are collected.  It was also pointed out that the initial premium could be paid in cash at closing or financed in the mortgage.  

What I neglected to point out is that no matter how the initial installment is paid the entire amount can only come from one source.  In other words the borrower could choose to finance the entire amount or pay the entire amount at closing.  It cannot be split, half financed and half paid up front.  

 Another option would be the seller pays the entire amount from the proceeds of the sale.  Again, must be the entire amount, it can’t be split a portion to the seller and the rest to the buyer.  Somewhere in this mess is an opportunity for one side or the other.   Which brings us back to the math problem that claimed the morning commute.  I tried to determine if the buyer would be in a better position if the sale price of the home is reduced by 1.75% or if price stayed the same and the seller paid the 1.75% premium for the buyer.  Not exactly light fodder while in bumper-to-bumper traffic.  

The answer please, the buyer is slightly, very slightly better off if the sale price is reduced, because the price reduction also reduces the tax assessment.  The loan amount is slightly better with this option as well because the maximum loan amount is based on the smaller sale price.  Most people would see the small difference as swatting flies, nothing worthy of wasting quality commute solitude.  

Therein lies an opportunity.  Most people won’t think about the implications.  Looking at it from the buyer’s side, would a seller be more likely to accept a 1.75% price reduction or pay 1.75% of the buyer’s closing cost?  The result of either option to both parties is almost exactly the same.  But any experienced Realtor will testify to the fact that sometimes people just need to see things from a different perspective.

The same would be true from the seller’s side.  If the buyer offered 5% less than the asking price, would they be more likely to accept a counter from the seller at full price if the seller offered to pay the UFMIP?

 

Mar 24

FHA Mortgage Changes

Collections

FHA recently announced they are making some changes next month that will impact homebuyers. Beginning April 1st the credit matrix is going to tighten up once again.  An FHA DE Underwriter told me Monday that she is losing some authority to make a judgment calls on open collection accounts including medical collections.

Currently all DE Underwriters can approve a mortgage application even when the credit report contains collections.  Medical collections were the most commonly overlooked blemish, especially if they were more than a year old and without recent updated activity.  After next week If the credit report shows more than a grand total of $1,000 in collections then any and all must be paid off in full before the loan can be funded. In the future this will kill many deals.

Five out of the last ten credit reports I reviewed contained collections that totaled more than the new thousand dollar limit.    Four of those individuals were approvable without paying off their open accounts.  Three of those four would not have been able to pay them off and still have enough money to close.  That is a big change!

FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums

On April 9th the FHA up-front mortgage insurance premium nearly doubles.   The 9th is falls on a Monday so the preceding Friday, April 6th is the last day to grab a case number using the old premium.  There is a copy of the entire Mortgagee Letter in my Dropbox if you want to read about the other changes.

Even loan officers have a hard time understanding how this facet of the mortgage industry works.  FHA doesn’t actually lend money, they insure mortgages that are originated by lenders like banks and mortgage companies. If the borrower defaults on the mortgage then the FHA insurance kicks in an covers the lender’s loss.  FHA charges the borrower an insurance premium similar to how an insurance company does for a home owner’s policy.  Instead of covering fire damage to the actual house it covers a default by the borrower/homeowner.

The FHA mortgage insurance premiums are paid annually just like a home owner’s policy with one small twist.  The initial premium can either be paid in cash or financed into the loan amount. The current up-front premium is equal to 1% of the loan amount. On April 9th that factor jumps to 1.75%.

People in my area are screaming about the recent jump in the price of gasoline.  While that is bad, it didn’t jump 75% in one day!

Is it really a big deal?  Absolutely! On a mortgage of $200,000 that is a bump of $1,500 added to the loan amount.  Pay interest on that extra $1,500 on a thirty year mortgage and it is a very big deal.

My first concern was for the poor first-time homebuyer that is already struggling to qualify.  Some buyers will not be able to get the home they want because this  change will push their income to debt ratios out of whack.

Buying a property in Kentucky and want to be pre-approved for a mortgage and or tax credit? Visit my online application site or printand use this simple form to get started. If you prefer we can do it over the phone, call my direct line during normal office hours, (502) 753-4127.

Mar 06

KHC Home Buyer Tax Credit

Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) is making available a tax credit to home buyers throughout the Commonwealth.  The tax credit reduces the amount of federal tax a home buyer must pay to the federal government.  KHC provides the home buyer a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) which reduces the amount of Federal income tax by a substantial amount.  The result is more available income to qualify for a mortgage loan.

The tax credits are not mortgages, or any kind of debt for that matter. In fact, the net effect provides the tax payer/home buyer additional cash flow that could be used to pay off the mortgage quicker.  One way this can be accomplished is to have your employer reduce the amount of tax dollars withheld from your regular pay check.  This move will increase your take home pay even though the gross income remains the same.

Under the current federal tax code the government allows a homeowner to deduct the interest portion of their house payment from their income when filing their tax return.  A deduction is different than a tax credit.  A deduction is a reduction of the amount of income that is taxed.  A tax credit is reduction of the amount of tax you owe, big difference.

The MCC is a tax credit equal to 25% of the interest you pay up to a maximum of $2,000.  If the amount of mortgage interest you pay during the year is $8,000 then the tax credit would equal $2,000.  You could still deduct the remaining $6,000 on your tax return. Let’s say that you still own $2,500 in taxes after taking the deduction, here is where the tax credit kicks in, the amount of tax owed drops to $500.

The MCC stays in effect for the life of the loan as long as you continue to live in the house.

In order to be eligible to apply for the program you must be a first-time home buyer or have not owned a home in the last three years.  The sale price of the home must not exceed $243,000.  There are also income limits, 1-2 person household income up to $83,400 and a 3-4 person household is up to $97,300.

Of course the home must be located in Kentucky.  Take advantage of this exciting program offered by KHC.   Low down payments, low interest rates and a tax credit, now that is a trifecta you can count on!

Buying a property in Kentucky and want to be pre-approved for a mortgage and or tax credit? Visit my online application site or printand use this simple form to get started. If you prefer we can do it over the phone, call my direct line during normal office hours, (502) 753-4127.

Aug 16

FHA Changes Mortgage Insurance

This is a big change; on Oct 4, 2010 FHA will lower the up-front MIP factor from 2.25 to 1.00.  This sounds great but it isn’t necessarily the case.  The monthly factor will bump from .55 to either .85 – .90.
 
I ran an example based on an interest rate of 4.5% with a loan amount of $150,000.  The UFMIP drops from $3,375 to $1,550, a difference of $1,825.  However the monthly MIP at .85 instead of .55 jumps from $68.75 to $106.25 which is $37.25 higher per month. 
 
The net result is a monthly payment that is $26.72 a month higher under the new factors.  I have seen several first time home buyers balk over $10 a month.  Another issue is the higher payment will cause ratio problems for all of those that are right on the edge to begin with.  This is going to cause some buyers to be declined on ratios.  Really bad for those that have already been pre-approved but have not found a property yet.  They need to get that case number by 10/3.
 
The buyer is ahead until the 69th payment at which time they pass the cross over point, $1,825 / $26.72 = 68 months.  I know, I know, that is really simple way to look at it, but it is close. 

I do not understand the logic of the change.  Defaults usually happen early in the game so lowering the up front insurance does not seem like the right choice.  Interesting math problem.