Archive for the ‘Financing’ Category

Could Getting a Loan Become Even More Difficult?

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

As Alex reported 9/1/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | TUES, AUG 28, 2012
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Fannie Mae, one of the nation’s mortgage giants, announced new lending restrictions that might make it even more difficult for some home buyers to qualify for a loan.

New applicants and home owners looking to refinance may find they have to meet more stringent standards, such as in meeting new loan-to-value ratios in qualifying for a mortgage. For example, Fannie announced that the maximum loan-to-value ratios permitted will now be 90 percent, down from 97 percent. Also, the GSE says that some loans will now require higher credit scores. For example, borrowers who are applying for an adjustable-rate loan will need a credit rating of 640—which is up from 620.

Also, self-employed applicants may be required to supply more tax information, such as two years of tax returns to verify their income.

“This can knock a decent portion of borrowers out of the picture who had a rough year in business two years ago,” says Matt Hackett, underwriting manager at New York lender Equity Now Inc. “You’d be surprised how much of an effect this has.”

Fannie Mae, along with fellow GSE Freddie Mac, back about two-thirds of all new mortgages.

Source: “How Fannie Mae Is Making it Harder to Get a Home Loan,” (Aug. 27, 2012)

Financial Crisis Sparks Housing Commitment Phobia?

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

As Alex reported 8/18/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | TUES, AUG 14, 2012
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Some analysts suggest that the financial crisis has reshaped attitudes of younger generations similar to how the Great Depression did for generations during its aftermath.

The younger generation is most at risk for reshaped attitudes, they say. “This is a generation that is scared of commitment, wants to be light on their feet and needs to adjust to whatever happens,” Cliff Zukin, a professor of public policy and political science at Rutgers, told Bloomberg. “What once was seen as a solid investment, like a house or a car, is now seen as a ball and chain with a lot of risk to it.”

The younger generations’ current financial situation is what’s most holding them back. College graduates emerging post-recession are earning less and owing more in student loan debt nowadays. Forty percent of college graduates surveyed say that their student loan debt is the main thing that is delaying them from making major purchases, like buying a home.

The housing market has shown some positive signs lately, but the slow pace of recovery is making many younger adults hesitant, Jeff Lubell with the Center for Housing Policy told Bloomberg. Case in point, the number of first-time home buyers is shrinking while the number of renters is increasing.

But Lubell says he is concerned that the younger generations’ reluctance when it comes to purchases of assets like homes may be hurting their chances at building long-term wealth.

“What you are seeing is a delay in all the kinds of decisions that require a long-term financially stable future,” Lubell told Bloomberg. “That’s home purchases, that’s marriage and that’s having kids.”

Source: “Recession Generation Opts to Rent Not Buy Houses to Cars,” Bloomberg (Aug. 8, 2012)

Foreclosure Whistleblowers Become Millionaires

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

As Alex reported 7/7/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | Mon, July 2, 2012
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Six Americans stand to collect up to $46.5 million for their part in helping to expose foreclosure abuses by the nation’s largest banks.

The whistleblowers helped the government expose how some banks used fraudulent documents to collect money from federal housing programs.

For their help in the lawsuits against the banks, these whistleblowers will be able to collect big paychecks due to the False Claims Act, “which allows private citizens to file lawsuits on behalf of the U.S. when they have knowledge that the government is being defrauded,” CNNMoney reports. Those who file the lawsuits stand to collect between 15 percent to 30 percent of the penalties assessed in the case.

For home owner Lynn Szymoniak, it was like winning the lottery. Szymoniak was served foreclosure papers in 2008. She helped prove banks had been using fraudulent documents to prove ownership of defaulted mortgages, for which the banks were then submitting insurance claims to the Federal Housing Administration. From the government’s $95 million award in a lawsuit, Szymoniak will get $18 million.

“I recognize that mine’s a very, very happy ending,” Szymoniak told CNNMoney. “I know there are plenty of people who have tried as hard as I have and won’t see these kinds of results.”

The other five whistleblowers came from within the industry, such as an appraiser who helped the government show that Countrywide Financial had been inflating home appraisals to collect higher claims from FHA. Other whistleblowers exposed banks overcharging veterans who had mortgages guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The whistleblower lawsuits helped lead to a foreclosure settlement, approved in May, between the nation’s five largest banks and state and federal officials. The settlement stems over banks’ errors uncovered in the processing of foreclosures. In the settlement, banks agreed to pay $5 billion in fines and about $20 billion in refinancing and mortgage modifications for home owners.

Source: “Whistleblowers Win $46.5 Million in Foreclosure Settlement,” CNNMoney (July 2, 2012)

Rising Student Loan Debt Linked to Housing Crisis?

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

As Alex reported 6/30/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | Tues June 26, 2012
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The housing slump is one of the culprits behind rising student loan debt, suggests an analysis of government data by the National Association of Home Builders.

The study reveals a shift in borrowing for higher education costs due to the housing crisis and the drop in home prices. As home prices dropped across the nation, home owners found there was less availability of home equity loans, which traditionally were often used by parents to finance higher education costs of their children. As such, more students had to take out student loans on their own, the study notes.

“The rising student loan debt problem is another consequence of the housing downturn,” says Barry Rutenberg, NAHB chairman. “As more and more parents face tighter budget restraints as a result of lower home values, this is forcing an increasing number of students to take out loans for tuition, essentially shifting some of the burden of paying for college from parents to students.”

Outstanding student loan debt has risen 47.9 percent or by $293 million since the third quarter of 2008.

“The sharp rise in student loans is due to the end of accessible home equity loans, as a result of home price declines preceding, during and after the Great Recession,” the report notes.

The report continues that “this issue is once again a reminder of the importance of housing wealth for the middle class. When that wealth declines, or otherwise becomes inaccessible (as is the case with home equity loans), it causes significant changes for the economy as a whole.”

View the report at the NAHB web site.

Source: “The Connection Between Student Loans and Housing,” The National Association of Home Builders (June 2012)

What Does It Take to Get a Loan Today? A Lot!

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

As Alex reported 5/26/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | Tues May 22, 2012
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One of the biggest obstacles home buyers are facing is qualifying for financing, and a new report by the Federal Reserve shows exactly how big of struggle potential borrowers face.

According to a new Federal Reserve report surveying banks, the report found that most banks say they are a lot less likely to issue a mortgage to borrowers with a FICO credit of 620 and a 10 percent down payment than they were in 2006 during the housing boom.

“A moderate net fraction of banks were less likely to originate loans to borrowers with a FICO score of 680, regardless of down payment size,” the report also said. “A modest net fraction of banks were less likely to originate loans to borrowers with a FICO score of 720 and a 10 percent down payment, although survey respondents indicated that they were about as likely to originate loans now as they were in 2006 if such borrowers had a down payment of 20 percent.”

So while mortgage rates continue to sink to new record lows, many home buyers are finding they can’t always qualify for the low rates.

As a recent New York Times article about the Federal Reserve’s report illustrates: “A borrower with a credit score of 720 can expect a rate of 3.70 percent on a 30-year, $300,000 fixed-rate mortgage … while someone with a score of 620 to 639 can expect a 5.07 percent rate — or an extra $242 per monthly payment.”

Source: “How to Pump Up Your Credit Score,” The New York Times (May 17, 2012)

Gaps Persist in Americans’ Credit Knowledge

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

As Alex reported 5/19/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | Tues May 15, 2012
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The majority of Americans don’t fully understand how credit scores are formulated, according to a survey released by the Consumer Federation of America. That gap in knowledge can cost them when applying for a mortgage too.

While the survey showed a big improvement in the last year in the number of Americans knowledgeable about credit and how companies collect credit information on them, Americans overall still don’t fully understand how credit scores are calculated or used.

For example, the survey found that respondents were not fully aware of just how a low credit score could hamper them. “Only 29 percent are aware that, on a $20,000, 60-month auto loan, a borrower with a low credit score is likely to pay at least $5,000 more than a borrower with a high credit score,” according to the Consumer Federation of America survey.

The survey found that 56 percent of respondents mistakenly believe a person’s age and 54 percent say a person’s marital status are used to calculate a credit score. Twenty-one percent surveyed also mistakenly said that a person’s ethnic origin was a factor in calculating credit scores too.

The survey also found that less than half of respondents — 44 percent — understood that a credit score is for measuring the risk of repaying loans. Twenty-two percent mistakenly thought credit scores measured a person’s amount of debt and 21 percent said credit scores were “financial resources.”

Still, the survey found that more people are becoming aware of what can hurt or help your credit score in comparing this year’s results to last year’s. The survey found that more people in the most recent survey knew that a missed payment, bankruptcy, or carrying high credit card balances could lower their credit score. Most respondents also knew that making payments on time can raise their credit score, while missing a payment can lower it.

Source: Consumer Federation of America and “Consumer Knowledge of Credit Leaves a lot to be Desired,” HousingWire (May 14, 2012)

Mortgage Statements to Get Consumer-Friendly Makeover

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

As Alex reported 4/14/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | Tues April 10, 2012
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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced it will be offering up new rules for mortgage servicers aimed at making monthly mortgage statements more transparent in disclosing fees or changes in a loan.

“For too long, mortgage servicers have not been held accountable to their customers, and the result has been profoundly punishing to home owners in distress,” says Richard Cordray, director of the consumer bureau. “It’s time to put the ’service’ back in mortgage servicing.”

Servicers will be required to provide more details in monthly mortgage statements. For example, the agency is considering a requirement that servicers offer a breakdown of mortgage payments by principal, interest, and fees in the statements. Also, servicers may soon be required to itemize fees and charges part of a loan and include warnings to consumers about possible late fees. The agency is also seeking a rule that statements must contain warnings about any future interest rate changes and penalty fees if a mortgage is paid off early.

The new rules are expected to take effect January 2013.

Source: “Consumer Bureau to Crack Down on Mortgage Servicers,” CNNMoney (April 10, 2012)

Tankless Water Heaters & the State of the Real Estate Market on PSR (4/14/12)

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Tune in to PropertySourceRadio this Saturday morning from 9-10am as we have a full show.

Brett and Joe from Electri-Mech talk about Geothermal energy and Tankless Water Heaters. Have Elctri-mech install a tankless water heater and never worry about that piece of equipment for the rest of your life! You can contact them through their website.

Garry Britton, Nothnagle’s Brighton Office Manager, jumps on the hot seat and gives the State of the Real Estate Market. According to Britton, “The market is hot right now. If you are thinking of buying, be prepared to move fast as homes in certain price ranges are being sold in the first day with multiple offers!”

Carlos Rodriguez closes the show with a couple new scams to watch out for. “The school lunch” scam targets unsuspecting parents that there children’s lunch card needs additional funds.

Join Steve Hausmann, Alex Lillig and Jeff Haley (filling in for the vacationing Pat Coyne) this Saturday from 9-10am on Sportsradio 950 AM ESPN or stream the show from your computer or smartphone.

Next Foreclosure Wave Coming: Reason for Alarm?

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

As Alex reported 4/7/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | Mon April 2, 2012
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Economists have been warning that a flood of foreclosures will soon be hitting the real estate market, likely this summer. Increases in foreclosures traditionally pull down nearby home prices. So should home owners be worried?

As of now, housing reports continue to show month-over-month drops in foreclosures. CoreLogic released a report late last week that showed completed foreclosures fell from 71,000 in January to 65,000 in February.

But as more banks look to clear a backlog of defaulting home loans from their books, economists say the public should expect a turn with foreclosures and the numbers are expected to soar in the coming months. Mark Fleming, CoreLogic’s chief economist, expects the wave to hit this summer.

However, Fleming doesn’t view the increase as a bad thing for the overall housing market. “I would like to see the pace increase, because that means we’ll be able to work off the inventory faster,” Fleming told AOL Real Estate. He says that recent improvements in the real estate market and economy may mitigate any traditional downward pressure seen on overall home prices by foreclosures.

In fact, despite an increase, Fleming still expects home prices to rise in some markets.

RealtyTrac has predicted that completed foreclosures will jump 25 percent this year, reaching 1 million.

“All of this will result in more foreclosure pain in the short term as some of the foreclosures that should have happened last year instead happen this year,” Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, said in a public statement in February.

Source: “Home Prices May Withstand Foreclosure Wave,” AOL Real Estate (March 30, 2012)

New FHA Rule to ‘Kick Some Buyers Out’?

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

As Alex reported 3/31/2012 on Property Source Radio. – Daily Real Estate News | Tues, Mar 27, 2012
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The Federal Housing Administration announced that starting April 1 it will not insure mortgages to borrowers who have an ongoing credit dispute of $1,000 or more on their file.

To be considered for an FHA-backed loan, borrowers will either have to pay the remaining balance on the credit dispute or enter into a payment plan, making at least three payments on it. Any payment plans will need to be documented and submitted to FHA, which will then figure it into the debt-to-income ratio for the new mortgage.

FHA’s new rule does not include disputed credit accounts from more than two years ago or any related to reported identity theft.

Still, the new rule has some in the housing industry worried that it’s going to keep more potential home buyers from securing a mortgage.

“We expect this revision will certainly kick some buyers out of the marketplace, and we’re in ongoing efforts to quantify how extreme the impact will be,” Lisa Jackson, senior vice president of research at John Burns Real Estate Consulting, told HousingWire.

Jeremy Radack, a real estate attorney in Houston who assists with financing, estimated FHA originations may be reduced by 33 percent to 50 percent this year due to the new rule.

FHA says the rule is aimed at protecting the FHA’s emergency fund, which has fallen below the mandated amount Congress requires.

“We found that many borrowers with mortgage payment delinquencies had prior credit deficiencies including unpaid collections and unresolved disputed accounts prior to the approval of their loan,” the spokesman said. “This change was made to eliminate this layer of risk to FHA-insured loans and help protect our insurance fund.”

Also in reimbursing the emergency fund*, FHA announced it would raise its insurance premiums starting April 1 too.

Source: “FHA to Deny Mortgage Backing for Credit Disputes Above $1,000,” HousingWire (March 26, 2012) and “Tougher Requirements Start Monday for FHA Mortgages,” Tampa Bay Times (March 27, 2012)