HARP 2 Refinance Program Will End Four Years Too Soon
Another large group of U.S. homeowners have successfully closed under HARP 2.0.
According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), more than eighty-eight thousand Home Affordable Refinance Program loans closed this past June, raising the all-time HARP closing tally to 2.73 million.
HARP loans are available to U.S. homeowners through December 2015.
HARP : Refinancing Underwater Homeowners Since 2009
The Home Affordable Refinance Program was first launched in February 2009. It was introduced as a way to help struggling U.S. homeowners lower their mortgage payments, and to help boost the national economy.
The recession was underway and home values were dropping. So were mortgage rates. Unfortunately, only homeowners with existing FHA or VA loans could take advantage; or homeowners with ample home equity.
FHA-backed homeowners had access to the FHA Streamline Refinance program, an appraisal-less refinance plan which ignores falling home values. The same was true for military borrowers carrying a VA loan.
Via the streamline IRRRL program, eligible VA homeowners could simply ask their bank for a refinance and, in most cases, it was awarded. The IRRRL also ignores falling home values.
The government used these programs as a model for the new HARP mortgage.
In the official HARP guidelines, most home appraisal requirements were waived in a refinance, which gave U.S. homeowners with lost home … [Read More...]
08/19/2013 By: Esther Cho
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is allowing borrowers who went through a bankruptcy, foreclosure, deed-in-lieu, or short sale to reenter the market in as little as 12 months, according to a mortgage letter released Friday.
Borrowers who experienced a foreclosure must wait at least three years before getting a chance to get approved for an FHA loan, but with the new guideline, certain borrowers who lost their home as a result of an economic hardship may be considered even earlier.
For borrowers who went through a recession-related financial event, FHA stated it realizes “their credit histories may not fully reflect their true ability or propensity to repay a mortgage.”
In order to be eligible for the more lenient approval process, provided documents must show “certain credit impairments” were from loss of employment or loss of income that was beyond the borrower’s control. The lender also needs to verify the income loss was at least 20 percent for a period lasting for at least six months.
Additionally, borrowers must demonstrate they have fully recovered from the event that caused the hardship and complete housing counseling.
According to the letter, recovery from an economic event involves reestablishing “satisfactory credit” for at least 12 months. Criteria for satisfactory credit include 12 months of good payment history on payments such as a mortgage, rent, or credit account.
The new guidance is for case numbers … [Read More...]
I am frequently asked whether lenders will finance a condo that is in pending litigation.
Fannie Mae (Conventional) does make an exception for minor litigation. Projects for which the lender determines that pending litigation involves minor matters are not considered ineligible projects, provided the lender concludes that the pending litigation has no impact on the safety, structural soundness, habitability, or functional use of the project.
The following is a definition of “minor” pending litigation.
Non monetary litigation involving neighbor disputes or rights to quiet enjoyment
Litigation for which the claimed amount is known, the insurance carrier has agreed to provide the amount covered by the association’s insurance
The home owner’s association is named as the plaintiff in a foreclosure action for past due home owner’s dues.
The lender will need to document the amount that the HOA is liable if it does not win the law suit.
If you have a scenario that you want to run by me then please let me know.
Loan Officer, NMLS #487461
Sterling Bank | Lake Washington Branch | 2536
10230 NE Points Dr., Suite 530, Kirkland, WA 98033
Direct: (425) 893-5717 | Fax: 425-650-7129
email@example.com … [Read More...]
For the week of May 21, 2012 --- Vol. 10, Issue 21
Last Week in Last Week in Last Week in Review: There was more drama out of Europe, plus some important inflation news.
Forecast for the Week: Several important reports are ahead of the holiday weekend, with news on the housing market, durable goods, and consumer sentiment.
View: You've probably heard of phishing emails...but did you know you also need to keep a look out for "smishing" texts? See important details below.
Last Week in Review
It's all Greek to me. And last week, news out of Europe dominated the headlines...impacting our markets and home loan rates. Read on for details.
Last week there was news that the European Central Bank (ECB) stopped providing funding to some Greek banks, adding to the drama in the region. ECB President Mario Draghi backed the move saying that the ECB will not compromise "the integrity of our balance sheet" to bail out Greek banks and the recapitalization effort must come from the Greek government themselves.
What will be made of Greece? Will there be a "Grexit," with the country exiting the Euro? What's more, Spain looks like it will be in a recession throughout 2013 and that country is drowning in debt with Bond yields now approaching very lofty levels. When there is this much risk out in the market, Traders seek a safe … [Read More...]
The choice of plants for curb appeal should endow your home with charm, framing a setting that invites the visitor to dream of iced tea and lawn chairs. To convey easy-care grounds, forget plotting an immense perennial garden. To the majority of people, that says "You'll be spending all your fair weather weekends maintaining me."
Wise plant choice is the key. The following is a very brief list of hardy, enduring performers for easy maintenance in a variety of settings.
Make a Focal Point
Most barren yards benefit from an ornamental tree. If you live between zones 5 to 9, you should consider a self-fertile, dwarf fruit tree. This gives the one-two punch of a pretty flowering tree in spring and the romantic ideal of picking one's own fruit. Or, try a little nut tree—Hall's Hardy Almond is a smallish variety with pretty pink blossoms in early spring, and doesn't require as much fuss as some of the fruits.
Shrubbery Against the House
Negate the need for trimming with shrubs that grow less than 3' tall under windows. Choose from boxwood, Bird's Nest spruce, Blue Star juniper, Siberian Carpet cypress, compact heavenly bamboo and evergreen azalea. Use taller shrubs to frame sections of the mounded forms: Emerald Green arborvitae, dwarf Alberta spruce, or Sky Pencil holly.
Quick, Aromatic Impact
Plant a row of hardy English lavender along a walkway, or a small herb garden with oregano, thyme, and rosemary where visitors will have to pass on their way in. Merely … [Read More...]
In the current economic climate, every dollar saved helps. Though new homeowners will pay more for their upfront insurance premiums, existing homeowners can save thousands by refinancing.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is increasing their upfront insurance premium from 1 percent to 1.75 percent. FHA's annual mortgage insurance premium will increase by 0.10 percent for loans under $625,500 and by 0.35 percent for jumbo loans over $625,500. Anyone who rolls the upfront charge into their mortgage should expect higher mortgage payments. For a $200,000, 30-year FHA mortgage, the change to the upfront insurance premium will increase monthly payments by $24. Although this is the fourth fee increase in the past three years, FHA believes the change is necessary. The added revenue will boost the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund by $1 billion through 2013, ensuring FHA's stability in a volatile market.
Changes to FHA's Streamline Refinance Program could save homeowners thousands. FHA will cut its upfront fees for refinancing loans, letting homeowners take advantage of low interest rates without losing thousands of dollars in fees in the process. Starting June 11, borrowers who obtained their FHA-backed mortgages before June 1, 2009 will pay an upfront fee of just 0.01 percent. For the 3.4 million households who currently pay more than 5 percent in annual interest, refinancing can save an average of $3000 a year or $250 a month. This is a huge benefit to homeowners who owe … [Read More...]
Mortgage rates have hit record lows, which means housing affordability is at an all-time high. But are home buyers taking advantage of this opportunity? The latest real estate news suggests that potential home buyers are becoming actual home owners.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), pending home sales for November increased 7.3 percent to the highest level in 19 months. The Pending Home Sales Index assesses the health of the real estate market by evaluating housing contract activity. An index of 100 is considered healthy; the November index sits at 100.1, up from the previous year's November index of 94.5. The index hasn't been this high since April 2010, when the then-upcoming deadline for the home buyer tax credit created an increased demand in the housing market. In today's market, there might not be a tax credit incentivizing buyers, but there are record-low mortgage rates. Potential buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines for the market to improve are finally signing contracts to take advantage of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage below 4 percent.
The Supply of Homes on the Market Decreased
The total housing inventory for November fell 5.8 percent. By the end of the month, 2.58 million existing homes were available for sale. Of those homes, 29 percent were foreclosures and short sales, down from 33 percent a year ago; while still high, this is movement in the right direction.
Construction Spending Increased
The improving real estate … [Read More...]