Timely news, information and advice concentrating on FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgage lending.

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Articles Published in: January 2011

FHA Loans: Submitting a Written Offer to the Seller

Buying a home with an FHA mortgage is very similar to purchasing a home with a conventional loan in many ways. Once the loan application itself has been approved and it's time to make an offer, buyer and seller interact with one another the same as with any other real estate purchase. First time home buyers with an FHA insured home loan may not know what to expect or what's expected of them at this stage in the process, but the steps are very simple. When the buyer decides that a property is the one for them, they may make an offer to the seller. As long as the offer is not submitted in writing as a binding agreement, there's plenty of room to negotiate but it's important for FHA | more...


New FHA Proposal Tightens Anti-Discrimination Regulations

The FHA and HUD have strict rules prohibiting discriminatory practices when it comes to FHA home loans, but new rules proposed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development would provide much more guidance to lenders and sellers. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced a proposal that would codify equal access to housing rights for all FHA applicants regardless of orientation or gender identity. At a time when "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" regulations have been repealed for U.S. military members, the announcement by HUD is part of a larger movement to insure equal access for a segment of the American public long under-represented by previous incarnations of the nation's equal access laws.


How Can I Tell If I Can Afford an FHA Home Loan?

Many people dream of home ownership, but the prospect of committing to a monthly mortgage payment is daunting for some. How can you tell if an FHA mortgage is right for you? Fortunately there are many tools online that can help a potential borrower determine whether they're ready to take the plunge...or if their finances need a bit of work first. One of the criteria for a successful FHA loan application is having the right debt-to-income ratio. An FHA borrower must have a debt-to-income ratio that totals no more than 41% in most cases.


FHA ARM Loan Options

First time home buyers interested in FHA loans are often directed to the HUD official page where they can explore options on FHA loans. Some of the FHA's "for more information" links point to the FDIC official site, which has information on interest-only mortgage loans and option-payment adjustable rate mortgages. The FHA still insures ARM loans, which some borrowers choose because the FHA version of an ARM loan is more tightly controlled than a conventional version or a convention sub-prime loan. Those who want to purchase a home but may still wrestle with budget issues in the early years of home ownership often look to ARM loans and/or interest only mortgages as an alternative.


How FHA Loan Limits Work

If you're a first-time home buyer looking to buy a home with an FHA loan, there are quite a few new terms and phrases to get familiar with. Anyone who has priced a home probably knows a lot more about the ups and downs of the housing market when it comes to the value of a particular home in a specific neighborhood...but newcomers to the FHA loan process may wonder if the homes they are viewing are worth the asking price and whether or not they can qualify for an FHA guaranteed loan to meet that asking price. There are several factors that go into the final amount of an FHA home loan. One of those factors is the appraised value of the property--how much the FHA deems the property | more...


FHA Loans and Foreclosure: a Timeline

With home foreclosures still in the news even several years after the housing crisis of 2008, we've written a fair amount on topics related to foreclosure on FHA home loans. Default and foreclosure are often preventable if the buyer takes action early; in some cases a simple bit of additional information is the only thing a borrower needs to take action that can save the home. Missing one FHA mortgage loan payment isn't good, but it is not the end of the world if the buyer contacts the loan officer and the FHA to discuss next steps. But what happens when the buyer misses the a second payment? The FHA says when the second payment in a row is missed, the bank will definitely reach out to the homeowner, but | more...


FHA Loans: How Many Payments Can Be Missed Before Foreclosure Starts?

When FHA borrowers get into financial trouble, the best thing to do is to get in touch with the FHA and the lender immediately to start damage control. This helps avoid the borrower going into default or foreclosure on the FHA loan. Some borrowers mistakenly think that they are in foreclosure territory after missing one or two payments--but many more wrongly believe they have much more time even after missing two or more payments before the foreclosure proceedings start. The truth is that the foreclosure often varies depending on the state and the lender. How much time does a borrower have before going into default and foreclosure in general?


FHA Loans, Foreclosure, and the Redemption Period

When an FHA borrower gets in trouble on an FHA mortgage loan, there is a specific set of steps that take place. From the time the first FHA loan payment is missed to the cut-off date to avoid foreclosure after multiple payments have been missed, there are places along the way where foreclosure could be avoided in many cases. But some borrowers wind up in foreclosure regardless, and the loss of the home can be devastating. But is there a second chance for a borrower to get their home back once it goes into foreclosure proceedings? According to the FHA, in some cases the answer is yes thanks to something known as the redemption period. Redemption is a transaction where the original owner of the foreclosed home is allowed to | more...


FHA Loans and Foreclosure: Are You In Danger?

The FHA has many programs to help home buyers find and purchase a home. But FHA help doesn't end there--the government has a vested interest in helping people keep their homes even in times of financial difficulty. When borrowers get into trouble with their FHA mortgage loans, the first line of defense is to address money problems as early as possible. That's why the FHA offers their toll-free number (1-800-569-4287) to put home owners in touch with a housing counselor.


FHA Fair Lending Standards

One of the main advantages of an FHA insured loan is the commitment to fairness in lending. The FHA has strict requirements for its lenders when it comes to best practices, and in addition to the laws passed by the federal government to insure fairness in lending, the FHA works with the HUD Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity to investigate complaints about unfair or discriminatory lending practices.