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Articles Published in: December 2011

FHA Loans, Verifiable Income and Alimony/Child Support

When a borrower applies for an FHA insured home loan, part of the qualifying process includes having all sources of income reviewed and verified. Some income can’t be used for purposes of qualifying for an FHA mortgage–usually anything which is not steady, reliable, and likely to continue can’t be claimed. By the same standards, some types of income are not required to be listed, but if they are not listed and verified that source of income can’t be considered for the purposes of qualifying for the FHA mortgage. Alimony, child support, and maintenance income falls into this category. If a borrower chooses not to list that type of income, it’s his or her choice–but the income must be listed and verified in order to be used to qualify for the | more...


FHA Extends Anti-Flipping Waiver into 2012

The FHA has extended a waiver to its anti-flipping rules into 2012. Under normal circumstances FHA rules forbid taking out an FHA mortgage for the purpose of “flipping”,which is the practice of buying a home, renovating it, and returning it to the market as soon as possible. A press release from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUDNo 11-292, states the waiver will be extended through 2o12 as part of an effort to stabilize home values and improve the housing market. Acting Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Carol J. Galante was quoted in the release, saying


The FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage Program-A Smart Choice For 2012?

If you’re planning on applying for an FHA home loan or refinancing an existing FHA mortgage in the new year, it might be a good idea to consider the option of an FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage or EEM. The FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage program is designed to let a qualified borrower “to finance 100% of the expense of a cost effective


Who Is Eligible For FHA Loans?

Some potential FHA loan applicants wonder if they are eligible to apply for an FHA insured mortgage loan. Some borrowers wonder if they are eligible because they are naturalized citizens or have applied for citizenship. Others aren’t sure they will qualify because of a lack of credit history or other issues. Fortunately, the FHA loan rules for eligibility are clearly spelled out in a document called HUD 4155.1. This document contains a variety of rules and instructions for participating FHA lenders. For example, HUD 4155.1 tells lenders not to deny an FHA loan application simply because the borrower has a limited or non-traditional credit history. It also clearly states who is basically eligible to apply for an FHA mortgage. HUD 4155.1 states, that the FHA insures mortgages made to those | more...


HUD Offers 175-Language Pilot Program

A recent press release from the Department of Housing and Urban Development could help some FHA loan applicants who need help with understanding their borrower’s rights. According to HUDNo. 11-29, released on FHA.gov December 22, 2011, “The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced that it has launched the HUD Language Line, a telephone language service pilot that will offer live, one-on-one interpretation services in more than 175 languages.” “Accessible throughout the nation, the language line will help HUD staff to better communicate with Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals and families about HUD housing programs, services, and activities.” The pilot program, which runs through September 2012, is funded under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010, “to help ensure that individuals have access to information in languages other | more...


Reader Question: FHA Loan Down Payment Rules By State

A recent reader left a message in our comments section asking, “If u live in Minnesota what the requirements for down payments on FHA loan?” Some FHA loan applicants may have the mistaken impression that FHA rules for down payments vary from state to state, so we thought it important to dispel that notion once and for all. FHA loan rules state there is a minimum down payment of 3.5%. According to the FHA official site (on the Let FHA Loans Help You page), “Your down payment can be as low as 3.5% of the purchase price, and most of your closing costs and fees can be included in the loan. Available on 1-4 unit properties.” However, FHA loan applicants should know there may be additional factors that affect the | more...


FHA Loans And Credit: What Is The Lender Looking For?

When first-time FHA borrowers submit their loan applications to the lender, it’s natural they might feel nervous about the outcome of the lender’s review of the application data. Will the borrower’s occasional credit missteps or isolated credit problems negatively affect the ability to get FHA loan approval? FHA rules for lenders include a long list of requirements for the credit check, which includes the following: “Past credit performance is the most useful guide to


FHA Refunds–How Do I Find Out If I’m Owed Money?

One of the frequently asked questions at FHA.gov involves FHA loan refunds for mortgage insurance premiums. This continues to be an issue for the FHA, and according to FHA.gov the agency has increased its efforts to find home owners who are due refunds. The FHA has hired a third party agency called Immediate System Resources to assist in the search for those who are due an FHA mortgage insurance premium refund. According to the FHA, “This will save people the ‘finders fees’ normally collected by third party tracers. If someone from Immediate System Resources, Inc. contacts you, they are officially affiliated with HUD and will help you and won’t charge you to get your refund.” The “tracer companies” mentioned in the quote above contact home owners with offers to help | more...


When Can I Get an FHA Streamline Refinancing Loan?

Borrowers who take out FHA insured mortgages are eligible to apply for FHA Streamline Refinancing loans, which features reduced paperwork and underwriting requirements in many cases compared to other refinancing options including cash-out refinancing loans and similar transactions. There are plenty of reasons why now might be a good time for some borrowers to consider refinancing an FHA guaranteed mortgage–Streamline Refinancing features a lower monthly mortgage payment, lower interest rates, or both with certain exceptions. For example, if a borrower is refinancing from an adjustable rate mortgage to an FHA fixed-rate loan, the interest rate on the refinanced loan may be higher than the variable rate. These features sound good to many FHA borrowers, but how soon after purchasing a home with an FHA mortgage can a home owner begin | more...