October 20, 2020

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Articles Published in: February 2012

Historic Settlement Between Federal Government and Five Major Banks

The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently announced a $25 billion settlement between the government and the five largest banks in the U.S. United States Attorney General Eric Holder, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers announced the “landmark $25 billion agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers to address mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses.” According to the press release, this is the largest federal-state civil settlement ever obtained and is the result of “extensive investigations by federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, HUD and the HUD Office of the Inspector General (HUD-OIG), and state attorneys general and state banking regulators across the country.” The settlement includes Bank of America Corporation, | more...

 

FHA Loan Questions: Is There Any Way Around My Bankruptcy?

A reader asks, “Bankruptcy filed just 2 years ago, is there a way around that? Have a descent (sic) income, employment and debt to income ratio.” There are two types of bankruptcy borrowers sometimes ask about in these cases. One is Chapter 7, where the borrower has debts discharged. The other is Chapter 13, where borrowers have a restructured payment plan enforced by court order. For Chapter 7, FHA loan rules require a minimum two year waiting period from the discharge of the bankruptcy before a borrower may apply for a new FHA mortgage. There is no workaround for this two-year minimum, even when the borrower has tried to reestablish good credit and employment in the wake of the bankruptcy. However, for those who have filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy, FHA | more...

 

FHA Loan Debt To Income Ratios: Do Student Loans Count?

FHA loans require the lender to calculate the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio to determine if the applicant can realistically afford to make a monthly FHA mortgage payment. The borrower’s debts are reviewed and compared to the amount of money coming in–if the ratio is within FHA requirements, the loan can be approved (assuming the borrower meets the other FHA loan criteria). Some borrowers are rightfully concerned about the amount of debt they bring to the bargaining table. Too much debt and the borrower could be denied the FHA home loan. But not all financial obligations are necessarily counted toward the borrower’s debt-to-income calculation. FHA loan rules say some debts, usually with 10 months or less remaining on the payment agreement, do not have to be counted. The lender may choose to | more...

 

FHA Loan Questions: Debt-To-Income Ratios

When you apply for an FHA home loan, you’re required to list all current debts and other financial obligations. This helps the lender calculate the debt-to-income ratio, which must fall within the FHA required percentage. Borrowers should know what the FHA and HUD.gov say about the debt-to-income ratio percentages; “…monthly mortgage payments should be no more than 29% of gross income, while the mortgage payment, combined with non-housing expenses, 4 should total no more than 41% of income. The lender also considers cash available for down payment and closing costs, credit history, etc. when determining your maximum loan amount.” Borrowers should be concerned with the amount of debt they currently have before applying for an FHA home loan. Paying off credit cards and closing unneeded open lines of credit should | more...

 

FHA Loan Reader Question: Home Loan Income Requirements

The FHA rules for income verification include a requirement that the lender verify all income sources listed on the FHA loan application. According to the rules for lenders participating in the FHA home loan program, income cannot be counted for purposes of calculating the FHA mortgage loan if it is not stable, verifiable, and likely to continue. One reader asks; “Can a retired person qualify for an FHA mortgage? I recently retired, am in the process of selling my current home, after which I will be relocating to another state. Without employment, my source of income is Social Security and withdrawals from a retirement account. Will these qualify?” Federal housing laws forbid lenders from discriminating against home loan applicants based on age and related factors. The only qualifying data permitted | more...

 

FHA Loans and Employment History

We fielded a reader question about FHA loans and employment history recently. The reader asked; “Hi. Is it possible to file for a loan with one year of employment with great credit score?” This is a question that is more complex than it might seem on the surface. Does the reader mean one year of employment with a single employer? Or does this question refer to one year of total employment experience? According to the FHA loan rules, “To be eligible for a mortgage, FHA does not require a minimum length of time that a borrower must have held a position of employment. However, the lender must verify the borrower

 

FHA Loans and Inducements To Purchase

Recently we got a reader question about seller concessions and FHA home loans. Under the rules for an FHA mortgage, the seller is allowed to contribute certain concessions (interest rate buydowns and other contributions) as long as the concessions don’t exceed the FHA’s maximum rate. According to FHA loan rules at the time of this writing, “The seller and/or third party may contribute up to six percent of the lesser of the property

 

FHA Loans: Is a Down Payment Always Required?

We get many questions about FHA home loans from our readers; some of the most frequently asked include questions about FHA loan down payment issues and the acceptable sources of down payment funds. It’s true that all FHA new purchase home loans require at least a 3.5% down payment. That amount–the 3.5%–is current at the time of this writing. If that FHA mortgage down payment requirement changes, your lender should let you know before you commit to the mortgage in writing. In Chapter 5 of HUD4155.1, the rules state clearly; “Under most FHA programs, the borrower is required to make a minimum downpayment into the transaction of at least 3.5% of the lesser of the appraised value of the property or the sales price.” The reason the FHA requires the | more...

 

FHA Loan Standards: Exceptions to the Rules?

The FHA has standards for qualifying for an FHA insured mortgage including income, employment, credit score and other factors. In most cases, borrowers who don’t meet the minimum required credit score or debt-to-income rations can’t qualify for an FHA loan. But are there exceptions? For example, could a borrower who has a debt-to-income ratio that’s too high still get an FHA loan approved? And why would the FHA approve a loan when the applicant doesn’t meet FHA loan standards? FHA loans include an option for lenders to review any “compensating factors” the borrower might bring to the bargaining table. For example, one such factor has to do with the borrower’s ability to pay–and a history of being able to pay–even though the debt-to-income ratio might exceed FHA standards. According to | more...