June 22, 2021

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Articles by: Bruce Reichstein

Bruce Reichstein - FHA News Author

By Bruce Reichstein

June 16, 2021

Bruce Reichstein has spent over three decades as an experienced FHA and VA home loan mortgage banker and underwriter where he was responsible for funding “Billions” in government backed mortgage loans. He is the Managing Editor for FHANewsblog.com where he educates homeowners on the specific guidelines for obtaining FHA guaranteed home loans.

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HUD Charges Niagra Falls Landlord With Fair Housing Act Violations

Housing discrimination at any stage of the process has negative effects on the entire industry. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to purchase or rent. It doesn’t matter if you are a single borrower, or seek housing on behalf of a family, everyone is entitled to fair access to housing according to federal law. Some Fair Housing rights are better understood than others. Most people understand that it is illegal for a landlord, lender, seller, or housing services provider to discriminate against you for your national origin, religion, race, family status, or other non-financial reasons. But did you know that the same is true for having or needing a service animal? Anyone denied housing for having or needing a service animal has experienced a violation of Fair Housing laws. | more...

FHA Loan

Have You Checked Your Credit Score Lately?

When was the last time you checked your credit score? If you are thinking about applying for ANY line of credit (but especially home loans) you will want to be looking at your credit reports on a regular basis. There are good reasons to monitor your credit and keep track of updates to your report. What kind of reasons? Human error, for one. If your credit report has mistakes like an outdated home address, incorrect spellings of your name or addresses, or other problems those errors could make trouble for you later on. But errors aren’t the only issue to keep an eye on. Credit scores help determine your interest rate on a home loan, and they also help determine what size of down payment you may be required to | more...

FHA Home Loan Income Rules

What To Do If You Need Down Payment Assistance

Some borrowers worry that they can’t save up enough money for their home loan down payment. Fortunately, many states feature programs that can help these borrowers who may otherwise qualify for an affordable home loan but struggle with their down payment requirement. If you are considering an FHA mortgage but need down payment help, there are programs offered by state and local agencies that may be able to help you soften the economic blow of that 3.5% down payment requirement imposed by the FHA. Not all down payment assistance meets FHA loan guidelines–you’ll need to make sure that whatever the source of your down payment assistance, you meet the sourcing requirements for the money.  That means having a clear paper trail from the person providing your down payment assistance. Your | more...

Credit Requirements For Your FHA Home Loan In 2020

FHA/HUD Near Current Deadlines For Ending COVID “Flexibilities”

On March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared a national emergency in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not long after, the FHA and HUD published details of altered FHA loan procedures designed to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. These altered procedures included modified employment verification, appraisal processes, and appraisal protocols such as exterior-only options. The HUD guidelines for these modified policies were intended to address the specific needs and risks associated with in-person requirements during COVID. Some of the temporary policies were allowed to expire but then got reinstated. Others simply had their deadlines extended. In January of 2021, President Joseph R. Biden announced a plan called the National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, and in response, temporary FHA and HUD policies were | more...


FHA Home Loan Down Payment Assistance

Do you worry about making a down payment on a home loan? There are home loans that require higher down payments than others but the FHA loan program requires only 3.5% down for borrowers with qualifying FICO scores. FHA loan rules in HUD 4000.1 say: Borrowers with FICO scores at 580 or higher qualify for the lowest down payment. Borrowers with FICO scores between 500 and 579 are required to put 10% down. These are FHA guidelines, not individual lender standards. FHA home loans don’t have a zero down payment option, but FHA construction mortgages allow the borrower to use land equity as part of the down payment where applicable. But borrowers don’t always have to make the downpayment themselves thanks to down payment assistance programs that can help. Here | more...

Is your credit ready for an FHA loan?

Choosing The Right Home Loan

Are you considering the purchase of a home? Among the options, you need to consider? The right kind of home loan for the right type of borrower. There are many loan programs out there with a variety of government-backed mortgages to choose from including USDA, FHA, and VA. There are also Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans. When exploring those home loan options, some borrowers want the lowest upfront costs possible, which makes sense when a borrower has other goals for that money, and making a down payment would hurt those plans. Some borrowers may need that money at another point, and seek out down payment assistance in the form of grants, loans, etc. One type of home loan that features a low down payment of 3% and allows down | more...

HUD Announces Changes To Exterior-Only Appraisal Guidelines For FHA Purchase Loans

HUD Revises FHA Loan Citizenship Rules

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued a press release which announces important changes to the way participating FHA lenders process home loan applications completed by those who are in the United States but are not American citizens. The policies changed are those that allow a lender to approve FHA home loans for those in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In 2012, the Department of Homeland Security issued a policy for those who entered the United States as minors, and who meet “certain additional guidelines” — these applicants are eligible to request “deferred action from prosecution for removal” from the United States for two years, subject to renewal. This technically makes those eligible under DACA to work legally in the United | more...


HUD Announces Resolution To Fair Housing Act Case In California

There are plenty of headlines related to violations of the Fair Housing Act. We report on Fair Housing violations partly to remind borrowers to know their rights, but also to encourage anyone who has been the victim of violation of federal Fair Housing laws to report them to HUD. Discrimination in the housing process creates undue burdens on all house hunters. It does not matter what kind of housing you seek, whether or not you are in the house hunting phase or the home loan application phase, etc. Even in cases where the violations occur in relation to rental properties, discrimination hurts the entire industry. In a 2021 Fair Housing discrimination case, HUD has announced a Conciliation/Voluntary Compliance Agreement with Cascade Village Apartments II in Sacramento, California. This agreement includes | more...

Reasons To Refinance

Which Refi Is Right For You?

Do you need to refinance your home loan? There are plenty of choices, but two FHA loan products stand out for those who need lower payments or who want to get cash back on their refinance transaction. There are several FHA loan options available when it is time to refinance a home loan. Two of those are FHA cash-out refinancing and FHA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance loans, also known as an FHA IRRRL. Which loan should you apply for? This choice should be informed by your specific needs or goals. Do you want to refinance to get a lower monthly payment? Or do you want to take equity out of the to pay for home improvements, pay off credit cards or student loans? One type of refinancing is definitely better | more...

Build on your own lot. Construction loan basics

Construction Loan Options: Comparing One-Time Close Loans

Do you dream of building a home? There are affordable options for those who want to build on their own lot or buy land in conjunction with a One-Time Close (OTC) construction loan. One-Time Close mortgages feature a single loan application and a single closing date. Compare that to construction loans that make you apply and get approved twice–once for the construction costs and once for the purchase of the property. Your construction loan options include VA, FHA, and USDA mortgages. One type of loan might be more suitable to certain borrowers than others, but fortunately, there are multiple choices you can make to get the right loan for you. FHA One-Time Close Construction Loans The FHA One-Time Close mortgage is a good choice for those who want more flexible | more...