April 1, 2020

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Articles by: Joe Wallace

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

March 31, 2020

Joe Wallace has been specializing in military and personal finance topics since 1995. His work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and a member of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association. He was Managing editor for www.valoans.com for (8) years and is currently the Associate Editor for FHANewsblog.com.

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FHA and HUD Change Loan Approval Requirements For Coronavirus

FHA and HUD Change Loan Approval Requirements For Coronavirus

The FHA and HUD have announced short-term alterations to appraisal and approval policies for single-family forward mortgages during the coronavirus outbreak. The changes, originally set to expire on May 17, 2020, address issues involving how appraisers review their properties, and how lenders must reverify borrower financial data before closing time. The changes to appraisal requirements (exterior-only inspections allowing the appraiser to work without being at risk of infection) were a big part of that, but not the whole substance of the policy changes. Reducing the risk to appraisers is one thing, but some of the measures are intended to streamline loan approval in a time of crisis. The FHA/HUD official site press release explains that certain measures were needed to, “maintain the stability” of the FHA Single-Family Home Loan program, | more...

 
Mortgage Loan Approval During Coronavirus

Mortgage Loan Approval During The Coronavirus

Buying a home is more complicated in the era of the coronavirus. Borrowers face social lockdowns, restricted movement, and fears of infection. And the economy is feeling the effects of this, making markets more volatile, interest rates fluctuating daily (far more than usual), and other issues. There is a lot of speculation about the future of the mortgage industry, not so much a question of how it will survive (it will), but more about how the industry will look going forward. How hard will it be to qualify for a home loan or any major line of credit. Will FHA borrowers of the future need to bring higher credit scores and more dependable-looking credit history to the loan application process? To quote the old Magic 8-Ball toy, “Signs point to | more...

 
Mortgage Industry Seeks Federal Relief For Borrowers

Mortgage Industry Seeks Federal Relief For Borrowers

The coronavirus pandemic created financial chaos across the globe; America is on the verge of a massive financial bailout for consumers and industry to the tune of $2 trillion or more. States, lenders, and the federal government all have a keen interest in helping homeowners avoid financial crises, loan default, and foreclosure. And now the mortgage industry has rallied to petition the White House for funds to assist homeowners. On March 24, 2020, HousingWire.com ran a press release discussing a letter sent to the White House asking for mortgage relief for borrowers including delayed payments and interest. The proposal includes the following benefits: A 90-day delayed payment option for mortgage payments; A proposed one-year loan forbearance period; Payment forbearance protections such as no negative credit reporting or collections; Introducing reduced | more...

 
Mortgage Rate Trends

Mortgage Rate Trends: The Three Percent Range

Mortgage loan rates have been on a wild ride since the advent of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak; for a time FHA mortgage loan rates dipped below the three percent threshold. How wild has the ride been? FHA mortgage rates hit a 52-week range of rates between the lowest at 2.75% at the low point during the outbreak and just over 4% at its highest moment in the 52-week range. What does that mean going forward? For the average consumer, not much. It is pure speculation to say we may or may not see rates dip below the three percent range but borrowers should likely assume that those rock-bottom rates are gone and proceed without the temptation to float rather than lock in a mortgage rate commitment with the lender in | more...

 
How To Avoid Foreclosure During The Coronavirus

How To Avoid Foreclosure During The Coronavirus

Are you afraid of losing your home due to diminished income or a lack of income related to closures, furloughs, and layoffs due to coronavirus prevention? The global pandemic caused by the coronavirus has created major financial problems and governments worldwide struggle to control the damage. Mortgage rates have fluctuated wildly between incredible lows and one-year highs, the Fed has made emergency interest rate cuts, and hundreds of companies have been forced to endure waves of closures or reduced hours. Affording your mortgage payment in times like these is difficult; it’s easy to fall behind on your financial obligations. Do you know what to do if you are in danger of being late or missing a mortgage payment on your FHA home loan? Act Now To Avoid More Financial Damage | more...

 
Planning Your Home Loan

Planning Your Home Loan

The planning stage of your home loan is extremely important. This is where you will determine what kind of home you might want, the price range you can afford, and how much down payment you need to save up to make. One big choice you face in the planning process? Decisions about issues related to long-term occupancy of the home, whether you plan to sell within a short or long amount of time and how you should arrange your financing to accommodate those needs. What kind of arrangements? Some borrowers don’t apply for a fixed-rate mortgage. They know they are not keeping the home for the long-term and choose to take advantage of lower interest rates offered in the introductory period of an FHA Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) instead of | more...

 
Build on your own lot. Construction loan basics

Is It Safe To Apply For A One-Time Close Mortgage During The Coronavirus?

Is it safe to apply for a One-Time Close construction loan during the coronavirus outbreak? Construction loans are offered for those who wish to apply for a home loan but don’t want to purchase existing construction. These loans are available for FHA borrowers, VA borrowers, even USDA applicants who meet program requirements may be approved. But what do you need to know about Construction loans during a time of national crisis such as the coronavirus? You May Need To Allow For Additional Processing Time Permitting and other official paperwork may be slow to be processed or approved depending on the government agency, demand, and local rules that may be in effect during a quarantine period, “stop movement”, or related restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of contagion. Don’t assume you | more...

 
Repair Your Credit Before Your Home Loan

Repair Your Credit Before Your Home Loan

Interested in applying for an FHA mortgage or a refinance loan? It’s not as easy as finding a lender and applying; you will need plenty of time to save for the expenses of the loan including the down payment and closing costs. But you also need more time in another way; taking a preliminary step as early as possible in your loan process can make the difference between loan approval and rejection. What is that preliminary step? Reviewing your credit report for errors and identity theft evidence. It’s also about working on raising your FICO scores based on the results of your credit report review. All Americans are entitled to a free copy of their credit report once per year, so there is no cost to obtain one. You can | more...

 
Mortgage Rate Trends

Mortgage Rate Trends: Moving Higher

Mortgage loan interest rates dipped to incredible lows, with FHA mortgage rates falling below three percent last week. However, this week mortgage loan interest rates are moving upwards due to multiple factors having to do with bond markets, mortgage-backed securities, etc. What does the average borrower need to know? Last week we discussed the possibility that rates could move higher at any time. That discussion is now playing itself out with FHA mortgage loan interest rates now back above the three percent zone at a reported 3.25% best-scenario rate assuming an ideal borrower with outstanding FICO scores and other financial qualifications. Those who were ready to make an interest rate lock commitment with their lender but instead decided to “float” rather than lock in a mortgage loan interest rate definitely | more...

 
Is It Safe To Go House Hunting During The Coronavirus Outbreak?

Is It Safe To Go House Hunting During The Coronavirus Outbreak?

Is the housing market is in “disarray” in the wake of the coronavirus? Some think so, sharing stories of lenders refusing new loans, mortgage rates moving contrary to their traditional patterns in the presence of influences that normally tend to put upward or downward pressure on those rates, etc. And then there’s the coronavirus itself, bringing cancellations, disrupted travel plans, and slow sales due to reduced demand. But even with all this, house hunting and real estate sales continue. But what can a home loan applicant do when they are afraid of catching coronavirus (however justified those fears may or may not be) or even just the garden-variety flu? Technology provides the answer for some in the form of the virtual real estate tour. Virtual tours can take the form | more...