September 20, 2021

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Articles by: Joe Wallace

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

September 20, 2021

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 for (8) years and is currently the Associate Editor for

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HUD Announces Fair Housing Discrimination Case In Missouri

If you have ever experienced discrimination while looking for a place to rent or buy as your primary residence, the Department of Housing and Urban Development wants to hear from you. Know your Fair Housing rights–you might not know when you’ll need to use them. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it is bringing charges of housing discrimination against conservators of the Felder Peter King Estate of Ward Protectee, the Estate, and the owners and property manager of duplex and triplex apartments in St. Charles, Missouri. The charges involve alleged housing discrimination “for allegedly refusing to rent an apartment to a prospective tenant because he has two children” Fair Housing Act laws do not permit landlords to deny applicants housing on the basis of family status including | more...

FHA Rehab Loans In 2021

Need To Remodel Your Home?

What kind of FHA loan product is right for your home repair projects? Some people want to fund a remodeling or renovation project using a credit card, but what happens when you compare interest rates on your credit card to the rates you might be charged for an FHA refinance or an FHA 203(k) Rehab loan? The reason some people put these repair expenses on their credit cards has a lot to do with the time it takes to build equity in the home for a HELOC or a cash-out refinance. But for those who have the ability to refinance in order to pay for the work, the savings could be a major factor in your choices. Remodeling With An FHA Cash-Out Refinance The cash-out refinance option does require you | more...

FHA Condo Loan Basics You Should Know

How To Avoid A Mortgage Closing Scam

The government’s consumer watchdog agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), has a page dedicated to warning house hunters about home loan closing scams.  According to CFPB documents,FBI warnings about home scams include attempts to “phish” your personal information with the purpose of tricking a potential borrower into diverting the payment of closing costs and down payment to a destination that is NOT your lender.  In a single year alone, these mortgage closing scams cost almost one billion dollars. Want to know how you can keep this from happening to you? Scammers trying to pull these types of phishing attacks target people in the mortgage industry–they find legitimate email addresses and “spoof” them, making the email appear to be from a real address. But the email is full of hacking | more...

Is your credit ready for an FHA loan?

What’s In Your Mortgage?

If you are new to the home buying process and are still house hunting, chances are good you might not be thinking about the ups and downs of your monthly mortgage payment.  Some find it difficult to wade through home loan paperwork–there is a lot of print and fine print to digest in the best of times. What should you expect from your monthly mortgage bill and what do you do if you find errors or other issues on your monthly statements long after the loan has closed? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or CFPB advises consumers to carefully review their monthly mortgage statement. You will want to review the following sections for accuracy each month and to make sure there are no surprises: Customer service contact information the lender/servicer | more...

Information You Need To Pre-Qualify Or Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage

Home Loan And Home Ownership Tools From HUD

Are you a first-time home buyer trying to get good advice on how to prepare for a home loan? Are you interested in an FHA Reverse Mortgage, but not sure about where to find approved housing counseling for an FHA Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM)? Or perhaps you are a current homeowner with an FHA mortgage trying to avoid foreclosure? In every case, the FHA and HUD have housing counseling resources you can use to make more informed decisions about purchasing, refinancing, or saving your home. Did you know that the HUD official site has a page dedicated to housing counseling resources? You can find it at their official site: The HUD Office of Housing Counseling As the official site reminds, “HUD sponsor housing counseling agencies throughout the country that | more...

Low Mortgage Rates and Refinance Options

FHA Home Loan Pre-Approval: Issues To Consider

Getting mortgage pre-approval is an important step in the home buyer journey. It indicates to the seller and to a lender that you are serious about your home loan and that you are ready to commit to the right property and the right price. So what should you know about mortgage pre-approval before you apply? There are some basic questions to ask yourself before you start filling out the forms to get pre-approved. Getting pre-approved for an FHA home loan means asking yourself how good your credit score is and how high your credit card balances are. It’s best to start asking these questions far in advance of your home loan so that you have ample time to work on your credit issues where they might exist, and also so | more...

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

HUD Charges Florida Condo Owner’s Association With Fair Housing Act Violations

There are many different forms of housing discrimination and such violations of federal law can happen at any stage of the housing process. That means you can find examples of violations of the Fair Housing Act in many other places besides the rental application process, the home loan application process, or even the refinance loan system. Did you know that housing discrimination cases are also found in areas such as the decisions of homeowner’s associations? That’s an area that doesn’t get discussed much in home loan circles, but violations of the Fair Housing Act have disastrous effects for those who seek housing. One good example of this is found in a September 2021 press release at the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s official site announcing charges against a condo | more...


Advice For Homeowners Affected By Natural Disasters in 2021

American homeowners have been hard hit by natural disasters in 2021; everything from forest fires to hurricanes and tropical storms have beset homeowners on both coasts and in many places in-between. Add to that the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic and you get a lot of financial hardship for those who have had to evacuate, and for those who have experienced lost or damaged homes and property. The FHA and HUD have specific disaster-relief policies for those affected by natural disasters; if you have been affected by a storm, fire, or any other type of natural disaster it’s vital to contact your participating lender immediately to discuss your home loan options during the recovery phase. FHA loan rules for those affected by natural disasters may include limited foreclosure moratorium procedures | more...

FHA Loan

Using Your Home Equity With An FHA Cash-Out Refinance Loan

There are many uses for an FHA cash-out refinance. These FHA refi loans can be used to refinance FHA and non-FHA mortgages alike, and the funds from cash-out refinance loans can be used for any purpose including paying off credit card debt, making home improvements, and even paying for luxury items like cars or boats. But what is the best use of cash-out refinance loan proceeds?  Like many similar home loan questions, the answer depends greatly on the financial needs and goals of the borrower. But there are some issues you should consider when deciding what to do with the money you get from an FHA refinance of this type. An FHA cash-out refinance loan is a good option for someone who has built up equity in their property over | more...

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

The Final Month Of The COVID-19 FHA Foreclosure Eviction Moratorium

September 1, 2021 marks the start of a countdown–the final days of the FHA foreclosure eviction moratorium issued to help FHA borrowers avoid loan default and foreclosure during the economic hardship of the global COVID-19 pandemic. There were two FHA-wide orders during the pandemic. One was a prohibition on foreclosures on homes securing an FHA mortgage, and the other was a moratorium on foreclosure-related eviction for those with FHA mortgages who were in the foreclosure process when the pandemic hit. The moratorium on FHA foreclosures ended in July 2021, but the foreclosure eviction ban was extended until the end of September 2021. On July 30, 2021, the FHA and HUD issued an announcement stating as such, which included the following: “Foreclosure-related evictions of persons from properties that were secured by | more...