October 26, 2021

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Articles by: Joe Wallace

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

October 4, 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 www.valoans.com for (8) years and is currently the Associate Editor for FHANewsblog.com.

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FHA Home Loan Rules For Construction Loan Escrow Accounts

Five Things You Should Know About FHA Mortgages

Many people still have misconceptions about the FHA home loan program. They might think they “earn too much money” to be a successful applicant (not true, FHA home loans are not need-based loans) or think that they would not qualify because they want to build a home instead of buying an existing construction house. (Also not true, FHA loans include those for building a home instead of buying one). What are the facts about FHA home loans you need to know in order to make a better-informed decision about your loan choices? FHA Loan Fact: FHA Mortgages Are For Any Financially Qualified Borrower Unlike the USDA home loan program, which DOES feature need-based mortgages to those who fall under the income guidelines for that loan program, FHA mortgages do NOT | more...

Buying A Home With A Lower Credit Score

Before You Apply For An FHA Mortgage

One of the biggest worries about buying a home? Having good enough credit to qualify.  Do you know what it takes to raise your credit scores? Do you know what it takes to do so without paying a third party to do things on your behalf? Improving your credit scores ahead of an FHA mortgage loan application requires time, which is why financial advisors say it’s best to start early when planning and saving for your loan. Raising your credit scores means changing some basic habits associated with your payments, and getting into new habits can be an adjustment. But that is not the reason why it takes time to repair your credit.  There are three basic issues you should be concerned with if you want to raise your score. | more...

FHA Home Loan Resources

Do FHA Home Loans Have An Income Cap?

Some borrowers learn that FHA mortgage loans are government-backed and guaranteed by the FHA and HUD, which can lead to certain assumptions about the nature of a government-backed mortgage. One of the misconceptions about FHA home loans is that due to their government association have either an income limit, or are otherwise need-based. Some borrowers might be confusing the government-backed USDA loan program with the FAH loan rules. USDA loans ARE need based. However, FHA loan rules in HUD 4000.1 do not specify a maximum income and do not require a specific financial need to qualify. FHA loans do not have a low-income requirement, a household income cap, or a requirement that you be a first-time buyer. These loans are instead designed for those who want to purchase a home | more...


FHA And HUD Announce New Foreclosure Relief Measures For Those Recently Affected By COVID-19

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced new COVID-19 relief measures for those with FHA mortgages.  This news comes on the heels of a previously issued FHA Mortgagee letter, ML2021-19, “Extension of the Foreclosure-Related Eviction Moratorium and Expiration of the Foreclosure Moratorium in Connection with the Presidentially-Declared COVID-19 National Emergency” which contained the following statement: “HUD’s foreclosure moratorium is set to expire on July 31, 2021, and HUD is not extending that moratorium further”. That statement is true for many; the FHA and HUD have added more help but it is intended for those who have experienced recent financial difficulty because of COVID-19. For those who have already taken advantage of this help, the loan forbearance offered borrowers a chance to save their homes even during the prolonged | more...

FHA Mortgage Loan Issues: "Identity Of Interest"

Home Loans After Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Those looking for home loans in the wake of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy often get conflicting messages about when, how, and even whether they can apply. Circumstances and causes of bankruptcy may vary, but borrowers often ask the same kinds of questions about what their options are after the proceedings are done. A typical version of such questions may go like this: “I had a bankruptcy that was discharged and I was told I needed to wait two years before I can apply for an FHA loan.  But other sources say I have to wait longer. What is the reality? How long do I have to wait to apply?” What follows is advice about how long you might have to wait but keep in mind that the clock starts ticking | more...

FHA Home Loan Income Rules

Bad Credit And FHA Home Loan Options

The term “bad credit” tends to feel a bit stigmatizing. Borrowers who have had past difficulty with credit have it hard enough trying to recover from the stigma of their previous credit issues without being confronted by those problems every time they want to start working on their credit. Is there such a thing as a bad credit FHA loan that can help people become homeowners and get a fresh start with credit? Technically the answer is, “it depends”, which isn’t very reassuring. But the truth of the matter is, there are FHA standards that technically make the concept of a bad credit mortgage a reality.  After all, on paper FHA loan rules state that a borrower with FICO scores in the 500 range could still technically qualify for an | more...

Mortgage Loan Approval During Coronavirus

Should I Make Two Mortgage Payments Each Month?

Why do some borrowers–those applying for FHA loans or otherwise–choose to make bi-weekly payments on a mortgage? That is, why do some choose to pay two mortgage payments each month?  Paying ahead on an FHA home loan is not a new idea nor is it a bad one. There are those who pay more on their home loans each month to gradually whittle down the amount they owe on the loan so that payoff comes earlier. And there are several ways to do that, as we’ll explore below. Unlike some other types of loans, FHA mortgages do not come with a pre-payment penalty and you cannot be billed extra for early payoff of the FHA loan amount. The multiple ways to pay ahead and pay down your mortgage earlier than | more...


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...