January 19, 2021

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Articles in Category: HUD Regulations

Is your credit ready for an FHA loan?

What Affects My FHA Loan Approval? Debt Ratio Issues

Every mortgage or finance blog includes a lot of writing and advice about the need to monitor your credit reports. And make no mistake, this is important advice that is good to follow, but if you are in the market for a new home in 2021 the amount of monthly debt you have compared to your monthly income will be just as important for loan approval. Why Your Debt Matters Some applications crunch the numbers and believe they can afford the loan on paper. But what happens when that does not match what the lender gets when she runs your debt ratio numbers? People who technically qualify on paper but not in reality are bad risks for the lender and their jobs depend on screening out those bad risks. And | more...

FHA Construction Loan Rule Changes In 2021

FHA Construction Loan Rule Changes In 2021

The FHA One-Time Close construction loan, also known as a construction-to-permanent mortgage or simply as a home construction loan, is an option for home buyers who want to build a home from the ground up. There are USDA versions of this type of loan (with income caps and other need-based restrictions), there’s a VA One-Time Close loan for qualifying military personnel, and there is also the FHA One-Time Close construction loan which features a low 3.5% down payment the same as all other FHA purchase loan options. The FHA and HUD have announced changes to the FHA One-Time Close program in 2021. These changes will formalize certain elements of the program, and change others as we’ll see below. HUD has changed its maximum financing policy and other requirements for New | more...


Happy Veterans Day 2020

Happy Veterans Day! Many banks will be closed to observe this federal holiday, bond markets are closed, and we pause in our usual routine of discussing home loan issues and answering questions about FHA home loans to honor our veterans. Thank a veteran for her service, and remember the sacrifices all our troops have made no matter where in the world they may be stationed. To all current and former members of the U.S. military, THANK YOU for your service! Our regular posting schedule resumes tomorrow.

Mortgage Rate Trends

Mortgage Loan Interest Rate Trends

FHA mortgage loan rates have had a wild ride in 2020, and that is likely not over headed into the November and December holiday seasons. The 52-week average for government-backed mortgage loan interest rates has a bottom at 2.25%, which is significant since mortgage loan rates had, until this year, rarely seen territory below the three percent range. And the upper end of the 52-week average at the time of this writing is four percent–that should give you a good idea of how rates have fluctuated in the last 12 months. There is still plenty of uncertainty over which way rates might trend into the new year after the election season, continued issues with COVID-19, etc. At the time of this writing, the best-execution FHA mortgage rates (assuming ideal conditions) | more...

Warning Signs of Foreclosure Relief Scams

Warning Signs Of Foreclosure Relief Scams

Foreclosure scams are very much on the rise in an era where more borrowers than ever need some form of foreclosure prevention, mortgage relief, or other options to save their homes during times of financial uncertainty. Fortunately, many of these scams have some tell-tale warning signs you can use to avoid getting conned. The federal government warns consumers to watch out for the indicators that a scammer is at work instead of a legitimate offer of help. The Federal Trade Commission warns home owners to stay vigilant, especially when the following signs are present from any business which: offers to provide the homeowner with a loan modification regardless of circumstances; tries to get you to do an end-run around your current lender and asks you not to contact the lender, | more...

The FHA One-Time Close Construction Loan: An Option In 2020

FHA Implements New Construction Loan Rule Changes

The FHA has announced rule modifications for its new construction loans. On October 22nd, 2020, the FHA and HUD issued a Mortgagee Letter detailing modifications made in 2018 and 2019 which have resulted in a need for further alterations of the rules for New Construction loans. Some of the changes end requirements for “Early Start Letters” and other requirements, others make provisions for “alternative inspections” as we’ll discover below. The FHA/HUD official site states there are also changes to the maximum financing policy for FHA New Construction loans. Effective immediately–lenders can choose to wait on implementing these modified rules until January 4, 2020, but have the option to start using the new rules now if they so choose) the following modifications are being added to HUD 4000.1: Eliminating Early Start | more...


FHA and HUD Announce New Automated Loan Processing System

The Federal Housing Administration has announced a new automated underwriting system for use by participating lenders who process FHA Single-Family home loans. The new system allows lenders to electronically submit loan application data for single family forward mortgages directly to tbe FHA and, “receive mortgage insurance eligibility scoring decisions generated from FHA’s Total Mortgage Scorecard. “The launch of FHA’s first direct automated underwriting system is a huge milestone for the over one million borrowers on average who rely on FHA insurance annually,” according to Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner Dana Wade, who was quoted in an FHA press release. Wade adds, “We’re excited to deliver this enhanced automated underwriting capability specifically for FHA-insured lending because it will streamline processes for everyone, including consumers.” This new system has | more...

FHA home loans

FHA Appraisal Rules: What You Should Know

The FHA appraisal process is a requirement. You can’t purchase a home with an FHA mortgage unless there has been an appraisal on the property to determine the fair market value of the home and to ensure the property meets FHA minimum standards. Today’s appraisal standards for FHA home loans do NOT include stepping out onto the roof or physically entering difficult-to-access spaces, which is why you should never purchase a home without arranging a home inspection. The appraisal requirements for your home purchase can be found in HUD 4000.1. These requirements apply to proposed construction, new construction, and existing construction properties. According to HUD 4000.1, “The Mortgagee must evaluate the appraisal and any supporting documentation to determine if the Property complies with HUDs Property Acceptability Criteria. Existing and New | more...

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

HUD Approves Conciliation Agreements in Arkansas Fair Housing Discrimination Case

Housing discrimination at any stage–buying, renting, financing, etc.–is a violation of federal law. The Fair Housing Act protects borrowers from being denied housing based on non-financial criteria including race, family status, sexual identity, etc. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced agreements in an Arkansas Fair Housing discrimination case. According to a press release issued by HUD, the agency has approved three Conciliation Agreements with the owners and property management company of Springdale Ridge Apartments in Springdale, Arkansas. HUD says these three agreements resolve complaints that the owners and management of Springdale Ridge Apartments “discriminated against several residents because of their national origin and retaliated against an employee living on site who sought to inform the residents of their fair housing rights” according to the HUD press release. | more...

Getting Ready For Your Home Loan

Changes To The Home Loan Industry

Coronavirus has and COVID-19 containment measures have forced those in many career fields to change how business gets done–and the mortgage industry is no exception. It is clear that the economic fallout from the current crisis will be felt for years to come, and there are many who look to the amount of time it took for the nation to economically recover from the housing crisis of 2008, thinking that better long-term planning this time around might be the best approach. Mortgage Industry Changes Consumers have already experienced how Coronavirus has forced changes in proceedures related to buying and selling a home. The in-person walkthrough, the open house, and the in-person appraisal are all much more rare at the time of this writing in many communities. Not all require the | more...