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HUD Pushing for Bad Credit FHA Loans?

January 13th, 2012
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Is HUD Encouraging Lenders to Accept Lower Credit Scores on FHA Loans?

If you have poor credit and have been turned down from a mortgage lender recently their may be new opportunities coming with FHA loans because HUD is pushing for lenders to lower credit score requirements. The National Mortgage News reported that the Department of Housing and Urban Development, would like to see FHA lending sources reduce the FHA credit score requirements. HUD approves FHA loans with credit scores greater than 500, but many FHA lenders institute their own credit score requirements. Today the average score on an FHA-insured mortgage is 700.” This will be received with open arms from borrowers with low credit scores because the 30-year FHA mortgage rate has fallen in the 3.25% range again.

In order for FHA mortgage lenders to loosen their underwriting standards, changes to the FHA’s Neighborhood Watch program may be necessary.  Neighborhood Watch is a HUD program that monitors lenders to make sure that they aren’t issuing a lot of loans that end up defaulting.  It does this by comparing the default rate from a given lender to the average default rate for all FHA loans, regardless of credit score or other risk factors.  Default rates above the norm could set off audits or monetary penalties for potential losses.  This makes FHA lenders reticent to lend to people with lower credit scores or higher risk factors.

According to a 2010 USA Today article, over 25% of consumers had credit scores of less than 600.  This type of credit score would eliminate 25% of the population from qualifying for a low rate FHA home financing based on today’s lending guidelines. The Boston Herald published an article recently that indicated that between 2008-2009, 50 million people saw their FICO scores drop by 20 points, and 21 million of these people lost more than 50 points. Read the original article on Total Mortgage blog.

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FHA Credit, FHA Guidelines

Ноw FHA Can Help You Finance а House wіth Bad Credit

January 11th, 2012
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Are you excited to become a homeowner in 2012 but are worried that your credit scores will hold you back? FHA has been helping Americans with home financing since the Great Depression.

Тhеrе аrе а fеw obstacles fоr people lооkіng tо finance а house wіth bad credit. Моst conventional underwrirers аrе nоt interested іn approving purchase loans fоr borrowers wіth bad credit. Маnу people thіnk thаt amortgage fоr people wіth bad credit іs simply а pipe dream аnd impossible tо attain. Ноwеvеr, thеrе аrе mаnу companies thаt offer hоmе loans for people with a challenged credit history. Low credit scores сеrtаіnlу detrimentally аffесts thе cost оf purchasing а hоmе аnd that’s whу оur lenders аrе extending а hоmе loan fоr people wіth bad credit. Great credit affords borrowers thе best interest rates аnd lowest fees, whіlе bad credit uрs thе fees аnd thе interest rates, аs well аs thе requirements. Ноwеvеr, learning hоw tо gеt а fіrst time hоmе loan wіth bad credit саn gеt уоu оn уоur wау tо owning уоur оwn hоmе іnstеаd оf throwing money аwау оn rent month аftеr month.

If уоu wаnt tо knоw hоw tо gеt а 1st time loan wіth poor credit, fіrst уоu hаvе tо knоw sоmе оf thе limitations. Тhе requirements fоr а loan fоr fіrst time home buyers wіth bad credit change depending оn hоw bad thе credit асtuаllу іs. Ноwеvеr, finding lenders that still offer a hоmе loan for poor credit is not easy. With that being said, there are loan companies that offer sub-prime loans and government mortgage programs for people with less than perfect credit. аrе еvеn аvаіlаblе fоr people whо hаvе filed bankruptcy оr experienced а foreclosure. Тhеrе іs а waiting period аftеr thеsе occurrences bеfоrе financing а hоmе wіth а conventional оr FHA mortgage. Веfоrе thе real estate market crash аnd thе rесеnt economic depression, subprime lenders offered mаnу loans tо borrowers wіth bad credit.

Financing а hоmе wіth bad credit саn bе tiring, but hоmе buying hаs bесоmе vеrу attractive wіth falling hоmе prices combined wіth record low FHA rates.

•          Purchase Mortgage Rates starting аt 3.75%!

•          Low Down-Payments on FHA Loans wіth оnlу 3.5% Needed

•          Get Secure Fixed Rates and Choose bеtwееn 10, 15 аnd 30 Year Terms

•          Flexible Credit Guidelines wіth VA and FHA hоmе loans

VA mortgage products do not have a minimum credit score for any VA financing opportunities.  However the Federal Housing Administration implemented a FHA minimum credit score requirement that was set at 500. Bad credit FHA loans are more common than their VA counterpart mostly because not that many Americans meet the military requirements on VA mortgages.

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1st Time Home Buyers, FHA Credit

Is FHA Mandating Minimum Credit Scores?

March 22nd, 2011
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According to Housing of Urban Development’s 2011 FHA guidelines, loan applicants must have at least a 500 credit score or better to be eligible for a FHA refinance or home purchase loan.  In most cases, applicants with credit scores between 500 and 579 will need to demonstrate strong compensating factors to be approved for most of the FHA loan programs.

  • 85% Max Loan to Value 500 – 579 credit scores with FHA 203(b) for cash out refinancing
  • 96.5% Max Loan to Value 580 + for refinancing with the FHA streamline
  • 90% Max Loan to Value 500 – 579 credit scores

Read the entire article, http://www.fhahomeloanrefinancing.com/blog/fha-credit-score-requirements/

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FHA Credit, Published Loan Articles

FHA Loans for Borrowers with Less Than Perfect Credit

February 7th, 2011

Nationwide lenders announced a FHA loan program that may open the door for loan applicants that have been rejected for mortgage refinancing or home buying because of their low fico scores.  Borrowers with credit scores between 500-640 FICO may still be eligible for home mortgage purchase loans and FHA refinancing.  In a recent article, Bloomberg indicated that there are 6.3 million borrowers in the 620-640 FICO range alone.  Save money with reduced monthly payments that are a reality with a FHA mortgage loan.  Read the complete Nationwide post online, Second Chance Loans with FHA.

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FHA Credit, FHA Loan Articles

January 13th, 2011
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Despite all of the news and hysteria, FHA loan rates are still very affordable.   Today most qualified applicants can get a 4.75% rate that is fixed for thirty years. That means if you are refinancing a in the $400,000 range, the monthly payment would be about $1,900.  The FHA home loan blog posted an article pointing out that  FHA there is no appraisal with FHA streamlines, so people who were being rejected for a mortgage refinance because of equity, now had a solution.  Read the original article online, FHA Refinancing Tips now.

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FHA Credit, FHA News, Published Loan Articles, Uncategorized

2011 FHA Limits

January 11th, 2011
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Many mortgage professionals feared that Congress would reduce 2011 FHA loan limits in an effort to further tighten lending and mitigate fraud that has devastated the United States housing sector and economy in general.  If congress decreased FHA limits than many borrowers would be unable to refinance because their existing mortgage would exceed the 2011 FHA loan limits.  Fortunately, Congress approved a temporary extension for the current FHA loan limits and that offers a least a glimpse of hope for homeowners struggling to get approved for FHA loan refinancing that would lower their monthly payment.

Many FHA lenders have feared privately that Congress may allow the conforming and FHA limits to fall when the bill setting mortgage limits expires September, 2011. Tightening FHA guidelines sounds great and looks good on paper, but the reality is that too much tightening can completely strangle the housing market and the cash flow most Americans have become accustomed too.

Let’s be honest and look at the reality of the mortgage industry.  Millions of Americans own homes and if they can document that they can afford a refinance loan for a home that they already have, then the FHA lender should approve the loan and move on.  If a borrower can document to a FHA lender that reducing their interest rate to a competitive level of today’s current FHA rates will increase the likelihood of them paying their mortgage on time, then the lender should approve the mortgage refinance and move on — Isn’t that what a loan modification is any way.

The U.S. government took tax payer dollars and distributed it to the banks so that they would lend more money to homeowners and small business.  Unfortunately the banks did not oversee and mandate the increased FHA lending and liquidity. The fact remains that FHA credit guidelines have tightened significantly in the last 12 months.  The FHA streamline continues to have a few loop holes that are in fact helping FHA borrowers refinance, but you must already have a FHA loan to qualify for the streamline refinance program.

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FHA Credit, FHA Guidelines, FHA Lending, FHA Loan Articles

HUD Launching FHA Refinancing for Underwater Mortgages

August 26th, 2010
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The Federal Housing Administration will launch a program on September 7th that will allow underwater homeowners who are current on a non-FHA loan to refinance into an FHA-backed loan when their lender agrees to write off at least 10 percent of their principal.  The FHA Short Refinance program, originally announced in March, is designed to help homeowners in markets that have seen large declines in home values refinance into “a safer, more secure” mortgage, FHA Commissioner David Stevens said in a statement

HUD recently announced changes to the FHA mortgage loan program to assist homeowners with mortgage loans that exceed the value of their home. The changes are part of broader efforts to assist homeowners that were announced by the Obama Administration.  Previously, Obama’s mortgage relief team had announced that by the Fall, they planned to revise FHA guidelines with additional changes to the FHA loan programs.  Their goal is to offer a FHA refinance loan option for borrowers who have made their loan payments on time but owe more than their home is worth.

In Mortgage Letter 2010-23 HUD sets forth the details regarding the FHA short refinance alternative. The option will be available for loans with case numbers issued on or after September 7, 2010 and closed on or before December 31, 2012. However, HUD advises that the loss coverage that will be part of the refinance option will use funds under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA), and that if availability of the loss coverage is delayed beyond September 7, 2010 the implementation of the loss coverage also will be delayed. Supplemental Directive 10-08, issued under the Making Home Affordable (MHA) Program in conjunction with Mortgagee Letter 2010-23, provides additional guidance for investors and servicers. The Supplemental Directive notes that the FHA refinancing is not yet effective and a subsequent Supplemental Directive will be issued when the program is operational and servicers can executed a Commitment to Purchase Financial Instrument and Servicer Participation Agreement (SPA) or a Service Schedule to the SPA, as applicable, with the U.S. Department of Treasury.

FHA Short Refinance Eligibility- The refinance option is available for homeowners with a non-FHA mortgage only if the following conditions are satisfied:

  • The homeowner must be in a negative equity position. (mortgage balance must be greater than the property value)
  • Borrower must be current on their current home mortgage loan.
  • The homeowner must occupies the home as their primary residence and the home consists of one to four units.
  • Borrower must qualify under standard FHA underwriting requirements and have a “FICO based” decision credit score of at least 500.
  • The existing first lien mortgage loan holder must write off at least 10% of the unpaid principal balance.
  • The FHA refinance loan may have a maximum loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 97.75%.
  • Second mortgage loans that are not extinguished must be re-subordinated and the combined LTV (CLTV) with the FHA refinance loan may not exceed 115% LTV.
  • For loans that receive a “refer” risk classification from TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard (TOTAL) or that are manually underwritten, the homeowner’s total monthly mortgage payment for the FHA refinance loan and any subordinate mortgage loans may not exceed 31 percent of the homeowner’s gross monthly income, and the total monthly debt payments of the homeowner may not exceed 50% of such income.
  • Premium pricing may not be used to pay off existing debt obligations to qualify the homeowner for the FHA mortgage.
  • The mortgagee may not make mortgage loan payments on behalf of the homeowner or otherwise bring the existing loan current to make the homeowner eligible for the refinance option.
  • The existing home  loan holder may not have brought the existing loan current, other than through an acceptable permanent loan modification.
  • For a homeowner with a loan that was permanently modified under the Making Home Affordable Program (HAMP), the FHA refinance loan may not close before the month that follows the month in which the modification became permanent. For a homeowner with a non-HAMP permanent modification, the homeowner must make at least three monthly payments on time and the modified loan must be current for the month due. If a homeowner is in a temporary or trial modification period, the homeowner is not eligible for an FHA refinance loan under the program.
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Will FHA Loan Products Require a Minimum Credit Score for Refinancing?

July 16th, 2010
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It looks like finally the government is tightening the FHA credit guidelines for home loans and refinancing.  The Federal Housing Administration has always been a great proponent of homeownership and fair lending, but FHA loan defaults are sucking up the FHA reserves. FHA announced they were considering a proposal to no longer approve FHA mortgage loans to borrowers with credit scores below 500.  After Congress left the 2010 FHA loan limits at high levels FHA mortgage companies knew that the mortgage news can’t always be good.  Let’s be honest — For the most part, FHA mortgage refinance programs programs have been pretty aggressive with subprime borrowers.

The results of these FHA lending changes are starting to be realized as the FHA loan portfolio is starting to perform better with less delinquencies and defaults.  Stevens continued, “These are the latest in a series of modifications to allow the FHA to manage its risk better while continuing to support the recovery for the U.S. housing sectors.”  HUD reported that in May, FHA loans that were seriously delinquent rose almost 9%.  That was up from 7.93% at this time in the previous year.  The good news is that FHA loan defaults have declined since January, when they rose to 9.16% which was a record high.  The effects of the foreclosures have been drastic as they have nearly drained the once healthy, FHA reserves.  Congress requires that FHA keep the reserves above a minimum of 2%.

Earlier this year, FHA proposed a measure to implement a minimum Fico score system to the FHA mortgage programs.  Jerry Mlnar of Woodfield Planning, who is a trusted Illinois mortgage company said,  ”FHA has to protect the government home finance program to promote affordable home financing and credit score resquirements for FHA mortgages makes sense.”

The initiative is being considered as a pro-active measure to reduce delinquencies and FHA loan defaults.  Congress considered raising the minimum down-payment requirements to 5% and 10% for borrowers with Fico scores that fell below 580.  For the most part, home buyers are only required to come up with a 3.5% down-payment when financing with FHA home loans.  However FHA direct endorsed underwriters have the discretion to require higher down-payments for candidates that pose a higher risk.

In a recent article, CNNMoney evaluated the FHA lending policies that are being considered in the reform circles of the lending community.  stage. Before going into effect, the department is soliciting public comment on the matters for 30 days. Then, it will evaluate the comments before implementing any changes.

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FHA Credit, FHA Guidelines, FHA Lending, FHA Loan Articles, FHA Loan Updates, FHA News, Mortgage News, Published Loan Articles ,

Increased Net Worth Requirements for FHA Approved Lenders

July 1st, 2010
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The recent FHA Mortgagee Letter from HUD all have the underline toned of increased responsibilities for approved FHA lenders.  HUD is driving home the tone of responsible lending in each of the FHA letters in 2010.   FHA outlined key provisions of HUD’s recently issued final rule, and guidance to mortgagees on HUD’s implementation of this final rule. The recent FHA requirements have been changed again as the new rule calls for increased the net worth requirements for FHA approved lenders.  The letter eliminates FHA approval of loan correspondents, FHA requirements of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 and made minor modifications to other aspects of FHA’s regulations for FHA lenders. Increased Net Worth Requirements As stated in the final rule referenced above, FHA is implementing increases to its net worth requirements and is offering additional incentives for existing FHA-approved lenders and mortgagees.  Many borrowers are concerned because there seems to be less competitive lenders out there even as FHA rates have become so affordable.

 

FHA Requrements Change Again with FHA Lenders Needing Higher a Net-Worth

 

Effective May 20, 2010, all new applicants for FHA approved lenders, irrespective of size, must possess a net worth of at least $1,000,000, of which no less than 20% must be liquid assets consisting of cash or its equivalent acceptable to the Secretary. FHA Lender Approval Application that is available at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/adm/hudclips/.  Effective May 20, 2011, each FHA approved lender or mortgagee with FHA approval as of May 20, 2010, that exceeds the size standards for a small business as defined by the Small Business Administration, must possess a net worth of at least $1,000,000, of which no less than 20% must be liquid assets consisting of cash or its equivalent acceptable to the Secretary.

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FHA Lenders See Rise for FHA Refinancing and Home Buying

June 23rd, 2010
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Over the last few months many FHA loan companies have been struggling to submit new loans into process because the loan application volumes were down for FHA refinancing and new home buying.  There were a few good weeks here an there, but overall, morale was down for loan officers according to several FHA lenders.  The Mortgage Bankers Association published its weekly home loan application report for the week that ended on June 11th.  Home refinancing and purchase mortgage applications rose and that is good news for mortgage brokers and lenders across the country. 

There was also good news the government mortgage programs as both FHA and VA loan applications increased significantly.  refinance loan guidelines have seen some tightening of one of the most popular programs, the FHA streamline in which borrowers are no longer allowed to finance the closing costs.  Borrowers must pay for the closing costs themselves outside of the loan.  Many FHA lenders have said that this had hurt their FHA refinance business, but it appears the borrowers are still using FHA for refinancing transactions.  FHA first time home buying loans could become fashionable again as more people look to become homeowners this summer.

The MBA’s index measures the volume of home mortgage applications and the report indicated an increase of 17.7% from the week prior. The Unadjusted Index spiked 29.7%, when compared to the prior week but the Memorial Day holiday shortened that week.

Michael Fratantoni who is MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics, released a statement saying, “Mortgage loan applications for home buying rose last week, the first increase in over a month.  Mortgage refinance applications also roseup dramatically over the week.” He further went on to state that, “While it is clear that home loan applications in May dropped sharply as a result of the tax credit induced increase in applications in April, it is unclear whether we are seeing the beginnings of a rebound now.” The Weekly Home Loan Applications Survey contains over a dozen indices that covers mortgage-related application activity for fixed and adjustment rate, as well as conventional and government loans for home purchase and refinances. 

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FHA Loan Volume Risking Reserves

June 17th, 2010
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Bloomberg published an article recently that considered the impact of FHA loans.  FHA first time homebuying remains popular with the low FHA interest rates.  FHA home loans re guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, the U.S.-owned mortgage insurer, may be involved in more home-purchase transactions than borrowing financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  FHA mortgage lending last quarter may have topped the combined volume of government-supported Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a home-lending market that’s still a “government-financed market,” David Stevens, the agency’s head, said today at a conference in New York, citing research by consultant Potomac Partners.  “This is a market purely on life support, sustained by the federal government,” he said at the Mortgage Bankers Association conference. “Having FHA do this much volume is a sign of a very sick system.”  The FHA mortgage loan is insured by the government so when loan defaults sky-rocket, there are reasons to worry.  With down payments as low as 3.5%, insured $52.5 billion of home-purchase mortgages in the first quarter, compared with $46 billion of purchases of the debt by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to data compiled by Washington-based Potomac Partners.  The FHA and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which regulators seized in 2008, have been financing more than 90 percent of U.S. home lending after a retreat by banks and the collapse of the market for mortgage bonds without government-backed guarantees.

FHA has been taking steps to shore up its program after being left with “terrible portfolios” from 2007 and 2008, Stevens said.  Freddie Mac has mainly “eliminated” its financing of certain “esoteric products,” Donald J. Bisenius, executive vice president of the McLean, Virginia-based company’s single- family credit-guarantee business, referring to debt such as low- documentation lending or so-called option adjustable-rate mortgages with growing balances. The company’s “parameters around” 30-year fixed-rate loans still allow for relatively low down payments and credit scores and high debt-to-income ratios, he said.  “It’s not obvious to me that the credit box has shrunk as much as the numbers might suggest,” Bisenius said. Article was written for Bloomberg by Jody Shenn and John Gittelsohn.

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FHA Credit, FHA Guidelines, FHA Lending, FHA Loan Articles, FHA News, Mortgage News

Considering the Future of FHA Loan Financing

June 9th, 2010
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Yes FHA mortgage rates are low, but the FHA loan program as a whole may be in jeopardy of existence.  Many FHA blogs have posed the reality that the FHA loan product is at serious risk to be shut down.  In this political climate it becomes obvious that anything is possible because Congress must pass bill to continue to fund the FHA finance programs. FHA FHA first time home buyer loans have been promoting home ownership since the great depression.  Even as we discuss their recent failures, the argument could be made that FHA is one of the most successful government initiative in the last century.  

The FHA Home Loan Refinancing blog reported that the FHA reserves have covered $6 billion over the last 6 months. Yet HUD had predicted the FHA agency would pay $8.7 billion for loan defaults.  This FHA blog poses the question, “should we cheer because the FHA home loans are preforming better than anticipated or be critical of a federal loan program that is failing in a failing economy?”  Read the original FHA loan article online > Is FHA Mortgage Financing in Trouble?

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Committee Votes Down Down-Payment Increase on FHA Loans

May 4th, 2010
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Last week, the House Financial Services Committee approved a request by the Federal Housing Administration to increase the ceiling on annual FHA mortgage insurance premiums from its current level of 0.55%.  FHA had requested the increase as one part of a plan aimed at shoring up its capital reserves which have dropped below the 2% required by law.  HUD already raised the up-front premium charged to borrowers closing that became effective on April 9th.  FHA says it intends to gradually raise the annual premium for FHA loans to 1.5%.  This could have a significant effect on borrowers looking for refinancing with FHA.

FHA revealed late last year that its current reserves are at .53%, but officials have said that their tightened lending requirements as well as the increase in premiums would allow them to restore the levels by collecting an additional $5.8 billion over the next few years.  The Congressional Budget Office has put the number at a much more conservative $1.9 billion.  While approving the increase, the Committee defeated a proposal sponsored by Scott Garrett which would have increased the minimum down payment for insured FHA loans from 3.5% to 5%.  It also would have prohibited sellers from participating in the buyer’s closing costs and prohibited the inclusion of any initial services charges such as appraisal, inspections, and other fees in the principal amount of an FHA mortgage loan. 

The FHA has already reduced the amount that a seller can contribute to the buyer’s closing costs from 6% of the loan amount to 3%.  Garrett has also submitted separate legislation which would prohibit the home buyer from rolling the upfront lending cost into the mortgage which would essentially raise the money required of a borrower at closing.  Had the Garrett Amendment survived the Committee vote it could have had a considerable negative effect on the housing market.  FHA guaranteed loans have historically been a minor factor in mortgage financing, but in the last few years, as credit tightened, the FHA was forced to increase its funding efforts up to 25% of all home loans and an even high proportion of loans to first time home buyers. 

In 2010 FHA refinance loans were hindered by tighter credit guidelines and a dysfunctional appraisal process.  FHA refinance application volume has dropped significantly from the previous year, mostly because millions of borrowers have already been turned down.

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FHA Credit, FHA Guidelines, FHA Loan Articles, FHA Loan Updates

FHA Loans for First Time Home Buyers

April 13th, 2010
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FHA offers first time home buyers a low down-payment mortgage that only require a 3.5% down payment.  According to 2010 FHA guidelines, borrowers can finance a home up to 97.5% loan to value.  I/f you want to buy a home without coming out of pocket for lender fees, FHA guidelines allow lender paid closing costs.  FHA lenders can pay for borrower closing costs but the FHA rates will be slightly higher as the closing costs are factored in.  In addition, FHA also allows gift money for FHA home loan transactions. This means that borrowers can utilize money from friends or family as the source of the down-payment.  Read the original article, FHA Ensures Affordable Financing for First Time Home Buyers on the FHA Home Loan Blog.

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FHA Credit, FHA Guidelines, FHA Loan Product Promo, FHA News, Published Loan Articles

FHA Lenders Face Tougher FHA Loan Requirements

April 13th, 2010

In an effort to minimize lending risks, the government wants to toughen standards for lenders who offer FHA home loans. At first this may not seem like much of a concern for borrowers, but in fact if you need a loan you may well be impacted.  In a recent article, FHA Commission David H. Stevens explained how the federal government is moving towards requiring more capital to be a FHA-approved lender. “Since 1993,” says Stevens, the “FHA has required approved lenders to have a net worth of at least $250,000. To ensure that FHA mortgage lenders are sufficiently capitalized to meet potential need, effective immediately, all new lender applicants for FHA loan programs must now possess a minimum net worth of $1 million.” There will be an exception for current FHA-approved small business lenders, they’ll need a minimum net worth of $500,000.

This means that FHA lenders will pay a price if they don’t make FHA loans that don’t perform well.  It also means that FHA brokers will pay a high price for making mistakes on the loan documents. Under the new FHA guidelines, HUD can force lenders to buy back government mortgages which are not properly underwritten. If you are a small lender and the FHA wants you to buy back a few loans at $250,000, you might be out of business.

FHA Lenders in such situations face some difficult choices. If they don’t buy back the loans they’re out of the FHA loan program and that greatly limits their ability to compete for borrowers. Alternatively, smaller firms with that $250,000 in capital may not have the cash to buy back the mortgages, meaning they’re out of business.  HUD is forcing lenders to take on more risk if they are serious about originating FHA loans. Stevens says “approved lenders and applicants to FHA single-family programs must have a net worth of $1 million plus 1% of total loan volume in excess of $25 million.”  These FHA loan requirements signal that the FHA is intent on decreasing the loan default ratios and that they plan to be around for the next decade.  Read the original FHA article >

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FHA Credit, FHA Guidelines, FHA Loan Updates, FHA News, Published Loan Articles

Do FHA Loans Help Struggling Neighborhoods?

April 5th, 2010
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FHA seeks to empower struggling neighborhoods with help from FHA loan program that promote home ownership and affordable mortgage payments. FHA lenders have been pushed to the limit with loan defaults and high foreclosure rates. HUD continues to increase FHA loan requirements and tighten FHA guidelines yet they say they want to assist distressed neighborhoods with better FHA loan products.  First time home buyer loans are still available with only a 3.5% down-payment.  Some states will allow borrowers to use credit from the first time home buyers tax credit towards their deposit as down payment assistance.  FHA lenders don’t expect that to last and most FHA loan programs will not approve these types of FHA mortgages.

You may be able to buy a foreclosure home from your town or county; the program helps local governments purchase vacant or abandoned properties and resell them to qualified home buyers. Home buyers do not receive assistance directly from HUD. However, NSP money can be used to help home buyers purchase primary resident real estate. Interested buyers must contact an NSP grantee for application details.  FHA loan limits will vary from county to county so check the FHA loan limits in your area or talk to a loan officer.

       

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FHA Credit, FHA Guidelines, FHA Loan Articles, FHA Loan Updates, FHA News

FHA Credit Guideline Changes for FHA Lending

March 18th, 2010
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FHA credit guidelines have always been more flexible than traditional conventional mortgage loans.  HUD has announced several times that they have revised the FHA guidelines in recent months.  The FHA appraisal policy has been changed a bit and the FHA streamline refinance program has been hacked at as well. 

In addition, FHA credit guidelines were revised.  Many government loan skeptics believe that FHA should require credit scores; something HUD has instituted in the past FHA loan programs. Traditional lenders mandate credit score minimums that prevent borrowers with low credit scores from qualifying.  Most FHA lenders have implemented their own credit score minimums because they don’t want to be on the hook for FHA mortgage defaults. 

HUD is cracking down on FHA lenders that violate disclosure laws and incur high default rates. HUD did announce a new loan program that required a more significant down-payment and higher insurance premium for borrowers with credit scores as low as 580.  That was nice of HUD, but let’s see if any FHA mortgage companies actually offer this low fico FHA loan.

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Better Credit FHA Loans Performing Well

February 3rd, 2010
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FHA officials recently expressed new reasons to be optimistic. The FHA home loans made in 2009 tended to go to borrowers with higher credit scores than in previous years. These borrowers turned to the FHA when the mortgage market collapsed and other lending sources dried up. By then, reputable lenders doing business with the agency were already imposing tougher restrictions on FHA borrowers, further boosting the credit profile of the FHA loan. The average credit score of an FHA borrower is now 690, up from 630 only two years ago, agency officials said.  Are credit repair efforts working or are loan officers doing a better job qualifying loan applicants?  There are still bad-credit FHA loan options, but we are just not seeing as many borrowers with low fico scores this year. Nonetheless, these higher fico mortgages are expected to result in lower losses, so FHA should make money on mortgage loans issued this year and over the next few years, according to an independent audit designed to gauge the agency’s health.

The November audit, found that the cash the FHA set aside to pay for unexpected losses had dipped to historic lows, well below the level required by law. As of Sept. 30, those reserves were estimated at $3.6 billion, down from nearly $13 billion a year earlier. The most recent figure represents 0.53% of the value of all FHA 1-family home loans far lower than the 2% required by Congress.   But Ann Schnare, a former Freddie Mac official, said the situation could be even worse. She said the audit underestimates future losses because it does not take into account all loans that are now overdue, only those that the FHA has paid claims on.  Stevens said his agency has pored over its data to analyze risk and is taking steps to shore up its financial health. “You have a limited set of options under these circumstances: Raise fees [for borrowers] or make policy changes,” Stevens said in an interview. “We’ve done both.”

The agency banned 268 FHA lenders from making FHA mortgage loans last year, more than double the total terminated in the previous eight years. The FHA suspended six other firms. Among them were some of the largest FHA mortgage lenders –Taylor, Bean & Whitaker and Lend America, both of which shut their doors soon thereafter.   The agency also proposed a rule that would require banks to hold up to $2.5 million in capital that they can use to repay the agency for losses if they were involved in fraud. Banks are now required to hold only $250,000.

Borrowers are also facing tougher scrutiny from the agency. People taking out FHA mortgage loans will have to pay higher upfront fees, perhaps as early as this spring. Those with especially weak credit scores will also have to put down at least 10% instead of the usual 3.5% down-payment. The amount of money sellers can kick in toward closing costs and other fees will also be limited.

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