How to protect yourself from mortgage fraud

dennis-norman-st-louis-realtorThe collapse of the real estate market, along with a down economy has created a fertile environment for fraudsters to attempt to advantage of the many desperate homeowners that are out there. Their methods vary from foreclosure “rescue” schemes, mortgage assistance scams and other scams that generally offer to lower your payments or debt, prevent foreclosure, etc. Below is a list of tips the Department of Justice published this week to help consumers prevent themselves from becoming a victim of fraudsters. Continue reading “How to protect yourself from mortgage fraud

Mortgage loan delinquencies drop to lowest rate since 2009

st-louis-realtor-mortgage-delinquency-rateMore good news on the housing market! The national mortgage delinquency rate (borrowers that are 60 or more days past due) declined for the first 3 months of 2012, coming in at 5.78 percent according to a report issued by TransUnion. This is after increases in the delinquency rate in the prior 2 quarters and is the lowest rate since the 1st quarter of 2009. Continue reading “Mortgage loan delinquencies drop to lowest rate since 2009

St. Louis Mortgage Rate Update; Why Refinance?

With interest rates at all time lows, it is worth the few minutes to do a mortgage check up and determine if a refinance would be beneficial to your situation. Since there are many reasons a homeowner may choose to refinance, we’ll take a look at the few most common reasons to consider a refinance. Continue reading “St. Louis Mortgage Rate Update; Why Refinance?

St Louis Mortgage Rate Update; Cash-To-Close must be Seasoned and come from the Proper Source

Whatever funds the borrower intends to use to close a transaction has to be sourced and seasoned. Providing proper asset documentation and the actual source of the funds is a critical element of the approval and closing process. There’s nothing worse in a real estate purchase than making it all the way through the hoops and hurdles of the approval process just to have a loan fall apart due to the borrower not using an acceptable source of funds in order to close. In other words, “Mattress Money” is no longer a legitimate source. Continue reading “St Louis Mortgage Rate Update; Cash-To-Close must be Seasoned and come from the Proper Source

St Louis Mortgage Rate Update; What is Private Mortage Insurance (PMI)?

Mortgage Insurance, also know as Private Mortgage Insurance, is required by lenders on conventional home loans if the borrower is financing more than 80% Loan-To-Value.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) allows borrowers to purchase a property by qualifying for conventional financing with a lower down payment. Private Mortgage Insurance protects your lender against non-payment should you default on your loan. It’s important to understand that the primary and only real purpose for mortgage insurance is to protect your lender—not you. Continue reading “St Louis Mortgage Rate Update; What is Private Mortage Insurance (PMI)?

Survey shows banks expect strategic defaults to increase in 2012

st-louis-realtor-dennis-norman-strategic-defaultFICO, a provider of analytics and decision management technology to the banking industry, today announced results from its latest quarterly survey of bank risk professionals which showed that almost half (46 percent) expect the volume of strategic defaults in 2012 to surpass 2011 levels as a result of more than 25 percent of U.S. homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

“After five years of a brutal housing market, many people now view their homes more objectively and with less sentimentality,” said Dr. Andrew Jennings, chief analytics officer at FICO and head of FICO Labs. “Regardless of legal or ethical issues around strategic defaults, lenders must account for this risk when they evaluate mortgage applications in declining markets. Many homeowners who find themselves upside down on mortgages in the future are likely to consider strategic default as an acceptable exit strategy.” Continue reading “Survey shows banks expect strategic defaults to increase in 2012

St. Louis Mortgage Rate Update; It’s not over till it’s over

How can a fully approved loan get denied for funding after the borrower has signed loan docs?

And then it happens.  The underwriter runs a new credit report just before closing and it turns out the prospective borrower had run up a credit card balance, buys new furniture/appliances etc. and now the new debt kills the loan.

If you are serious about buying or refinancing a home, be conscientious about your obligations and credit.   The following is a quick rundown of issues that come up at the last minute and either delay or kill a closing. Continue reading “St. Louis Mortgage Rate Update; It’s not over till it’s over

Lending Tree says FHA’s change in guidelines may increase mortgage rates

Texas, Washington and New York Have Lowest Interest Rates in the Country

st-louis-realtor-dennis-norman-fha-increases-ratesAccording to the LendingTree Monthly Mortgage Review, average mortgage rates inched up in March, with more borrowers than ever taking advantage of low Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan rates which averaged just 3.85 percent on a 30 year loan, almost 1/2 of one percent less than a conventional mortgage. However, according to the report, this may change soon as a result of the FHA adjusting its loan program guidelines and insurance premium structure which will cause the cost of a loan for future FHA borrowers to most likely increase. Continue reading “Lending Tree says FHA’s change in guidelines may increase mortgage rates

St. Louis Mortgage Rate Update; What Appraisers Look For When Determining a Home’s Value?

The primary indicator of value for residential real estate is comparable sales.  The appraiser researches the market to gather information pertaining to sales, listings, pending sales that are similar to the subject property, and verfies this information is correct. The appraiser actually already has a good idea of the property’s value by the time they have scheduled an appointment to stop by the property.

Since the appraisal provides half the weight in any credit decision involving the security of real estate, the appraisal should be done by a qualified, licensed appraiser whom is familiar with your neighborhood, and the type of home you are buying, selling or refinancing. Continue reading “St. Louis Mortgage Rate Update; What Appraisers Look For When Determining a Home’s Value?

Is the New Home Affordable Refinance Program Hype or Help?

peter-wright-harp-There are approximately 11-Million homeowners that are underwater, which represents about 23% of all outstanding mortgages. So, here comes another program to help the America Homeowner! Is it hype…or will it help?

Well, the new HARP program (Home Affordable Refinance Program) was released in Continue reading “Is the New Home Affordable Refinance Program Hype or Help?

VA Home Loans for Missouri Veterans

kevin-pearia-va-home-loansFor many military members, there is no greater joy than completely service and finally being able to lay some roots, and the first order of business for many is to purchase a home. However, in recent years, purchasing a home hasn’t been as easy as it once was. Conventional lenders have increased their lending requirements sometimes making it nearly impossible for the average borrower to secure financing.

However, the large down payments and high credit requirements of conventional lending don’t have to mean the end of the road for military Continue reading “VA Home Loans for Missouri Veterans

Mortgage Delinquences Increase in December but are Down over 25 percent from a year ago

Dennis Norman, St Louis REALTOR - mortgage delinquency ratesMortgage delinquencies in December increased to 2.24 percent of all mortgages, a slight increase from the month before when delinquencies were at 2.22 percent but a decrease of over 25 percent from a year ago when the rate was 3.01 percent. The mortgage delinquency rate is something I pay close attention to because it is the “leading indicator” of foreclosures and foreclosures and REO’s are one of the major hurdles to a recovery in the housing market. Declining delinquency rates are our first clue that the housing market is headed to a recovery. Continue reading “Mortgage Delinquences Increase in December but are Down over 25 percent from a year ago

Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) Guidelines Eased and Deadline Extended

Dennis Norman St LouisUpdate August 10, 2012 – New HARP Program FAQ’s Click Here.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced it eased the requirements as well as extended the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) to December 31, 2013 from the current expiration date for the program of June 30, 2012. According to FHFA, as of August 31, 2011, nearly 894,000 borrowers have been refinanced through HARP and they (FHFA) feel easing the requirements will make it possible for many additional borrowers to refinance as well.
Continue reading “Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) Guidelines Eased and Deadline Extended

Mortgage deqlinquencies decline in September; Foreclosures on the rise

The “first-look” report from Lender Processing Services, one of the countries largest loan servicers and aggregators of loan performance data, shows mortgage delinquencies decreased 0.5 percent in September from the month before and decreased 12.7 percent from the year before. On the other hand, and perhaps part of the reason for the decline in the delinquency rate, the foreclosure rate increased in September by 1.7 percent from the prior month and was up 8.9 percent from the year before. Continue reading “Mortgage deqlinquencies decline in September; Foreclosures on the rise

Mortgage delinquencies on the rise but down significantly from a year ago

Dennis Norman, St Louis REALTOR - mortgage delinquency ratesMortgage delinquencies in September increased to 2.10 percent of all mortgages, a 2.9 percent increase from the month before when delinquencies were at 2.04 percent but a decrease of over 33 percent from a year ago when the rate was 3.14 percent. The mortgage delinquency rate is something I pay close attention to because it is the “leading indicator” of foreclosures and foreclosures and REO’s are one of the major hurdles to a recovery in the housing market. Once we see delinquency rates decline, we’ll see the impact of foreclosures and REO’s lessen on the housing market and give it a chance to move into a recovery. Continue reading “Mortgage delinquencies on the rise but down significantly from a year ago

St Louis Mortgage Interest Rate Update; Slash Your Cost of Home Ownership

Mortgage interest rates have fallen this year to historical lows and with them so have the costs of home ownership.

Regardless of a borrower’s loan amount, bargain-basement interest rates have brought a home buyer’s monthly mortgage payment down to levels never seen in history. Continue reading “St Louis Mortgage Interest Rate Update; Slash Your Cost of Home Ownership

Housing market not out of the woods yet

Dennis Norman St Louis RealtorMark Fleming, Ph.D., Chief Economist for CoreLogic, in a presentation yesterday, said the housing market is not out of the woods yet as the potential of a double-dip in our economy increases and as 30 to 40 percent of economists feel there is a chance of another recession. The economy’s “stall speed” was another issue Fleming said was a concern, describing it as similar to the stall speed of an airplane; that speed at which is still fast enough for the plane to be flying, but just on the edge of stalling and no longer able to maintain flight. Fleming said, for the economy, a 1 percent growth rate is historically the “stall” point and that is right about where we are presently. Continue reading “Housing market not out of the woods yet

Mortgage loan fraud reports in 2nd quarter up 88 percent from a year ago

St. Louis REALTOR, Dennis Norman A report released today by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) shows that financial institutions filed 29,558 reports suspecting mortgage loan fraud activity during the 2nd quarter, an increase of 88 percent from the 2nd quarter of 2010 when there were 15,727 reports. Continue reading “Mortgage loan fraud reports in 2nd quarter up 88 percent from a year ago

Restitution for victims of improper foreclosure practices

Dennis Norman, St Louis REALTORRobo-signing is one of those terms I never heard until the news of improper foreclosure practices by some of the nation’s largest lenders started hitting the news in the past year and now the word has become synonymous with bad foreclosure practices. As a result, in April of this year the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC), along with other federal agencies, took action against 14 major banks to stop the improper practices. Continue reading “Restitution for victims of improper foreclosure practices

Mortgage delinquencies decline in August; down almost 12 percent from year ago

I keep saying that, until the foreclosure rate gets back down closer to a “normal” rate and the REO inventory is absorbed to the point where they are no longer putting such immense downward pressure on home prices, we are not going to see any sort of sustainable recovery in the housing market. It all starts with mortgage delinquencies, and as those go so go foreclosures and REO inventory ultimately. Having said that, we have some good news: A “first-look” report issued by Lender Processing Services, one of the countries largest loan servicers and aggregators of loan performance data, shows mortgage delinquencies decreased 2.5 percent in August from the month before and decreased 11.8 percent from the year before. According to the report, the U.S. foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate increased 0.1 percent from the month before and was up 8.2 percent from the year before. Continue reading “Mortgage delinquencies decline in August; down almost 12 percent from year ago

Double-dip recession concern by consumers is putting a damper on the housing market

Dennis Norman, St Louis REALTORFannie Mae’s Economics & Mortgage Market Analysis Group says that we are not out of the woods yet and that the economy is “flirting with another economic downturn” now after more than two years since the worst recession since the World War II era. Fannie Mae Chief Economist, Doug Duncan, said “the weakening economic backdrop, a persistently high unemployment rate, and fear of a double-dip recession are casting a shadow over the housing market.” Continue reading “Double-dip recession concern by consumers is putting a damper on the housing market

Mistakes borrowers make when refinancing their home loan

Dennis Norman, St Louis REALTORThe top five mistakes consumers make when refinancing their home loan were revealed by LendingTree Network’s newly released “Monthly Lender Marketplace Survey”. According to the survey, the top 5 mistakes made by consumers refinancing their home loans are:

Today’s historically low rates increase your buying power! St. Louis Mortgage Interest Rate Update

Mortgage interest rates have reached historically low levels. It’s truly amazing how much the average borrower’s purchasing power has increased! The following chart tells it all. Check out the chart showing the history of interest rates as well as the examples of the savings below: Continue reading “Today’s historically low rates increase your buying power! St. Louis Mortgage Interest Rate Update

St. Louis homeowners with negative equity increases slightly in 2nd quarter

Dennis Norman St Louis

A report released today by CoreLogic shows that 17.30 percent (99,792) of all St. Louis homeowners with a mortgage were in a negative equity position in the second quarter of 2011, up slightly from 17.10 percent the prior quarter. Negative equity is also referred to as being “underwater” or “upside down” and refers to homeowners that owe more on their mortgages than the current value of their home. Continue reading “St. Louis homeowners with negative equity increases slightly in 2nd quarter

New FHA Loan Limits; St Louis Mortgage Interest Rate Update

On October 1, 2011, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will implement new single-family loan limits as specified by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA).

As a result, FHA will reduce loan limits in the highest cost metropolitan areas of the country, while limits would remain unchanged in most other parts of the nation. Continue reading “New FHA Loan Limits; St Louis Mortgage Interest Rate Update

Slash Your Long-Term Home Interest Costs

As mortgage rates have dropped this year, so have the costs of homeownership. At every given loan size, bargain-basement interest rates have brought monthly mortgage payments to levels never seen in history.

It’s a great time to buy a home. It’s an even better time to refinance.

This isn’t cheerleading. This is fact. As a homeowner, your “total cost of homeownership” is tied to your mortgage. The higher your mortgage rate, the more interest you pay over time. And regardless of your mortgage interest tax-deductibility, over 30 years, mortgage interest accrues into something fierce.

Continue reading “Slash Your Long-Term Home Interest Costs

MHDC’s CAL Cash Assistance loan rate is now 4.5 percent!

First-time home buyers receive a forgivable 3% cash assistance loan for down payment and closing costs.

Program Highlights:

  •  3% Cash Assistance Loan (CAL) can be used for down payment and closing costs.
  • CAL is forgivable after 5 years of occupancy.
  • 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgages & Competitive Rates.
  • CAL can be used with FHA, VA and USDA Rural Development loan programs.
  • First time home buyer requirement only applies to the last three years.
  • Loan is assumable for an MHDC-qualified borrower in an FHA, VA or USDA-RD loan program.
  • Eligible owner occupied properties include: Single-Family Detached, Duplexes, Semi-Detached, Condominiums, Town Homes. Continue reading “MHDC’s CAL Cash Assistance loan rate is now 4.5 percent!

Homeowners not happy with their mortgage servicers

Dennis Norman St Louis RealtorAfter all the bad press mortgage companies have received lately, this probably won’t come as a surprise, but according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study, homeowners satisfaction with their mortgage servicers has “declined notably from 2010.Continue reading “Homeowners not happy with their mortgage servicers

What you need when applying for a home mortgage; St. Louis Mortgage Interest Rate Update

Having been in the mortgage industry for a number of years, I have found a lot of my “issues” when it comes to underwriting was a result of missing something at time of application.   The following is a quick rundown of items that should be collected at application: Continue reading “What you need when applying for a home mortgage; St. Louis Mortgage Interest Rate Update

Mortgage delinquency rate continues to fall in July

A report released this morning by Standard & Poor’s and Experian show a decrease in monthly default rates on first mortgages from 2.02 percent to 1.93 percent and a decrease in default rates on second mortgages from 1.40 percent to 1.25 percent in July. A continuing decline in mortgage delinquencies is one of the things we need to help move the real estate market into a recovery. As the delinquencies come down, so do the foreclosures eventually back to a point where they are not negatively impacting home prices to the extent they are presently. Continue reading “Mortgage delinquency rate continues to fall in July