FHA Mortgage Insurance soon to be for life of loan

FHA Mortgage Insurance soon may be for life of loan

Minneapolis, MN:  The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has announced that sometime in 2013, all new FHA insured mortgage loans will now require the monthly mortgage insurance be on the loan for the entire LIFE OF LOAN.

The proposed rule is NOT official — Yet.

Currently, FHA mortgage insurance premiums drop from FHA insured loans once the loan balance reaches 78% of the original balance and the home owner has had the loan at least 5-years.

FHA has not giving an official starting date yet, but it will be on all NEW loans going forward, and WILL NOT effect existing FHA insured home loans. Any existing FHA insured loan will still be able to drop mortgage insurance (PMI).

Most NEW FHA insured loans are just 3.5% down payment – therefore the mortgage insurance is currently 1.25% of the loan amount monthly. FHA has also announced that in 2013, the cost of the insurance will increase to 1.35% monthly.

As an example, on a $100,000 FHA insured loan, the homeowner will pay $112.50 in mortgage insurance every month for the entire 30-year loan.

For those capable, meeting both the higher credit score and underwriting guidelines, moving to a conventional loan with 5% down is going to result in very significant savings over an FHA mortgage loan going forward.

FHA has indicated they are making this move to increase their capital reserves after suffering major losses due to foreclosures and the mortgage market meltdown. The vast majority of the losses are attributed to loans written from 2007 – 2009 as lenders moved marginal home buyers into FHA loans after sub-prime loans disappeared from the market in 2007.

 FHA home mortgage loans will still remain a great option for many buyers, but clearly FHA has indicated they do not want to be the loan for everyone.

 

 


FHA Announces Loan Fee Increases

Minneapolis, MN: Thinking of getting an FHA home loan?  The Federal Housing Administration, commonly known as FHA just announced increases to mortgage insurance fees it charges homes owners by 10 basis points, or 0.10%.  This is on top of the massive fee increase from last year, which effectively doubled the cost of FHA mortgage insurance.

Swamped with a record $70 billion of claims from lenders on loans originated from 2007- 2009, the Federal Housing Administration Friday said it had no choice but to hike monthly mortgage insurance.

With the fee increase, the typical FHA borrower will now pay 1.35% of their loan amount per year in mortgage insurance. For example, a home with a $100,000 mortgage will now pay $112.50 a month in PMI. FHA said the fee increase will average $13.00 a month. Two years ago, the same $100,000 home would have only paid $45.83  a month.

The increase is designed to fix a reported a 16.3 billion deficiency in the FHA insurance fund as a result of defaulted loans insured during the housing crisis. While the mutual mortgage insurance fund shortage was projected at $13.48, this estimate is still well below the 2011 estimate of $14.67 billion.

FHA does actually do home loans, they insure the loans, which means lenders are more likely to do the loans knowing they have insurance on the loans against any losses. The increase insurance will greatly lessen the chances that the FHA will require a Government bailout to cover losses.

The Federal Housing Administration, currently insures about 16% of all home mortgages.


Do You Qualify for a Mortgage?

Do You Qualify for a Mortgage?

Minneapolis, MN: Every year, millions of potential new home owners ask the question, “can I qualify for a mortgage?” It’s a scary question for many people, but getting the answer isn’t anywhere as hard or difficult as people think.First, ask yourself some of these basic questions, then contact a local licensed non-bank lender and fill out an application. There are no obligations to let a lender review your situation.

Can I afford the payment?

This is obviously a major questions. I always tell people if they have been comfortably making a rent payment similar to what the anticipated mortgage payment will be, you’ve passed this test!Many people on the other hand have “payment shock”, which simply means the new home payment will be significantly more than what the pay now, if anything.

Lender use a term called “debt ratio”, which is simply a measure of a percentage of your income that would go towards the house, and all other debt. There are two different ratios they measure. The first number is your “housing debt”, which they don’t like to see over 28%. This is a measure of just the cost of the house {principal, interest, taxes, insurance) versus your income.  The next number, which most people are more familiar with is your “total debt ratio”, takes in all debt. The house payment, car payments, credit cards, student loans, etc. This number they generally do not like to see over 41% of your income.

There are slight variations to these ratios depending on loan program, so be sure to consult your Licensed Mortgage Loan Officer for details. Here is a link to some popular mortgage calculators to help you determine debt ratios.

Down Payment

Mortgage lenders love it when you put at least 20% down. That down payment size or more will get you a loan without mortgage insurance, a nice money saver. Realistically many people simply can’t afford that much. Conventional loans may be available with as little as 5% down, and the very popular FHA Loan is available with as little as 3.5% down payment.  The minimum down payment can also be effected by credit score.  Someone with a 660 credit score for example, will need at least 10% down on a conventional loan, while someone with a 720 score will only need 5% down.

Zero down payment is a potential option for some people. Military veterans can possible obtain a zero down payment VA Loan, and those seeing to live in rural areas of the country may also qualify for a no down payment USDA Rural Development Loan.

Your down payment will also affect your interest rate. All other things being equal, the best interest rates go to borrowers who put down larger down payments; you’ll pay a somewhat higher rate if you put down only 5 percent or 10 percent.

Credit score

Credit scores clearly are a major factor, but it is actually pretty simple. If you have great credit (over 720), you’ll have no problems.  If you have OK or average credit (660 – 720), you’ll likely qualify for most programs, but not necessarily all, or not with the best mortgage interest rates. If you have bad credit (below 620), you will not qualify for anything, and should work on repairing your credit before attempting to get a mortgage loan.

To review your credit go to www.annualcreditreport.com. You can get a copy of your report for free once every year. This service does NOT include scores. Another free option is http://www.creditkarma.com. This DOES include scores, but they offer similar, but not the actual FICO scores lenders use, so your numbers may be different than what a lender gets, but at least it gets you an idea of where you are at.

Your Income

To qualify for a mortgage loan, you will be required to fully document all of your qualifying income. Lenders want to see your past two-years job history. Do not confuse this with needing to be at the SAME job for two-years. It is OK if you’ve changed jobs.

If you’re self-employed, get commission, or tipped income, it’s another story. You’ll need to be at the same position for at least two-years, and provide the past two-years Federal Tax returns. Your income is based on your AFTER deductions. If your income is stable, or increasing, you’re in great shape.  If your income is declining, this may be an issue.

Income from child support, alimony, social security, pensions, etc, are all acceptable.  You’ll need to fully document what is is, and that you are actually receiving it.  You will also need to prove it will continue for at least three years.

Bottom Line

If you feel you meet these basic requirements, contact a local licensed Loan Officer to submit an application. Before you do, understand who you should contact, and some of the myths:

  • 80% of Loan Officers are unlicensed application clerks. Only deal with a licensed Loan Officer. Learn How.
  • Your Bank doesn’t know you or care about you
  • Credit Unions DO make a profit
  • Get off the Internet. There are no deals there you can’t get locally – Sit down with a LOCAL Lender

An original article by Joe Metzler (C) 2012 Metzler Enterprises, LLC for www.MnRealEstateDaily.com


FHA Streamline loans getting cheaper

Minneapolis, MN: For certain FHA loan backed homeowners, refinancing via the FHA Streamline Refinance program is about to get a lot less expensive. Beginning June 11, 2012, FHA implements a new policy for its mortgage insurance rates.

Millions Of FHA Homeowners Now Eligible

FHA mortgage rates have been steadily falling. Unfortunately, the FHA mortgage insurance rates have not. Today’s FHA homeowners pay up to 1.25% in annual mortgage insurance premiums — triple the rates that FHA backed homeowners paid just 4 years ago.

For new FHA homeowners, those buying a home today and using the FHA’s low down payment mortgage program, for example — the FHA’s rising mortgage insurance rates are a nuisance more than anything else. High insurance premiums are the price you pay for getting access to a mortgage with just 3.5% down.

But, for homeowners who already have an FHA backed loan, rising mortgage insurance rates have made it difficult to qualify for the FHA Streamline Refinance, the FHA’s “no appraisal needed” refinance program. This is because while for many people, we can lower their interest rate over 1%, the new higher mortgage insurance costs eat up all the savings. The program rules state that a mortgage applicant’s mortgage payment fall by at least 5% in order to qualify for the FHA Streamline Refinance.

“Mortgage payments” are defined as (1) monthly principal + interest payments, plus (2) monthly mortgage insurance payments. Principal + interest payments have dropped significantly since 2008, but rising mortgage insurance rates have negated these effects. Making that 5% savings marker has become exceedingly difficult.

Potentially millions of FHA-backed homeowners, while eligible, were effectively eliminated from the FHA Streamline Refinance program and from access to today’s low rates.

For long-time FHA-backed homeowners, that’s all changing.

If your current FHA mortgage was endorsed by the FHA prior to June 1, 2009, you are eligible for the FHA’s “grandfathered” mortgage insurance premiums. The new premiums are dramatically lower than the premiums paid by today’s new FHA customers, making the FHA Streamline program once again a great option for home owners.

For eligible homeowners, the new FHA Mortgage Insurance schedule is as follows :

  • All loans : 0.01% upfront mortgage insurance premium (verus 1.75% for new loans)
  • All loans (except 15-year fixed with LTV of 78% or less) : 0.55% annual mortgage insurance premium (verus 1.25% for new loans)
  • 15-year fixed with LTV of 78% or less : No annual mortgage insurance premium


New FHA Streamline Refinance Guidelines

New FHA Streamline Refinance Rules

St Paul, MN:  Home owners with an existing FHA mortgage loan – rejoice. Washington has announced new guidelines to make it cheaper and easier for homeowners to refinance FHA mortgages. The reason is pretty simple – since FHA already backs your mortgage, they’re the ones who are on the hook if you default. So if refinancing will help make your mortgage more affordable for you, it makes sense for them to help.

The updated guidelines apply to FHA Streamlined refinancing, which is about as close to automatic loan approval as any refinance program can get. There are many variables to the program, but under the best circumstances, you don’t even need an appraisal, making it a great loan for underwater home owners.

Reduced FHA Fees

The changes announced dramatically reduce some of the fees usually charged for FHA mortgages and refinancing. FHA loans have two major mortgage insurance parts. The upfront fee, and the monthly mortgage insurance. For refinances starting June 11th 2012 and after, the current upfront fee of 1 percent of the loan amount is being reduced to a mere 0.01% – equal to $10 on a $100,000 mortgage – while the annual insurance premium is being cut by more than half, to 0.55 percent of the balance, down from 1.15 percent currently.

The administration estimates the reduced annual fee will save an additional $95 a month on a $175,000 mortgage, on top of the actual savings from refinancing to a lower mortgage rate.

Anyone can with an FHA mortgage can refinance at anytime, but to qualify for the reduce fees, you must have obtained your current FHA mortgage prior to June 1, 2009.

Home Lost Value?

The FHA streamline refinance option that does NOT require an appraisal is a great option for homes that have lost value. Homeowners can be underwater on their FHA mortgage (i.e., owing more than their home is worth) and still qualify for refinancing. In fact, there’s no limit on how far underwater a borrower can be and still get an FHA Streamline Refinance.

If you’re underwater, but have a second mortgage or HELOC (home equity line of credit)  – you’ll have additional challenges – so be sure to speak with a good licensed loan officer to determined your exact situation.

Bottom Line

FHA does not do loans. Lenders do loans that FHA insures. Although FHA has pretty generous guidelines for refinancing, it’s still the lender’s call on whether to refinance or not. Some lenders will have tighter guidelines, and some may even refuse to refinance a mortgage even if it appears to meet FHA requirements. The new guidelines remove some of the obstacles that sometimes make lenders reluctant to do an FHA streamline refinance, by taking such loans out of the formula used to assess their performance as FHA approved lenders. Since many of these mortgages are considered somewhat riskier than more recent home loans, some lenders have been reluctant to refinance them for fear of damaging their rating with FHA.

To see if you can obtain an FHA mortgage refinance, check with your local approved FHA mortgage lender.

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