Archive for December, 2007

Can I Refinance my FHA Loan?

Friday, December 28th, 2007

With all this talk in the news and media about foreclosures lately and different programs to help those facing foreclosure, I began wondering about refinancing. So many times people refinance their loans and I thought someone is probably asking themselves this very question – can they refinance their FHA home loan? While they are thinking about this question to themselves and not asking a person, they begin to become anxious about their housing situation. Not knowing the answer to questions can lead one to a path of wrong decisions and stagnant path, not taking action which can be detrimental. Read the below information slowly and carefully because this could be the answer you are looking for.

An FHA streamline refinance is a mortgage refinance of an existing FHA loan with limited amount of documentation and qualifications which streamlines the process. I have to admit when I think back to the loan processing for purchasing a house or car, it takes up some time. Sitting there going through pages and pages of information, terms, and more making sure nothing is left out. I applaud the fact they have streamlined this process. These times made me feel as if I was enlisting in the military again. Now that you are aware of what a FHA streamline refinance is, let me share regarding the cost. This is always going to be important. There are many types of interest rate and fee combinations for FHA streamline refinance. Check with your lender for what the parameters are.

You know that I could not let you guys think that is all there was to this loan. Of course not, there are qualifications. You should not even be surprised because you have to qualify for most things today. Seems there are only two qualification requirements which are (1) must currently have a FHA loan; and (2) must be current on mortgage payments. I ask you if you were not current, why would you be applying for an additional loan? It does amaze me sometimes watching the news hearing what people are saying.

For those that were preparing to ask this question, is there a difference between a normal refinance and an FHA streamline refinance, the answer is a strong yes. The difference from what I surmised is qualifications and documents required to qualify for the loan. The benefit to me is streamlining. If this limits the amount of documents and qualifications, this could be the one for you. A big one before I forget is that with a typical refinance loan the loan cost will be higher than an FHA streamline. Oh another huge benefit to this is FHA does not require an appraisal for a FHA streamline. How many of you know the costs of an appraisal can sometimes get you? For that reason alone, you should be doing your homework and researching what you think is best.

The main concern I have is that you go to a loan officer and have not fully done your research on the type of loan you are seeking and then get turned down. You can never have too much knowledge. Take the time to research all types of loans and decide on what works best for you.

Taffy Wagner

The Mortgage Crisis Could Affect You

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

More and more horror stories are coming out about this mortgage crisis. Like me, I am sure many of you are realizing it is getting worse before it gets better. This past week, I read a story that stated Washington Mutual would be closing offices and laying off 3,000 workers. Has anyone started thinking about all these employees that are being laid off? I can’t help but think about them because when you are laid off from a job, everything is now subject to your lack of receiving a paycheck – your mortgage, auto loan, auto insurance, groceries, etc. Some might have received a severance package that only lasts so long. Normally, a layoff is not something you plan for and people are caught unaware and end up in situations unprepared. I digress; let me return to the mortgage crisis.

Last week I briefly shared about the mortgage plan that was being unveiled. Remember, I made a comment about what happens to the people that are already delinquent, because they too need help! Hooray seems as if maybe someone out there in cyberspace or powers that be were thinking the same thing. I just read where the Senate passes bill addressing mortgage crisis. Before you begin doing cartwheels, do you realize the House passed a similar bill back in September? From what I can understand, the two chambers must now come to an agreement on the legislation before sending it to the White House for approval.

Let me share what this bill says that the senate has passed. This particular bill would allow the Federal Housing Administration to back refinanced loans for tens of thousands of borrowers who are delinquent on payments (okay, just for that statement alone I am doing cartwheels) because their mortgages are resetting to sharply higher rates from low initial “teaser” levels. I have always believed that when people are already delinquent, you need to help them see the light at the end of the tunnel and give them some hope to know that someone out there is concerned about what they are going through. Sure, you didn’t cause them to make the choices they made; however, how much better will it make a loan officer, mortgage company or even bank look to be a part of the solution. How many people will they tell that ABC Company helped me when I thought I was about to lose my house or when I had to make the choice between paying my mortgage or having Christmas for my family.

Do not think for one minute, that consumer that was facing these trials and tribulations would not tell everyone they know how ABC Company came to their aid. I personally would be shouting it from the rooftop telling everyone I knew. If I had a blog, I would be blogging about their help, customer service and everything. They potentially begin to receive so many referrals; they would not have to advertise. Will you be a part of the solution or aid the problem?

Taffy Wagner