Tightening the Reins on Mortgage Lending

Is this supposed to be a surprise to anyone seeking to get a loan in this housing market? Seriously because almost day after day we are reading increasing stories on the number of foreclosures, the mortgage rate and even lenders. Maybe the actual fact the guidelines are being tightened is not a surprise but what they are saying is. I must admit I was stunned to find out this was happening.
I read a story that came out of Ohio that shared how the guidelines are being tightened on mortgage lending. It shared that basically due to the sharp increase in foreclosures nationwide, Fannie and Freddie are implementing tighter underwriting guidelines on approving a family for a home loan. Some changes are significant and have begun to take lenders, real estate agents and prospective homeowners by surprise.
I want to share a few of these that I know will affect homeowners: one of the biggies I would believe would be the Appraisal Guidelines. Why, because with the market being soft there is not in my opinion any way that your home could appraise at the same value today in 2008 that it might have appraised for at the end of 2006 or beginning of 2007, especially with homes in your neighborhood or area that have been foreclosed on. Foreclosure affects home owners that are not facing foreclosure because the number of foreclosures in the neighborhood brings down property value.

I remember when we were selling our home, we had the standard walk through appraisal. Now it seems, in addition to the standard walk through appraisals by a licensed appraiser, lenders now are requiring an automated valuation model which is statistical data from all the real estate sales that have taken place in that specific area. The rule now says whichever value comes in less will be the true market value. It goes on even further to say if the assigned appraiser declares your home to be in a declining market or should the new automated underwriting track your property as an area deemed to be in a declining area, the buyer cannot get 100 percent financing. I know that will affect some people.
We know that one of my favorite subjects is credit. Apparently it is one of the topics of discussion here as well.

From what I can gather, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s major changes take place in March 2008 affecting how conforming mortgages are priced with an interest rate. The new guideline will (not optional) require lenders to review credit scores and down payment information before a mortgage rate can be offered. New interest rate adjustments will apply to high loan to value, low scores, cash out refinances and investment properties. Once again, credit score is important. A point that I found interesting was at the end of this story it said these changes have not affected programs from The Federal Housing Administration. In an FHA mortgage loan, the mortgage insurance is provided by the borrower and included in the loan. As I have said in previous blogs, do your research. Talk to a lender and see what your options are. If you are strictly seeking an FHA Loan, know that all lenders are not FHA approved. I cannot stress doing your due diligence enough.

Dr. Taffy Wagner

Leave a Reply