Articles Posted in Mortgage issues

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FHA-SL-guidelinesAre you looking to buy a house now?  Waiting could cost you as inflationary pressures will likely cause your dollar to decline.  Moreover, interest rates will begin to rise in 2022 – 2023 as the Fed begins to normalize the interest rate.  If you have student loan debt that has prevented you in the past from buying a home, keep reading…

In light of this, mortgages and refinances are a very popular topic now — especially among those with student loan debt.  One big hang up was just resolved.  Previously, a mortgage lender had to use 1% of the outstanding loan balance, even when a borrower was in IDR and the monthly payment reported on the Borrower’s credit report was zero.

We would suggest a temporary fix:  the borrower would exit IDR for a month or two where the payment may have been zero, make a fixed standard or extended payment, apply for the mortgage and after approval, get back into the IDR.  This wasn’t the best fix; however, as it unnecessarily caused a student loan borrower to have the loan capitalize the unpaid interest.  But it did let someone buy a house who otherwise could not.

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forbearance-optionsThe CFPB stated today “[w]e are at really an unusual point in history.  I don’t think anybody has ever before seen this many mortgages in forbearance at one time that are expected to exit forbearance all at one time.”

No kidding.  This may be the calm before the storm type of thing if mortgage servicers don’t get it right when all these forbearances end.

Living in Florida sometimes it seems like the pandemic is firmly in our rearview. While we are still working from home, it’s mostly because we want to be part of the solution, and can get our work done with our cloud server.  But people are out and about pretty regularly now.

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bidenToday, President Joe Biden is extending a moratorium on home foreclosures for federally backed mortgages until June 30, after previously setting the expiration date at the end of March. Biden also announced the expansion of a mortgage relief program, pushing the window to request mortgage forbearance until the end of June.

You can check our resources page under “Foreclosure Related” to see if your mortgage is federally backed here.  Just type in your property address under Freddie, Fannie or MERS to discover who owns your mortgage.

For those who have private loans, there is no mandated federal moratorium.  You may be covered under a local or state moratorium though.

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mortgage-2Are you STILL having problems with your mortgage servicer after catching up with your mortgage while in a Chapter 13?

Are you being charged a huge sum to catch up even after the bankruptcy is over?  A mortgage servicer is required by federal law to perform an annual escrow analysis on all loans for which it manages an escrow account.  But do they always do this?

Are you suffering not only from payment shock, but also negative credit reporting for these alleged deficiencies?

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this-way-that-wayIt can be risky to reaffirm a mortgage in a bankruptcy, particularly when the property is underwater (worth less than what is owed), or you may need to move and sell quickly.  A reaffirmation agreement puts you back on the hook to pay for the full amount of the mortgage, including interest, taxes, insurance, foreclosure fees and costs after a bankruptcy, if you elect to keep the home.  Why would someone ever sign one of these?  Well, most mortgage companies do not report payments being made on a non-reaffirmed mortgage.  So how do you avoid the risk, while at the same time, benefit from timely payments being made which rebuilds credit?

SELF REPORTING MORTGAGE PAYMENTS

WHEN YOUR LOAN WAS NOT REAFFIRMED

The bankruptcy code does not require that you reaffirm, or sign a court order agreeing to continue the payments on your mortgage. But unless you are surrendering your house, you will want to continue paying because the house will eventually be foreclosed if you do not.

Mortgage companies will not report your payments to the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) if you have not reaffirmed. It is possible, nonetheless, to still get your payment history included in your credit report, as follows:

  1. Request a payment history from the mortgage company. (The mortgage company is required by law to provide one every year free of charge.) There is no special form – just call your mortgage company and be persistent.
  2. File a dispute with the three credit reporting agencies, attaching a copy of the payment history.
  3. The credit reporting agency is required to verify the accuracy of the debt with the mortgage company within 30 days.
  4. At that point, the mortgage company can either:
  • Remain silent – the credit reporting agency must accept the information you provided; or
  • Accurately report information. The mortgage company would be hard pressed to explain how a payment history it prepared was inaccurate.
  • Repeat this process on a regular basis, to update the information.

Additionally, you should keep the payment history, since that can be provided to anyone you’re applying to for new credit.

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mortgageHow do I make my mortgage payments for the next three months?

When people asked and learned that I am able to work from home, they are a little envious. What they don’t understand is that one cannot “work from home” indefinitely. At some point, there will be no work to work from home. There will be no new clients, no new orders, and the pipeline of work will stop.  Hourly workers, contract workers, and salaried workers alike are on the same boat; our income will be greatly reduced or terminated altogether. While some of us have savings, few have sufficient savings to last us several months and our housing expense will be first and foremost on our list of concerns. If you have lost income due to COVID-19, there are things you can do to qualify for relief from your mortgage payments.

Federal regulators, through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are ordering lenders to offer flexibility to homeowners; about one half of the home loans in the country, those guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie, will be affected by this policy. However, the entire mortgage industry is expected to follow suit. Forbearance from mortgage payments could last up to 12 months, depending on the borrower’s particular situation, according to Mark Calabria, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.  While this type of relief is neither debt forgiveness or free money, it will keep you from falling into the trap of default and foreclosure.

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