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Reverse mortgage program remains threat to FHA's financial health

Although the FHA kicked off fiscal year 2018 by lowering principal limit factors for all reverse mortgages, which changed the amount a borrower could withdraw, and adjusting the initial and annual mortgage insurance premium, it’s unlikely that this year’s actuarial report — which will be released this month — will show major changes.

“The changes FHA made to the principal limit factor and the adjustments HECM premium in 2017 were designed to help, but did not and were not intended to fully solve the financial volatility of the program,” FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery said on a recent phone call with reporters.

The HECM program is especially hard to manage because the results of policy adjustments usually don’t appear in the data for “many, many, many years,” unlike changes to the forward mortgage program, said Pete Mills, a senior vice president at the Mortgage Bankers Association.

That the FHA "has made two rounds of significant changes to the HECM program just in the past year suggests that they’re still having trouble managing that program,” he said.

Goldman Sachs chipping away at $1.8B mortgage settlement target

"I am pleased to be able to confirm that Goldman Sachs continues to make steady progress toward meeting its obligation to provide consumer relief valued at $1.8 billion," wrote Eric Green, a professional mediator and retired Boston University law professor, who has overseen other large bank settlements like that of Morgan Stanley , in a report.

The modified mortgages span 42 states and the District of Columbia, with 32% of the credit located in the settling states — New York, Illinois and California — and 47% located in areas defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as being "hardest hit," referring to regions with large concentrations of distressed homes and foreclosure activities, according to the report.

Goldman's consumer relief obligation is only a piece of the more than $5 billion settlement the bank agreed to in April 2016, which includes a large civil money penalty.

The bank also agreed to a "statement of facts," which involves acknowledgements that it "received information indicating that, for certain loan pools, significant percentages of the loans reviewed specifically did not conform to the representations made to investors about the pools of loans to be securitized."

When to close or fund mortgage if buying a new home?

Recently we visit a new home builder office and saw some beautiful model homes. They said it would take up 6 months to build once we pick a lot since those model homes are not for sale.