Do you prefer a ReLOC or HELOC? – Tools for Retirement Planning

Tom Davidson has written and illustrated another great article which I know you will enjoy reading. Here are the first few paragraphs which lead into the link to his wonderful presentation:

“HELOCs (Home Equity Lines of Credit) are widely used. Simply having one makes many people more comfortable. My wife and I had a standby HELOC for many years – ready to use as a convenience or in an emergency. Luckily that emergency never happened, but we felt well prepared knowing we had ready access to a substantial amount of cash that could be used for anything we needed. When I was a financial advisor, a HELOC was on my checklist to discuss with every client – at least those who were prudent with their money.

ReLOC: A Retirees Line of Credit

Is there a better alternative for homeowners over age 62?  A ReLOC may be a far better choice for many retirees. ReLOC is a nickname that stands for either Retirees Line oCredit or Reverse Mortgage Line of Credit. While ReLOCs share many features with HELOCs, three unique features make a ReLOC a line of credit designed for retirees:

  1. The amount you can access grows every month
  2. You don’t have to make payments until you permanently leave your home
  3. The loan can’t be canceled, reduced, or frozen as long as you keep up with basic mortgage obligations (property tax, homeowner’s insurance, basic maintenance, and Homeowner’s Association dues).

Here’s the borrowing limits for a ReLOC and a HELOC for a 63-year-old in a $400,000 house who lives to age 99:”

Source: Do you prefer a ReLOC or HELOC? – Tools for Retirement Planning

Realtors: 2 Deals In 1 – The Purchase Reverse Mortgage

Back to Back Closings

Back to Back Closings

Realtors: 2 Deals In 1 – The Purchase Reverse Mortgage

The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage for Purchase (HECM) is known in the industry as the H4P. The H4P is an FHA Insured reverse mortgage which is guaranteed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In writing this post I recall a specific H4P transaction where I was privileged to originate a purchase reverse mortgage for a delightful fellow Colorado native. This transaction closed in July 2013. The purchaser, age 63, sold her townhome in Parker for $115,000.00 and in conjunction with the H4P used the combined proceeds to purchase a townhome in Castle Rock for $227,600.00.

The financial details of that transaction are as follows: The buyer’s cash to close requirement was $96,400.00 plus her earnest money of $2,000.00. This sum of $98,600.00 included pro-rata property taxes, insurance and HOA fees.  The H4P proceeds to close were $129,200.00. In addition, the FHA UFMIP, origination fee and allowed closing costs totaling $11,400.00 were financed. All figures have been rounded to the nearest $50.00.

Purchase Price $227,600.00
Buyer Cash to Close + Earnest Money     98,400.00
H4P Cash at Closing $129,200.00
Financed Closing Costs     11,400.00

She found it most desirable to purchase her new home and not have to make mortgage payments ever again. Of course, she may make periodic payments or payoff the loan at any time but only if she wishes. It bears observing that she made this decision with the blessing of her children, one of whom is a CPA. Going forward, she simply pays the taxes, insurance and HOA dues. She does not need to pay monthly mortgage payments again for so long as she lives in her home.

On qualifying, for all intents and purposes, this was a Stated Income loan. As a matter of responsible underwriting, it was merely confirmed she had sufficient income to pay real estate taxes, insurance and HOA dues.

Due to adjustments* which FHA made to the HECM program in September 2013, an identical transaction as described in this post would presently require cash to close from the buyer of approximately $114,950.00.

On qualifying, for all intents and purposes, this was a Stated Income loan. As a matter of responsible underwriting, it was merely confirmed she had sufficient income to pay real estate taxes, insurance and HOA dues.

Due to adjustments* which FHA made to the HECM program in September 2013, an identical transaction as described in this post would presently require cash to close from the buyer of approximately $114,950.00.

For additional facts on the FHA Reverse Mortgage program (HECM), you may wish to click on this link: Reverse Mortgage Facts. Further discussion and illustration on the H4P is available on this link: What Is A Purchase Reverse Mortgage?

TIPS: There are no concessions allowed by sellers, builders or agents; this includes any personal property (such as appliances). In addition, the buyer must pay for the title insurance. There can be no repair set-asides; all repairs, where major property deficiencies threaten the health and safety of the homeowner and/or jeopardize the soundness and security of the property, must be completed by the seller prior to closing. Another unique feature of this program is to set your closings for about 10:00 AM and not later than 11:00 AM to help make sure the H4P funds the same day as the closing. On the closer, few are experienced with the H4P, most are experienced with the traditional reverse mortgage and think the H4P is the same. It is not. Given the buyer is paying for the title insurance, I suggest we use a closer well-trained in the HP. I have such a closer.

Finally, although a rare circumstance, should a buyer have two FHA Case Numbers open, the non-purchase case number must be cancelled prior to final loan approval. As of this post, FHA will not allow an application to be taken until the Certificate of Occupancy has been issued.

If a non-borrowing spouse is involved in the transaction, the non-borrowing spouse (NBS) may not be a party to the real estate purchase contract. For more information on the NBS you may wish to read: Reverse Mortgages and the Under-Age 62 Spouse.

[*HUD Mortgagee Letter 2013-27]

Update: There are market and borrower favorable changes pending application to the H4P on September 19, 2017. When they go into effect, this posting will be updated to reflect the changes.

Notice: The information provided is not intended to be an indication of loan approval or a commitment to lend. Additional program guidelines may apply. Information is subject to change without notice.

Disclaimer: This article does not represent that any of the information provided is approved by HUD or FHA or any US Government Agency.

Image attribution

 Financially Speaking  James Spray, RMLOCNE, FICO Pro |CO LMO 100008715 / NMLS 257365 |Published: April 3, 2014 ~ Updated: February 6, 2017

 Notice: The information on this blog is opinion and information. While I have made every effort to compose and link accurate and complete information, I cannot guarantee it is correct. Please seek legal assistance to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct. This information is not legal advice and is for guidance only. You may use this information in whole and not in part providing you give full attribution to James Spray.

Reverse Mortgage Primer: A Realtor’s Notes

For Homeowners Over 62, a Reverse Mortgage Could Address Some Financial Needs

Jim Smith Golden RE Logo

Recently our agents and I received training on Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM), better known a “reverse mortgages.” These loans can be taken out on your current home or used to purchase a new home. What makes them particularly attractive is how they can turn your home from an expense (if you have a mortgage currently) into a source of money for the rest of your life after age 62.

In a normal mortgage, you have monthly payments of PITI—principal plus interest plus taxes and insurance. With a reverse mortgage, the principal increases instead of decreases because the principal and interest is being drawn from the equity you have in your house.

If you have longevity in your genes and don’t need to leave the value of your house to your heirs, this can be a good solution because no matter how long you live, as long as you continue to live in your house, you will never be “upside down.” The mortgage continues to be paid even after your equity is used up.  When you die and the house is sold by the lender, any shortage in payoff is covered by the mortgage insurance which is built into the loan.

This scenario is not for everyone, but it has enough advantages that it is worth speaking with a reverse mortgage specialist who can study your financial situation and help you decide if a reverse mortgage is right for you.

We had such a specialist — James Spray of MilestoneMtg.net, dba The Mortgage Company — speak to us and answer such questions as:

What happens if both husband and wife are on the mortgage and one of them dies? The surviving spouse can stay in the house until he or she dies.

What if you go into assisted living? Once all borrowers on the loan no longer live in the house, the loan must be paid. If there’s still equity in the house, it can be listed and sold just like any other house, and the loan is paid off.  If the equity has been exhausted and you’re “under water,” then you deed the home over to the lender and walk away not owing anything.

What if a son or daughter wants to buy the house? They can buy the house, with the loan paid off at closing, but if the house has negative equity, they can buy the house from the lender for 95% of its appraised value, regardless of how large the principal had grown.

Are property taxes and insurance escrowed? No, you must pay those directly, along with any HOA dues.

Can you take cash out when you refinance with a reverse mortgage? Yes, depending on your age, you can take out half or more of your home’s appraised value when you refinance into a reverse mortgage. The older you are, the more you can take out, based on actuarial tables. That’s why I say that if you have longevity in your genes, you could take out your full equity in your home before you die and continue to live in the house until all borrowers die without making any mortgage payments again—just taxes, insurance and HOA dues.

Can I sell my house and downsize? You should do that before you take out a reverse mortgage. Sell your house now, buy your perfect “forever” home, and finance it with the reverse mortgage, putting down only the minimum down payment based on the actuarial tables.  Keep the other proceeds from the sale of your current home as cash to spend, save or invest as you wish.

What about Social Security?  As you know, you get a much higher Social Security payment if you wait until age 70 to start drawing it.  Refinancing or purchasing with a reverse mortgage at age 62 could make it possible by lowering your living costs for you to wait until age 70 to start drawing Social Security.

What if my credit isn’t very good? Unlike with a regular mortgage, credit is not a factor in approving a reverse mortgage, barring recent bankruptcy or other derogatory factors. You need only prove that you’ll be able to keep paying the taxes, insurance and HOA fees (if any) on your home. Not doing so risks foreclosure.

You probably have many other questions.  If I can’t answer them for you, I’d be happy to connect you with Jim Spray or another specialist.

Jim Smiths Sig for blog

Read my weekly Real Estate Today column as published in the Denver Post at www.JimSmithColumns.com

Download our FREE service provider app at www.clientlinkt.com/install/243.

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The above article is to be/was published in the Denver Post on September 8, 2016 by Realtor Jim Smith of Golden Real Estate, Inc. His office is located in Jefferson County, Colorado. It is reprinted here with permission/blessings of the author.

Financially Speaking™ James Spray RMLO, CNE, FICO Pro | CO LMO 100008715 | NMLS 257365 |September 2, 2016

Notice: The information on this blog is opinion and information. While I have made every effort to link accurate and complete information, I cannot guarantee it is correct. Please seek legal assistance to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct for your situation. This information is not legal advice and is for guidance only. You may reproduce this information in whole and not in part, providing you give full attribution to James Spray.

Romance and Credit Scores

love-birds-custom-toolbar-free_575267

In addition to getting the best employment and the lowest interest rate on everything financed, including credit cards, home and auto loans, the prime potential partners in the dating pool are quickly thinned of those with inferior credit.

This is clearly highlighted in a post made by the Credit Slips summary of a Washington Post article which examines the working paper recently published by the Federal Reserve titled Credit Scores and Committed Relationships.

Barron’s Market Watch recently published an article titled, Nearly 40% of Americans want to know your credit score before dating. In part, this phenomena was summarized by University of Kansas Communications Professor Jeffrey Hall who stated,

By showing an interest in these three digits, people are probably being smart rather than shallow, says Jeffrey Hall, associate professor of communications at the University of Kansas. “Finances, education, and job prospects all factor into the value of a potential mate,” he says. “Assuming that people can actually interpret a credit score meaningfully, it makes sense they would think a credit score is useful in evaluating mate value.”

“…In fact, the higher your credit score, the less likely you’ll separate from your partner — and a lower score often means you’ll be less lucky in love, researchers at the Federal Reserve Board, the Brookings Institution and UCLA recently concluded.”

Your credit score has become such a popular character-meter that there are dating services based on them. A 2015 academic study found that “quality in credit scores, measured at the time of relationship formation, are highly predictive of subsequent separations.” The research suggested “credit scores reveal an individual’s relationship skill and level of commitment.” How More Americans Are Getting a Perfect Credit Score Bloomberg Suzanne Woolley, August 14, 2017.

I think it’s safe to predict that more and more people in the dating pool will become savvy to the benefit of checking one’s credit score before entertaining the possibility of a committed relationship.

Image Attribution

Financially Speaking™ James Spray RMLO, CNE, FICO Pro | CO LMO 100008715 | NMLS 257365 | Published November 13, 2015 – Updated August 16, 2017

Notice: The information on this blog is opinion and information. While I have made every effort to link accurate and complete information, I cannot guarantee it is correct. Please seek legal assistance to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct for your situation. This information is not legal advice and is for guidance only. You may reproduce this information in whole and not in part, providing you give full attribution to James Spray.

Reverse Mortgages and the Under-Age 62 Spouse

The-Good-News

New Rule on Reverse Mortgages

A new rule has been issued which allows that a reverse mortgage (HECM) shall protect borrowers even when one spouse is younger than 62. Both the  purchase or traditional reverse mortgage amount will be based on the younger spouse’s age. Given the number of variables, and the complexity with how these new factors work please contact your trusted reverse mortgage loan originator.

For all FHA case numbers issued on or after August 4, 2014 this revolutionary new rule becomes effective. This rule will allow younger spouses of borrowers that no longer live in their home to stay in their home without the threat of foreclosure. In a nutshell, the requirements are this:

  • They must have been married when the mortgage was taken,
  • Have remained married,
  • The surviving spouse shall continue to pay taxes, insurance, and HOA fees (if applicable).

Prior to August 4, 2014, the full repayment of the reverse mortgage was due and payable following the death of the borrower, leaving the surviving spouse whose name was not on the mortgage in the lurch for the debt or forced to sell the home. This change defers that settlement until after the surviving spouse’s death.

This new rule comes at a cost. Lenders factor in the age of the younger spouse when calculating the reverse mortgage payout; in a nutshell, the younger the spouse the longer the loan will be outstanding resulting in the lesser payout.

Reference: FHA Mortgagee Letter: ML 2014-07

Readers of this blog may also wish to read: What Is A Purchase Reverse Mortgage? as well as The New Reverse Mortgage.

Image attribution

Notice: The information provided is not intended to be an indication of loan approval or a commitment to lend. Additional program guidelines may apply. Information is subject to change without notice.
DISCLAIMER – This post does not represent that any of the information provided herein is approved by HUD or FHA or any US Government Agency or Department.
Financially Speaking™  James Spray, MLO, CNE, FICO Pro 
CO LMO 100008715 / NMLS 257365 | August 2, 2014

 Notice: The information on this blog is opinion and information. While I have made every effort to link accurate and complete information, I cannot guarantee it is correct. Please seek legal assistance to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct. This information is not legal advice and is for guidance only. You may use this information in whole and not in part providing you give full attribution to James Spray.

Eliminating Mortgage Insurance

  Confused Yet

Is it Necessary to Refinance to Eliminate Private Mortgage Insurance?

In short, the value of the property must exceed the loan balance by 20% due to additional payments made such that the principal balance has been reduced to 80% and the request has been made in writing to eliminate the Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

The answer depends on a few factors. If the loan type is a conventional mortgage and had a greater than 80% loan to value and was closed on or after, July 29, 1999 the following applies per the Homeowner Protection Act as discussed by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB):

“The Homeowners Protection Act gives you the right to request that your lender cancel PMI when you have reached the date when the principal balance of your mortgage is scheduled to fall to 80 percent of the original value of your home. This date should have been given to you in writing on a PMI disclosure form when you received your mortgage. If you can’t find the disclosure form, contact your lender.   You can also make this request earlier if you have made additional payments to reduce the principal balance of your mortgage to 80 percent of the original value of your home.”

  • The payment history must be good and the payments current.
  • Your request must be in writing to the proper address in an acceptable format such as the RESPA letter.
  • The lender/servicer may require you to provide an appraisal to prove the value of the property has not declined below value when the loan was funded. Note: This is not to prove that your home value has appreciated.
  • The lender/servicer may require you certify that there are no junior liens (second mortgage, HELOC, judgment or tax liens).
  • Send a QRM your servicer if you are unable to locate the PMI disclosure form you received at closing.
  • If you do not contact your servicer to eliminate the PMI, the PMI is to automatically drop off once the loan has been paid down to 78% of the funded loan.

Click here for the CFPB link on eliminating PMI.

Click here for the August 4, 2015 CFPB update for mortgage servicers.

If you have Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance (LPMI) the only way to eliminate LMPI without selling the property is to refinance. As always, this is a business decision. How much will you save in what period of time by eliminating the LPMI. It’s worth noting that LPMI may be tax deductible (check with your tax advisor to make sure).

Is it Necessary to Refinance to Eliminate FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium?

If the loan is an FHA Insured mortgage it has Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP). For mortgages with an FHA case number assignment date on or after June 3, 2013, the FHA monthly mortgage insurance can only be terminated by the servicer or holder if the mortgage is paid in full before the maturity date. The exception to this rule is the FHA Streamline Refinance.

Again generally speaking, providing accelerated payments were made such that the unpaid principal balance is 78% or less of the original loan balance, the MIP can be eliminated prior to the originally scheduled cancellation date. For several years prior to the change implemented on June 3, 2013 the mandatory time for the MIP was 84 months.

In short, if you wish to eliminate the MIP prior to the termination date of the MIP, as explained by the CFPB, you’ll find it necessary to refinance.

Can You Refinance to Eliminate Mortgage Insurance?

Providing the property has sufficient equity to eliminate PMI or MIP (20% equity) and there are no junior liens (above discussed), the mortgage loan may be refinanced into a conventional loan eliminating the PMI or MIP. As always, this is a business decision. How much will you save over what period of time by eliminating the PMI or MIP. Next calculate your costs in purchasing another first mortgage. Remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

If You Are Being Solicited to Refinance Here’s a Suggestion:

Before investing the time and expense of applying for a refinance, make sure the solicitor is in fact both an NMLS Registered Loan Originator as well as Licensed by the CO Division of Real Estate or, the state in which you reside; if they are, obtain their NMLS Number and their CO License Number as well as their contact information. If they are neither, they are merely a lead generator and get paid only by the number of leads they generate. This doesn’t mean that which they are selling can’t be done; it just means you may wish to be extra vigilant as they may not have your best interests at heart.

A licensed mortgage loan originator has a much higher level of interest in helping to protect your interests. Therefore, you may wish to avoid the lead generator altogether. Discuss your refinance possibility with your State Licensed, NMLS registered loan originator.

The Bottom Line: Before You Pay For an Appraisal

Make sure you are dealing with someone licensed and make sure it makes business sense prior to shelling out several hundred dollars for an appraisal. With the refinance there will also be many more hundreds or perhaps several thousand dollars in new costs to purchase a new mortgage. Not insignificant is how many more months or years the refinance will add to your total cost. Consider as well how long you really will keep the house on which you are contemplating the refinance.

Image credit: Google Images

Financially Speaking™  James Spray, RMLO, CNE, FICO Pro |CO LMO 100008715 / NMLS 257365 | August 8, 2015

Notice: The information on this blog is opinion and information. While I have made every effort to link accurate and complete information, I cannot guarantee it is correct. Please seek legal assistance to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct. This information is not legal advice and is for guidance only. You may use this information in whole and not in part providing you give full attribution to James Spray.

QWR: The RESPA Letter

 

Federal Reserve Board Building

Federal Reserve Board Building

QWR: The RESPA Letter

Most reading this post are reading it for a particular reason which is to learn about writing a letter to a mortgage lender and/or servicer regarding a specific problem or situation such as requesting the mortgage servicer report your payments to the credit bureau(s). For some, it may be that your mortgage servicer or bank is reporting incorrect information or you may need specific documentation. For others, perhaps this is being read for informational purposes. In any event, we trust the reader finds this information helpful.

 Step 1. Contact your mortgage servicer for the correct address for correspondence. This will be the legal address of the servicer. Some servicers will have a specific address for a Qualified Written Request (QWR). This is  a different address than where you mail the payment or from where you get the periodic statements. This procedure was established per the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

 Step 2. You may utilize the following template provided by HUD for your QWR. Or you may click here to open and read the information or you may copy and paste the pertinent paragraphs (opening and closing) as show below. Focus your thoughts and keep your letter brief and specific to the topic. less-is-more - erickimphotography.com

“Attention Customer Service:

Subject: [Your loan number]

[Names on loan documents]

[Property and/or mailing address]

This is a “qualified written request” under Section 6 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

I am writing because:

  • Describe the issue or the question you have and/or what action you believe the lender should take.
  • Attach copies of any related written materials (as applicable).
  • Describe any conversations with customer service regarding the issue and to whom you spoke.
  • Describe any previous steps you have taken or attempts to resolve the issue.
  • List a daytime telephone number in case a customer service representative from the legal department  wishes to contact you.

Sincerely, [Your name – Printed and Signed]

I understand that under Section 6 if RESPA you are required to acknowledge my request within 20 business days and must try and resolve the issue within 60 business days.”

If you are satisfied with the resolution to your situation, you may wish to compliment the servicer by sending a note to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) via their Comment Form.

Step 3. Send your QWR via Certified Mail Return Receipt. Keep copies of your letter and any enclosures as well as your Certified Mail Receipt from the post office and the Return Receipt from your mortgage servicer proving they have received your QRM

Finally, if you are still unable to resolve the situation, there is a complaint process that may get action. We suggest this be your last and not first step as you will then have evidence which will indicate to the Bureau that the servicer is either unwilling or unable to address your situation. Mortgage Complaint Form

There’s a New Sheriff in Town?????????????????????????????????????????

The following is excerpted from the prepared remarks of Steven Antonakes, Deputy Director of the CFPB which he presented to the Mortgage Bankers Association National Mortgage Servicing Conference in Orlando, Florida on February 19, 2014.

“…My message to you today is a tough one. I don’t expect a standing ovation when I leave. But I do want you to understand our perspective. I would be remiss if I did not share it with you … if you choose to operate in this space (mortgage servicing), the fundamental rules have changed forever. It’s not just about collecting payments. It’s about recognizing that you must treat Americans who are struggling to pay their mortgages fairly before exercising your right to foreclose. We have raised the bar in favor of American consumers and we are ready, willing and able to vigorously enforce that bar.

Ultimately, these profound changes will be good for all Americans, including industry. But please understand, business as usual has ended in mortgage servicing. Groundhog Day is over. Thank you.”

Sheriff – Update

In a June 22, 2016, Press Release, the CFPB said, in part: “In 2013, the CFPB established mortgage servicing rules designed to protect consumers against many of the practices that plagued the mortgage servicing industry during and after the housing crisis.

According to the CFPB, the rules require servicers to maintain accurate records, give troubled borrowers direct and ongoing access to servicing personnel, promptly credit payments, and correct errors on request.”

In addition to sending your RESPA letter, do not hesitate to file a complaint, with the CFPB. Click here for the particular complaint link.

The Bureau’s Enforcement Power – One Example

As an example of the Bureau’s enforcement authority, RealtySouth™, a Berkshire Hathaway Affiliate, was recently fined $500,000.00 for a RESPA violation which amounted to failure to disclose their affiliated business relationship(s) to consumers. This is a typical example of the enforcement action undertaken by the Bureau as one may readily determine with an Internet search. For those who don’t recognize the name Berkshire Hathaway, it is largely owned by one of the world’s wealthiest persons. Clearly, wealth does not buy immunity from the CFPB.

Exceptions to QWR: Those transactions excluded from the QWR are limited to “(1) subordinate lien loans or (2) open-end lines of credit subject to TILA, whether secured by a first or subordinate lien.”* Further, “(a) request does not constitute a QWR if it is delivered to a servicer more than one year after either the date of transfer of servicing or the date that the mortgage servicing loan was paid in full, as applicable.”*

NOTICE: I am not an attorney nor am I providing legal advise. This post is for educational purposes only. The images are for illustration only and not meant to imply in any way an endorsement or authorization by any government agency or authority of this blog or this post.

* Jonathan Foxx, President & Managing Director Lenders Compliance Group

Image Attribution: erickimphotography.com and  CFPB

Financially Speaking™  James Spray, RMLO, CNE, FICO Pro | CO LMO 100008715 / NMLS 257365 | Rev. June 16, 2016

 Notice: The information on this blog is opinion and information. While I have made every effort to link accurate and complete information, I cannot guarantee it is correct. Please seek legal assistance to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct. This information is not legal advice and is for guidance only. You may use this information in whole and not in part providing you give full attribution to James Spray.