Posts Tagged “Du approval”

FHA Mortgages offered through HUD are Government insured against default and therefore, because of the government cushion given to Lenders who make FHA loans, very attractive interest rates are available. Furthermore, just like for Veterans (VA Loans), FHA carries a special feature that’s not available for Borrowers who have loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (Conventional). This special feature is known as a STREAMLINE REFINANCE.

A Streamline refinance is called that because unlike the rigorous, almost intrusive underwriting process Borrowers are subjected to when they purchase a home, a Streamline refinance is much more streamlined. . . truly no income or asset verification , and no credit underwriting except for a close look at the payment history on the FHA mortgage being refinanced.

As recent as February 2011, HUD (which oversees FHA) announced a less stringent underwriting requirement for Streamlines to the point where even borrowers who are presently unemployed or working part time can be approved.
The thinking here is to foster the probability that the FHA insured mortgage will continue to be paid on time by the Borrower, and to do whatever possible to make that happen. Naturally, if a mortgage is being paid on time already, and the monthly payment was lowered, easing the burden on that Borrower will only enhance the chances of continued timeliness.

So what are the ‘Essential Requirements’ ?

(1) A Clean 12-month Payment History on the FHA Mortgage Being refinanced

Borrowers who’ve experienced a rocky road in keeping their payments on time thus far, are still likely to have problems despite a lowering of their payment. Such borrowers often find a way, sadly, to take their newfound savings and funnel it to something not financially wholesome. Bad habits die hard.
A clean mortgage history however is indicative that future payments will be made on time, especially if the payments are lowered.

(2) 210-Day Waiting Period/Cooling-off period between refinances

If the FHA mortgage being paid off is a new one, 6 mortgage payments must have been made before that mortgage is eligible for payoff via a FHA Streamline. Furthermore, 210 days must have passed since the most recent refinance.

(3) Job and Income – Not Verified

Although Lenders who make FHA loans may have an overlay to the true HUD guidelines, an FHA streamline can be done without any verification of the Borrower’s employment or income. The other factors must be in place, but even an unemployed Borrower can be eligible to lower their payments.

(4) Minimum Credit Score Requirement – Void

FHA by rule doesn’t look at FICO scores and never has. It’s Lenders who make FHA loans who impose such minimum standards. However a true Streamline doesn’t look at a Borrower’s credit score. Only the mortgage payment history on the loan being paid off is considered.

(5) Benefit To Borrower

The concept of ‘Net Tangible Benefit’ (NTB) was recently introduced by HUD to govern FHA Streamline Refinances. The essential component of the NTB is to make sure the Borrower’s monthly P&I + MI amounts are being reduced by at least 5%. Lowering the overall monthly obligation because the property taxes were reassessed is therefore not an acceptable purpose or reason. Having said this, refinancing a Borrower who is in an FHA Adjustable Rate Mortgage, into a Fixed rate FHA loan is always an acceptable ‘TNB’.

(6) Limit To Increase in Loan Amount

The loan amount cannot be raised beyond the present principal balance to cover closing costs. The new Loan balance is limited by the math formula of Present Loan Balance + Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium). The standard lender fees, escrow/title fees, impounds of tax/insurance etc must be either paid by Borrower using cash at the closing or absorbed by lender credit.

(7) Appraisal is Not Required
Upside down homes are still eligible for FHA Streamlines because a new Appraisal is not required. HUD has already become committed to insuring the loan, so a change in value in either direction does not affect the eligibility of the borrower to lower their payments.

(8) New Mortgage Insurance offset by Old Mortgage Insurance Already Paid In
All FHA loans carry mortgage insurance both as a one-time upfront amount funded at closing and then an ongoing monthly amount based on the loan amount.
However within the first 36 months since obtaining the FHA loan that’s being paid off/refinanced, the borrower can secure a refund for a portion of the amount paid. The longer the loan has been held, the lower the amount of the refund. The chart below actually indicates the approx. amounts .
For example, refinancing in month# 20 would mean an approx. 45% refund of the original Upfront Mortgage Insurance amount paid. This refund amount isn’t given back as cash, but instead applied as a credit towards the overall cost of getting a new Upfront Mortgage insurance. See below for a useful Chart on FHA Mortgage Insurance refunds applicable for Streamlines

FHA streamline MI refund

FHA Mortgage Insurance refund chart

Remember that once a Borrower has paid on their FHA mortgage for 5 years (i.e. 60 months) the Mortgage Insurance can be removed.

Charles Vamadeva,

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Often an FHA loan application hang in the balance because the Borrower has marginal credit or income history. Often the debt to income ratio is out of line and an FHA Underwriter may be forced to look for other factors in approving the loan.
This is when compensating factors become critical and can tip the loan in the applicant’s favor.

What are some common compensating factors?

The borrower has proven he/she can make a housing payment equal to or greater than the proposed new PITI mortgage payment by means of a rent verification obtained by the Lender. This gives the Underwriter some measure of assurance that default is unlikely, as long as the rent has been paid in a timely manner. 12 mos Canceled checks would be the ultimate proof of this, and a private-landlord’s rent verification may not cut it.

The borrower makes a large downpayment, at least more than the standard 3.5% down required.

The borrower has demonstrated a conservative attitude towards the use of credit. This can be evidenced by low relative credit card balances compared to credit limits, or a an absence of multiple credit accounts.

The borrower receives compensation or income that’s not being used by the Underwriter for qualifying income for one reason or another . . eg. child support income that’s not fully documented, or cash /tip income that can’t be used in qualifying.

The borrower has healthy cash reserves after closing figures are accounted for. This may mean a well-funded retirement account, checking or savings balances, etc etc or cash surrender value of a Life insurance policy for example.

The borrower has potential for pay increase as proven by specific job training or education in his/her profession. An example would be an LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse) about to become an RN (Registered Nurse).

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Basic Facts First: On a VA home loan, the Veteran’s spouse’s debt obligations have to be counted against him/her when qualifying even if the Spouse will not be a borrower on the VA loan (i.e. “non purchasing spouse”).
Underwriters therefore add up all the monthly debts belonging exclusively to the spouse and count them against the Veteran (Borrower).
And since the spouse is not signing on the loan, his/her income, if working, is typically not used.
However a very little known fact is that VA actually allows *THAT PORTION OF THE SPOUSE’S INCOME THAT IS EQUAL TO THE MONTHLY DEBT OF THE SPOUSE**** to be used to offset the debt.
Here’s an example

Veteran has $5000/mo income and $1000/mo debt of his/her own
Spouse has $2000/mo income and $700/mo debt of his/her own

We can use $700 ** of the spouse’s $2000mo but no more*** to offset the debts.

This gives us total debt of $1700/mo but total useable income of $5700/mo.

Thanks Vets for serving our country! :)

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It appears USDA has tightened up their requirements for “GUS”. (GUS stands for Govt Underwriting System and is the automated engine for USDA just like DU/LP is for FHA etc . . )

FICO scores below 640 will receive a “REFER” and will need to be manually underwritten by the Agency. Borrowers must have three major compensating factors and proof that the derogatory credit that is driving their fico below 640 was temporary and beyond the borrower’s control. Divorce is not a qualified reason. Medical, death of wage earner or immediate family member, loss of job or reduction in wages can be. All must have documentation to support.

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