The basic requirements of a streamline refinance are:
"No Cost" Streamlines let you refinance your mortgage with no out-of-pocket expenses! This easy process provides a way for current VA homeowners to lower their interest rate with little or no out-of-pocket costs. These loans can also be made faster and with less documentation than a typical loan, because the VA Streamline does not require an appraisal, any income or employment verifications, no credit report and no termite report. The mortgage must have been paid as agreed for the last twelve months and must be up-to-date at the time of refinancing. Let us help you qualify for a VA loan and start saving money today!
FHA Home Loan News:
Home borrowers of limited means might again be able to obtain FHA-backed home loans instead of going to more expensive subprime lenders if Congress gives the Federal Housing Administration greater discretion in deciding what types of loans it will back. In areas of the country where the cost of housing is high, the FHA has lost market share because of limits on the size of loans it can insure. & a statutory requirement of a 3 % down payment for FHA-insured loans is difficult for some low-income buyers to meet.
The Expanding American Home Ownership Act of 2006 would address those issues by allowing the FHA to insure bigger loans with more flexible terms, including no-money-down products. Approved by the House in a 415-7 vote in July, HR 5121 could help FHA regain the market share it's lost to subprime lenders. Between 2000 & 2004, FHA's share of single-family loan originations declined from 16 % to 5 %, & its share of total mortgage debt fell from 20 % to 9 %. The market share of subprime lenders increased from 2 % to 11 % of total loans outstanding during the same period, according to a report conducted for the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The report, "Lender Perspectives on FHA's Declining Market Share," surveyed mortgage bankers who identified a lack of FHA product offerings, including a zero-down-payment product, as factors. There's no disagreement on that point from FHA officials. "The data actually shows that while our market share declined, subprime grew exponentially, particularly for minority & first-time home buyers," said Margaret Burns, director of FHA's Office of Single Family Program Development. "We have vanilla or we have chocolate, that's it," agreed Bill Glavin, special assistant to FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery.
In areas of the country where the cost of housing is high, the FHA has lost market share in part because of limits on the size of loans it can insure. In high-cost areas, the FHA can only insure loans up to 87 % of the limits set for set for government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac. The conforming loan limit for GSEs, which is adjusted annually, currently stands at $417,000 -- meaning FHA can't back single-family home loans greater than $362,790.
With the median priced home in California now selling at well over $500,000, FHA has been priced out of that market. The FHA only insured 5,000 mortgages in California in 2005, down 95 % from the 109,000 loans it backed in the state in 2000. In areas where housing isn't as costly, the FHA limit is 48 % of the GSE maximum, or $200,160. HR 5121 would allow FHA to insure loans in low-cost areas up to 65 % of the GSE conforming loan limit, or $271,050.
The Senate version of the Expanding American Home Ownership Act, S 3535, has been referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs. Private mortgage companies are reportedly lobbying for changes in the bill. Some critics have said that allowing FHA to offer no-money-down loans will only encourage borrowers to take on debts they can't afford. "I think that's one mistake people might make -- that we're trying to help people who shouldn't be homeowners, who aren't credit worthy," Burns said. Lenders today are better able to judge a borrower's ability to repay a loan, which is a more important factor in assessing credit risk than the amount of the down payment, FHA officials said. "Our underwriting standards will remain the same," Burns said. "We just feel given the dynamics of the market today -- 43 % of home buyers last year put no money down, they want to buy new furniture, replace carpet, & there is nothing wrong with that -- we want to offer them (the option of a zero-down loan) in a manner that's safer & more affordable (than privately backed loans)."
In the past, a 3 % down payment -- $2,010 on the $67,000 home of yesteryear -- was not necessarily an insurmountable obstacle to moderate-income home buyers. Today, the minimum down payment on the biggest FHA-backed loan is a more formidable $10,884. The 3 % requirement "goes back 25 years, when loan approvals were more subjective," Glavin said. "Today, we have risk-management tools & statistics & we can do a better job of assessing the risk" on loans with lower or no down payments.
When the Mortgage Bankers Association surveyed members last year for insight into FHA's declining market share, they also wanted the administration to be more flexible in backing cash-out loans, & streamline the closing & post-closing process to reduce their origination costs. Burns & Glavin said FHA has addressed those issues, & that the Expanding American Home Ownership Act could also give the administration the ability to create risk-based insurance premium structure, matching premiums with borrowers credit profiles. Instead of charging a standard premium to all buyers, low-risk borrowers would pay less, & high-risk borrowers would pay more.
What is a Balloon Loan?
A balloon loan is usually a five or seven year loan calling for payments which are insufficient to fully amortize the amount of the loan before the maturity date. This creates a principal sum, known as a balloon payment, which is due at maturity.
How is my new interest rate determined?
FHA and VA home loans usually are chosen with a fixed rate mortgage. Most Adjustable Rate Mortgages require that an index be taken on a specific date, then a margin is added to the index and the result is rounded to determine the new interest rate.
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