California Mortgage Brokers And Lenders Using Online Services Adjustable Rate Mortgage How Can I Avoid Mortgage Foreclosure Reverse Mortgages Get The Money You Need Part 2 Of 4
Those purchasing a home for the first time may be unfamiliar with tips and techniques for selection a good mortgage lender or broker. If buying a home, choosing the right broker makes a big difference. You have the option of completing a loan application with individual lenders, or opting to use the assistance of a mortgage broker.
The Role of Mortgage Brokers in California
Using a mortgage broker to find a fitting loan program is very beneficial. Each homebuyer has a different situation. Fortunately, there are many loans available to help homebuyers achieve their dream. For example, if you have poor credit, it is possible to find a loan that is catered to those with low credit scores. Secondly, programs that offer closing costs assistance are available for those with little money.
The responsibility of a mortgage broker is to match you with a potential lender. There are many mortgage lenders to choose between. Thus, selecting the right lender may be challenging. Besides, contacting each lender and inquiring of their loan programs is time consuming. If using a broker, you avoid the legwork.
Mortgage brokers will gather all your personal information, and submit it to lenders for review. Within a few hours, you can expect mortgage quotes from lenders eager to have your business.
Benefits of Using a Mortgage Broker to Find a Lender
Brokers have access to many different types of loans. In fact, a broker can match you with a lender that offers specialized assistance. For instance, many government programs and private lenders provide huge down payment assistance to families with moderate to low incomes.
Furthermore, if using a mortgage broker, you will receive more than one mortgage offer. When using a broker, lenders literally compete for your business. After lenders remit their quotes to the broker, the broker will email you with their offers. This gives you the opportunity to thoroughly review offers before selecting a lender
The easiest and most effective method of finding a lender is to work with online brokers. The internet offers convenience and speed. Some brokers offer instant quotes. Upon receiving and reviewing lender quotes, you may be able to submit a formal loan application through the broker’s site. Once the loan approval is finalized, the lender will deliver the necessary documents for you to sign.
The adjustable rate mortgage is a type of loan which will be secured on a home which has an interest rate and monthly payment that will vary. The adjustable rate will transfer a portion of the interest rate from the creditor to the homeowner. The adjustable rate mortgage will often be used in situations where fixed rate loans are hard to acquire. While the borrower will be at an advantage if the interest rate falls, they will be at a disadvantage if it rises. In places like the United Kingdom, this is a very common type of mortgage, while it is not popular in other countries.
The adjustable rate mortgage is excellent for homeowners who only plan to live in their homes for about three years. The interest rate will typically be low for the first three to seven years, but will begin to fluctuate after this time. Like other mortgage options, this loan allows the homeowner to pay on the principle early, and they don’t have to worry about penalties. When payments are made on the principle, it will help lower the total amount of the loan, and will reduce the time that is necessary to pay it off. Many homeowners choose to pay off the entire loan once the interest rate drops to a very low level, and this is called refinancing.
One of the disadvantages to adjustable rate mortgages is that they are often sold to people who are not experienced in dealing with them. These individuals will not pay back the loans within three to seven years, and will be subjected to fluctuating interest rates, which often rise substantially. In the US, some of these cases are tried as predatory loans. There are a number of things consumers can do to protect themselves from rising interest rates. A maximum interest rate cap can be set which will only allow interest rates to rise at a specific amount each year, or the interest rate can be locked in for a specific period of time. This will give the homeowner time to increase their income so that they can make larger payments on the principle.
The primary advantage of this loan is that it lowers the cost of borrowing money for the first few years. Homeowners will save money on monthly payments, and it is excellent for those who plan on moving into a new home within the first seven years. However, there are risks to this type of mortgage that must be understood. If the owner has problems making payments, or runs into a financial emergency, the rates will eventually rise, and the owner who cannot make payments may lose their home.
One term that you will hear lenders talking about is caps. The cap can be defined as a clause that will set the highest change possible for the interest rate of the loan. Homeowners can set up a cap on their mortgage, but they will need to make a request from the lender, as the cap may not be present on the rate sheets that are presented.
Mortgage foreclosure can occur if homeowners, who have taken a VA, conventional loan, or an FHA insured loan, default on the mortgage payments. Foreclosure can lead to the lender gaining possession of a borrower’s home. If the value of the home is less than the mortgage amount, the homeowner may have to pay the balance amount to the lender under a deficiency judgment. Foreclosures have a negative impact on the credit score of a home owner.
In order to avoid foreclosure, there are several things that a homeowner can do. These include communicating to the lender one’s inability in making payments as soon as possible and requesting assistance. If necessary, homeowners should back their communication with relevant financial figures such as expenses and income from various sources. They should not abandon their premises or they may not qualify for the assistance.
There are several housing counseling agencies approved by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development; they offer up-to-date information on the various programs initiated by government and private organizations that are designed to help homeowners facing the prospects of foreclosure. Housing counseling agencies, which also provide credit counseling services, provide their services at no cost.
In order to avoid forbearance, homeowners can try and apply for Special Forbearance. This may lead to a revision of the repayment schedule and in some cases the payment may either be revised or suspended. A rise in expenditure and a fall in the monthly income may enable homeowners to qualify for a new monthly plan. Similarly, mortgage modification may result in extension of the period of repayment and may open up refinancing options. Homeowners who have undergone a financial crisis stand to benefit from mortgage modification as they can chart out a more manageable repayment plan.
Homeowners can also take recourse to a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. This entails voluntarily handing over the property to the lender. Such a deed does not hurt a homeowner’s credit rating as much as a foreclosure. A homeowner, who is a defaulter on payments, and does not qualify for other alternatives, has not been able to sell the house, and is not in default with respect to other mortgages, qualifies for a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.
A homeowner’s qualification for any of the above mentioned alternatives is determined by the lender. However, homeowners should be aware of solutions that are not genuine. It is highly advisable to take the help of housing counseling agencies in such matters. Homeowners in financial difficulties are liable to fall prey to scams such as equity skimming in which a homeowner is tricked into signing the deed of the property to another person. There are several counseling agencies that are not genuine and often charge homeowners for services that can be done for free. It is imperative that homeowners check the background of the counseling agency before deciding to go with a particular firm.
To recap part 1, Reverse Mortgages are loans that allow you to borrow back the equity in your home. If you are 62 years of age or older, they are a way to borrow against the equity in your home to provide you with tax-free income. Probably a good idea if you’re a senior who needs cash for medical care, to maintain your standard of living, or for other reasons.
So, what are some of the disadvantages of Reverse Mortgages?
– They are even more complicated than conventional mortgages and the consequences of various options might not be always up front.
– They may be relatively expensive compared to other alternatives.
– Although the money you receive is tax-free, it may affect your eligibility for “need based” public assistance benefits such as Medicare, Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid/MediCal.
– Reduces the equity you have in the property which could cause a potential negative impact for your heirs.
– This source of funds is often not well understood, even by real estate and legal professionals. (Check out their experience before accepting their advice.)
In general, what types are available?
– FHA-insured mortgages – Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM).
Each type differs in the amount you can borrow, how the proceeds will be paid, and allowed expenses such as interest, closing costs and other fees.
Here are some things to think about before getting this financing :
-How much money do you need?
-Is there another way to get the money you need ?
-Will a Reverse Mortgage make you or your partner ineligible for any government benefits – now or in the future?
-Do I qualify for this kind of Mortgage?
-How much can you borrow ?
-How much will it cost you in fees and interest to borrow this money, even if you don’t have any out-of-pocket expenses?
-Will you have to sell your house before you die to pay off the loan ?
-If you die, and your spouse is still living in the home, will he or she have to leave or pay it all off ?
-Will the loan become due and payable if you go to a long-term care or nursing home?
-What will your heirs or you have left after the loan is paid off?
-Are there any early-repayment penalties?
-What are your obligations, such as property maintenance, property taxes and insurance?
Seven important things to do before you make a decision :
1. Decide how long you expect to stay in your home. These loans are relatively expensive for the first 2-3 years, so consider other options first.
2. Consult with a HUD-approved Reverse Mortgage counselor before you apply. This information service is usually offered free of charge. A counselor can help you decide what kind of financial help you need and what type is best.
3. Decide if you really need it. Another type of loan may be a less costly solution to meet your financial needs.
4. You might want to Include your family, especially grown children, in the decision-making process. It’s good to get a general agreement among your heirs that going ahead with this type of mortgage arrangement is okay with them. Remember, you may be reducing their inheritance.
5. Shop around for the best deal. It may affect how much money you get immediately and in the long-term, how the money is paid out, how much you pay in interest and other charges, and so on.
6. Determine if your Mortgage affects your eligibility for “need based” public assistance benefits you may receive.
7. After you have considered all the facts, does getting a reverse mortgage make you happy ? If yes, that’s a good sign. If you’re not sure, best to examine all of the alternatives again.
That’s all for this week. In Part 3 next week we’ll talk about frequently asked questions concerning reverse mortgages – stay tuned !.
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