Senior Loan Officer
Rose City Mortgage, NMLS 272695
VA Guaranteed Home Loan eligibility in Eugene/Springfield Oregon can be very confusing. Who is and who is not eligible may be a surprise to those that are eligible that may not realize it. As a Vietnam Era U.S. Air Force veteran with 10 years of service, my eligibility is pretty easy to see.
Some are obvious (like mine), others are more obscure:
Veterans with active duty service (who were not dishonorably discharged) during World War II and later periods are eligible for VA loan benefits. World War II (September 16, 1940 to July 25, 1947), Korean conflict (June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955), and Vietnam era (August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975) veterans must have at least 90 days of service.
Veterans and active duty military personnel who served during peacetime must have had more than 180 days of active service. Veterans of enlisted service starting after September 7, 1980, or officers with service beginning after October 16,1981, must in most cases have served at least 2 years.
Veterans who have served after August 2, 1990 (Gulf War period) must have completed 24 months of service or at least 90 days of active duty for which you were called or ordered to active duty. Most of this is written in “militaryeze” so the easiest way is to submit for a certificate of eligibility or COE. Reservists and National Guardsmen will often qualify for the 90 days of active duty provision if they had been called up for duty.
Active duty personnel with at least 181 days of service or 90 days during the Gulf War.
The VA does not require that you have a certain credit score in order for approval. The actual mortgage lenders, however, are allowed to set their own standards for VA loan requirements and that is normally either 620 or 640 mid score.
Changing economic conditions and increased losses due to loan defaults have motivated lenders to limit who they will lend to.
Since early 2010, most VA lenders in the U.S. have tightened their lending and credit score requirements, making home financing harder to come by for those with credit issues or other criteria that makes their loan more risky.
As a result, getting a loan without a down payment is more difficult, though one of the few remaining options for 100% financing is a VA loan. Major lending groups have generally resolved to set the minimum credit score requirement at 620.
To learn more about this, our article Credit Score Requirements For VA Mortgages (in a later post) is a great place to start.
There are several specific pieces of documentation a lender will need to determine your eligibility:
A DD214 for discharged veterans.
A NGB Form 22 for Army or Air National Guard
A statement of service for active military personnel.
A certificate of eligibility (COE) to determine you have VA entitlement.
Widows/widowers of service personnel that died while on active duty.
Because each lender has different qualifying guidelines, the next step is to contact me to find out if you meet their VA loan requirements such as minimum FICO/credit scores, debt-to-income (DTI) ratios, and find out about maximum loan amounts with and without a down payment.
I can help you attain your certificate of eligibility on your behalf.
Lastly, if you have either had a divorce, filed bankruptcy, or had a previous home go into foreclosure, you are not immediately disqualified from a VA loan, although there are some additional restrictions.
You can find more information regarding these future topics in our articles titled Divorce And VA Loan Eligibility, Does A Bankruptcy Mean I Can’t Get A VA Loan? and Can I Get A VA Loan If I’ve Had A Recent Foreclosure?
Navigating the mortgage approval process doesn’t have to be daunting. With me on your side those hurdles can be overcome. I am available right now to help you with the loan process and know the ins and outs of FHA, VA, USDA and conventional financing. If you want to buy a home using an FHA loan or refinance using VA, I am here to help. Contact me at Alpine Mortgage Planning, 1200 Executive Pkwy., Ste. 100, Eugene OR 97401, 541-342-7576/541-221-3455 cell or by e-mail. Only you can make the choice it is time to get the process started.
The credit score gap for 2010 loans through the Federal Housing Administration fell 43 points from 2006 levels, according to Quality Mortgage Services.
The mortgage quality-control services firm said its data show the average credit score of FHA loans ranked as excellent in 2006 was 665 whereas the average score of a loan ranked fair was 603 for a gap of 62 points. For FHA loans originated so far this year, the firm’s data show excellent loans have average credit scores of 707 while fair loans average scores are 688 for a difference of 19 points.
“This is good news for investors because of the increase number of loans going for securitization where the borrower has a lower probability of a historical or future 90-day late credit scenario,” Quality Mortgage Services executive vice president Tommy Duncan said.
The Franklin, Tenn.-based company performs post-closing quality-control audits and tracks trends of mortgages.
“The decrease in the credit score gap shows that the FHA loan product is limiting itself to home buyers and reducing the number of applicants that would have normally qualified for a FHA loan in 2006,” Duncan said. “Also, this trend may make it more difficult to associate high-risk loans with certain credit score ranges and may place more focus on ratios. This data shows that underwriting templates have adjusted to a higher credit score standard to obtain a FHA loan and may be preventing the tradition first-time homebuyer, or low to moderate income earners, from obtaining a FHA loan.”
Write to Jason Philyaw.
Borrowers with credit scores less than 500 are not eligible for Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgage financing, according to the new credit score and loan-to-value (LTV) requirements released today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
This is the first time the FHA has had a minimum score to determine borrower eligibility.
Borrowers with a credit score between 500 and 579 can receive up to 90% LTV from FHA for a single-family mortgage while any borrower with a score 580 or above is eligible for maximum funding. Non-traditional and insufficient credit is accepted provided that borrowers meet the underwriting guidelines.
100% financing is available to borrowers using Mortgage Insurance for Disaster Victims with no downpayment, as long as their credit score is above 500.
The FHA said it is providing a special, temporary allowance to permit higher LTV mortgage loans for borrowers with lower decision credit scores, so long as they involve a reduction of existing mortgage indebtedness pursuant to FHA program adjustments.
The credit standards will take effect on Oct. 4.
Oregon Real Estate Wanted (http://www.oregonrealestatewanted.com) is a web site created for the marketing of the needs of people seeking to buy real estate in Oregon. Buyers are listed along with their needs and qualification so those that are seeking to sell real estate can contact them just like buyers approach sellers of real estate.
How it works:
Each buyer listed on the site will be given a serial number that will identify them to the public. We offer this so their privacy is protected and fairness in the presentation of all opportunities is assured.
Before being listed on OregonRealEstateWanted.com. A buyer must have met with a loan officer and obtained a pre-qualification letter. This letter will not be listed on the site, but the name and contact information of the loan officer the buyer will be working with will be included with their listing. We encourage the buyer to allow the loan officer to pull their credit report and review all of their income documentation so that loan officer can ensure the buyer is qualified for the loan program they will be applying for. We want sellers and real estate brokers that visit the site to have confidence that the buyers listed have the ability to close on a loan.
We will promote a detailed wish list the buyer(s) are looking for so people that have real estate for sale can compare that wish list with their property. If they feel they have something that is a good fit, they will be encouraged to contact us and we will then notify the buyer of an opportunity.
When a seller or broker notifies us of a property or listing that fits the buyer’s criteria we will present that property to the buyer for their consideration.
By doing this we will allow the buyer to have full access to the available properties that are available. Both properties listed on the multiple listing services and For Sale By Owners (FSBO) will be considered.
This web site will allow Stewart Group Realty to present our clients to a wide range of opportunities.
Oregon Real Estate Wanted
So, you have been a mortgage broker for a while now, and you think you are ready for the next step: approval by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as a Seller and Servicer, so you can service your own loans.
In general, to be an approved Seller and Servicer for either FNMA or FHLMC, you are going to need to meet the following requirements: a corporate net worth of $500,000 to $1 million; adequate warehousing lines; three letters of reference; errors and omissions insurance and fidelity insurance; an excellent quality control program; and personnel experienced in all aspects of mortgage origination, processing, underwriting, funding and shipping, administration, service accounting and, of course, servicing itself.
These are only general, minimal requirements, so let us take a more detailed look at the requirements and the process. I preface the following information with the understanding that the reader realizes that approval of a firm by FNMA or FHLMC is at their complete discretion and is, to a great extent, a judgment call based upon your total package and all the factors included in it. All requirements are subject to change.
As far as FHLMC approval goes, net worth requirements are either $1 million or $500,000, depending upon whether you use the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) net worth of $1 million, or the FHLMC definition of acceptable net worth ($500,000). Unfortunately, a lot of potential applicants are not aware of the $500,000 net worth possibility. Even a call to Freddie Mac still found the operator not aware of that option, and claiming $1 million was a hard, fast requirement to be approved.
Acceptable net worth is defined by FHLMC as GAAP net worth minus any of the following: goodwill, purchased servicing, capitalized excess servicing, investments in joint ventures, investments in limited partnerships, REO, property, plant and equipment, receivables from affiliates, investment in affiliates, other intangibles and other assets, and deferred taxes on capitalized excess servicing. Audited financial statements are to be provided as part of the approval package.
One requirement that many still think is in force, but is not, is the requirement that a mortgage company be approved by HUD-FHA in order to be a FHLMC Seller and Servicer.
Additional requirements include having an acceptable quality control program; Errors and Omissions insurance and Fidelity insurance of $300,000 minimum coverage; a business plan (specific and reasonable for short and long term strategies); three reference letters from investors; credit reports on managing executives; adequate experience in origination and sales; and experience in underwriting, administration, default management, REO servicing and investor accounting, and servicing. Servicing is usually the weak spot for mortgage companies. You must show that whether or not you use a sub-servicer, and you have staff with more than adequate ability and knowledge to handle servicing. FHLMC no longer says you need a specific amount of servicing on the books to be approved and, in fact, you can be approved with no servicing, but the stronger the package, the more likely you will be approved.
If you are accepting Third Party Originated (TPO) loans, you also have to provide information on your standards and procedures for accepting and servicing them, since there have been so many problems with the history of these loans.
In order to apply to FHLMC, you request an application package (call 800-Freddie) and follow the instructions completely. You will need to submit resumes, financial statements, credit reports, a business plan, various certifications, the approval you want, a list of parent or subsidiary companies, corporate liaisons in various corporate capacities, any legal problems with company or managing officers, a list of investors (including their reference letters), a list of your warehouse lenders, quality control program and questionnaire, number and quantity of loans originated and sold in the last two years, number and quantity of loans serviced plus your delinquency ratios, copy of insurance coverage and all other pertinent information you feel would help your package. There is a $1000 application fee.
As far as FNMA is concerned, their requirements are very similar to those of FHLMC. There are differences, though, and as I list the general requirements (FNMA also can request any additional information it needs; the application package is a guideline and basis from which to work), any item that is different will be identified with an asterisk.
You need a corporate net worth of at least $500,000, a quality control program, experienced personnel in all areas pertinent to the business, proof that the personnel have not had any problems when employed at other FNMA-approved entities, a servicing system in place (your own or sub-services), Errors and Omissions and Fidelity insurance (same dollar amounts), references, credit reports, history and scope of the business, list of any owner of five percent or more of the company, audited financial statements, estimated volume to be sold to FNMA during the first 12 months, and availability of all key personnel for an on-site interview with FNMA staff.
In order to apply to FNMA, call the nearest regional office and request an application package. You will return the following information (some of it on their forms): areas you operate within; the approval you are applying for; any legal disclosures of problems with the company or personnel; narrative on history and scope of the company; resumes in same areas as FHLMC; investors you are currently servicing for; proof of Errors and Omissions and Fidelity coverage; financial statement; quality control program; FNMA Selling ad Servicing Contracts; estimated first 12 months sales volume; quantity and dollar amount of loans originated in the last three years; credit authorizations; number of employees in servicing and origination; liaison personnel in selling, underwriting, servicing and investor accounting; number and dollar amount of loans serviced; list of delinquencies; list of warehouse lines; and various certifications, along with a $1000 application fee.
To summarize, if you have, or are willing to acquire, the net worth, the insurance and plenty of experienced personnel, and can show you have the corporate capacity to meet all of the approval requirements of FNMA or FHLMC, maybe you should consider becoming a Seller and Servicer. The mortgage business is in an improving cycle, with the housing market (new and resale) beginning to show signs of coming alive again. This may be your time. But remember, it is not right for everyone, so be sure the approvals and servicing would fit into your corporate goals.
The most glaring omission from the Dodd-Frank financial reform act is without a doubt the lack of a plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The government-sponsored enterprises remain encumbered with billions in toxic loans, and unfortunately, the movement to fix these institutions has been stuck on the back burner–until now. The Treasury Department has announced it will hold a conference on the future of Fannie and Freddie on Aug. 17. A Congressional hearing will be held in September.
The administration seems bent on offering a concrete proposal in January, which is welcome news, as the travails of these entities are costing taxpayers a lot of money. So far the tab stands at $145.9 billion; it will likely end up topping $380 billion–which would make it by far the most expensive bailout effort to date.
What sort of solutions will be discussed? I doubt anyone will argue that having some sort of body that guarantees mortgages and sells them for securitization is a bad thing. The key will be to somehow retain the salutary effects of this process, which can lower costs, expand the ability of lenders to make home loans, and protect lenders from rate shocks.
Taking the long view, the rise of securitization has been a welcome development. The real estate crash has revealed that there’s a down side if you let securitization run amok. One theory, as noted by the New York Times, is that this process has led to lax lending. “If mortgage issuers passed along the default risk to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae or to the buyers of mortgage-backed securities, those issuers would have little incentive to screen borrowers properly. While issuers often do have some skin in the game, the enormous amount of both securitization and sloppy lending during the boom made it natural to link the two phenomena.” Indeed, defenders of Fannie and Freddie have long argued that they were pressured to start guaranteeing non-prime loans, to expand the homeownership pie. On top of all of this, securitization has made it harder for loans to be worked out. These are certainly reasonable theories.
The bottom line is that securitization of mortgage loans based on a sound lending standard is a good idea. But how best to do that? Perhaps the biggest issue is whether the government has a role in subsidizing this effort. And if so, what exactly is that role? What are your ideas?
The collapse of Colonial BancGroup poses another hazard to the still-shaky housing market: Mortgages could become even harder to get.
The Southern regional bank, based in Montgomery, Ala., was the largest remaining player in warehouse lending, which provides short-term financing to independent mortgage bankers. At one time, these mortgage bankers originated half of all U.S. home loans using these funds.
Today, the warehouse lending market is decimated. In 2007 it was worth an estimated $200 billion; now there is just $25 billion available — 25% of which belongs to Colonial. With Colonial’s failure, those funds could become even more scarce.
“It’s like if they shut down half the concession stands at the baseball game,” said Scott Stern, CEO of the Lenders One mortgage bankers group in St. Louis. “It means the guy who’s last in line is going to have to wait a lot longer to get a hot dog, and in this market who knows what the price is going to be when he gets there?”
The money began drying up when investors started shunning mortgages not guaranteed by government-backed agencies such as Fannie Mae. These loans, made by the independent mortgage bankers, had become closely associated with the worst excesses of the housing bubble.
Among the biggest players in the market were Countrywide, rescued last year by Bank of America, and Washington Mutual, which collapsed last September. This year, two other prominent lenders had to unwind their warehouse business: National City, the troubled Cleveland bank acquired last fall by PNC; and Guaranty Bank, the Texas thrift that warned last month that it expects to be taken over by regulators.
To be sure, everyone isn’t fleeing the market. ResCap, a troubled home lender owned by the government-supported GMAC finance company, said earlier this year that it would expand its warehouse lending business. Citi said this month it expects to put $2 billion into warehouse lines this year.
But with small banks failing and pulling back and many larger players, such as JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, not aggressively pursuing new business, few expect the new entries to reopen the market.
Thus the industry is lobbying Washington to give government-backed Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae a bigger role in warehouse lending.
But with those entities already backing some 90% of current U.S. mortgage originations — and taxpayers on the hook for potentially hundreds of billions of dollars of losses at Fannie and Freddie — that idea is proving a hard sell.
Still, mortgage bankers are hoping the latest tremors in the banking industry will make Washington more receptive.
“We’re trying to show people how important this is, but I’m not sure the urgency is there,” said Glen Corso, a longtime mortgage industry executive who now heads the Warehouse Lending Project that’s advocating an expanded federal role. “We’d like to see a private solution, obviously, but failing that we need to get something in place to keep financing flowing.”