96 results for author: Dan Shlufman


Do You Hate Receiving Unsolicited credit card, insurance and mortgage calls?

From the Federal Trade Commission's Website: If you decide that you don't want to receive prescreened offers of credit and insurance, you have two choices: You can opt out of receiving them for five years or opt out of receiving them permanently. To opt out for five years: Call toll-free 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com. The phone number and website are operated by the major consumer reporting companies. To opt out permanently: You may begin the permanent Opt-Out process online at www.optoutprescreeen.com. To complete your request, you must return the signed Permanent Opt-Out Election form, which will be ...

Why Expecting the Federal Government to Fix the Housing Problem is Unrealistic.

When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity.  To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300 centigrade. The Russians used a pencil.

What is really wrong with mortgage lending or why is it so hard to close on a mortgage?

[Note, this Blog post is my answer today to an actual client's email regarding a nearly 10 day delay on confirming the client's identity.  In answering it, I detail the real problems in the mortgage industry.  The email trail (with identifying information removed) is attached below for context.] Dear Borrower (“B”): The name of the lender is _______   Here is the Wikepedia link about them.  They are a huge financial institution headquartered in the Midwest with over $100B in deposits.  We have done many loans with them and once they close have not had any complaints from clients. There should not be any problem with the closing ...

HARP 2.0 Refinance Program Another Government Boondoggle Destined for Failure

On Monday, October 24th, to much fanfare, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that they were revising the Homeowners Affordable Refinance Program (a/k/a HARP).  In addition to lowering some of the costs of refinancing (which will certainly be appreciated and is helpful but is not an impediment to refinancing in most cases), the major revision was the lifting of the equity cap of 125% for "underwater" homeowners. Previously, HARP provided that a homeowner could refinance if they had up to 25% of negative equity (i.e. a 125% loan to value). Under HARP, which has been in effect for about 2 years, about 900,000 people have refinanced ...

LOOK OUT BELOW….Interest Rates Fall to Historic Levels

NEWSFLASH!!        DON’T BE LATE --BEAT THE RUSH AND REFINANCE NOW!              As you likely have heard, interest rates have now fallen to their lowest levels in decades!. You may want to consider refinancing your current fixed rate mortgage. If you have an ARM with a few years left on it,  you may want to convert into a fixed rate loan or just lower your monthly payments by taking out another ARM.    In addition, if you have a 30 year loan and want to save on interest expense by shortening the term, you may want to consider converting it into a 20 year or15 year fixed rate loan.                 The ...

WHO LET THEM LOW RATES OUT, WHO, WHO?

After all the bad news that has been coming out recently about the real estate market generally and the mortgage industry, specifically, I am here to finally report some good news.  Unbeknownst to most homeowners, interest rates on conforming/non-jumbo loans (i.e. loan amounts of $625,000.00 or less) have now fallen enough that we are firmly entrenched in a refinance market. Interest rates on these loans are now available in the low 4s on 30 year fixed rate loans and the low 3s on 15 year fixed rate loans.  Due to the tightening in the lending markets, banks are requiring that borrowers have good credit (with scores at least in the mid 600s) ...

Low Rates, Refinancing Volumes Are Up. Get In Before It’s Too Late!

30 year-4.125% up to $417k 30 year-4.25% up to $625k 30 year above $625k-4.625% (bi-weekly to $2.5M)/4.875% to $1M (standard) 15 year-3.25% up to $417k 15 year-3.375% up to $625k 15 year-over $625k-3.625% 5/1 ARM-2.875% (up to $417K) 5/1 ARM-3.0% over $625k 7/1 ARM-3.25% up to $417k 7/1 ARM-3.375% up to $1M 10/1  ARM-4.0% up to $1M All rates are for 45 days with 0 points and made by third party providers.  They assume credit scores of 740 and use of property as a primary residence.  Some products have loan-to-values limited to 60 or 70% (but not the conforming fixed rate loans). All loans are arranged by FCMC M...

Thanks, Hurricane Irene-As If Closing A Mortgage Loan Was Not Tough Enough….

....it has just gotten tougher!  Due to the severity of the storm, a lot of properties suffered flood damage.  As a result, the lenders want to make sure that the property, which is their collateral for the loans, is still worth what it was before the storm.   So, they are requesting two items to confirm this.  As is the case nowadays with lender's underwriting requirements, one is perfectly reasonable and understandable while the other is unnecessary and will continue the cycle of loan closing delays. The first requirement (i.e the reasonable one) for any properties which are located in the storm areas (which encompasses most of the East ...

Underwriting Times Are Increasing! Start Your Refinance Now!

If you are considering refinancing your mortgage, you should submit an application to your mortgage broker or mortgage banker as soon as you can.  By this, I mean, this week or, certainly by some time next week.  The low interest rates are causing a mini-boom in refinance business that the banks are not prepared to underwrite and close "efficiently!" Over the past year, the banks have shed mortgage staff in droves due to the slowdown in business.  They are not likely to ramp up now (or at least not too quickly) to account for a few weeks' worth of refinance business.  And, when they do, there will be a tremendous learning curve for new ...

5 Tips to Get the Best Deal on Your Refinance

1.   Apply NOW: Apply for your loan (i.e. forward paperwork to your broker/banker) in the next two weeks. If possible, do it this week.  Don't wait to see if rates go lower because "the economy is terrible" and  your  ____________ (fill in the blank) "knows" they will.  Apply now and see below for a resolution of the potential lower rate problem.   You need to apply, because as the New York Lottery says, "You Need to Be In It To Win It." And you are not in it until you start the refinance process even though you believe you are since you are "monitoring" rates. 2.  Lock at Application: Lock in your interest rate when you apply for the ...