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Below is a list of documents that are required when you apply for a mortgage. However, every situation is unique and you may be required to provide additional documentation. So, if you are asked for more information, be cooperative and provide the information requested as soon as possible. It will help speed up the application process.
If self-employed or receive commission or bonus, interest/dividends, or rental income:
If you will use Alimony or Child Support to qualify:
If you receive Social Security income, Disability or VA benefits:
Source of Funds and Down Payment
Debt or Obligations
An Appraisal is an estimate of a property’s fair market value. It’s a document generally required (depending on the loan program) by a lender before loan approval to ensure that the mortgage loan amount is not more than the value of the property. The Appraisal is performed by an “Appraiser” typically a state-licensed professional who is trained to render expert opinions concerning property values, its location, amenities, and physical conditions.
Obtaining a loan is the most common reason for ordering an Appraisal, however there are other reasons to get one:
There are 3 common approaches, or Appraisal Methods, used by Appraisers to establish property value. After thorough exercise of all 3, a final value estimate is correlated. When evaluating single-family, owner-occupied properties, the Sales Comparison Approach is heavily weighted by an Appraiser.
Yes. In most cases you will not have to pay for another appraisal if you change your mortgage company, and depending on the loan program typed, the first lender can transfer it to the new lender. Some appraisal firms may charge a small fee because additional clerical work is required to reflect the new mortgage company; this is called an “Appraisal Retype Fee”. The original mortgage company has the right to refuse to transfer the appraisal to another lender. In this case, a new appraisal is needed.
The property seller sets the price, especially for residential property, not the Appraiser. Sellers usually don’t order an appraisal because they want to obtain the highest price for their home and therefore don’t want to be bound by the Appraiser’s assessment. The real estate agent receives a percentage of the price as compensation and often represents the seller in the transaction and assists them in setting the sale price. They perform a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), which real estate agents in most states are allowed to perform without an Appraiser’s License or Certification. The CMA is vital to the agent’s preparation for a listing examining recent property sales in the neighborhood to arrive at a listing price. Typically the agent will suggest a price to the seller based on the CMA however the seller may choose to list their property for a higher price.
It’s to your advantage to help the Appraiser perform the assessment by providing additional information:
The property is officially transferred from the seller to you at “Closing” or “Funding”. At closing, the ownership of the property is officially transferred from the seller to you. This may involve you, the seller, real estate agents, your attorney, the lender’s attorney, title or escrow firm representatives, clerks, secretaries, and other staff. You can have an attorney represent you if you can’t attend the closing meeting, i.e., if you’re out-of-state. Closing can take anywhere from 1-hour to several depending on contingency clauses in the purchase offer, or any escrow accounts needing to be set up. Most paperwork in closing or settlement is done by attorneys and real estate professionals. You may or may not be involved in some of the closing activities; it depends on who you are working with. Prior to closing you should have a final inspection, or “walk-through” to insure requested repairs were performed, and items agreed to remain with the house are there such as drapes, lighting fixtures, etc. In most states the settlement is completed by a title or escrow firm in which you forward all materials and information plus the appropriate cashier’s checks so the firm can make the necessary disbursement. Your representative will deliver the check to the seller, and then give the keys to you.
These are expenses you have to pay to state and local agencies, even if you paid cash for the house and didn’t need a mortgage:
There may be expenses paid to others like inspectors or insurance firms, even if you paid cash for the property:
Most people associate closing costs with finance charges levied by mortgage lenders. The charges you pay will vary among lenders, so it’s good to shop around for the best combination of mortgage terms and closing, or settlement costs:
The major portion of other up-front expenses is the deposit or binder you make at the time of the purchase offer, the remaining cash down payment you make at closing, or can include:
The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) contains information regarding the settlement or closing costs you are likely to face. Within 3-days from the time of your mortgage application, your lender is required to provide you a “good faith estimate of settlement costs” (GFE) based on their understanding of your purchase contract. This estimate will indicate how much cash you will need at closing to cover prorated taxes, first month’s interest, and other settlement costs. RESPA requires lenders to give you an information booklet about settlement costs, written by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development which address how to negotiate a sales contract, ways to work with professionals like attorneys, real estate agents, lenders, etc, and your given rights as a home buyer. It gives an example of the Uniform Settlement Statement used at your closing. You are entitled to see a copy of the statement 1-business day prior to closing indicating your final costs.
It’s required that mortgage lenders provide you with a Truth in Lending (TIL) Statement containing information on your loan’s annual percentage rate, finance charges, the amount financed, and the total payments required. The TIL Statement may also contain information on security interest, late fees, prepayment provisions, and if the mortgage is assumable. If you have an adjustable rate loan, the statement may outline the limits on the adjustments, annual and lifetime caps, and give an example of what your next year’s payment may be depending on interest rates. For adjustable rate loans the total payments figure is estimated as a worst-case scenario. The figure reflects the payments you would make if your loan adjusted upward to the maximum rate allowed by annual and lifetime caps, and then stayed at that rate for the loan duration.
Your credit payment history is recorded in a file or report. These files or reports are maintained and sold by “consumer reporting agencies” (CRAs). One type of CRA is commonly known as a credit bureau. You have a credit record on file at a credit bureau if you have ever applied for a credit or charge account, a personal loan, insurance, or a job. Your credit record contains information about your income, debts, and credit payment history. It also indicates whether you have been sued, arrested, or have filed for bankruptcy.
Yes, if you ask for it. The CRA must tell you everything in your report, including medical information, and in most cases, the sources of the information. The CRA also must give you a list of everyone who has requested your report within the past year-two years for employment related requests.
Credit bureaus collect and sell four basic types of information: Identification and employment information Your name, birth date, Social Security number, employer, and spouse’s name are routinely noted. The CRA also may provide information about your employment history, home ownership, income, and previous address, if a creditor requests this type of information. Payment history Your accounts with different creditors are listed, showing how much credit has been extended and whether you’ve paid on time. Related events, such as referral of an overdue account to a collection agency, may also be noted. Inquiries CRAs must maintain a record of all creditors who have asked for your credit history within the past year, and a record of those persons or businesses requesting your credit history for employment purposes for the past two years. Public record information Events that are a matter of public record, such as bankruptcies, foreclosures, or tax liens, may appear in your report. What is credit scoring? Credit scoring is a system creditors use to help determine whether to give you credit. Information about you and your credit experiences, such as your bill-paying history, the number and type of accounts you have, late payments, collection actions, outstanding debt, and the age of your accounts, is collected from your credit application and your credit report. Using a statistical program, creditors compare this information to the credit performance of consumers with similar profiles. A credit scoring system awards points for each factor that helps predict who is most likely to repay a debt. A total number of points — a credit score — helps predict how creditworthy you are, that is, how likely it is that you will repay a loan and make the payments when due. The most widely use credit scores are FICO scores, which were developed by Fair Isaac Company, Inc. Your score will fall between 350 (high risk) and 850 (low risk). Because your credit report is an important part of many credit scoring systems, it is very important to make sure it’s accurate before you submit a credit application. To get copies of your report, contact the three major credit reporting agencies:
You are entitled to receive one free credit report every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This free credit report may not contain your credit score and can be requested through the following website: https://www.annualcreditreport.com
Credit scoring is based on real data and statistics, so it usually is more reliable than subjective or judgmental methods. It treats all applicants objectively. Judgmental methods typically rely on criteria that are not systematically tested and can vary when applied by different individuals.
If you’ve been denied credit, or didn’t get the rate or credit terms you want, ask the creditor if a credit scoring system was used. If so, ask what characteristics or factors were used in that system, and the best ways to improve your application. If you get credit, ask the creditor whether you are getting the best rate and terms available and, if not, why. If you are not offered the best rate available because of inaccuracies in your credit report, be sure to dispute the inaccurate information. If you are denied credit, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act requires that the creditor give you a notice that tells you the specific reasons your application was rejected or the fact that you have the right to learn the reasons if you ask within 60 days. Indefinite and vague reasons for denial are illegal, so ask the creditor to be specific. Acceptable reasons include: “Your income was low” or “You haven’t been employed long enough.” Unacceptable reasons include: “You didn’t meet our minimum standards” or “You didn’t receive enough points on our credit scoring system.” If a creditor says you were denied credit because you are too near your credit limits on your charge cards or you have too many credit card accounts, you may want to reapply after paying down your balances or closing some accounts. Credit scoring systems consider updated information and change over time. Sometimes you can be denied credit because of information from a credit report. If so, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the creditor to give you the name, address and phone number of the credit reporting agency that supplied the information. You should contact that agency to find out what your report said. This information is free if you request it within 60 days of being turned down for credit. The credit reporting agency can tell you what’s in your report, but only the creditor can tell you why your application was denied.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is designed to help ensure that CRAs furnish correct and complete information to businesses to use when evaluating your application. Your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act: You have the right to receive a copy of your credit report. The copy of your report must contain all of the information in your file at the time of your request. You have the right to know the name of anyone who received your credit report in the last year for most purposes or in the last two years for employment purposes. Any company that denies your application must supply the name and address of the CRA they contacted, provided the denial was based on information given by the CRA. You have the right to a free copy of your credit report when your application is denied because of information supplied by the CRA. Your request must be made within 60 days of receiving your denial notice. If you contest the completeness or accuracy of information in your report, you should file a dispute with the CRA and with the company that furnished the information to the CRA. Both the CRA and the furnisher of information are legally obligated to reinvestigate your dispute. You have a right to add a summary explanation to your credit report if your dispute is not resolved to your satisfaction.
It’s when a homeowner is unable to make principal and/or interest payments on their mortgage. The lender, a bank or building society, can seize and sell the property as stipulated in the terms of the mortgage contract.
Unfortunately, Foreclosure can happen. By missing a mortgage payment, your lender has the legal means to repossess your home and force you to move out. If your property is worth less than the total amount you owe on your loan, a Deficiency Judgment could be pursued. Both a Foreclosure and a Deficiency Judgment can affect your ability to qualify for credit in the future. So you should avoid foreclosure, if possible.
First of all, if you are struggling to make your payments, call or write to your lender’s Loss Mitigation Department right away. Explain your situation and be prepared to provide them with financial information like your monthly income and expenses. Just follow these 3 simple rules:
Your lender will determine if you qualify for the following alternate solutions. Also, a housing counseling agency can help you with your options, plus interact with your lender on your behalf: Mortgage Modification – If you can currently make your regular payment, but can’t catch-up on the past due amount, the lender may agree to modify your mortgage. One way is to add the past due amount into your existing loan and finance it long-term. Mortgage Modification may also be possible if you no longer can make your payments at the former level. The lender may modify your mortgage and extend the loan length, or perhaps take steps to reduce your current payments. Pre-Foreclosure Sale – Foreclosure can be avoided by selling your property for a lesser amount necessary to pay off your mortgage loan. You may qualify if:
Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure – This is when the lender allows you to give-back your property and forgives the debt. It does have a negative impact on your credit record; however it’s better than foreclosure. The lender may require that house be “For Sale” for a specific time period before agreeing. This route may not be possible if there are other liens against the home. For FHA Loans – The lender may assist you in getting a one-time payment from the FHA Insurance Fund. The mortgage loan must be into at least 4-months, but not more than 12-months past due. The homeowner must prove the ability to resume making full mortgage payments on time, and other conditions apply:
For VA Loans – The Veteran’s Administration Loan Centers offer financial services designed to help homeowners avoid Foreclosure, and options for your specific situation.
Reinstatement – This is possible when you are behind in payments, but can promise to pay a lump sum of money to bring your regular payments back by a specific date. Forbearance – It may be allowed to delay payments for a short period with the understanding that another option will be used to bring the account current later. Repayment Plan – If your account is past due, but you can now make regular payments again, the lender may allow you to catch-up by adding a portion of the overdue amount to a certain number of monthly payments until your account becomes current. Partial Claim – Your lender may be able to help you obtain a one-time payment from the FHA Insurance Fund to bring your mortgage current, if you qualify: You may qualify if:
When your lender files a Partial Claim on your behalf, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development will pay your lender the amount necessary to bring your mortgage current. You must execute a Promissory Note and a Lien will be placed on your property until the note is fully paid. The note is interest-free and is due when you pay off the first mortgage, or when the property is sold.
In 1934, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was established to improve housing standards and to provide an adequate home financing system with mortgage insurance. Now families that may have otherwise been excluded from the housing market could finally buy their dream home. FHA does not make home loans, it insures a loan; should a homebuyer default, the lender is paid from the insurance fund. – Buy a house with as little as 3.5% down. – Ideal for the first-time homebuyers unable to make larger down payments. – The right mortgage solution for those who may not qualify for a conventional loan. – Down payment assistance programs can be added to a FHA Loan for additional down payment and/or closing cost savings.
The main difference between a FHA Loan and a Conventional Home Loan is that a FHA loan requires a lower down payment, and the credit qualifying criteria for a borrower is not as strict. This allows those without a credit history, or with minor credit problems to buy a home. FHA requires a reasonable explanation of any derogatory items, but will use common sense credit underwriting. Some borrowers, with extenuating circumstances surrounding bankruptcy discharged 3-years ago, can work around past credit problems. However, conventional financing relies heavily upon credit scoring, a rating given by a credit bureau such as Experian, Trans-Union or Equifax. If your score is below the minimum standard, you may not qualify.
Yes, generally a bankruptcy won’t preclude a borrower from obtaining a FHA Loan. Ideally, a borrower should have re-established their credit with a minimum of two credit accounts such as a car loan, or credit card. Then wait two years since the discharge of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or have a minimum of one year of repayment for a Chapter 13 (the borrower must seek the permission of the courts). Also, the borrower should not have any credit issues like late payments, collections, or credit charge-offs since the bankruptcy. Special exceptions can be made if a borrower has suffered through extenuating circumstances like surviving a serious medical condition, and had to declare bankruptcy because the high medical bills couldn’t be paid.
Your monthly costs should not exceed 29% of your gross monthly income for a FHA Loan. Total housing costs often lumped together are referred to as PITI.
Examples: Monthly Income x .29 = Maximum PITI $3,000 x .29 = $870 Maximum PITI Your total monthly costs, or debt to income (DTI) adding PITI and long-term debt like car loans or credit cards, should not exceed 41% of your gross monthly income. Monthly Income x .41 = Maximum Total Monthly Costs $3,000 x .41 = $1230 $1,230 total – $870 PITI = $360 Allowed for Monthly Long Term Debt FHA Loan ratios are more lenient than a typical conventional loan.
On a conventional mortgage, when your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price of the home mortgage lenders usually require you get Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) to protect them in case you default on your mortgage. Sometimes you may need to pay up to 1-year’s worth of PMI premiums at closing which can cost several hundred dollars. The best way to avoid this extra expense is to make a 20% down payment, or ask about other loan program options.
PMI companies write insurance policies to protect approximately the top 20% of the mortgage against default. This depends on the lender’s and investor’s requirements, the loan-to-value ratio, and the type of loan program involved. Should a default occur the lender will sell the property to liquidate the debt, and is reimbursed by the PMI company for any remaining amount up to the policy value.
Yes, it will help you obtain a larger loan, here’s why. Let’s say that you are a family with $42,000 Annual Gross Income and monthly revolving debts of $800 for car payment and credit cards, and you have $10,000 for your down payment and closing costs on a 7%-interest mortgage. Without PMI the maximum price you can afford is $44,600, but with PMI covering the lender’s risk you now can buy a $62,300 house. PMI has afforded you 39% more house.
PMI fees can be paid in many ways depending on the company used: Borrowers can choose to pay the 1-years premium at closing, and then an annual renewal premium is collected monthly as part of the house payment. Borrowers can choose to pay no premium at closing, but add on a slightly higher premium monthly to the principal, interest, tax, and insurance payment. Borrowers who want to sidestep paying PMI at closing but don’t want to increase their monthly house payment can finance a lump-sum PMI premium into their loan. Should the PMI be canceled before the loan term expires through refinancing, paying off the loan, or removal by the loan provider, the borrower may obtain the rebate of the premium.
Typically the buyer covers the cost of PMI, but the lender is the PMI company’s client and shops for insurance on behalf of the borrower. Lenders usually deal with only a few PMI companies because they know the guidelines for those insurers. This can be a problem when one of the lender’s prime companies turns down a loan because the borrower doesn’t fit its risk parameters. A lender might follow suit and deny the loan application without consulting a second PMI company which could leave all parties in an undesirable position. The lender has the difficult task of being fair to the borrower while shopping for the most effective way to lessen liability.
The Homeowners Protection Act of 1998 established rules for automatic termination and borrower cancellation of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for home mortgages. These protections apply to certain home mortgages signed on or after July 29, 1999 for the home purchase, initial construction, or refinance of a single-family home. It does not apply to government-insured FHA or VA loans, or to loans with lender-paid PMI. With certain exceptions (home mortgages signed on or after July 29, 1999) your PMI must be terminated automatically when 22% of the equity of your home is reached, based on the original property value and if your mortgage payments are current. It can also be canceled at your request with certain exceptions, when you reach 20% equity, again based on the original property value, if your mortgage payments are current. Exceptions: If your loan is “high risk” You have not been current on your payments within the year prior to termination time or cancellation If you have other liens on your property Ask your lender or mortgage servicer for information about these requirements. If you signed your mortgage before July 29, 1999 you can request to have the PMI canceled once you exceed 20% home equity. But, federal law does not require your lender or mortgage servicer to cancel the insurance.
The Veteran Administration’s Loan originated in 1944 through the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act; also know as the GI Bill. It was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was designed to provide Veterans with a federally-guaranteed home loan with no down payment. VA loans are made by private lenders like banks, savings & loans, and mortgage companies to eligible Veterans for homes to live in. The lender is protected against loss if the loan defaults. Depending on the program option, the loan may or may not default.
At least 181 days of continuous active duty with no dishonorable discharge. If you were discharged earlier due to a service-related disability you should contact your Regional VA Office for eligibility verification.
A VA home loan must be used to finance your personal residence within the United States and its territories. You have choices for the type of home you purchase:
You can apply for a VA Loan with any mortgage lender that participates in the program. In addition to the application requirements from your lender, you will need the following at application time:
Yes, your eligibility is reusable depending on the circumstance. If you have paid-off your prior VA Loan, and disposed the property, you can have your eligibility restored again. Also, on a 1-time basis, you may have your eligibility restored if your prior VA Loan has been paid-off, but you still own the property. Either way, the Veteran must send the Veterans Administration a completed VA Form 16-1880 to the VA Eligibility Center. To prevent delays in processing, it’s advisable to include evidence that the prior loan has been fully paid, and if applicable, the property was disposed. A paid-in-full statement from the former lender or a copy of the HUD-1 settlement statement must be submitted.
Total closing costs vary by lender. The home you buy, where it’s located and the type of loan you receive will determine what your costs are – which can range from 2% to 6% of the home’s purchase price. Most of these costs are fees charged by the lender and third parties for the services and work involved with processing and completing your loan. In most cases, closing costs are paid by the borrower.
Typical closing costs.
Because no two homes, or loans, are the same, it’s almost impossible to provide a complete and accurate list of what might be included in your closing costs. The most common costs for a buyer include:
What are Discount Points?
Paying discount points is like pre-paying interest on your loan to get a lower interest rate. It’s a way to reduce how much interest you’ll pay with each monthly payment. One discount point typically costs 1% of the total loan amount, and lowers the rate from 1/8 to 1/4 percent
For example,* on a $200,000 loan, each point would cost $2,000. Assuming the interest rate on the mortgage is 5% and each point lowers the interest rate by 0.25%. Buying 2 points will cost $4,000 and will result in an interest rate of 4.50%.*
Paying for discount points is only a good idea if you plan to stay in your home well after you earn back the initial cost. A Stirling Investment Group Mortgage Home Loan Expert can help you decide if this makes sense in your case.
Who attends closing?
This depends on the laws in the state where your property is located, the type of home, property and more. In addition to yourself, people who attend the closing might include:
Steps in the Closing Process
The closing might be held at the title company’s office, your lender’s office, a real estate attorney’s office or other location depending on the situation.
Here’s what you can expect to happen:
Be prepared for your writing hand to get a lot of exercise because you’ll be signing a lot of paperwork! Here are the three most important documents you’ll sign:
Show up at closing prepared to provide a certified, or cashier’s, check made out to the title company to cover your down payment (if applicable), closing costs, prepaid interest, taxes and insurance or other costs. Your Stirling Investment Group .mortgage Home Loan Expert will make sure you know the exact amount to bring. You can also prearrange to have the money wired from your bank.
And don’t forget your ID! A government-issued identification card with photo will also be required.
Questions? Concerns? Don’t worry. Contact us online or call+1-800-438-9690. We’ll explain everything.