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    The premier state organization providing mortgage assistance in Delaware is the Delaware State Housing Authority. The Organization was established in 1968 and was later incorporated into the Community Affairs Department in 1970, and the Delaware Economic Development Office in 1987. Finally, it was incorporated in 1998.

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    In 1968 the DSHA started with a working budget of $100,000. Those initial assets have since grown to $500 million, mainly thanks to the issuing of tax-exempt revenue bonds.

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    Because so many homeowners are taking advantage of the government –sponsored Home Affordable Refinance Program known as HARP there is a problem for many large financial institutions as regards keeping up with the applications backlog. In order to move things along more quickly some borrowers are using brokerages as well as community banks that are not servicing HARP loans.

    Michael Fratantoni who is vice president for research and economics for the Mortgage Bankers Association said that they had heard of waiting periods of 60 to 90 days for those asking for loans at larger banks running at full capacity.

    The weekly survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association released on Wednesday reported that almost 80 percent of the applications were for refinancing. About a quarter of transactions were HARP -related according to previous surveys. The purpose of HARP was to make refinancing easier for those who had mortgages either owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and who were looking for better loan terms. This program has since been expanded as HARP 2.0.  Mr.Fratantoni explained that  many who wish to refinance do so with the bank that they used for their first loan because they feel that things will go more smoothly and the bank has all the information to carry out the transaction. However the application process is more difficult now that the lending standards are tighter because of the mortgage crisis.

    A real estate lawyer in Astoria , Queens,  Andrew Latos, has represented  homeowners in transactions with big banks and he says that he now charges more for closings  due to the fact that they take much longer to do. He explained that what were two –hour closures are now more in the region of five or six-hour closures.

    Those who would like to speed up the refinancing process are increasingly taking their business to mortgage brokers who claim to have direct contact with the banks and can keep better track of what is happening with their client`s file. Vanessa Thatcher, a senior officer with Atlantic Home Capital in Ronkonkoma N.Y. says that a file has to pass through many hands in a large financial institution .She charges the clients 1 to 2 percent of the amount of the loan.

    Sometimes a broker can be a financial consultant at the same time .It often happens that Mark Yecies, who is the president of SunQuest Funding in Cranford N.J  tells his clients not refinance as he did recently in the case of a borrower who had been told that he was suitable for a refinance. After checking the numbers Mr.Yecies  saw that most of his client`s payment was principal so a refinance didn`t make sense.

    Community banks don`t process HARP loans and normally can do a refinance within 30 days are finding that it now takes longer due to the increased volume of loans.

    The big banks have had to increase staff to deal with the workload but can`t seem to refinance in less than 90 days.

    Applying for a mortgage can be a daunting exercise, especially if you have made financial mistakes in the past and feel that your credit score may interfere with your loan application. This also applies to government subsidized loans through agencies such as the Federal Housing Administration which offers low-cost mortgages to medium- to low-income families. However, if you feel your credit rating will get in the way of your home purchasing dreams, take heart, this is not necessarily the case. Although your credit score is a significant factor when applying for an FHA loan, it is not the only factor. The FHA lending and underwriting rules allow for flexibility with reliable lenders which may have had some credit hiccups in the past.

    So what are the FHA rules on lending? This article provides a brief overview on what the FHA looks at when assessing a loan.

    There are four factors that determine the eligibility of a borrower to a loan: credit history, steady employment, debt-to-income ratio and your payment history in the last 12 to 24 months. This means that if your credit score is low because of a financial problem or mistake you made several years ago, but you score well in the other areas, you may still qualify for an FHA loan. Nevertheless, what constitutes a good or acceptable credit score for the FHA? This depends on the loan, but the FHA does have a general standard for most of its loans.

    The FHA and Credit Scores

    The FHA applies a sliding scale rule on loans depending on the credit score of the borrower. Borrowers with a higher credit score can apply for a higher loan to value percentage of the purchasing price of a property. For example, credit scores between 500 and 579, which would be considered very low by commercial lenders without the insurance of the FHA, can qualify for a maximum of 90 percent of the loan to value rate of the property. If your credit score is higher than 580, you may be eligible for the maximum FHA loan financing, as long as the other areas are also satisfied. If your credit score is below 500, you are not eligible for an FHA loan.

    Therefore, the answer to the initial question of this article, the minimum credit score to be even considered for an FHA loan is 500. Anything less and your application will not even be considered. However, even applicants with credit scores as low as 500 to 600 can qualify for loans as long as the other elements the FHA looks into are above board.

    Millions of homeowners in the United States are stuck with a mortgage they can barely afford and that is worth more than the property. Worse still, many of these mortgages are based on a variable interest-rate and could increase at any moment and force their owners into foreclosure. To help these cases the government has set the Short Refinance Program. It is designed for homeowners who can afford their current mortgage payments but do not qualify for a mortgage refinance because their home is underwater.

    Does a Refinance Make Sense For Senior Homeowners?

    This is a good question for all homeowners, not just seniors. However, seniors are in a specially vulnerable position because their income may be reduced if they retire. Seniors who are already retired, often have a fixed income and their capacity to adapt to an increase in mortgage payments is small. For these reasons, a mortgage refinance may be especially advantageous for seniors.

    To illustrate, if you refinance your current $150,000 mortgage with a 5.5 percent interest rate for a fixed-interest rate of 4.25 percent, you will achieve two things. First, you will reduce your yearly mortgage payments by $1,800 and, second, you will guarantee your mortgage payments don’t change in the future when your pension or retirement savings are the only income you have.

    However, this does not mean a refinance always makes sense. There are two main issues you should look at carefully. One, what is the cost of refinancing and how long it will take to recoup the costs. Two, how much do you have left on your mortgage.

    COST OF REFINANCING

    Refinancing can save you thousands of dollars but, as is often the case, it takes money to make (or save) money. The cost of refinancing a mortgage ranges from 3 to 6 percent. On a $200,000 mortgage that represents anything from $6,000 to $12,000. Before even considering a mortgage refinance you must look carefully at the savings you make. If it is going to take five years to recoup your refinance costs and you are planning to sell the house in five or less years, refinance may not be a good idea.

    TIME AND INTEREST

    The second issue to consider is how long you have left on your mortgage. When you start paying a mortgage most of your payments go to paying the mortgage’s interest. The longer you have been paying a mortgage the higher the percentage of your payments that goes towards reducing your mortgage balance. If you restart your mortgage with a 30-year loan and you only had 15 years left, it is unlikely the savings from your refinance will cover the cost of paying interest for 15 years more. Another option is to refinance your mortgage for a shorter refinance to offset the cost of restarting the clock on your mortgage.

    Calculate the cost of refinancing your mortgage with Wells Fargo's Refinance Program for Existing Customers.

    Calculate the cost of refinancing your mortgage with Wells Fargo's Refinance Program for Existing Customers.

    Do you own a Wells Fargo mortgage? Would you like to see your mortgage payments reduced, pay your mortgage off earlier and save money on interest? If your answer to both questions is yes, you may qualify for a Wells Fargo Refinance for Existing Customers. Banks know the value of reliable and trustworthy customers. They also know that clients with a good credit score can call the shots in today’s economy and find good deals if they want to. That is why major banks like Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo are providing their existing clients with special deals to improve their mortgages if they stick to their current bank.

    What are the benefits?

    Wells Fargo existing customers who apply for a refinance through Wells Fargo’s Refinance for Existing Customers Program do not have to pay application or appraisal fees for a refinance. There are no closing costs and the pricing (interest rate, points and other expenses) are locked once you fill in the application.

    These benefits are substantial and may make it worth it for you to stay with Wells Fargo. However, other banks are also interested in your business if you have a good credit score and history, so it is always worth looking around for deals.

    Back to the benefits of this program, you might want to consider the cost of application fees, closing costs and appraisal fees in a standard refinance. According to the U.S. Federal Reserve Guide on Refinancing, you can expect to pay from $75 to $300 as an application fee, a typical origination fee can cost you up to 1.5 percent of the loan’s balance, appraisal fees are going at $300 to $700, inspection fees at $175 to $350 and closing costs can cost you up to 2 percent of the pending balance. In a nutshell, the Wells Fargo Refinance Program for Existing Customers can save you thousands of dollars. How much you save will depend on your current mortgage early payment penalties, your current interest rate and y0ur new interest rate.

    On the flip side, to qualify for a Wells Fargo Existing Customers Refinance you must have no cash-out refinance requirements (and that includes payoffs of other loans) and your property must not require a title change.

    To apply visit Wells Fargo’s website or click here for a direct link.

    You will need to supply personal information and details on your existing mortgage. If you have any questions when filling in your application you can contact Wells Fargo’s customer service desk free of charge at 877-937-9357 from Monday to Friday 8.am to 11 pm and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    UnderwaterHouseRefinancing your mortgage can be a tricky decision. Sure, everybody wants to save money on lower interest rates, but the cost of refinancing a mortgage can often negate the savings you make. The key is to do your research before making a decision.

    For instance, interest rates are now rising. The great deals available months ago are starting to disappear. Is it still worth your while to refinance? You can work it out yourself.

    As an example we are going to use the tools Wells Fargo offers to customers planning to refinance their mortgage. These tools are available for free at many websites.

    Basic Principles of Refinancing.

    When deciding if you should refinance your home there are at least three questions you should ask yourself:

    – How long do I want to keep the property?

    – What are the costs associated with refinancing the mortgage? This includes pre-payment penalties, surveys and  mortgage closing and processing fees.

    – What savings will I make with the new mortgage?

    Let us look at why these questions are important and what online tools we can use to improve our decision-making.

    How long do I want to keep the property?

    The savings you make when you refinance a mortgage are based on lower interest rates. You pay your interest annually or monthly (depending on your mortgage) so the longer you plan to keep your mortgage the greater the savings you’ll enjoy with a refinance. For instance, if you are planning to sell your home in two to five years, it is unlikely a mortgage refinance will make much sense to you, unless you are locked in a really high-interest rate mortgage.

    What are the costs?

    The costs of a mortgage refinance often decide the wisdom of opting for a refinance. There is no point in refinancing a mortgage if the penalties for paying off your current mortgage early wipe out the savings you make on your new mortgage. Ask your lender for a detailed list of all costs before choosing a refinance.

    What are the savings?

    Even small changes in your mortgage interest rate of 0.5 percent can help you save a lot money over the long run. However, depending on the time you plan to keep your mortgage and the costs associated with a refinance the savings you make may not be worth your time and energy. The online tools we are going to introduce make this entire process much easier.

    Wells Fargo Mortgage Rate Monitor. Bankrate.com and Zillow.com also offer similar tools. This program will send you updates on the current rates offered by the major banks so you know how much you could potentially save in the current refinance market. Wells Fargo’s tool obviously focuses on their own rates, but other programs will provide a wider selection of banks and lenders.

    Refinance Mortgage Tools. Wells Fargo partner Lead Fusion provides an excellent refinance mortgage tool. Other websites also offer similar tools. These calculators take into account the terms of your current and new mortgage to help you decide if refinancing your mortgage is a good idea.

    Our next article will look into how mortgage refinance calculators work and how you can use them to make good financial decisions.

    FHA Short Refinance Plan

    As of August 10, 2010 the U.S. government started rolling out a program that would make it easier for underwater homeowners to undergo a ?short refinance? with the goal to keep people in their homes. A short refinance is similar to a short sale in that a bank agrees to accept a lower amount than the full balance in order to pay off an existing mortgage. Unlike a short sale, however, in a short refinance the homeowner can continue to live in his or her house. The bank forgives a portion of their mortgage balance and will typically rewrite the loan with a lower interest rate and/or extend the term of the loan. These steps should reduce the monthly payment of the homeowner, making it possible for them to complete their loan obligations rather than be forced to go into a foreclosure or short sale.
    The new government program, known as ?FHA Short Refinance? differs from previous programs in several ways. Unlike previous programs, homeowners must be current on their current mortgage payments. Homeowners must also be able to prove that they are currently underwater with their present mortgage, in other words, they must owe more than the house?s current appraised value.
    There are several rules that must be followed in order to use this program, however. The bank must agree to rewrite the loan and forgive at least 10% of the balance owed. The new loan is also required to not finance more than 97.75% of the home?s present value. Since the loans will be backed by the FHA, the homeowner must purchase private mortgage insurance or ?PMI? to protect the bank in case they default on the loan. In some areas, this insurance may cost up to $200 a month, and might negate any savings that the homeowner would see from having some of the loan balance forgiven. There is also no limit on the amount of fees and closing costs that the bank can charge the homeowner.
    It is unclear if banks will be willing to do this, as previous programs encouraging lenders to forgive a portion of a homeowner?s mortgage balance have failed. The motivation for a bank to participate would be to avoid the costly process of a foreclosure or short sale. With so many homeowners dragging out foreclosure proceedings, banks will often lose one to two years of mortgage payments before being stuck with a property with extensive damage, making it next to impossible to sell. By agreeing to a short refinance, the bank can avoid these problems and still make a profit on the loan.
    The government hopes that this program will stabilize housing prices in areas of the country that have experienced a lot of fluxuation in the cost of housing. The program is also intended to stabilize the neighborhoods and house values of the neighboring properties that take advantage of this program. By keeping people in their homes a neighborhood does not have to deal with the blight of an unkept, foreclosed property.

    Federal government to Use Broader Mortgage loan Assist

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    states_by_unemployment_rate The Obama current administration on Tuesday could launch its most ambitious effort at lowering mortgage loan balances for home owners who owe more than their properties are really worth.

    Administrators say between 500,000 and 1.five million so-called upside down loans might be modified through this program, the first initiative to target home owners who’re current on their house loan payments but are in danger of default because they have no equity in their houses. Some analysts are warning, however, that the same knots that equaled up prior initiatives may do so again.

    Under the new short refinance plan, banks and some other creditors that write down home loans to below the valuation on the home may essentially hand off the decreased mortgage loan to the govt. The process involves re-financing borrowers into mortgages backed by the Federal Property Current administration.

    While this program puts taxpayers at rise, administrators estimate one in five loans in this program can default the govt has set aside $14 billion previously earmarked for real estate help from the Troubled Asset Relief Plan to cover losses.

    The new program, which was introduced in March, is starting up as the real estate market shows signs of renewed trouble and as the Obama administration’s signature House Affordable Modification Plan, or HAMP, falls short of its desired goals of aiding three million house owners. 50 % of the 1.3 million borrowers that enrolled in temporary mortgage loan modifications have dropped out of HAMP simply because didn’t qualify.

    The project also has come about as home loan rates slide to their smallest levels in more than half a century. Ordinary rates on thirty year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.43% last week, down from 4.55% through the earlier week, according to a survey published Wed by the Mortgage loan Bankers Association.

    One of the biggest dangers facing the real estate market is the glut of upside down property owners who may go into default if their personal finances or residence prices deteriorate. About eleven million borrowers, or 23% homeowners with a property finance loan, were upside down as of June 30, in accordance with CoreLogic Inc.

    The White House expects to access debtors who have been turned down for a home loan modification simply because they may pay for their payments, even when they owe much more than their houses are valued at.

    But not every prroperty owner who is upside down could participate. The bank or investors that own the home loan needs to be willing to write down its value.

    The administration’s plan doesn’t target mortgages held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which own or guarantee one half of the $10 trillion in United States first-mortgage debt, in order to avoid inflicting huge upfront losses.

    Instead, authorities hope to reach more loans that were bundled by Wall Street firms and sold to investors as mortgage-backed securities. For more than a yr, many of those investors, which include hedge funds and pension funds, have already been clamoring for such a program simply because have already had to mark down the valuation on their holdings.

    But that may possibly be hard to do because home finance loan servicers, which handle mortgage payments and decide which loans should be modified, are overwhelmed. And some borrowers may be discouraged from taking part because receiving a principal reduction can show up on their credit history.

    Moreover, investors may possibly not be capable of participate as hoped because certain contracts that govern mortgage loan securitizations say modifications could only proceed if there is an “imminent” risk that the borrower would likely default.

    Decreasing balances for borrowers that are present-day might open mortgage loan servicers to lawsuits from investors that hold the riskiest slices of bonds. Those investors would likely be wiped out if balances are greatly decreased.

    Authorities stress the new plan isn’t going to be a panacea. Nevertheless they say that it should give servicers flexibility to change current mortgages, and that they are “cautiously hopeful.”

    Analysts say that this program is most likely to succeed on mortgages that banks already own in their portfolios. It can also provide investors with a vehicle for getting rid of mortgages which have recently been modified and are current again

    This program must resolve a stubborn problem that has hindered every some other modification program: just how to deal with 2nd home loans. This program claims 2nd liens needs to be lowered so that the entire home loan debt is below 115% of the home’s present-day value. The federal government will probably make partial payments for banks to lessen those loans, but banks have already been very reluctant to write down seconds that are existing.