If you have an existing FHA loan on your primary residence and a fairly good credit score, you may be able to take advantage of the FHA Streamlined Refinancing Program, which eliminates many of the complex steps involved in a typical FHA refinance. No appraisal is required as long as the borrower reduces their payment by 5 percent, which has caused many to liken this program to the HARP 2.0 program. Key requirements of the FHA Streamlined Program include the following: Your original FHA loan must have been taken prior to 2009. You must have made payments on time for at least one year and must be current on your payments at the time of application. Your lender must be FHA approved. You must have owned the property for at least 6 months prior to refinancing. You will be limited to the amount of your original loan unless you pay for a new appraisal to show that the home value has increased.
If you have been following my Real Estate Law Blog posts you may have already read about some of the recent legal developments related to foreclosures and short sales in Arizona. However, in light of a new Court of Appeals case just decided last month, I felt it was time for a summary of these recent developments. Construction Loans and Home Improvement Loans: A ruling last month by the Arizona Court of Appeals in the case of Helvetica Servicing Inc. v. Pasquan answers important questions in the law and may impact anti-deficiency protections for some people. This case involved the refinance of an original purchase money loan, in which the borrower was loaned additional funds. The additional funds were primarily used by the borrower: (1) to reconstruct a large portion of the home, and (2) for home improvements and related purposes. The Court of Appeals ruled on several key issues that have been in dispute in Arizona. The Court laid out the following rules to follow when determining whether a refinanced loan or construction loan will be given purchase money status under Arizona law in certain situations and thus, afforded anti-deficiency protection in the judicial foreclosure context: A refinance of a purchase money loan, whether by the original lender or a new lender, does NOT destroy purchase money protection to the extent the loan proceeds from the refinance are used to satisfy the underlying purchase money loan. A construction loan given to borrower that is (1) secured by a deed of trust that covers both the land and the dwelling to be constructed on the land (provided the dwelling is a qualifying property under the anti-deficiency statute), and (2) actually used to construct the dwelling, [...]
Information from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows a continued slide in mortgage applications. Although applications for loans to purchase a home are up, refinancing applications are down.
The Phoenix housing market is in the midst of a strong recovery. Prices have gone up in the past year but appraisals may slow those increases in the coming months.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of buyers signing a contract to purchase a home slipped a bit from January to February. The good news is that home sales continue to show strong improvement over the same period last year.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are mulling over the possibility of reducing the amount of principal homeowners owe on their home loans. Homeowners who would qualify would need to meet certain hardship criteria. Critics say the principal write-downs would fall to taxpayers.
According to a report issued by data provider Lender Processing Services, foreclosure starts rose 28% in January leading to speculation that a clogged system was rapidly clearing.
Economist, Robert Shiller, is not ready to proclaim that housing prices have hit bottom and we can expect consistent improvement from this point forward.
According to data released by RealtyTrac, foreclosures represent nearly a quarter of all home sales in the U.S. The number is expected to increase in 2012 as lenders more aggressively try to dispose of distressed assets.
According to Freddie Mac, mortgage rates continue to fall, making the rate on a 30 year fixed loan nearly a percentage point lower than a year ago.