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mortgages: Stupid Underwriting Tricks - 10/03/08 09:23 AM
Those of us who live and die mortgages on a daily basis often times have to go get a strong drink and just laugh. One of the favorite topics among loan originators at the water cooler is dumb ass underwriting conditions. Basically, conditions that need to be satisfied on a loan approval that are so absurd and illogical that all you can do is laugh about them. Of course, the challenge is trying to explain to clients, Realtors, and others with a straight face as to why you are asking for this stuff... Because of the market we are in, underwriters (9 comments)
mortgages: Democrats Hiding Their Culpability in this Mess??? - 09/29/08 03:34 PM
Here is an interesting video floating around the net. While I don't want this to turn into a Democrat vs Republican love fest, I think this video does point out some of the major issues that got us into this mess - unchecked lobbying and bad social policy. The video would have been more credible though if they spent a little more time focusing on the greed of Wall Street as well. Greed certainly exacerbated the bad social policy of the Democrats in this mess. I mean no one was forcing Wall Street to make some of these garbage loans (you (4 comments)
mortgages: Why I don't work with Realtors - How to become a Top Producing Mortgage Originator - 07/31/08 11:41 AM
Seriously, you have to work with Realtors. But I figured the title would be catchy. Over the years, I have received numerous questions from other mortgage brokers as to how to become a top producing mortgage originator. My spam folder is filled with "proven systems" to becoming a mortgage broker millionaire. I am not aware of any systems that can turn chumps into millionaires overnight, but I have learned somethings over the past couple of years that seem to be pretty common among top producing LOs. First, I am an active mortgage broker. I consider myself a top producer in that (3 comments)
mortgages: A Day Late and a Dollar Short - 07/15/08 10:07 AM
Yesterday the Federal Reserve released guidance to banks on subprime mortgage lending. Like most government initiatives, this guidance is a day late and a dollar short. In efforts to slam the lenders, the main stream media also forgot to ask one very important point about the guidance. Who exactly are these lending guidelines supposed to apply? The last time I checked, the subprime mortgage industry was all but wiped out. Did the Fed's take a look at the lender implode-o-meter? Seriously, I don't even think I can name a subprime mortgage lender that is still in business! Nevertheless, let's take a look at (5 comments)
mortgages: How Realtors Can Get Theirs Deals to the Closing Table Sooner and Without Problems. - 08/15/07 04:49 PM
Why is it so hard for Realtors to work in tandem with loan officers to ensure that the deals get to the closing table with no problem? You would think that since we are the ones holding the purse strings, Realtors would be more proactive in ensuring a smooth transaction. There is always a lot of whining and complaining about Loan Officers on the AR (much of it earned by the way), but a lot of times I think Realtors simply do not understand what it takes to get financing lined up on time and all the moving parts we have (4 comments)
mortgages: Stupid Underwriting Tricks - How Efficiency is Killing the Mortgage Business - 08/09/07 01:49 PM
Which one of these clients would you rather lend money to? Which one would you expect would pay a higher mortgage rate? Which loan is harder to get approved? Which loan is more likely to go into foreclosure? Client A: This client is Joe Sixpack and a first time home buyer purchasing a $250,000 home in the West Podunck and has five percent to put down. However, a five percent down payment will only leave him with about $2000 in cash after closing, just barely enough to pay movers and maybe by some cleaning supplies at Wal-Mart. He has a 650 FICO score due to a (7 comments)
mortgages: How Much House Can You Afford? - 08/01/07 10:57 AM
The question that I am asked most by potential homebuyers is "How much can we afford?" This is a loaded question. The first thing I tell my clients is I cannot tell you how much you can "afford", but I can tell you how much you will qualify to borrow. There is a distinct difference between the two and this is something that unfortunately, many homebuyers do not understand. More on this later. Lets examine how lenders determine how much you can borrow. Every bank approaches this the same way and the math is extremely easy. Lenders look at two major ratios (3 comments)
mortgages: Rate Shopping Simplified - 07/25/07 04:23 PM
I like to keep things simple. In fact, the longer I work in this business, the more I realize consumers want things as simple and plain as possible even when it would be to their advantage to understand the complexities of the mortgage market and their largest financial transaction. As such, I was trying to figure out a way to simplify rate shopping so anyone could understand what has to be considered when choosing a mortgage. Relying on my years as a management and strategy consultant cranking out ungodly amounts of presentation slides full of useless graphs, charts, and business paradigms, (1 comments)
mortgages: When Rational Consumers Make Irrational Decisions - 07/02/07 08:43 AM
I am sure you have seen it by now, but there is a Coffee Calculator that was flying all over the web a few weeks ago that shows how much money you would have if you invested the money you spend on coffee at Starbucks. The website is hilarious and quite frankly as a certified coffee addict, I know for fact my portfolio is thousands of dollars smaller than it would be if it were not for coffee. Nevertheless, I believe man should have a few vices to stay sane. The website uses very simple linear logic of evaluating the lost (2 comments)
mortgages: Extreme Mortgage Company Makeover - 06/21/07 09:49 AM
Has anyone else noticed Ditech.com's brand repositioning? I was watching TV the other day and I noticed a Ditech.com commercial and it actually looked like they were trying to come off like a respectable mortgage company. If you remember during the refi boom Ditech was all over the TV with their slap stick commercials showing a fat mortgage broker proclaiming that he "lost another one to Ditech" and their $395 closing fee. Of course, the TV ad was far from the truth. Most good brokers and bankers rarely lost deals to Ditech. Ditech was actually kind of considered Ameriquest-lite in the (5 comments)
mortgages: 99% of Homeowners Can Pay Their Mortgage! - 05/10/07 12:09 PM
One of the things that always bugs me about the main stream media is that they often leave out key facts or make statements that often makes things seem worse than they really are. I think there really needs some perspective on foreclosures and sub-prime mortgage lending. Now before someone goes all ballistic and on some rampage about predatory lending, evil mortgage brokers, and how it is all George Bush's fault, let me just state for the record that foreclosures are bad. Foreclosures suck for lenders. They suck for borrowers. And they also suck for neighborhoods. Foreclosures are in no ones (20 comments)
mortgages: Ouch! - 05/06/07 10:09 PM
I love extreme sports. As a former bicylce motocross (BMX) racer, I have the jacked up knees and scrapped elbows to prove it. However, I suspect most fans of extreme sports are really there not to see the jumps and stunts completed but for the off chance there will be some big time face plants. MTV figured this out too and is featuring a new show called Scarred. Scarred features videos of dirt jumpers, skateboarders, snowboarders and all kinds of other extreme sports athletes eating some serious doo doo. I am talking pain. Anytime I see pro athletes of major sports (basketball, football, & baseball) crying about they can't play because they sprained (7 comments)
mortgages: A $3.00 Mistake - 05/04/07 02:11 PM
Everyone makes mistakes. Especially the credit bureaus. Unfortunately, when the credit bureaus make mistakes it can be very costly for YOU, not the credit bureau. This is why it is important that consumers really know what is on their credit reports and monitor it like a hawk. Consumers should get a tri-merge copy of their credit report at least once per year. A tri-merge report is a credit report that shows tradelines and FICO scores from all three credit bureaus: Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. I had a very good client of mine ask me to start the process for an investment property he (4 comments)
mortgages: Supreme Court Bends Over for Mortgage Banks - 04/27/07 02:07 PM
With very little fanfare the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Wachovia Bank in the Watters vs. Wachovia case last week. The case was about whether a subsidiary mortgage company of Wachovia Bank should be governed by state laws or federal law. Most of the big mega banks we are all familiar with (WAMU, BofA, Wells Fargo, Citibank, etc) are regulated by federal laws under the National Banking Act and enforced by the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) which means they are generally exempt from state banking laws. The case in question was about whether a subsidiary of these (2 comments)
mortgages: Cook County Residents are Stupid (So Says the Governor). - 03/22/07 11:09 AM
"The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over again expecting different results." - Rita Mae Brown (Or Einstein depending on the source). I have resisted writing on this topic for sometime now, but I can no longer bite my tongue (or keyboard). Several months ago, Governor Blagojevich suspended a controversial law called HB4050. House Bill 4050 was implemented late last year and was intended to help curb foreclosures. The law only applied to ten zip codes in Cook County; mostly located on the southwest side of town which is why it probably never really got (27 comments)
mortgages: Anatomy of a Bad Loan - 03/17/07 05:35 PM
If your loan officer looks like Jules, you might want to keep shopping for a mortgage. The other day one of the loan officers in my office came in to show me a good faith estimate for one of her clients. The borrower didn’t use her for a mortgage, but instead used a company that called her off a trigger list. The borrower called my co-worker back after the closing realizing that she had probably been taken advantage of. Needless to say when we looked at the settlement statement we almost choked. I have posted the borrowers final good faith estimate (3 comments)
mortgages: Shop for the loan officer, not the mortgage - 12/27/06 08:57 PM
I am in the process of moving older posts from my old blog at http://www.smartmortgageadvice.com/ to Activerain and testing out off the shelf software http://www.smartmortgageadvice.wordpress.com/, so please bear with me. I made a comment on Brian's blog that consumers should shop for loan officers instead of shopping for a mortgage. I wanted to expound on it. The reason I say you need to shop for the loan officer and not the mortgage is because mortgages by in large are a service. When you obtain a mortgage, it is the loan officer who will make or break your experience. The loan officer's (2 comments)
mortgages: Trump Mortgage - You're Fired! - 12/26/06 03:26 PM
You may not have caught wind of it early this year, but Donald Trump opened up a mortgage company called Trump Mortgage. It was at this point I officially knew we were at the top of the market. Trump promised to use the power of his name to bring integrity to the mortgage business. He brought it alright. It was discovered one of his top dogs at Trump Mortgage embellished a bit on the resume. The take away from this is simply that no matter how big the advertising budget, there are crooks everywhere. In fact, I would argue that the (7 comments)
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