Monday, June 30, 2008

Where have you been?

For those dedicated subscribers, the answer is Active Rain. I apologize for the atrophy that overcame this blog. I just was so focused on building my blog through Active Rain that my own personal blog suffered. For that I am forever in disgrace...

But to make it up to you, I posted like six blogs today (go to the right column and scroll down to June - there you will see the blogs) that will show you what has been going on in the marketplace. In addition, I will do a better job of posting to both locations until my very own blog page is designed. Until then, thanks and as always, let me know what you think.

From Mortgage Licensing to the "End" of Countrywide

Due to a wonderful weekend shared with and old friend and his family, I was unable to blog earlier regarding the new Mortgage Licensing bill that was passed by lawmakers early on Thursday morning. Cahtherine Reagor, our local Real Estate writer for the AZ Republic posted this blog regarding the new bill:

In addition to that I received a blog from a local Realtor, Steve Belt, posting information and his thoughts with regards to the new bill and potential licensing requirements for originators.

Lastly, today is the last day for Countrywide to be known as Countrywide. Mike Mueller, aka "The Mortgage Man." has a video excerpt regarding his thoughts on Countrywide. I agree with his thoughts about B of A probably not doing as good of a job as CW had in the past. Only time will tell.

As far as I am concerned. The licensing laws are necessary. The more difficult it is to be able to "do" a job, then typically there will be less people working the job who are not qualified. It takes determination and dedication to make it through a doctoral residency, physical therapy school, teacher certifications, etc. and the more hard work it takes to learn a professional the more credibility it will be given.

I believe licensing will bring more credibility to the profession and will hopefully continue to "clean-up" the mortgage industry.

FHA to Change Upfront and Monthly MI Premium

On July 14th, FHA will introduce risk based Mortgage Insurance Premium pricing. Currently, FHA's mortgage insurance requirements are the Upfront MIP of 1.5% of the base loan amount (that can be financed into the Total Loan Amount) and then a monthly mortgage insurance payment of .50%.

When the new changes become effective the range will be from 1.25% - 2.25% Upfront MIP and .50%-.55% on the monthly mortgage insurance premium. The actual amount of Upfront MIP and Monthly mortgage insurance will be based on LTV and Credit Score. (Very similar to Fannie Mae's risked based interest rate pricing) You can see the full Mortgagee Letter 2008-16 by the following the link below:

FHA makes changes to Mortgage Insurance Policy

In the past, FHA has had a mandatory 90 Day waiting period to insure recently foreclosed properties. However, today the "Bush Administration...announced a temporary policy that will extend government-backed mortgage insurance and allow for the immediate sale of vacant foreclosed properties."

This policy will be in place for one year and you can read the full News Release at .

What does this do?
1) Allows foreclosed properties to be sold quickly through FHA.

2) "...Help(s) stabilize neighborhoods experiencing high rates of foreclosure by reducing the inventory of unsold properties."

3) "Ease(s) the excess supply of unsold homes in neighborhoods across the country."

Just another reason for Lenders to add FHA to their product resevoir and for Realtors to know what they can help customers purchase.

*Quoted information obtained from the following ( Please view the website for the entire story.

Yes: Positive Feedback

I made a follow up phone call today to the listing agent that I worked with on a recent loan closing for a mutual customer. My goal in every transaction is to communicate as effectively with the listing agent as I do with my customer and their real estate agent. Everybody wants peace of mind in this lending environment and so I try to deliver that service to them. I believe it is invaluable to all parties involved to know the status of the loan as things are completed or change during the process. But this isn't about me, this is about the listing agent and the assistant.

When I made the call, she was so nice and welcoming that I almost thought I had called someone who I had known forever. Granted, I had talked to the assistant on several occassions during the process but the fact that she remembered me was icing on the cake. Long story short, she said the realtor had spoken very highly of the service that we were able to provide and asked that I send my contact information and any special loan programs to both her and the listing agent so she could have it on file.

I don't have a deal yet from it and frankly I am not too concerned at this point. The main part for me was that I was able to make an impression by communicating effectively with all parties involved. I know that communication breakdowns can definitely hinder progress and I am certain now that effective communication can foster long term relationships that will continue to grow.

It seems that marketing and building relationships is a lengthy process but it is worth it if you are willing to work at it. I received positive feedback today and believe that I will continue to gain more positive feeback as I work and expand my base network of people.

In short...the hard work is worth it when you know that you have done all you can to serve the realtors and customers involved in the deal and they respond in kind. There is nothing like leaving a lasting impression for the positive, it isn't always easy to do, but it sure is worth it when done right.
I have to go back to helping them out. They had some questions that I hope to find answers for so that I can continue to be of service to them. Make it a great day.

Zillow Mortgage Marketplace

It has been around since April 2, 2008 and I have been checking it out occasionally to see if it is a viable option for consumers. It does in fact seem to be working well for some lenders and borrowers. However, there are also some definite draw backs...

1) The goal is to be transparent. But when the rates are scrolling there is no way to know if the rate quoted is at no origination fee and no discount points to the borrower or if the rates are quoted with points and origination fees. There is still a wide range in rate quotes with regards to the most recent quotes scrolling through the main page of the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace. This can lead to confusion and bad offers from lenders.

2) Discussions paint Loan Originators in a Negative Light. The goal was to foster healthy competition and honesty within the industry and if you read the discussion areas, it seems that the opposite is still happening. I don't know if this is from LO's not liking the fact they were beat on a quote, or if it is truly a function of the industry. All I can say is that if I were a consumer looking at the discussion boards I might have a hard time trusting the sources of these quotes.

3) Quotes on some Loan Requests seem Bogus. It appears from my brief checking around the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace that there is still too much misleading going on and that is disappointing.
I don't understand the consumer in all of this. The only way to truly know that you aren't being taken advantage of has to be with direct contact with the lender/loan officer. And I think that goes the same for the real estate professionals. Take the time to meet a Loan Officer that believes in giving customers the best value for the product and program. Then allow them to continually evolve and help grow your business by their knowledge of the market and lending guidelines.

It is far too easy to be a Loan Officer/Broker and those lenders, who may or may not be a part of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, are what makes it difficult for the LO who is willing to work and help people through their actual loan request.
What do you think? Leave your comments here. Have a great day.

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