Pam Marron Home Lending

ForeclosureCreditFix.com now open to check if foreclosure code on past short sale or modification

September 18, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

ForeclosureCreditFix.com now open to check if foreclosure code on past short sale or modification

By Pamela Marron | September 2017 | for National Mortgage Professional Magazine

Though the consumer pays for this service upfront, loan originators can provide a credit towards the cost at the closing of a new mortgage. Loan originators who agree to provide this credit will be promoted on the Foreclosure Credit Fix Network map at http://foreclosurecreditfix.com/network along with lenders, realtors and credit reporting agencies who want to assist these clients.

 What do nearly 3 million past short-sellers and over 5 million homeowners who have had a modification have in common? All of them may be affected by a foreclosure code that continues to be applied to mortgage credit of a past short sale or modification and results in a new conventional mortgage denial.

 HUD approved counseling agencies have launched an effort to check for a foreclosure code on mortgage credit of past short sellers and those who have had a modification and get it corrected before the consumer attempts to get a new mortgage. Though this service is for the affected consumer, it is also the resource for loan originators, lenders, realtors and credit reporting agencies to send clients to for help. Thanks to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC.org) and member HUD approved counseling agency Navicore Solutions, affected consumers can get this problem checked out and resolved before they purchase a home again. Clients can call 1-866-702-4557 or email housing@navicoresolutions.org. When the problem is corrected and these clients are “mortgage ready”, they can be referred to loan originators, lenders and realtors.

The foreclosure code issue affects past short sellers and those with a modification who apply for a new conventional mortgage. There are three reasons why this problem is not being caught and dealt with by lenders ahead of a purchase:

  1. affected consumers have met the four-year wait timeframe required after a short sale or the two-year wait timeframe required after a modification.
  2. The foreclosure code is not visible on a tri-merged credit report.
  3. because of the 2 previous reasons, there is no urgency of lenders to run these loans through the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac automated underwriting systems upfront.

The problem is often found during a live contract when the loan is run through both the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac automated underwriting systems. When it is found, the consumer has four options:

  1. Re-run the loan through the Fannie Mae Desktop underwriting system using Fannie Mae’s workaround. (Freddie Mac does not have a workaround.)
  2. Change the loan to an FHA mortgage which allows for a manual underwrite.
  3. Change the loan to a portfolio conventional mortgage which is usually a higher interest rate with greater costs and more down payment required.
  4. lose the contract.

The solution can be a two-step process. The first step determines if the foreclosure code exists and could include utilizing the Fannie Mae workaround. The second step is to make sure that a more recent “date reported” of the affected account does not exist. If the automated system reads that the short sale or modification occurred within the minimum wait timeframe, this can be a reason for a denial. The “date reported” problem often occurs when a “dispute” is put on the affected account. Because the account is re-opened, the more recent “date reported” is recorded and cannot be changed.

Other pre-purchase housing and credit counseling is also available from HUD approved counselors about buying a home, renting, default, foreclosure avoidance, credit issues and reverse mortgages. Some services are free and others are on a sliding scale basis. To find counselors in your area, go to HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies at https://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm, click on your state and check under Counseling Services and for agencies in your area.

For more in-depth credit counseling and debt management (NOT to be confused with credit repair), go to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC.org) agency locator at https://www.nfcc.org/locator/. All member agencies have HUD approved housing counselors with additional specialized training to deal with credit issues.

As we turn the corner on the housing crisis, lingering problems still need our attention. Thinking of those who were affected by Hurricane Harvey, the mortgage and real estate industries have an opportunity to form new, strong alliances with housing counseling agencies for specialized services that we are not equipped or trained to deal with.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Study Finds Gen X Homeowners Lacking in Equity

July 24, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by Phil Hall, as seen on National Mortgage Professional News, July 18, 2017

While many people are ready to tuck the housing crash into the history books, its residue is still being felt by Gen X homeowners with minimal equity gains, according the latest Zillow Home Equity Report. Indeed, the Gen X demographic has almost as much equity as Millennials homeowners, even though the latter had far less time to gain equity.
Zillow found that the typical Millennial homeowner—someone less than 35 years old—owed their lender about 76 percent of their home’s current value, while the median Gen X homeowner—someone between 35 to 50 years old—owed 70 percent of their home’s value. In comparison, Baby Boomers owed about 56 percent of their home’s value, while seniors with a mortgage owed 45 percent.
“Roughly half of American wealth is held in home equity,” said Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell. “Paying off the home mortgage is a key step toward retirement for most Americans, and it’s clear from these results that Generation X is further from that goal than older generations because of the Great Recession. The good news is that home values are still growing relatively fast in most places, building up home equity for homeowners who rely on the investment they’ve made in their home.”
Zillow also found the median homeowner with a mortgage has $78,683 in home equity, while homeowners who own their homes outright typically have $177,158 in home equity. The median homeowner has a loan-to-value ratio of 62.2, or owes 62.2 percent of their home’s current value, while 75.7 percent of homeowners have at least 20 percent equity in their homes. Five percent of mortgaged homeowners are close to owning their homes free and clear, but 10.4 percent of mortgaged homeowners have negative equity.

HUD’s Carson Warns of Senior Housing Crisis

July 24, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by Phil Hall, as seen on National Mortgage Professional News, July 18, 2017

According to an Orlando Sentinel report, Dr. Carson raised the issue yesterday during his keynote speech at the LeadingAge Florida annual convention. Citing a proverb that “you can gauge a society by the way they treat their elderly,” he noted that market forces are not working in favor of older Americans on fixed incomes.
“I’m very concerned about seniors who become destitute, who are forced into low-income housing,” Dr. Carson said. “Many look to HUD for affordable housing or assisted housing, but they confront a brutal reality: The market is becoming more expensive. Inner cities have become high-end markets, pricing low- and middle-class Americans out.”
Dr. Carson pointed to HUD’s policies on reverse mortgages, including proposals that limit the initial amount of equity seniors can draw on while requiring a financial assessment to ensure seniors can to continue to pay property taxes and health care costs. He also stated his commitment to require lenders fully disclose all conditions of the reverse mortgage.
Ultimately, the HUD secretary cautioned that the issue should be the basis of a conversation and not a Washington-rooted monologue. “The government works for the people, the people don’t work for the government,” he said. “We need to listen carefully to what people are saying, and react in a way that increases everyone’s freedom. Through good health practices, good financial health [and] creative leveraging of finances, we’ll meet the needs of seniors and maintain their independence.”

Dodd-Frank: Trump says roll-back, consumers map fight back

June 14, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Kevin McCoy and Roger Yu , USA TODAY Published 7:02 a.m. ET June 14, 2017 |

Newly announced Trump administration plans to weaken or eliminate many financial-industry regulations enacted after the 2008 financial crisis mark the opening shot in what consumer groups predict will be a long Washington siege.

On Tuesday, the day after the Department of the Treasury issued the most detailed blueprint yet of proposed changes to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, banking and other financial groups celebrated Trump’s backing of changes they’ve sought for years. The list ranged from restructuring and weakening the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to reexamining Wall Street trading and mortgage rules.

“The Treasury Department’s report is an important first step in recognizing how a duplicative and onerous regulatory environment harms banks, the economy, and, more importantly, consumers,” said Richard Hunt, the CEO of the Consumer Bankers Association, a trade association for retail banks.

Consumer advocates argue that the proposals represent an unwarranted weakening of rules that reined in banks and Wall Street after their excesses contributed to the nation’s worst economic crisis in generations. But major changes won’t come soon, if at all, because eliminating federal laws or Washington agency rules can take years, the advocates say.

“The prospects for preventing the rollback of many of these rules are actually quite good in terms of delay, and probably not bad in terms of preventing,” said Dennis Kelleher, the president and CEO of Better Markets, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group that promotes the U.S. public’s interests in financial markets. “Enacting the administration’s regulatory agenda can be as difficult as enacting its legislative agenda if there is effective opposition.”

File photo taken in 2015 shows Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, at a hearing in Denver, Colorado.(Photo: Brennan Linsley, AP)

Lobbying will likely spread across multiple fronts. But perhaps nowhere are the disagreements hotter than over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Echoing complaints from Congressional Republicans, the Treasury report said the CFPB’s leadership — a lone director only loosely accountable to the president and wielding authority to enforce 18 federal financial laws — has made the agency “unaccountable to the American people.”

In response, the Treasury report recommended:

Authorizing the president to remove the CFPB’s director at will, rather than only when he or she is found to have done something improper.

Considering an alternative leadership structure of an “independent, multi-member commission or board.”

Changing the agency’s funding procedure to require oversight by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, as well as congressional review.

Switching enforcement actions to federal courts, rather than administrative proceedings handled internally at the agency.

Eliminating public access to underlying data in the agency’s consumer complaint database by restricting that material to federal and state agencies.

Stripping the agency’s supervisory authority over banking and other areas covered by other regulators.

Paul Merski, a Community Bankers of America vice president, applauded yet another proposal, one that would exempt banks with assets of $10 billion or less from complying with CFPB rules that remove some risk features from mortgage loans. That list includes an “interest-only” repayment period, balloon payments required at the end of some mortgages, loan terms longer than 30 years, and excessive upfront fees charged to consumers.

“The main reason for community bank relief is so that they can support growth and jobs,” Merski said.

The CFPB maintained an official silence on the Treasury proposals. Instead, the regulator announced that its director, Richard Cordray, would hold a Thursday public event in Raleigh, N.C. to discuss student loan servicing issues, an area of continuing concern for students who say some loan servicers have not helped the get into income-based repayment plans.

However, Alys Cohen, a staff attorney for the National Consumer Law Center, said the proposals would “kick the legs out from under the CFPB,” which reported it had provided nearly $12 billion in relief and assistance to more than 29 million consumers from its 2011 opening through the end of February 2017.

A random sampling of consumers referred by advocacy groups readily agreed.

In Minnesota, John Lukach said he filed a complaint with the CFPB after Navient, the servicer for his nearly $60,000 in private student loans, did not respond to his requests for more affordable repayment options that would cut his monthly bill. Within two days, a Navient representative contacted him to discuss available alternatives, “something that probably wouldn’t have happened” without the CFPB, Lukach said.

In Arkansas, Myra Brewer, 71, said a debt collector called her and tried to force her to repay a roughly $3,000 credit card debt the company said was owed by her late daughter. She refused, even as the company called multiple times a day for weeks, Brewer said. Ultimately, she obtained the name of the bank that had put the purported loan out for collection and then filed a complaint with the CFPB. “That got action,” she said.

In Florida, a mortgage loan originator Pamela Marron noticed that many former homeowners who’d been caught in a wave of financial crisis short sales — selling their houses for less than the mortgage total — had trouble reentering the housing market. The reason, she determined, was that the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies coded the short sales as foreclosures. That meant the consumers could not qualify for conventional, federal government-backed mortgages for seven years.

After Marron filed complaints with the CFPB, banks re-coded the consumers’ mortgage applications and started processing them. “The CFPB people were very helpful because they understood the data we were looking at,” she said.

Armed with similar consumer experiences, advocacy groups are already discussing efforts to block Washington’s efforts to weaken the CFPB.

Kelleher, the Better Markets CEO, likened the efforts to the recent consumer drive that stopped the administration from derailing an Obama-era rule that now requires financial advisers to put consumers’ interests above their own. The regulation went into partial effect last week, but enforcement isn’t set to start until January.

“Big parts of that coalition will also work against deregulation” elsewhere in the financial industry, Kelleher said.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kevin McCoy on Twitter: @kmccoynyc

______________________________________________________________________________________________

In USA Today. Help that CFPB provided for short sale code problem noted. CFPB “Submit a Complaint” worked when other fixes did not. Directions: http://housingcrisisstories.com/submit-a-complaint-cfpb/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/06/14/dodd-frank-trump-says-roll-back-consumers-map-fight-back/102814996/

© 2017 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC.

Dodd-Frank: Trump says roll-back, consumers map fight back

Call to weaken post-crisis financial safeguards could face long battle

Erroneous Foreclosure Code still results in Loan Denial for Past Short Sellers in Freddie Mac Loan Prospector(LP) for Conventional Loans

October 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Loan originator is asking your assistance to share LP conventional mortgage “Caution” files of past short sellers that have passed the 4-year mark.

By Pam Marron   July 28, 2016
In August of 2014, Fannie Mae successfully implemented an automated system workaround that enabled lenders to correct conventional loan Refer/Ineligible findings when past short sale credit shows up as a foreclosure in the Desktop Underwriter or Originator. Freddie Mac’s Loan Prospector automated underwriting system never implemented a correction, and past short sale credit still results in a Loan Prospector “Caution”, or loan denial, for those trying to obtain a new conventional mortgage after a shortsale. The problem does not occur for government FHA and VA loans. Freddie Mac’s Caution findings commonly lists in the reasons for denial under Credit Risk Comments: “13. Recent foreclosure/signif derog appears on credit report”.
A Freddie Mac “Caution” denial requires a manual underwrite to overcome this error.  Lenders that will do a manual underwrite on either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae conventional loan files are rare to find. The good news is that the credit repository(s) reporting the foreclosure is now able to be found and seen in raw data through credit reporting agencies.
This would not be of such great concern if the mortgage industry was not approaching the rollout of the new “Trended Credit Data” that will work with the Fannie Desktop automated system in Version 10.0 set to be implemented on September 24, 2016.
If there are any glitches in the DU 10.0 format, lenders will likely put their loans through the Freddie Mac Loan Prospector automated underwriting system. Because a work around was never implemented for Freddie Mac, past short sellers eligible for a new mortgage will receive an automated “Caution”, or a denial for a new mortgage.
When the problem of the “Caution” in Freddie Mac’s automated system is brought up, the response from Freddie Mac has been that their system has been corrected and problems are with individual files. This article was written to alert Freddie Mac that as more past short sellers become eligible to purchase a home again, we as lenders are experiencing the problem of the “Caution” denial of new conventional mortgages on all files that are conventional, and more often.
This is what we are finding. All files currently being entered into Loan Prospector for a conventional mortgage purchase where a past short sale exists in credit are receiving a “Caution”, even when the past short sale is past the four-year mark, the wait time required after a short sale for a new Freddie Mac conventional mortgage.
A few lenders have stated they have received an “Accept” for a past short seller on a conventional mortgage, but we have found that only loans submitted for an FHA or VA loan appear to receive an “Accept”. This is believed to be due to the fact that Total Scorecard, an additional credit mechanism found in both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, allows the loan to receive an Approve or Accept respectively through both systems but verification of the short sale account must be backed up with documentation proving a short sale rather than a foreclosure. Additionally, it was checked to see if the problem was due to specific credit reporting agencies. Thus far, multiple credit agency reports for the same borrower have resulted in the same denial.
Unfortunately, Freddie Mac Loan Prospector does not designate which account it is classified as a foreclosure. However, the repository(s) that reports the short sale as a foreclosure can be visually found in raw data of the three repositories, Experian, Trans Union and Equifax in the credit report. Lenders who want to specifically see this to distinguish the problem need to make sure they contact their credit reporting agency and ask for the MOP (method of payment) and a horizontal payment history grid to be available on their report. A screen shot of raw data may ultimately be needed if where the foreclosure code exists is not evident on the visual credit report.
Because of the concern that mortgage traffic will increase in Freddie Mac Loan Prospector if a problem arises in Version 10.0 of the Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter with the introduction of Trended Data Credit, we are proactively and respectfully bringing this known problem of short sale credit that shows up as a foreclosure on conventional loans only again to Freddie Mac’s attention. If you are a loan originator or lender that encounters a “Caution” denial in the Freddie Mac Loan Prospector automated underwriting system for past short sellers trying to obtain a conventional mortgage, please contact Pam Marron at 727-375-8986 or email pam.m.marron@gmail.com.
To best prepare, make sure that you run past short seller files through both Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter/Originator and Freddie Mac’s Loan Prospector automated underwriting systems upfront. Don’t wait until the final submission to underwriting.
Stay tuned!

What Could Drive Another Mortgage Crisis?

October 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Continued Policy That Damages Credit of Responsible Homeowners and the Apathetic Reason Nothing is Done

By Pam Marron
For National Mortgage Professional Magazine | Sept. 2016 Issue
There is no refinance available for as many as 6.4 million negative equity homeowners who have a conventional first mortgage not backed by government sponsored enterprises (GSE) Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or a second mortgage or home equity line of credit (HELOC) that is “underwater”, where more is owed on the mortgage than the home is worth. Many of these mortgages are interest only loans that are now resetting to fully amortized payments with increases seen as high as 400%+. Simply, because these loans have negative equity, there is no refinance available to reduce initial higher interest rates from years ago. The only option for affected homeowners is a modification or a short sale and both require the homeowner to be delinquent on their mortgage first.
These homeowners struggle to “stay put” in negative equity homes awaiting home values to return. If this problem is not taken seriously, the result will be a new wave of short sales that will have a negative impact on the housing industry. It is already happening.
And this time it is affecting the elderly.
Caps placed on the maximum loan-to-value of non-GSE 1st mortgages and the combined loan to value when 2nd mortgages and HELOCs exist are what holds back a refinance for these specific negative equity loans. Compound this with the interest only reset of many of these loans, and the problem is disastrous.
For too long, there has been a lack of attention to a refinance where none exists for negative equity homeowners. Many believe these homeowners “did it to themselves” and massive press about short sellers labeling them as “strategic defaulters” (or those able to make payments but refuse to) was overshadowed by the fact that negative equity homeowners who worked with banks to short sell homes were told by their own lenders that they could not get approved for the short sale until they were delinquent on their mortgage first. This policy continues to this day for most lenders.
But since 2013, reports have proven that 1”ruthless” or “strategic” default during the 2007-09 recession were relatively rare. In a 22015 follow up of this study, job loss and adverse financial shocks in addition to divorce, large medical expenses and other severe income loss attributed greatly to mortgage default. Most importantly in this report… While household-level employment and financial shocks are important drivers of mortgage default, analysis shows that financially distressed households do not default. More than 80% of unemployed households with less than 1 month of mortgage payments in savings are current on their mortgage payments.
Disdain of reasons for why negative equity occurred is often the primary focus of apathetic attention to a refinance solution. Instead, focus should be on a sustainable refinance for those on time with their mortgage payment to assist them to “stay put” longer.
There is no argument of “moral hazard” or “strategic default” for a refinance option that allows responsible homeowners breathing room to stay put. When homeowners are not struggling to make their payments, they keep up homes which increases the value of our communities.
We can continue to think that the negative equity problem has gone away in the United States but it has not.  More calls are coming in from elderly with no chance of increase in their income. Many of them did a refinance or a second mortgage to help other family members but are now stuck themselves. The reason for a refinance should not matter. And we shouldn’t require affected homeowners to be delinquent on their mortgage first causing a destruction of good credit that results in negative unintended consequences for future credit.
Instead, we should be questioning how we can stabilize areas where negative equity still exists.
There are solutions available with existing mortgage programs now. A white paper entitled “Urgent Attention Needed: Two Problems and Solutions That Exist for Responsible Homeowners Who Have Negative Equity in Their Homes” that provides U.S. and Florida data showing how many negative equity homeowners can be helped is at http://housingcrisisstories.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Urgent.pdf.

1 Unemployment, Negative Equity, and Strategic Default | August 2013 |Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta | http://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/gerardi-kerkenhoff-ohanian-willen-strategic-default.pdf 2  Can’t Pay or Won’t Pay? Unemployment, Negative Equity, and Strategic Default | Sept. 21, 2015 | https://www.bostonfed.org/publications/research-department-working-paper/2015/cant-pay-or-wont-payunemployment-negative-equity-and-strategic-default.aspx

Better Details Needed for FHA Back to Work, Conv “Extenuating Circumstances”

May 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Better Details Needed for FHA Back to Work Program and Conventional “Extenuating Circumstances”

 

By Pam Marron

For past short sellers who have gone through the loss of a home and are eligible to return, criteria needed for a new mortgage is vague. The result is a partial story.

Proving “extenuating circumstances” and confining the timeline for an economic event is a struggle for loan originators and underwriters trying to comply with vague criteria. Because of so many variables, lenders deny new loans for borrowers with a short sale or foreclosure in their past even when they may be eligible to repurchase again.

We HAVE to get this right. Detailing WHY the loss of a home is the hardest thing for affected consumers to provide… not because they can’t remember, but because they relive it.

In attempting to originate the FHA “Back to Work” loans, it would seem the process is simple. The criteria for “Back to Work” is to show a 20% reduction in income sustained for 6 months minimum that resulted from a loss of employment or reduction in income, which is considered the “economic event”.

Here’s the bigger problem. Most who had an “economic event” tried to hang on, wiping out assets along the way. But, while trying to hang on, homeowners accumulated more debt to stay solvent and in most cases, to stay current on their mortgage. Then, another “economic event” hit, assets were gone and debt is so excessive that there is no choice but to short sell.

As a mortgage broker in Florida where it is common to see Boomerang Buyers (those eligible to re-enter the housing market after a short sale or foreclosure), I often hear the full story for those who have lost a home and want to re-try home ownership again. An economic event followed by a prolonged period of trying to stay put, finally ended with another event where funds were no longer available and the only choice was to short sale, occurred in a great deal of these cases.

Proof also exists to show a good number of these folks had excessive debt that pushed up debt to income ratios incredibly high prior to the sale of their underwater home.

But, it gets confusing for a new mortgage. For the FHA “Back to Work” program, HUD approved counselors are able to determine hardship and can provide those who attempt a re-purchase one year after a short sale, foreclosure or bankruptcy with a housing counseling certificate.

However, that doesn’t mean the mortgage company will approve the mortgage. Because the economic event may have occurred years ago and short sale processes took months or years, documentation such as tax returns and bank statements needed to show a lack of assets may stretch over the previous five to seven years rather than the most recent two years that lenders are accustomed to evaluating.

Mortgage companies who offer FHA “Back to Work” are reluctant to promote this almost two year old program due to few of these loans getting approved. Part of this is because loan originators don’t provide enough documentation, and the other problem is that there seems to be wide discrepancy between underwriting opinion on these files.

Varying opinion also exists for “extenuating circumstances” noted in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines for eligibility of a new mortgage under four years. Underwriting interpretation of these guidelines vary greatly from lender to lender for the few mortgage companies who offer these loans.

For loans submitted with what seems to be an iron clad “extenuating circumstance” or proof of the 20% reduction in income for 6 months minimum for FHA’s “Back to Work” program, underwriter opinion seems to vary widely. Some underwriters think the decision to short sale was too soon, while others wonder why homeowners waited. It seems they are trying to justify the sale was “not strategic”.

The income, current credit and assets of borrowers who have gone through a short sale and are trying to re-enter the housing market is more than acceptable per current guidelines. They have to be next to perfect, and they know it. Other than knowledge of the past short sale, these are loans that any lender would want to have on their books.

Those who make policy need to talk directly with affected past short sellers. They need to come to where underwater home problems still exist and see for themselves what is really happening. This can truly help the housing industry recover.

 

 

 

 

Short Sale Code Problem and Workable Solutions

May 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

 Short Sale Credit Code Problem: HOW Changing BOTH the “Root” of the Problem and “Current Short Sale Code” will Help 11.3 Million Past and Future Short Sellers

Download/read the full report below.

2.Short Sale Code Problem.Change BOTH Root and Short Sale Code.probs.workable soluts.5.12

WHY Specific Short Sale Code for 11.3 Million Who Were or Are Underwater is Worth It

May 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

For a long time, a battle has been waged to get a short sale credit code for past short sellers. Almost all  who have short sold will tell you that they were told upfront that the only way to get short sale approval was if they were delinquent on their mortgage first… told to them by their short sale lender, a realtor or an attorney.

Why the need for a specific short sale credit code?

Getting a specific short sale code will stop the mortgage denial that most short sellers face when they apply for a conventional mortgage two years after the short sale when a foreclosure code shows up on past short sale credit. This is because mortgage credit that goes past 120 days late is coded as a pre-foreclosure or foreclosure.

A specific short sale credit code could be the alternate code used by lenders to change a short sale coded as a foreclosure to a true short sale. And, this specific short sale code could be applied to all short sales going forward.

Why there is great worth for a specific short sale credit code

In almost every single case I see, credit was pretty good before the short sale, until the homeowner had to go delinquent, most often a lender requirement for a short sale approval. Credit is also pretty good after the short sale, and eagerness to improve credit after the short sale is apparent as consumers point out how they are “making it better”.

The ironic flip side to this is that the rebuilt good credit and the ability to come up with 20% down two years later for a conventional mortgage prompts those who have not gone through a short sale to to speculate that “maybe there wasn’t a real hardship”, and fuels the fire of “strategic default”.

From personal experience, I will attest that those who don’t believe these folks are “having hardship enough” need to take a closer look. The hardship is there and painful for most to relay again, as they convince the new lender of why a short sale will never happen again. You may be surprised at the reality of what happened, and be prepared that most will not expose this unless prodded to do so.

A unique difference that is apparent in almost every short sale case is the presence of a dangerously high back end debt to income ratio (DTI), often over a period of time, when underwater homeowners grapple with how to exit their home. Homeowners hang on for as long as possible, borrowing against other credit to stay solvent. A great number of these consumers have wiped out retirement assets and borrowed from others, until there is nothing left to do but short sell.

Why underwater homeowners and past short sellers should fight for a specific short sale credit code

A great majority of underwater homeowners aren’t the “strategic defaulters” that the press and so many others have made short sellers out to be. It is apparent that many stayed in negative equity homes longer than they should have, not quite sure what to do. Every one of them has a story of trying to “do the right thing”, and almost all didn’t tell the real story in their hardship letter to the bank. There seemed to be confusion, as if they were trying to convince the lender that they were worthy of being approved for the short sale, with very little said about the hardship.

Many in this unique financial meltdown were affected simply because they were in an area of the United States where home values plummeted.  Though there are those who tried to scam the banks, the majority did not and have been humiliated by this process, keeping silent even afterwards.

Why this is important for those affected

This is now a fight for those affected, for a credit standing that many of you have built over a lifetime. Erroneous credit can affect interest rates and program eligibility for you in the future. You did the right thing by working with the bank on a short sale and not going into foreclosure. Your credit should not reflect a foreclosure.

underwater_homes_top_states_march_2014

 

9.1 Million U.S. Residential Properties Seriously Underwater in First Quarter, Lowest Level in Two Years/RealtyTrac/April 15, 2014/ http://www.realtytrac.com/Content/foreclosure-market-report/q1-2014-home-equity-and-underwater-report-8037

 

And here’s a news flash. Those who were approved for a short sale and are paying back on the deficiency…. they can’t get back into the housing market either.

Why the mortgage and real estate industries need to fight for a specific short sale credit code

There’s a pattern here, a good one, where importance of credit is apparent, except for the stint of late payments required to exit an underwater home. For a conventional loan, you can re-buy a home 2 years after the short sale with 20% down. Most of the time, past short seller loan files are impeccable, a loan that any lender would jump at.  Short sellers have often been maligned as “strategic defaulters” who willingly stopped making payments. This is often far from the truth, and it can be proven that many lenders, or “investors”, still require underwater homeowners to be delinquent on their mortgage before a short sale approval will be granted, to this day.

There are [1]2.2 million past short sellers across the U.S., many ready to come back into the housing market.

And quietly, another 9.1 million still underwater homeowners are inquiring about what will happen to them when they have to exit their home.

Yes, values are finally rising again. But in many areas, the increase is not enough to pull negative equity homeowners above water, and we are starting to see a new trend of short sellers coming into the real estate market. Many must sell because they have to, not because they want to. Many are calling to inquire about what their credit will look like, preparing for problems they hear and read about after a short sale. These are not deadbeats, but homeowners who are preparing to go through the arduous short sale process with the lender.

Others are already helping

There is already good dialogue between credit reporting agencies who are aware of the foreclosure code being placed on past short seller credit and who are trying to help affected consumers. The National Consumer Reporting Association (NCRAinc.org), a nationwide trade organization of credit reporting agencies, has helped to bring this problem to the forefront.

In May 2013, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, was made aware of the problem, saw the credit impact and demanded a solution for the problem from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB, already aware of this problem, worked diligently with the Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter (DU) system on a fix, but the “fix” has posed confusion. Lenders are supposed to be able to instruct DU of an erroneous foreclosure. Instead, the Fannie Mae system must see a conflict in credit code on their end first, and provide a message to the lender for entry to Fannie Mae’s DU system to correct the problem. In other words, Fannie Mae must give permission to do the correction, but only when they see a problem.  Fannie Mae permission to correct the erroneous foreclosure code is given only occasionally, and lenders across the country have given up on this fix.

A few solutions have come out of this problem, often stumbled upon when comparing data.

Full directions for two of the solutions can be found at Directions to SUBMIT A COMPLAINT to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Lender Letter

An intro video to the short sale credit code problem and the two working solutions can be found on the YouTube video “2 Working Solutions for past Short Sellers with FORECLOSURE on short sale credit” at   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2YMtM3ILa4

2 working solutions

 


[1]Boomerang buyers return to market after foreclosure/By Les Christie  @CNNMoney March 11, 2013 http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/11/real_estate/foreclosure-homes/

Why NOT TO DISPUTE Erroneous Foreclosure on Credit Report

November 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

When the erroneous FORECLOSURE account is disputed, it drops off of the automated Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac underwriting report. However, the findings notate the account as a “dispute” and lenders must delete dispute from credit report, obtain new credit and rerun Fannie Mae AUS. Then, the FORECLOSURE account comes back with the date of un-dispute as the new “date reported” making the account look like the erroneous foreclosure (that is a short sale) just occurred! Now you have THREE problems:

1) deleting the dispute

2)correcting the date of the short sale (noted as a FORECLOSURE) 

3)getting the FORECLOSURE code corrected to a short sale!

Please use these two fixes:

pict dispute for WP

pict 2 disp for WP

 

 

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