To Prepay Or Not to Prepay, that is the Question

 Tax Benefits of Homeownership, The Affordable Home  Comments Off on To Prepay Or Not to Prepay, that is the Question
May 232015
 

calculator photo2I was included in a FaceBook thread where a homeowner considered whether to refinance his 30year Fixed rate mortgage into a 15 year fixed rate mortgage, or to find an online calculator that would assist him in creating a prepayment plan.

Here’s his query:
Can anyone recommend a decent mortgage calculator site/app/spreadsheet?
We’re currently on a 30 year/4% fixed. Trying to compare two options:
1) Switch to a 15 year/3.65%.
2) Start paying an additional quarterly payment against principal with the existing mortgage.
I know this isn’t exactly advanced math, but I also feel like someone must have put something together that shows the impact of added payments against principal. Mortgage calculators are great at helping figure out the cost of new mortgages (i.e., option #1 above), but not so good at helping jigger existing mortgages (option #2).
Any help?

Here’s my response:Light-Bulb-Clip-Art
First check with your tax professional before you consider a day in the near future when you “burn the mortgage!” While it may feel great to someday own your home free of any debt, you might lose out on a valuable (in real dollars) tax deduction. Second, rather than refinance and incur closing costs again, prepaying a 30 year mortgage is easy-peasy! Simply add 4% of your current Principal and Interest monthly for year one of your prepayment plan. In subsequent years, add ANOTHER 4% of each years’ NEW monthly payment. Treat your mortgage like an employee with “4% cost of living raises” each year. If you follow this course you can prepay a 30 year loan in 13 years. Hope that helps!

 

Do you have questions?  Click on ASK TREVOR and I’ll respond to any and all inquiries, even if you’re not buying a home in New York State.

Check out my Trulia profile HERE

Check out my Zillow profile HERE

Find me on TWITTER: @tcurranmortgage

Happy House Hunting!

May 182015
 

inspector 1You definitely want to be present at the inspection; budget anywhere from 2 to 5 hours for the inspection. Dress as if you might get dirty; bring a flashlight. You’ll go through the house side by side with your Inspector. After the inspection, your Inspector will discuss with you any major issues you need be aware of to discuss with your Attorney. You’ll get a written report shortly after the inspection day.

Typically your Home Inspection will alert you to problems in five key areas, and these key areas directly relate to the contract of sale in a New York home purchase:

1. Foundation: sound and solid
2. Roof free of leaks
3. Plumbing working and leak-free
4. Heating system sufficient and operating
5. Electrical system sufficient and up to code

image w definitions

If there is a serious problem with any of these five items, typically the Seller has a responsibility under the terms of the contract of sale to repair the problem at their expense, not the Purchaser’s expense. Sometimes a Purchaser will receive a credit at closing to repair one of these items (assuming the home and the defective issue has not compromised the Lender’s appraisal). When the Purchaser receives a credit at closing, the amount of the credit is based upon legitimate estimates for repair and negotiations between the Attorneys representing each party.

Other items you discover are in need of repair/upgrade (i.e. dishwasher not operating properly; air conditioner on second floor inoperable, etc.) can be negotiated for a repair credit or replacement at the Seller’s expense. Again, these negotiations are typically handled by the Attorneys.

It is not as common as you might think that a purchase price is reduced due to repairs from a Home Inspection. Best to consult with your Attorney for more detailed information in this area.

 

 
Do you have questions?  Click on ASK TREVOR and I’ll respond to any and all inquiries, even if you’re not buying a home in New York State.

Check out my Trulia profile HERE

Check out my Zillow profile HERE

Find me on TWITTER: @tcurranmortgage

Happy House Hunting!

The Right Way

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on The Right Way
Apr 242015
 

fraud handcuffs close upThis morning’s news that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating Quicken Loans for mortgage fraud is very disturbing. There’s a right way to approve and close mortgage loans; Quicken Loans allegedly chose the wrong way.

I understand the pressure to choose the wrong way: I’m always hearing people, usually a real estate agent, but occasionally a prospective client, telling me, “Why can’t you do it? The other mortgage guy can do it!” I don’t bow to that kind of pressure; I never have. I understood a long time ago that to create a long-term career there’s no such thing as cutting corners just to close a loan and earn a commission check. There is only The Right Way to originate and close mortgage loans.    2006MortgageFraudFBIWarning

I’m proud of my over 25 years as a Mortgage Professional—and now as a Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator—where I have walked away from situations that I was uncomfortable with. I always had the long-term view; Quicken Loans, as the name implies, allegedly had a shorter-term view of their business model.

And that’s a shame, too, because that kind of behavior stains the reputation of Mortgage Professionals everywhere. Trust is literally our only currency and the behavior of rogue mortgage people and companies who bend the rules, flout the rules and, worst of all, commit blatant mortgage fraud, erode the value of that currency.

Here’s the thing: I learned very early on that, if you study and learn Underwriting guidelines, if you stay current with those guidelines, you can actually help your clients with mortgage financing solutions by OBEYING THE RULES! There are many areas of those guidelines that—in the hands of a capable, honest, ethical and dedicated mortgage professional—will allow many consumers to obtain mortgage financing legitimately. But it requires hard work. That’s The Right Way.

BankerGhoulWhen I hear of mortgage fraud the two words that come to my mind are “greed” and “lazy.” Greed drives the engine to get a loan done at any cost—look at the sub-prime disaster, and now this alleged debacle with Quicken Loans.

Lazy doesn’t drive anything, at all, except a person’s desire to get a result without having to work very hard for it.

For my part, I’ll continue to work hard and choose The Right Way.

Do you have questions?  Click on ASK TREVOR and I’ll respond to any and all inquiries, even if you’re not buying a home in New York State.

Check out my Trulia profile HERE

Check out my Zillow profile HERE

Find me on TWITTER: @tcurranmortgage

Happy House Hunting!

Apr 132015
 

tax refundIt’s tax time and many homeowners receive large tax refund checks. Here’s some advice I’ve put together for you on different ways to use that money.

This article is part of my series “The Affordable Home.”  In the series I seek to focus on the intangible benefits of homeownership by making them, well, tangible.  I believe the affordable home is the sensible and proper approach to homeownership; so many new homebuyers today specifically focus on the affordability of the mortgage loan instead of the “HGTV” aspects of a house. I find this attitude refreshing for two reasons.

First, it’s an “old” attitude: in decades past the idea of buying a home revolved around diligent budgeting to save up the down payment and the concept the monthly payment should be affordable.

1950-oct-28-crop

The features of the house—granite countertops, high end appliances, paved driveways—were minor considerations and certainly did not make for sound decision-making when buying a home.  Those features could be added later, if one so desired, and those “old-timers” (I was once one of them) knew that.

Second, during the past decade, during the “Boom” the focus was on something I considered completely nuts: buy a home, an amazing home packed with big rooms, big features, and big monthly payments, at any cost.  Affordability be damned.  I struggled as a mortgage professional during those years to try to talk sense into people.

Since it’s tax-time, the advertising from folks who want your refund checks are everywhere.  There was the TV advertisement: “Just in time for your tax refund we’ve received a new stock of bamboo flooring!”

bamboo

It occurred to me that this is the time of year when many people, especially homeowners, get large tax refunds and the sharks start circling looking to take a bite out of that refund check.  To this I say, “STOP!  Take a minute to reflect on what you should do with your money!  You worked hard for it, and you bought an affordable home so you could get that refund, don’t throw it away without giving it due consideration.”

Here are my suggestions to spend your tax refund wisely:

1. Consider investing the money for your future.  My pal Nick, the owner of the Westside Steakhouse  was at one time a stock broker.  Here’s his take on wisely using your money:: “Never spend more than you make and save some money every week.”  Awesome advice and I believe that fits very handily into my concept of the affordable home.   Especially in this day and age of doubt over pensions, we consumers must be smarter and more responsible with our planning for retirement.  Follow Nick’s advice and invest your tax refund to begin or supplement your savings plan.

The New York Times “Your Money” section featured a wonderful piece recently about a new vehicle that makes it easier for us to create a sound investment strategy without all the costly bells and whistles.  Here’s the link to that article:  Financial Advice for People Who Aren’t Rich

I have long advised my clients to consider retaining a Financial Advisor to provide counsel on all things finance-related: investing, budgeting and insurance.  You can find a local Financial Advisor in the your area here:  National Association of Personal Financial Advisors

And here is sound advice from a CPA about investing not just your refund, but investing throughout the year and the tax benefits/ramifications: Fund Your Retirement Or Your Child’s College?

2. Create an Emergency Reserve.  Take some or all of that refund check and put together your emergency reserves.  Park the money somewhere it’s inaccessible by debit card!  You’ll need ease of access, but putting it within reach of a debit card is a surefire path to disaster.  pile of cash

3. Pay down debt.  This tends to be the long held standard amongst many homeowners I’ve known over the years.  I believe this is an admirable activity, but I believe taking your tax refund to pay down debt should be part of a comprehensive plan for debt management.   To take a page out of my friend Nick’s finance playbook: don’t spend more than you earn.  I advocate tending to your credit use respectfully and as part of your total family budget every month.  This way you won’t necessarily have to take your hard won refund check and pay down a credit card balance.  Of course, if, during the year you experienced an emergency and needed to access your credit to assist with that emergency, then paying off that debt at tax time is a sound strategy since it’s a one time event.

I’ve found that Consumer Action is the best site on the ‘net for sound advice on all things credit related, including how to obtain lower credit card rates and fees and great counselling on preparing and maintaining a family budget.  Find them here: Consumer Action

 Another Smart Strategy for The Affordable Home: Take home more money in your paycheck; get a smaller refund at tax time.

I hope my suggestions are useful to you at this exciting time of year.  Of course, I also advocate that you really shouldn’t get such a large refund at tax time if you’re a homeowner.  I’ve long believed that you should incorporate into your homeowners’ “network of advisors” a great tax professional or CPA.  By doing so, you can lean on your tax professional/CPA to advise you on the correct withholding throughout the year to increase your take-home pay, reduce your end of the year tax refund (and prevent having to pay!), and enjoy the benefits of homeownership every month instead of once a year. Here’s the IRS page on how to calculate correct withholding, but I recommend you do this only under the guidance of your tax professional/CPA:  IRS Withholding Calculator

Do you have questions?  Click on ASK TREVOR and I’ll respond to any and all inquiries, even if you’re not buying a home in New York State.

Check out my Trulia profile HERE

Check out my Zillow profile HERE

Find me on TWITTER: @tcurranmortgage

Ask Trevor A Question

Focus On Total Monthly Payment

 First Time Homebuyers, How-To Negotiate, The Affordable Home  Comments Off on Focus On Total Monthly Payment
Apr 122015
 

WOW! What a beautiful day today here in The Bronx to be out and about House Hunting! If you’re shopping for your first home today here’s some simple advice to help you make the right decision on your home buy.

1. Wish List: Be sure to have a WRITTEN wish list of everything you want in a home. Include features, condition (how much improving are you willing to do?) and location (proximity to transportation/work and desired school districts). When you find a home that comes pretty close to your wish list, it’s a good house for you!

2. Focus on TOTAL Monthly Mortgage Payment. Your total monthly mortgage payment includes the Principal and Interest of your mortgage loan, one-twelfth of your property taxes/Homeowners Insurance/Flood Insurance/Mortgage Insurance (depending on the mortgage loan program), otherwise called “PITI.”

Your Mortgage Banker should be only a phone call/text/email/tweet away from providing you with an accurate TOTAL monthly mortgage payment. I advise this to be the best option for accurate information as opposed to online calculators. Your Mortgage Banker will be more familiar with local common and customary costs such as Homeowners Insurance and Flood Zone costs as well as local property taxes (be wary of the property taxes listed in the real estate listing for under-estimating).

If you’re qualified for a mortgage loan program that requires mortgage insurance (PMI, FHA, or VA Guaranty) those online calculators can’t correctly calculate your monthly insurance. If your Mortgage Banker isn’t available or isn’t familiar with those local common and customary costs you need to find a different Mortgage Banker!

iron3. Make OFFERS promptly. Nothing demonstrates that you are a serious buyer like making an OFFER on a home immediately. Don’t wait until Thursday! If a home comes close enough to your basic Wish List requirements and the total monthly mortgage payment fits your comfort zone then strike while the iron is hot!

worried faceYou’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain! Sellers want to work with serious buyers, and so do their real estate agents. Get your Offer prepared in writing with your agent before you go home. Then enjoy your evening and let the real estate agents and the Seller fret, worry, and negotiate with YOU.

4. Prepare your counter-offer position. Assuming the Seller doesn’t accept your initial Offer, prepare your pricing strategy for the next highest price you’re willing to go up to. Once again, focus on Total Monthly Mortgage Payment. Never pay more than you’re comfortable with! And, prepare your “walk away” strategy, too. Some Sellers and their agents are just too unrealistic with their pricing expectations.  If they don’t respond to your Offer in a reasonably prompt manner, and with a reasonable counter-0ffer (less than 5% of List Price is NOT reasonable IMHO), then it’s time for you to walk away from the negotiating table.  Let them chase YOU.  After all, you’re a prepared and serious buyer, not a time-waster.

negotiating

5. Line up your professionals to move your deal along.  Be sure to have your ATTORNEY, your HOME INSPECTOR and, of course, your Mortgage Banker all lined-up and ready to jump on your home buying bandwagon once you and the Seller have worked out and agreed on your terms and price.  Your professional team should respond to your heads-up about your accepted Offer within less than two hours, IMHO, to help you prepare to buy your home.

craftsman house

Do you have questions about Total Monthly Mortgage Payment?  Click on ASK TREVOR and I’ll respond to any and all inquiries, even if you’re not buying a home in New York State.

Check out my Trulia profile HERE

Check out my Zillow profile HERE

Find me on TWITTER: @tcurranmortgage

Happy House Hunting!

 

 

 Posted by at 4:43 pm

Purchase and Renovate: ONE LOAN

 First Time Homebuyers, The Affordable Home  Comments Off on Purchase and Renovate: ONE LOAN
Apr 102015
 

Sunday afternoon during the springtime. You’ve found the right house. It’s the house you want: the price is right, the location is right, the amenities are all…right. But there’s a problem with this house that is otherwise so right: it needs a new kitchen with appliances. Oh, and the windows are ancient, ugly, drafty and in serious need of replacement.

retro k

You want this house. And you’re rather move in to your new “right” house with that a new kitchen, appliances, and windows.

But how to purchase the home and find the money to renovate?

Maybe Uncle Harold can lend you the money after the closing. But, do you really want to ask Uncle Harold for such a favor? Then you know you have to invite him for every Thanksgiving and every Christmas and every Fourth of July barbecue. You LOVE Uncle Harold, but EVERY holiday? Umm….

 

uncle

 

And what if the house won’t pass muster with your Lender’s appraisal? Maybe those windows and broken kitchen cabinet doors will catch the Appraiser’s attention and she’ll call for them to be repaired prior to closing. (We call that a “Subject To” appraisal: the appraisal is subject to completion of required work before the Lender will close your mortgage loan) The Seller is willing to do only minimal work to help you pass an appraisal, but do you really want to rely on the Seller’s handywork to repair the kitchen cabinets and/or windows?

All of a sudden Uncle Harold spending all his holiday time with you is looking like your only option…

But there are several programs where your Lender can provide you the mortgage money for your home purchase and for the renovations. The beauty of it? A Purchase and Renovation Loan!  ONE LOAN and thus ONE MONTHLY MORTGAGE PAYMENT.

The first, and most commonly used, is the FHA 203k Rehab Mortgage . With this program you can actually do a full house gut-renovation if you wanted to. It all depends on how much mortgage money your Income, Assets, and Credit allow you to qualify for, AND how much the home will be worth AFTER your proposed improvements. That’s right, that same appraiser who might have “subjected-to” your “right” home will now tell you how much the home will be worth with the new kitchen, appliances and windows. Yup, definitely improves value and the “After-Improved” appraisal will reflect that. Better still, the Lender’s approval decision is based on that “after-improved” value.

The FHA also offers the FHA 203k Streamline program. You need a minimum of $5,000.00 in improvements to qualify (can you say “Appliances?”) and the maximum is $35,000 for improvements. This program offers a faster, more efficient process of approving a purchase/renovation loan. And meets your “right house” scenario of new kitchen, new appliances and new windows, unless you’re selecting crazy expensive product/services.

old k

FannieMae has a similar program for your renovation needs, too. FannieMae HomeStyle. This program is similar to the FHA 203k for purchasing and renovating that “right” home you found.

So, don’t lose hope. You can buy that house that’s so right for you. Ask me for more details by clicking “Ask Trevor.” I’m happy to give free advice all day long; it’s what I do.

new k
Do you have questions?  Click on ASK TREVOR and I’ll respond to any and all inquiries, even if you’re not buying a home in New York State.

Check out my Trulia profile HERE

Check out my Zillow profile HERE

Find me on TWITTER: @tcurranmortgage

 Posted by at 2:12 pm

Buyer’s Agency

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Buyer’s Agency
Feb 182015
 

I’m happy you’re using a Buyer’s Agent.

Be sure you’re familiar with the local and State rules regarding Buyer’s Agency. In general, you want to be sure the Buyer’s Agent is working exclusively for you. Too often consumers call the real estate agent showing them homes “my Agent” or “my Broker.” In many States, Licensing requires the real estate agent to represent the best interests of the home SELLER. Here in NY an “Exclusive Buyer’s Agency” agreement is required to be signed by both parties and the law protects the Buyer because the Agency is TRULY for the Buyer.

As to fees: typically real estate commissions, including Buyer’s Agency fees, are a percentage of the purchase price of the house. Some Buyer’s Agents are permitted to charge some minor upfront fees; check the licensing requirements in your State. In many cases the Buyer’s Agent is paid her commission from the MLS “split” with the Listing Agent on the home. In some instances the MLS split isn’t sufficient to compensate the Buyer’s Agent and the consumer may have a balance due at closing. In my experience here in New York, the most I’ve seen is 1% due from the Buyer to the Agent at closing but this can vary depending on your purchase transaction and your commission agreement with your Buyer’s Agent.

Do you have questions?  Click on ASK TREVOR and I’ll respond to any and all inquiries, even if you’re not buying a home in New York State.

Check out my Trulia profile HERE

Check out my Zillow profile HERE

Find me on TWITTER: @tcurranmortgage

Ask Trevor A Question
 Posted by at 3:50 pm

Help for Veterans In Crisis

 Veterans  Comments Off on Help for Veterans In Crisis
Nov 092014
 

One small act can make a difference in the life of someone else in trouble.

If you know of a Veteran in need of assistance due to a life crisis, use the VA Crisis Line. The Veterans Crisis Line was established by the Veterans Administration to connect Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs personnel through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.

The Crisis Line website is http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/

You can do your part to support a Veteran in crisis.

The professionals at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances—from Veterans coping with mental health issues that were never addressed to recent Veterans struggling with relationships or the transition back to civilian life.

Since its launch in 2007, the Veterans Crisis Line has answered more than 1.25 million calls and made more than 39,000 lifesaving rescues. In 2009, the Veterans Crisis Line added an anonymous online chat service and has engaged in more than 175,000 chats. In November 2011, the Veterans Crisis Line introduced a text-messaging service to provide another way for Veterans to connect with confidential, round-the-clock support, and since then has responded to more than 24,000 texts.

VA is working to make sure that all Veterans and their loved ones are aware of the Veterans Crisis Line. To reach as many Veterans as possible, VA is coordinating with communities and partner groups nationwide, including community-based organizations, Veterans Service Organizations, and local health care providers, to let Veterans and their loved ones know that support is available whenever, if ever, they need it.

Remember our Veterans of the Armed Forces in all walks of life on Veterans Day this Tuesday, November 11th, and if you can, reach out a helping hand to a Veteran in need.

Do you have questions?  Click on ASK TREVOR and I’ll respond to any and all inquiries, even if you’re not buying a home in New York State.

Check out my Trulia profile HERE

Check out my Zillow profile HERE

Find me on TWITTER: @tcurranmortgage

Ask Trevor A Question
 Posted by at 8:39 pm
Sep 072014
 

tax refundIt’s tax time and many homeowners receive large tax refund checks. Here’s some advice I’ve put together for you on different ways to use that money.

This article was the first in my series “The Affordable Home.”  In the series I seek to focus on the intangible benefits of homeownership by making them, well, tangible.  I believe the affordable home is the sensible and proper approach to homeownership; so many new homebuyers today specifically focus on the affordability of the mortgage loan instead of the “HGTV” aspects of a house. I find this attitude refreshing for two reasons.

First, it’s an “old” attitude: in decades past the idea of buying a home revolved around diligent budgeting to save up the down payment and the concept the monthly payment should be affordable.

1950-oct-28-crop

The features of the house—granite countertops, high end appliances, paved driveways—were minor considerations and certainly did not make for sound decision-making when buying a home.  Those features could be added later, if one so desired, and those “old-timers” (I was once one of them) knew that.

 

Second, during the past decade, during the “Boom” the focus was on something I considered completely nuts: buy a home, an amazing home packed with big rooms, big features, and big monthly payments, at any cost.  Affordability be damned.  I struggled as a mortgage professional during those years to try to talk sense into people.

Since it’s tax-time, the advertising from folks who want your refund checks are everywhere.  There was the TV advertisement: “Just in time for your tax refund we’ve received a new stock of bamboo flooring!”

bamboo

It occurred to me that this is the time of year when many people, especially homeowners, get large tax refunds and the sharks start circling looking to take a bite out of that refund check.  To this I say, “STOP!  Take a minute to reflect on what you should do with your money!  You worked hard for it, and you bought an affordable home so you could get that refund, don’t throw it away without giving it due consideration.”

Here are my suggestions to spend your tax refund wisely:

1. Consider investing the money for your future.  My pal Nick, the owner of the Westside Steakhouse  was at one time a stock broker.  Here’s his take on wisely using your money:: “Never spend more than you make and save some money every week.”  Awesome advice and I believe that fits very handily into my concept of the affordable home.   Especially in this day and age of doubt over pensions, we consumers must be smarter and more responsible with our planning for retirement.  Follow Nick’s advice and invest your tax refund to begin or supplement your savings plan.

The New York Times “Your Money” section featured a wonderful piece recently about a new vehicle that makes it easier for us to create a sound investment strategy without all the costly bells and whistles.  Here’s the link to that article:  Financial Advice for People Who Aren’t Rich

I have long advised my clients to consider retaining a Financial Advisor to provide counsel on all things finance-related: investing, budgeting and insurance.  You can find a local Financial Advisor in the your area here:  National Association of Personal Financial Advisors

And here is sound advice from a CPA about investing not just your refund, but investing throughout the year and the tax benefits/ramifications: Fund Your Retirement Or Your Child’s College?

2. Create an Emergency Reserve.  Take some or all of that refund check and put together your emergency reserves.  Park the money somewhere it’s inaccessible by debit card!  You’ll need ease of access, but putting it within reach of a debit card is a surefire path to disaster.  pile of cash

3. Pay down debt.  This tends to be the long held standard amongst many homeowners I’ve known over the years.  I believe this is an admirable activity, but I believe taking your tax refund to pay down debt should be part of a comprehensive plan for debt management.   To take a page out of my friend Nick’s finance playbook: don’t spend more than you earn.  I advocate tending to your credit use respectfully and as part of your total family budget every month.  This way you won’t necessarily have to take your hard won refund check and pay down a credit card balance.  Of course, if, during the year you experienced an emergency and needed to access your credit to assist with that emergency, then paying off that debt at tax time is a sound strategy since it’s a one time event.

I’ve found that Consumer Action is the best site on the ‘net for sound advice on all things credit related, including how to obtain lower credit card rates and fees and great counselling on preparing and maintaining a family budget.  Find them here: Consumer Action

 Another Smart Strategy for The Affordable Home: Take home more money in your paycheck; get a smaller refund at tax time.

I hope my suggestions are useful to you at this exciting time of year.  Of course, I also advocate that you really shouldn’t get such a large refund at tax time if you’re a homeowner.  I’ve long believed that you should incorporate into your homeowners’ “network of advisors” a great tax professional or CPA.  By doing so, you can lean on your tax professional/CPA to advise you on the correct withholding throughout the year to increase your take-home pay, reduce your end of the year tax refund (and prevent having to pay!), and enjoy the benefits of homeownership every month instead of once a year. Here’s the IRS page on how to calculate correct withholding, but I recommend you do this only under the guidance of your tax professional/CPA:  IRS Withholding Calculator

 

Do you have questions?  Click on ASK TREVOR and I’ll respond to any and all inquiries, even if you’re not buying a home in New York State.

Check out my Trulia profile HERE

Check out my Zillow profile HERE

Find me on TWITTER: @tcurranmortgage

Ask Trevor A Question

Loan Modifications in New York State

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Loan Modifications in New York State
Jan 092014
 

Many Homeowners are aware of the Federal Government’s initiative to assist them with the Loan Modification process with the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).   New York State also provides specific guidance for Homeowners in distress both from a support perspective and from a regulatory initiative.

Here are some key points for New York State Homeowners to be aware of if they are considering a Loan Modification.

Borrower Programs and Counseling

Under New York Law, a servicer is responsible for ensuring that its staff is aware of programs designed to assist borrowers in avoiding foreclosure or resolving delinquency. If a homeowner is 60 days late on his/her payment or if a servicer has reason to believe the homeowner is experiencing financial hardship and in imminent risk of default, New York requires servicers and their staff to provide a list of government-approved not-for-profit housing counselors in the homeowner’s geographic area. Servicers can find the list on the Department’s website or the Division of Housing and Community Renewal’s website.

Loss Mitigation Contacts

A servicer is required to make loss mitigation staff available to the borrower. This information must be provided to the borrower and include a toll-free number so a borrower may have direct communication with the loss mitigation staff. In addition to this toll-free number, the servicer must establish a fax line for receipt of documents as well as an email address.

Servicers are required to establish special escalation contacts for not-for-profit housing counselors, government representatives and legal services organizations to utilize when necessary to review or intervene in the handling of a pending loss mitigation matter.

The Department’s Foreclosure Relief Unit

The NYS Department of Financial Services has created the Foreclosure Relief Unit as part of a statewide initiative to assist homeowners already in foreclosure or at risk of foreclosure.

Homeowners in danger of foreclosure may call the Foreclosure Relief Hotline at 1-800-269-0990 or visit the “Help for Homeowners” section of the Department’s website.

The Foreclosure Relief Unit can:

  • Provide information on available federal programs
  • Answer inquiries about the foreclosure process
  • Assist homeowners in their efforts to obtain loan modifications and other relief
  • Take complaints from aggrieved homeowners and seek resolutions with banks and mortgage servicers

I welcome Comments for all my blog entries but they must be approved.

I will be happy to review and approve all legitimate comments provided by readers of tcurranmortgage.com. I do not permit unfettered access to comments for obvious reasons: mortgage spammers and their ilk.

If you wish to Comment on any entry, please do so and I will quickly review and approve.

Thanks for reading tcurranmortgage.com.

Hope that helps!

 Posted by at 2:25 pm