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Why Are More Kentucky Mortgage Loans Not Being Refinanced?
Why Are More Kentucky Mortgage Loans Not Being Refinanced?
Why Are More Kentucky Mortgage Loans Not Being Refinanced?October 25, 2010
While mortgage interest rates are at their lowest levels since 1945, millions of mortgages that carry interest rates of 6% to 9% or even higher, are not being refinanced. The reasons for this involve Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two secondary market giants now in Government conservatorships, in a central role.
The problem is perhaps best seen through the eyes of borrowers who are unable to refinance. Each unsuccessful borrower cited below is representative of a sizeable group of unsuccessful borrowers.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Have Become Excessively Restrictive
Adam was turned down for a refinance because he did not meet the new stiffer underwriting and pricing requirements set by the agencies in their standard programs. His credit score, which was acceptable when he got his loan before the crisis, is not high enough to meet the new requirements.
It clearly was appropriate for the agencies to correct the excessively liberal rules that had prevailed during the go-go years, which contributed to the financial crisis. However, they have reacted to their excessive liberality before the crisis by becoming excessively restrictive in the aftermath. Their underwriting and pricing structures are designed to maximize their net earnings, as if they were still private firms.
Fannie and Freddie are now part of the Government, and should set their underwriting rules and pricing adjustments not to maximize net revenue but to break-even over a long time horizon.
Kentucky Mortgage Loans
There Should Be No Maximum LTV on the HARP Program
Barbara is one of many homeowners who bought during the go-go years and who now owe more than their houses are worth – she is “underwater”. She applied for a loan under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), which was designed to make refinance possible for underwater borrowers who are current on their payments and whose loans are owned by Fannie or Freddie. Barbara is ineligible, however, because she is too far underwater. Her loan-to-value ratio (LTV) is 130% and the agencies have set a 125% maximum.
A maximum LTV in the HARP programs cuts out a sizeable segment of the potential market, for no good reason. The agencies are already on the hook for any losses on high LTV loans, and a rate reduction can only reduce the probability that a default will occur that would trigger the loss. Indeed, the reduction in expected loss from a rate-reducing refinance is larger on a 150% LTV than on a 125% LTV. The default rate has to fall only half as much on a 150% loan as on a 125% loan to generate the same reduction in expected loss.
Fannie and Freddie should scrap the LTV maximum in the HARP program, for which there is no rational reason, thereby also eliminating the need for appraisals on HARP loans.
Kentucky Mortgage Loans
Too Few Lenders Make 125% HARP Loans
Charley was turned down for a refinance under the HARP program, although his LTV was only 120%, which made him eligible under agency rules. Nonetheless, the lenders Charley approached would not make the loan. They told him that their maximum LTV was 105%, and some said that it was 95%. Charley could have refinanced if he knew where to go, but he didn’t and gave up the search.
I did a quick and dirty survey and found that HARP loans above 105% are not available from brokers or from smaller lenders who sell to wholesalers who in turn sell to the agencies. HARP loans exceeding 105% are only available from some of the lenders who sell directly to the agencies.
Freddie Mac has a list of HARP lenders at http://www.freddiemac.com/cgi-bin/homeowners/relief_refi.cgi, but it is extremely difficult to find. If Fannie has one, I could not find it. The Freddie list has 27 lenders, 14 of which do 125% loans, of which only 4 have wide multi-state presence:
Fannie and Freddie ought to do a better job of informing potential borrowers how to find a lender who will make 125% HARP loans, and they should review their policies that have discouraged broader lender participation.
Borrowers With LTVs Above 105% Who Have PMI Can Refinance Only With Their Current Servicer
Doris’s situation was the same as Charley’s, including an LTV of 120%, with one difference. Doris’s existing loan carries privarw mortgage insurance (PMI). The lenders who turned her down told her that the mortgage insurer had to agree to shift the MI policy to the new loan, but would not do so in her case.
Under HARP rules, if there is no MI on the existing loan, none is required on the new loan. If there was MI on the old loan, as in Doris’s case, it will be carried forward on the new loan, provided the PMI firm agrees. But if the current LTV exceeds 105%, they won’t agree unless the new loan is being made by the existing servicer.
Doris was not aware that only the lender servicing her loan can shift the mortgage insurance policy from the existing loan to a new one. PMIs will not shift the mortgage insurance to a new loan with a different lender when the LTV exceeds 105%.
Fannie and Freddie ought to inform potential HARP borrowers who have mortgage insurance and LTVs greater than 105% that they can only refinance with their current lender, and they should examine whether there is anything they can do to remove the PMI roadblock.
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HARP Should Be Expanded to Cover Mortgages Not Owned by Fannie or Freddie
Ethan is an underwater borrower in good standing whose loan is not owned by Fannie or Freddie. His only possibility of a refinance is the new FHA program I wrote about a few weeks ago, but that program requires the existing lender to write-down the balance to 97.75% of house value. Since Ethan is making timely payments, the lender has very little incentive to do that.
Ethan had no say in who ended up owning his loan, from his perspective it was a coin toss that came up tails and made him ineligible for HARP. The out-of-luck group to which Ethan belongs includes a large number of sub-prime borrowers who meet their obligations faithfully while paying rates up to 9% and even higher.
There is no good reason why such borrowers have to be left entirely out in the cold. While including these borrowers in HARPwould expose Fannie and Freddie to risks they did not have before, the agencies could set payment performance requirements and charge risk premiums large enough to protect taxpayers while still offering many of these borrowers substantial relief..
Treasury should have the agencies develop a HARP1 program covering loans they do not now own that would be subject to underwriting rules and price adjustments consistent with the Government breaking even.
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Labels: Kentucky Housing Mortgage Rates Louisville Kentucky, Kentucky Mortgage Rates and Home Loan Options, Louisville Kentucky
Author: Louisville Kentucky Mortgage Broker Offering FHA, VA, USDA, Conventional, and KHC Zero Down Payment Home Loans
I have helped over 589 Kentucky families buy or refinance their home over the last 18 years. Realizing that this is one of the biggest, most important financial transactions a family makes during their lifetime, I always feel honored and respected when I am chosen to originate their personal home loan. You can count on me to deliver on what I say, and I will always give you honest, up-front personal attention you deserve during the loan process.
I have several advantages over the large banks in town. First, I can search and negotiate for your loan options through several different mortgage companies across the country to get you the best deal locally. Where most banks will offer offer you their one set of loan products. I have access to over 10 different mortgage companies to broker your loan through to get you the best pricing and loan products that may not fit into the bank's program due to credit, income, or other underwriting issues.
You will not get lost in the shuffle like most borrowers do at the mega banks; you're just not a number at our company, you are a person and we will treat you like one throughout the entire process.
Give us a try or let us compare your options on your next mortgage transaction. Call me locally at 502-905-3708. Free Mortgage Pre-Qualifications same day on most applications.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions
I specialize in Kentucky FHA, VA ,USDA, KHC, Conventional and Jumbo mortgage loans. I am based out of Louisville Kentucky. For the first time buyer with little money down, we offer Kentucky Housing or KHC loans with down payment assistance.
We just moved here the first of January in 2017 from Ohio to the Louisville, KY area and we found Joel's website online. He was quick to respond to us and got back the same day on our loan approval. He was very knowledgeable about the local market and kept us up-to date throughout the loan process and was a pleasure to meet at closing. Would recommend his services.
"We were searching online for mortgage companies in Louisville, Ky locally to deal with and found Joel's website, and it was a godsend. He was great to work with, and delivered on everything he said he would do. I ended up referring my co-worker at UPS, and she was very pleased with his service and rates too. Would definitely vouch for him." September 2016
"We contacted Joel back in July 2011 to refinance our Mortgage and he was great to work with. We contacted several lenders locally and online, and most where taking almost 60 days to close a refinance, Joel got it done in 23 days start to finish,I would definetly recommmend him. He got us 3.75% with just $900 in closing costs on our FHA Streamline loan.
“Joel is one of the best Mortgage Brokers I have ever worked with in my sixteen years in the real estate and mortgage business.” May 25, 2010
“Joel has always worked very hard to keep his word and to work out seasonable solutions to difficult problems. He is truly an expert in FHA and other type loans.” September 1, 2010
“I have worked with Joel since 1998. He is a great loan professional.” I refer most of my Louisville, Kentucky area home buyers to him and he always take special care of them. August 23, 2012
“Joel Lobb is a real professional in the lending industry, with many years of experience, he is the one to go to for any mortgage lending needs.” August 22, 2011
RICHARD VOLZ , Residential Sales , Remax Foursquare Realty
“When looking to purchase our new home in 2006, I had the pleasure of meeting Joel Lobb. Not only was he personable and easy to reach, he was extremely knowledgable in his field and made sure to find us the best rate and a top notch mortgage company. We were able to complete the process in less than 3 weeks with his expertise. I find Joel to have the utmost high integrity and I recommend him to anyone who say's they are need of mortgage assistance. He is also fantastic and keeping everyone up to date on the latest in the housing industry through his twitter posts. He provided great results for our family and we still communicate to this day!” August 21, 2010
"We first use Joel on our new home purchase in 2007 in St Matthews, Kentucky area and he was great to work with. We have since refinanced our home with him in 2010 when rates got really low and he has always delivered on what he says. I could not imagine using anyone else."
Melody Glasscock March 2014
Absolutely Amazing!! I emailed Joel after I had just got a denial from a bank and just thought i would try to get some advice on what my next steps would be to get a house. I honestly didn't expect to even get a reply because my credit is not great. That was about a week and a half ago. I just signed a contract on a house last night. ONLY because of Joel Lobb. He even worked with us throughout the weekend, which shocked me. Best decision I have ever made. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WORKING WITH US THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE PROCESS.
Cee Bellisle August 2017
Contacted him about buying a home and he was great to work with. I was moving to Louisville Ky to take a new job and he walked me through the entire process. He explained to me all the different options for FHA, VA, USDA mortgage loans and credit score requirements versus Fannie Mae. Since I was a first time home buyer I needed alot of help and guidance. I would definitely recommend him. Fast to respond and available to answer questions that I or my realtor had after hours.
Anderson Johnson April 2018
Wow, what a great loan officer. I was referred to him by our agent and he was great to work with. We used him for a USDA no money down loan in Shelby County and we were really impressed. We were afraid we could not buy a home since we did not have money saved for a down payment, but Joe l was able to get us a zero down loan and we even got our appraisal fee and good faith deposit back at closing. We actually got money back at closing!!! I Can't think him enough. Our family moved from our apartment in the south end of town to get our own home with 5 acres for our kids and 2 dogs, at a payment that is equal to our rent payment also. .Thanks Again Joel. May god bless you
We contacted Joel about buying a house on our move from Ohio for my husband's job transfer with Ford. We put a lot of trust in him since we were new to the area and first time home buyers in the Louisville KY market, and he always delivered on what he said. It took us a while to find a home due to the lack of homes, but once we got one, he was always quick to respond our questions via text or email ,and kept us informed through the process. We got to meet him at the closing and he was super nice and even got us a closing gift for our home which we didn't expect at all. Super nice guy 😀!!! I would definitely recommend him for a local Home loan in the Louisville area.
I got a VA loan with Joel and he was great. He is an ex-army guy so he could relate to my past experiences of being a veteran and moving around the country a lot. I had some credit issues that required a little extra work but Joel was able to find A VA lender to approve my situation as far as having past bad credit problems and a lower credit score. We closed yesterday on our home here in Louisville and we could not be happier. We finally have a home of our own thanks to Joel . I would definitely recommend him for a mortgage loan. Great experience and closed 8 days before expected close date so we were able to move in early.
I contacted Joel about the $10,000 KY Housing Grant last month and we were able to get it and I just closed on my home. He was great to work with and if you are a first time home buyer here in Louisville, I would definitely contact him. I met him at his office and he was very nice and knowledgeable and kept me informed through the process. No surprises either so I was very happy. I am new homeowner thanks to Joel .
Joel Lobb Senior Loan Officer
American Mortgage Solutions, Inc.
10602 Timberwood Circle Suite 3
Louisville, KY 40223
phone: (502) 905-3708
Fax: (502) 327-9119
Company ID #1364 | MB73346E
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