Friday, January 24, 2014

USDA Loans and Eligibility Maps

In a release from USDA Rural Development regarding eligible areas...

"Changes to the housing eligible areas map based on 2010 Census data scheduled to take effect 1/15/14, have been postponed to 10/1/14 by passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014. View "Future Eligible Areas." Complete applications received before October 1, 2014, will continue to use rural area definitions based on 2000 Census data."



To apply for this or any other loan program contact me today!

Additional Resources

http://www.oregonmortgageconnexion.com/search/USDA



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Refinance Pilot Program Opens up to Clackamas and Washington Counties

The Rebuilding American Homeownership Assistance Pilot Program or RAHAPP that initially included only Multnomah County has opened up to include Clackamas and Washington counties as of October 1st. Other eligibility criteria include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Homeowners must be significantly underwater
  • Homeowners must be current on existing mortgage payments
  • Homeowners cannot own other residential property
  • Existing mortgages cannot be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac 
  • RAHAPP provides two refinancing options:
  • 15-year mortgage at 4% fixed interest, with a $200,000 loan amount, the APR would be 4.129%.
  • 30-year mortgage at 5% fixed interest, with a $200,000 loan amount, the APR would be 5.077%.

Whatever you call it... The Merkley Mortgage, HARP 3, or #MyRefi in social media circles, it is proving to help many underwater homeowners refinance out of otherwise expensive mortgages. Homeowners who had found themselves unable to refinance under earlier HARP products because they had loans that were not owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. 

If you are not sure who owns your mortgage you can start by checking with either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae by checking the following websites:

www.freddiemac.com/mymortgage or http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/

Read on for today's press release...

"For Immediate Release 

November 12, 2013 

Contact: 
Ben Pray, Communications Manager, OHCS 
503-986-2079, benjamin.pray@state.or.us 

Refinance Program for Underwater Homeowners Expands 

Salem, Oregon – The Rebuilding American Homeownership Pilot Program (RAHAPP) is now available to homeowners in Clackamas and Washington Counties. RAHAPP is administered by Oregon Housing and Community Services Department (OHCS) and was developed with the support of Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley to help underwater homeowners with high interest rates refinance. The program was previously only available to homeowners in Multnomah County. RAHAPP has already helped participants lower interest rates and reduce their monthly payments by an average of $427. 

RAHAPP aims to help homeowners who are trapped in high-interest loans and underwater (owing more than their homes are worth) to refinance their loans. These homeowners are not eligible for the Federal HARP refinance program because their loans are not owned or insured by Fannie or Freddie, and therefore have little to no ability to refinance. The pilot is based on a proposal Senator Merkley introduced in a July 2012 white paper called Rebuilding American Homeownership, which can be read here (pdf)

“Current programs have been frustrating for homeowners who are underwater and not eligible for HARP,” said Senator Merkley. “This pilot tests a different approach. If successful, it could be a win-win, substantially lowering homeowners’ monthly payments and thereby reducing the risk of foreclosure. Moreover, the homeowners would have more funds to spend on other needs, strengthening their families and the local economy. Finally, the program has the potential to pay for itself. If it works, I hope it can be expanded to help underwater families across Oregon and in other states. I applaud OHCS for piloting this different approach.” 

“We are excited to partner with Senator Merkley on this innovative program, and to now be able to offer it to homeowners in Clackamas and Washington Counties,” said Margaret Van Vliet, Director of the Oregon Department of Housing and Community Services. “RAHAPP provides assistance to a population that is otherwise not served, and we are glad that they will have the opportunity to gain some much needed relief.” 

Initially, RAHAPP will allow approximately 60 underwater homeowners who are current on their payments refinance into a 30-year fixed rate of 5.0% (5.077% APR) or a 15-year fixed rate of 4% (4.129% APR) to refinance. There will be no up-front or monthly mortgage insurance payments required for RAHAPP loans. 

Interested homeowners in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties are encouraged to visit the RAHAPP page at http://www.OregonHomeownerHelp.org for information, an eligibility quiz, and an online application. Homeowners will be able to submit applications online or in person through OHCS’ partner, Alpine Mortgage Planning, a Division of Pinnacle Capital Mortgage Corporation. 

RAHAPP is funded by the U.S. Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund, a program designed to aid homeowners in states hit hardest by the economic crisis. Oregon Housing and Community Services administer Hardest Hit Funds through the Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative (OHSI), which to date has provided more than $105 million in assistance to more than 8,500 homeowners."

To determine which loan product best suits you contact me today!

Additional Resources:

OHSI Press Release 11/12/13
https://www.alpinemc.com/rahapp/
http://oregonhomeownerhelp.org/
http://oregonhomeownerhelp.org/en/homeowner-education-program/raha-program
http://www.merkley.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release
http://www.oregonmortgageconnexion.com/multnomah-county-pilot

Disclaimer: Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have adopted changes to the Home Affordable Refinance program (HARP) and you may be eligible to take advantages of these changes.
If your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, you may be eligible to refinance your mortgage under the enhanced and expanded provisions of HARP.
You can determine whether your mortgage is owned by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae by checking the following websites: 


www.freddiemac.com/mymortgage or http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/

Monday, October 28, 2013

2014 USDA Funds Available

Just in from USDA Rural Development:
"FY 2014 Funds Available!
Funding for Rural Development’s Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan program is now available for fiscal year (FY) 2014.  The funding received is based on a Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014 (P.L. 113-46, H.R. 2775)...."

To apply for this or any other loan program contact me today! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

USDA Rural Boundary Changes to Affect Portland Metro

Update: Changes to the housing eligible areas map based on 2010 Census data scheduled to take effect 1/15/14, have been postponed to 10/1/14 by passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014. View "Future Eligible Areas." Complete applications received before October 1, 2014, will continue to use rural area definitions based on 2000 Census data. -1/24/14

An update on shrinking USDA boundaries that will affect many Portland Metro as well as other rural areas in Oregon. This is a popular loan program for low to moderate income families that allows for financing up to 100%. The previously undetermined deadline has now been set for January 15th, 2014, barring any further Congressional action. 

Affected rural areas in Oregon

Alert from USDA Rural Development in Oregon...
Changes to eligible areas for USDA Rural Housing Programs scheduled for Oct. 1, 2013, are currently on hold. (posted 10/18/2013) 
Implementation of the 2010 Census data modifying eligible rural areas for USDA Rural Housing Programs had been scheduled for October 1, 2013. With the “Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014” (H.R. 2775) signed into law by the President of the United States on October 16, 2013, eligible areas for USDA Rural Housing Programs will remain unchanged and consistent with the 2000 Census through January 15, 2014, barring further Congressional action.
Background: On March 26, 2013, the President signed the “Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013” (the FY 2013 Appropriations Act). This Act extends the authorities and limitations of the FY 2012 Appropriations Act for USDA Rural Development housing programs (Single Family Housing and Multi-Family Housing Programs) pursuant to the Housing Act of 1949. As a result, Rural Development deferred transition to the 2010 Census information for these USDA housing programs until the expiration of the FY 2013 Appropriations Act on September 30, 2013. On October 16, 2013, the President signed the “Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014” (H.R. 2775), which further defers transition to the 2010 Census information for USDA housing programs through January 15, 2014. (H.R. 2775 extends Sec. 731 of H.R. 933 “Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013.”) Until that time, and unless specifically directed otherwise, the RHS housing programs are instructed to use the data from the 2000 Decennial Census for program eligibility purposes.
Questions regarding this message may be directed to the USDA Rural Development National Office at (202)720-1452.
To apply for this or any other loan program contact me today!

Additional Resources

http://www.rurdev.usda.gov

http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov

http://www.oregonmortgageconnexion.com/search/USDA


Monday, September 30, 2013

Delayed Updating of Rural Development Maps

Update: Changes to the housing eligible areas map based on 2010 Census data scheduled to take effect 1/15/14, have been postponed to 10/1/14 by passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014. View "Future Eligible Areas." Complete applications received before October 1, 2014, will continue to use rural area definitions based on 2000 Census data. -1/24/14

(NOTE: Oregon AN 1372 has been cancelled effective Oct. 18, 2013, due to the Continuing Resolution. See the above entry dated Oct. 18, 2013, for more information.)

Good news this morning from USDA... They have postponed the map changes!


Oregon AN 1372 

Guidance passed along from from Rich Davis, Acting Administrator, RHS is as follows:


 “We have received some questions regarding the implementation of the 2010 Census with respect to the SFH programs.  As you may recall, on March 27, 2013, we issued AN 4711, (see link at:  [www.rurdev.usda.gov] ) that provided guidance on the implementation of the 2010 Census data for use in the administration of direct loan, loan guarantee and grant programs across RD.  The AN reported that On March 26, 2013 the President had signed the “Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013” (the FY 2013 Appropriations Act).  The AN stated that language in the FY 2013 Appropriations Act extended the authorities and limitations of the FY 2012 Appropriations Act for the Rural Housing Service (RHS) housing programs (Single Family Housing and Multi-Family Housing Programs) pursuant to the Housing Act of 1949.   The AN explained that this meant that RD would need to defer transition to the 2010 census information for these RHS housing programs until the expiration of the FY 2013  Appropriations Act on September 30, 2013.  However, it now appears likely that in light of the proposed continuing resolution (CR), the RHS deferral of transition to the 2010 census will not expire on September 30, 2013 but will need to continue for some period after that. Consequently, all plans for implementing the 2010 Census, including three or five year periodic reviews, should be put on hold until further notice from the National Office.  As mentioned during the State Director teleconference on Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013, we will be in a holding pattern until a CR is signed.  We will provide further guidance as soon as we can."



To apply for this or any other loan program contact me today.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Joint VA Loan Benefit Offered to Same-Sex Couples

Per the VA News Feed:
"Effective immediately, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will, to the extent legally possible, begin reviewing applications for the home loan guaranty benefit for same-sex married couples in a manner consistent with processes currently used for opposite-sex married couples."

VA Circular 26-13-18 goes into further explanation....
"Previously, if a Veteran obtained a loan with anyone other than his or her opposite-sex spouse, VA could only guarantee the Veteran’s portion of the loan. On September 4, 2013, the Attorney General of the United States announced that the President had directed the Executive Branch to cease enforcing statutory language in title 38, United States Code, defining a “spouse” or “surviving spouse” as someone of the opposite sex. As a result of the President’s directive, VA and the Department of Justice are working diligently to provide comprehensive guidance on the delivery of benefits to same-sex married Veterans, including guidance for determining applicable state law when establishing the validity of a marriage. In the meantime, VA will now review applications for the home loan guaranty benefit submitted by married same-sex couples. On a case-by-case basis, VA will determine whether same-sex married couples can use both spouses’ incomes to qualify for a loan."
This will open the door for many same sex couples who already have the legal right to marry. Locally here in the Northwest the verdict is split, in Washington State it is legal for same sex couples to marry; as of now Oregon has only broad protections in place but I anticipate this changing in the near future. Maps of current laws by state can be found at freedomtomarry.org and hrc.org

To apply for this or any other loan program contact me today!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Rural Area Change Reminder

Update: Changes to the housing eligible areas map based on 2010 Census data scheduled to take effect 1/15/14, have been postponed to 10/1/14 by passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014. View "Future Eligible Areas." Complete applications received before October 1, 2014, will continue to use rural area definitions based on 2000 Census data. -1/24/14

An update from USDA Rural Development regarding shrinking eligible boundaries...

2010 Census Data Implementation-Eligible Rural Area Change Reminder (Revised)

This update reminds readers about AN 4711 that was updated on March 28, 2013 and provided guidance on eligible rural areas for RHS housing programs.  On March 26, 2013, the President signed “H.R.933 -- Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013” which provided funding through September 30, 2013.  The Bill also extended the eligible rural areas that were in effect as of September 30, 2012 until September 30, 2013 for Rural Housing Service (RHS) housing programs. 

Administrative Notice (AN) 4711 that communicated this policy was issued on March 27, 2013 and was updated on March 28, 2013 (http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/an4711.pdf).  This AN is a replacement of AN 4679, “Implementation of 2010 Census Data for Rural Development Programs”, which was issued on September 27, 2012.  Additionally, a stakeholder announcement was released on March 28, 2013 http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RD-StakeholderAnnouncements.html.

Barring any Congressional actions, implementation of the 2010 Census Data is on schedule for October 1, 2013, which will modify the eligible rural areas for the RHS housing programs.  The future eligibility area maps can be viewed on the USDA Eligibility web site at:  http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov.  (Please note that a few changes of maps in several states will be published in the Future Maps section on September 2nd.  These changes are due to a change in the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) definition).

To apply for this or any other loan program contact me today.

Monday, July 1, 2013

On My Hands and Knees

I had the opportunity to spend a day along with my friends over at Stewart Title in Clackamas on a Habitat for Humanity build -specifically the Orchards project. Being a graduate of Marshall High School I consider this area to be my old stomping grounds and it sure felt good to give back to the community. Home improvement doesn't scare me much but laying cement board when it's about 90 degrees gives the term sweat equity a run for its money... I would however do it again in a heartbeat!  


We learned that the homes are not given away, the homeowners are required to volunteer 500 hours at Habitat as part of the process. Also, according to the Habitat for Humanity website a 1% down payment  is required. The monthly payments are income based with 0% interest and are put into a revolving fund that helps pay for construction of future homes here in the Portland Metro area. 

You can help the program by volunteering your time, donating money or materials, and even by just shopping at a local Re-Store.... How you can help

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Multnomah County to Pilot Proposed Refinance Program aka HARP 3.0

Oregon Housing and Community Services announced that Multnomah County is set to start taking applications for the Rebuilding American Homeownership Assistance Pilot Program or RAHAPP come June 12, 2013. The program also known as HARP 3.0 is a follow up to past programs made available through the Making Home Affordable campaigns HARP and HARP 2.0. Unfortunately millions of underwater homeowners who's loans are not owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac were left out and stuck in mortgages with higher rates and payments. Senator Jeff Merkley introduced a plan back in July of 2012 to help more Americans and boost our economy by proxy. The goal is to take RAHAPP State and Nationwide is the pilot program is successful. Social media has played along too with its #MyRefi but for the official press release click here

Per OSHI:

As a pilot program, opportunities for participation are limited and available only to homeowners living in Multnomah County. Eligibility criteria include, but are not limited to, the following: 
Homeowners must be significantly underwater
Homeowners must be current on existing mortgage payments
Homeowners cannot own other residential property
Existing mortgages cannot be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac 
RAHAPP provides two refinancing options:
15-year mortgage at 4% fixed interest, with a $200,000 loan amount, the APR would be 4.129%.
30-year mortgage at 5% fixed interest, with a $200,000 loan amount, the APR would be 5.077%.

OHSI has contracted Alpine Mortgage Planning to administer RAHAPP, and interested homeowners will be evaluated for and may be offered other refinance options. Refinance fees will apply. 

A quick questionnaire and RAHAPP loan application is available online at oregonhomeownerhelp.org Otherwise to apply for HARP 2.0 or any other loan program contact me today.

Additional Resources:


Disclaimer: Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have adopted changes to the Home Affordable Refinance program (HARP) and you may be eligible to take advantages of these changes.  
If your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, you may be eligible to refinance your mortgage under the enhanced and expanded provisions of HARP.
You can determine whether your mortgage is owned by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae by checking the following websites: