Posts Tagged: ‘Credit’

Payment Increases on Equity Lines

August 14, 2014 Posted by Andre Hemmersbach

During the last five years millions of homeowners have taken advantage of the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) or in the case of mortgages that did not fall under HAMP,  lenders’ proprietary modification programs. These Loan Modification programs (Loan Mods) were initiated to offer relief to desperate homeowners who were facing foreclosure due to various circumstances through temporary rate reductions or interest rate abatements. The key term in the above statement is “temporary”!  Loan Mods along with Home Equity Lines Of Credit (HELOC), a mortgage that is similar to a credit card, will see upward rate and payment adjustments, sending some homeowners back to the brink of financial crisis. (More on HELOCs later.)

To qualify for a Loan Modification borrowers were asked to submit an income and asset package to the lender proving a hardship and current stable income. If the borrower qualified, the lender dropped the interest rate as much as 3 or 4 percentage points and renegotiated a monthly mortgage payment that would represent about 45% of the borrower’s monthly gross income. Via the modification agreement, the borrower usually promised to return to the original rate and terms of the mortgage through 1% annual increases after a five year period.

The Real Estate Bubble burst in late 2008 and the loan modification programs started to gain momentum in 2009 and hit full stride in 2010 through 2012, therefore the first round of the notices for payment increases via the loan modification agreements are starting to be sent out.

Borrowers facing this issue today may have some additional alternatives that were not available to them back in the middle of the recession. At least in Southern California, equity positions have seen healthy gains and the job/income outlook have improved slightly. Options homeowners may consider are: refinancing to current low mortgage rates (albeit at higher rates than their modified rate but lower than their final rate), making the new higher payments via their modification agreement, selling their home to downsize or rent.

As a whole, HELOCs mortgage payments will also be increasing. The basic issue is that the 10 year interest only introductory period, typical in these mortgage products, is now coming due. Homeowner’s with balances on their HELOC will on the 10th anniversary move to a fully amortized 20 year loan and experience a fairly large payment increase. I have previously blogged about the dangers of HELOCs and you can read the remainder of the article at https://cahomehunters.com/real-estate-time-bomb/.

Bottom-line…. homeowners with these types of mortgage products who do not have the ability to afford the payment increases, may have to make some difficult decisions in the near future.

If I can be of assistance in giving you or a friend advice or direction with these type of products please let me know, as I would be happy to help them.

Also see: http://newsroom.transunion.com/press-releases/transunion-study-identifies-framework-for-managing-1136135#.U-0un_ldV8E

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/29/rate-increases-for-hamp-loan-modifications-2009/4964701/

http://www.pwc.com/us/en/consumer-finance/publications/avoiding-default-risk-mortgage-modification-resets.jhtml

 

How does your credit score measure up?

December 13, 2013 Posted by Andre Hemmersbach

Every once in a while I will get a customer that wants to know how his score compares to the average person. So I did a little research and was surprised to find out that credit scores were not dispersed as I had thought.

Your credit score is a numerical reflection of the quality of your credit based on statistical logarithms developed by some brainiac math geniuses that will not release the exact formula they use. But the generalities break down like this:

Payment history, length of credit history, recent inquiries, number of accounts and used credit vs available credit. For more on how credit scores are generated and how you can raise your score see How a credit score is figured

Back to credit score averages. Statistically, I was expecting to find a bell-shaped curve where the majority of people are in the middle and that either end of the spectrum (lowest and highest scores) would have less people. Apparently credit quality is fairly even across the board. See the chart below to see how you compare.

Its important that you know your credit score and that it accurately reflects your credit history as generally speaking the higher the credit score, the more likely you are to be offered better credit terms.

If I can be of any assistance in educating you about your credit score in preparation of buying your home, please call me.

 

 

Anatomy Of Your Credit Score

November 23, 2013 Posted by Andre Hemmersbach

A Credit Score is a number that ranks a consumer’s credit risk based on a statistical evaluation of information in the consumer’s credit file. In layman’s terms, it’s a number that represents the risk that you will default on a loan, using your prior payment history and other factors as a benchmark. Statistically speaking, the higher your credit score number the less likely the lender will experience delinquencies or a default on your account. Different industries use different credit score products. For instance mortgage lenders rely on FICO or the Fair Issac Credit Company score to determine your credit risk level for home loans. A car dealer and a credit card company may rely on different credit score products. Each mathematical algorithm used to calculate credit scores is unique and extremely complex, so the information below is a simple explanation of how a FICO credit score works.

A FICO score is based on five different weighted factors as presented in the pie chart below:

The most common question I hear about a borrower’s credit score, is how to quickly increase the borrower’s representative score, so that we can get the borrower approved for a home loan. Sometimes we can also quickly improve a score to get a client a better rate and fee combination. The basics for increasing your credit score are all related to the weighted factors in the chart above and have to do with:

  • Correcting any delinquent payment histories that are incorrect.
  • Paying off account balances.
  • Rearranging account balances.

We have tools available by which we can create a plan that actually allows us to try different credit scenario fixes and measure the resulting credit score improvements. This new tool has already saved many of our clients time, money and frustration and is not available through your standard mortgage conduits. If you are looking to purchase a home in the next six months I would highly recommend a free credit consultation to make sure you have the best possible chance of getting the lowest interest rates on your mortgage.

Finally, when dealing with credit score issues it’s best to get help from someone who understands how credit scores are figured.  Attempting to raise your credit score yourself could be counterproductive as simple mistakes made during the process can actually decrease your credit scores delaying or making your home loan more expensive.  Please call me if I can help you.

Basics of Negotiating with Collection Agencies

May 10, 2013 Posted by Andre Hemmersbach

These simple tactics work on unsecured debt only, mainly credit cards to include department store cards, medical bills and bounced checks. You cannot negotiate on Liens, Judgments and other items.

Remember you always want to negotiate for removal of the derogatory item.

  • An old unpaid collections account is far better for your credit score than a recent paid collection account.  A paid collections account is a negative mark on your report, therefore always negotiate for the removal of the derogatory item!

There are two basic methods to negotiate with collection agencies.

First of all you will want to negotiate with a manager, not some customer service rep as they usually don’t have the authority. It’s also important to only work with them via written letters or email so you have a paper trail.

1)      Payment in Full. Let’s say you have a $500 debt with an agency. Offer them $200 to settle the debt and to have the item removed from the Big Three (Trans Union, Equifax and Experian). They have probably only paid pennies on the dollar so trust me, they are profiting and willing to work with you most of the time. Do not let them simply update the item to a paid collection or paid account.

2)      Set up a payment plan. If you don’t have the cash on hand offer to make monthly payments  which you can afford and make sure to get the agreement in writing! It can be a simple written contract which states that the collection or derogatory rating will be removed after the agreed upon amount is paid in full.

If you have any questions regarding this or any other tips on increasing your credit score please call me.

Don’t Let Your Credit Cost You Money

July 2, 2012 Posted by Andre Hemmersbach

I Want The Top Ten FICO Drivers