Saturday, December 28, 2013

Want To Qualify For First Time Home Buyer Grant Programs?

There are plenty of grant programs offered by different Counties within Maryland.  In order to qualify for those programs you must take a Home Buyer class that teaches you, not only the components involved with buying your home, but also what it takes to keep your home.  Some of these grant programs provide upwards of $40,000 so it would be advantageous to do whatever is necessary to partake in these grant programs.  We recommend joining the Home Buyer's Club with Hope Financial.  They also offer a Fast Track class but we know there's no fast way to learn what it takes to achieve the American dream of home ownership.  See the comparison below.
Keller Williams Preferred Properties has invited Hope Financial into our office to offer the Fast Track class on January 11, 2014 from 9 - 5 pm.  You must call Hope Financial directly in order to register, 301-567-3330.  We thought this would make it easy on our wonderful clients who have already know where our office is.  Register to get your grant money today.  As I always tell my personal clients, if we don't use the money they'll stop offering it.  So use the money. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

How the Shut Down Impacts Your Mortgage Loan Processing

The Federal Government shutdown has occurred. 

So what does this mean to you, in general?  For the most part not much, unless it is for an extended period.  The most serious impacts are felt by USDA buyers.  Below is a general outline of what affects it will have on our industry.  These affects may change by lender.

 FHA Loans
·         Lenders will be able to obtain a FHA case number from the FHA Connection
·         Limited FHA staff to respond to questions
·         CAIVRS will be available to determine if a borrower has a delinquent federal debt
·         FHA Total Scorecard will be available
·         FHA will collect the Upfront MIP during a shutdown

·         The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will continue to operate if there is a government shutdown, which means lenders will be able to continue originating VA-guaranteed loans.  Both lenders and borrowers will be able to obtain the Certificate of Eligibility online, and they will still be able to submit applications and follow up on COEs that require more research with the Atlanta Eligibility Center.

Will VA loans be adversely affected in any way?  Answer = no

·         Indications are that Rural Development will cease all but essential functions and no new loans or guarantees will be made.

Will we be able to obtain a conditional commitment?  Answer = No
Can we close a loan without the conditional commitment?  Answer = No
Can we close a loan if we have the conditional commitment?  Answer = Yes

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
·         The IRS will NOT process any forms, including tax transcripts (Form 4506T).

Can we close loans without the tax transcripts?  Answer = No

Social Security Administration (SSA)
·         The SSA will likely NOT be able to verify social security numbers.

Can we close loans without verifying the social security number?  Answer = No

Fannie and Freddie
·         Fannie and Freddie would not be directly affected, except to the extent they rely on verification and other functions of HUD, IRS, and SSA.

Federal Reserve
·         The Federal Reserve – including the reserve banks – is not funded through the annual appropriations process;  thus a government shutdown would have no impact on Federal Reserve operations, including payment system and open market functions.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
·         The CFPB is not funded through the annual appropriations process; thus a government shutdown should have no impact on CFPB operations.

FEMA Flood Insurance
·         It is likely that mapping issues or amendments will be impacted.
·         Most functions will be unaffected because of their use of contractors and public/private partnerships.

Will I be able to get flood insurance?  Answer = yes
If the subject property is not yet mapped by FEMA and needs research by FEMA will my loan be affected?  Answer = yes
Can I close the loan if mapping research cannot be completed by FEMA?  Answer = no

Call or email me with any questions.

George Flower IIINMLSR ID 193157

Branch Sales Mgr - Prod
Prosperity Mortgage Company | 590 Baltimore PK FL 1 | Bel Air, MD 21014
Phone (410)274-7252| Fax (866)359-2062

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New FHA Program Seeks to Return Foreclosed Borrowers to Homeownership

Housing Options & Planning Enterprises, Inc. (H.O.P.E.)
Housing Options & Planning Enterprises, Inc. 
September 9, 2013
Real Estate Professionals,
The FHA "Back To Work" Program Is Official!
That's good news for borrowers who lost their home due to specific financial hardships but can now demonstrate they have regained their previously lost financial ground. 

Housing Options & Planning Enterprises, Inc. (H.O.P.E.)
New FHA Program seeks to return foreclosed borrower to homeownership

After more than 2.5 million foreclosures, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is now offering a Homeownership Program that will put previously troubled borrowers back on a fast-track to the home ownership market. The new program known as "Back to Work - Extenuating Circumstance" cuts the standard three-year waiting period to only 12 months. 
The list of eligible financial hardships reads like a list of housing crisis woes:

· Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy
· Deed-in-lieu
· Forbearance
· Foreclosure
· Loan modification
· Loss of income, employment or both that totaled at least 20 percent of previous earnings for at least six months - including copies of applicable termination notices or changes in employment status
· Pre-foreclosure sales
· Short sales
Additionally, consumers must also meet other verifiable measures to participate in the program:
· Proof of borrower's current income - usually W-2 forms or federal tax returns that show the desired mortgage would be affordable and sustainable;
· Credit history pre and post the eligible hardship event that is free from late payments or other major credit issues, including rental housing payments and accounts delinquent by 30 days or more;
· Credit score of at least 500; and
· Housing counseling by a HUD-approved counselor at least 30 days but no more than six months before submitting an FHA application.
For consumers meeting all of these criteria as well as other standing FHA mortgage guidelines, the Back to Work program is now available nationwide through FHA-approved lenders. Once participating lenders determine that mortgage applicants meet all eligibility and policy criteria, the same 3.5 percent minimum FHA down payment requirement will apply. Mortgage insurance and closing costs will also apply.
Only one FHA program is ineligible for the Back to Work program: reverse mortgages.

For more information about FHA "Back To Work" Program the Question & Answer form is link

Thank You, 
HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Down Payment & Closing Cost Help for First Time Home Buyers

This post is a list of the programs that the State of Maryland and District of Columbia offers for first time home buyers.  The link opens a new web page for the program web site.

CDA, DSELP, HK4E: The Maryland Mortgage Program

MD Home Programs Web Site: A list of all available programs in MD

Buy Suitland Program

DC Opens Doors


DC Tax Abatement Program - No Link.  Just check with your title company to see if you qualify.

What's most important is having a loan officer who is well versed and has experience in offering the programs.  In addition to these programs different mortgage companies may have their own programs to offer.

You should trust that your real estate professional, ME, has referrals for loan officers that have your best interest at heart.

GOOGLE ME - Angel S.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Copies of Prior Year Federal Tax Returns and/or a Transcript

Copies of Prior Year Federal Tax Returns and/or a Transcript

Most taxpayers will ask for a copy of their prior year tax return. In many cases, however, a transcript will provide the information they need more quickly. Transcripts provide taxpayers with a computer-created record of their tax return which includes most of the line-items as filed with the IRS, including any accompanying forms and schedules. The transcript does not reflect any changes the taxpayer, his/her representative, or the IRS made after the return was filed.
  • To download Form 4506 (Request for Copy of Tax Return) or Form 4506T (Request for Transcript of Return), refer to this page.
  • If you were impacted by a federally declared disaster, you may request a transcript by phone at 1-866-562-5227 (Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday-Friday, your local time - except Alaska and Hawaii which are Pacific time.) You will still need to submit Form 4506 for an actual copy of a return. Send your request to the office indicated on Form 4506. You may fax or mail your request. Write the word “Disaster” on the top of Form 4506 and your request will be expedited at no charge.
  • If the taxpayer used a professional preparer to prepare the prior year's return, he/she can request a copy of the return from the preparer. If they need help locating the preparer, the Electronic Return Originator data base may help.
  • To request copies in person, you may refer taxpayers to the nearest IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC).
  • For practitioners only – E-services (if enrolled)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Foreclosure Prevention from Secretary Raymond Skinner

Message from the Secretary:
Please Do Not Tune Us Out

I worry that our "Mortgage Late? Don't Wait!" message may begin to fall on deaf ears. We've been fighting this foreclosure crisis for well over five years, now. Our Office of Community Outreach has participated in nearly 700 foreclosure prevention workshops and forums and we have reached well over one million Marylanders through direct mail, our website, advertising and our 24-hour MD HOPE Hotline.

Our message has been simple: if you are late on your mortgage, do not wait to call us for help!

But sometimes, when you say the same thing over and over again, the very people you need to reach will begin to tune you out. We know how scary it can be for a family to face losing their home; it is like seeing all of your hopes and dreams collapse into a nightmare. We know that a homeowner engulfed in such a nightmare can reach a point of paralysis and indecision that is a lot like being in shock.

Yet there is nothing we can say that gets more directly to the point: We cannot save every home. But we can help every homeowner who contacts one of our MD HOPE counselors navigate the Byzantine foreclosure process and find the best, most sustainable solution for their family.

Many families may receive mailings from DHCD in upcoming days. I urge you to open them. Those letters will contain important information about upcoming workshops and forums, designed to put you in direct contact with the resources and the information you need.

In This Issue

Sesame Street is Helping Families

Foreclosure Mediation Works

MD Foreclosures Rose - 2012

Counseling Agencies Receive $11.8 Million in Funding

MD exceeds $1.1 Billion in Mortgage Settlement Relief

Sec. Skinner on WEAA Radio

Cong. Cummings Plans June Foreclosure Prevention Workshop

Study: Homeowners Less Likely to Default if They Get Counseling


refinance event - lender and customer
Refi Workshop Brings Homeowners and Lenders Together 

More than 500 homeowners met face-to-face with lenders and nonprofit housing counselors on April 6 to get help refinancing through the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program, which is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31. Read More
  F E A T U R E    S T O R I E S

Sesame Street is Helping Families in Financial Trouble  
Face the Tough Questions

Elmo, the iconic Sesame Street Muppet asks, "Why isn't mommy at work today?"

That's a tough question from a Muppet; it's even tougher from a small child whose parents are in danger of losing their home..

Sesame Street has launched the "Families Stand Together" initiative to help families find ways to address that and many other questions as even many middle class families struggle with the stress and uncertainty in the wake of one of the most prolonged economic downturns since the Great Depression. Read More
Mediation Counselor - Jessica Smith-Harper
Foreclosure Mediation Works -  
But You've Got to Work At It   

Maryland counselors have been urging families to explore mediation as a means of bringing the lender to the negotiating table to find sustainable alternatives to foreclosure.

But even with mediation, the path to a solution isn't easy.

"Even people working with this on a daily basis sometimes come in thinking mediation will bring about a magical transformation in the lender, but it doesn't," says Jessica Smith-Harper of Mid-Shore Pro Bono, a legal services counseling agency on the Eastern Shore. "But, in the end - in almost every case - a decision is eventually made that is favorable to the homeowner. Even if it's not exactly what they hoped for, in almost every case the result is close enough for the homeowner to be able to regroup financially and move forward. They just have to stick with it and be persistent." Read More 
  I N   T H E   N E W S
Foreclosures Rose in 2012,
But Remained Below National Average
Maryland foreclosures rose nearly 20 percent in 2012 as lenders, encouraged by the state's improving housing market, finally began addressing their backlog of seriously delinquent loans. Read More
Maryland Foreclosure Prevention Counseling Agencies Get $11.8M 
Secretary Skinner joined Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and Attorney General Douglas Gansler to announce the award of $11.8 million over three years to the 39 foreclosure prevention counseling agencies belonging to the MD HOPE Counseling Network. Read More
Mortgage Settlement Relief in Maryland Exceeds $1.1 Billion
Distressed Maryland homeowners received more than $1.1 billion in relief through the National Mortgage Settlement during the first 10 months of the program, according to a progress report by the court-appointed monitor. Read More
Successful Homeowners
Secretary Skinner Talks About Seeking Help on WEAA Radio
Secretary Skinner urged homeowners facing foreclosure to seek help as early as possible by calling the Maryland HOPE Hotline Counseling Network at (877) 462-7555.

"I certainly would encourage people in financial difficulty not to go it alone in terms of working with their lender," Secretary Skinner said during an interview with hostess Deborah Owens on WEAA-FM Wealthy Radio.
Read More
Cong. Cummings Plans JuneForeclosure Prevention Workshop
When Seventh District Congressman Elijah Cummings worked in partnership with DHCD to host his first foreclosure prevention workshop in June 2009, the response was overwhelming. Nearly 1,000 distressed homeowners showed up to meet face-to-face with counselors, lenders and pro bono attorneys during the one-day event. Read More 
Study: Homeowners Less Likely to Default if They Get Counseling Before They Buy   
  A new study is confirming what intuition and common sense already suggested: homeowners who went through pre-purchase counseling were less likely to fall behind in their mortgage payments than those who didn't. Read More

Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Real Estate Provisions in “Fiscal Cliff” Bill -

Real Estate Provisions in “Fiscal Cliff” Bill

On Jan. 1 both the Senate and House passed H.R. 8 legislation to avert the “fiscal cliff.” The bill was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Jan. 2.
Below is a summary of real estate related provisions in the bill:

Real Estate Tax Extenders

  • Mortgage Cancellation Relief is extended for one year to Jan. 1, 2014
  • Deduction for Mortgage Insurance Premiums for filers making below $110,000 is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012
  • 15-year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements on commercial properties is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012
  • 10 percent tax credit (up to $500) for homeowners for energy improvements to existing homes is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012

Permanent Repeal of Pease Limitations for 99% of Taxpayers

Under the agreement so called “Pease Limitations” that reduce the value of itemized deductions are permanently repealed for most taxpayers but will be reinstituted for high income filers.  These limitations will only apply to individuals earning more than $250,000 and joint filers earning above $300,000.  These thresholds have been increased and are indexed for inflation and will rise over time.  Under the formula, the amount of adjusted gross income above the threshold is multiplied by 3 percent.  That amount is then used to reduce the total value of the filer’s itemized deductions.  The total amount of reduction cannot exceed 80 percent of the filer’s itemized deductions.
These limits were first enacted in 1990 (named for the Ohio Congressman Don Pease who came up with the idea) and continued throughout the Clinton years.  They were gradually phased out as a result of the 2001 tax cuts and were completely eliminated in 2010-2012.  Had we gone over the fiscal cliff, Pease limitations would have been reinstituted on all filers starting at $174,450 of adjusted gross income. 

Capital Gains

Capital Gains rate stays at 15 percent for those in the top rate of $400,000 (individual) and $450,000 (joint) return.  After that, any gains above those amounts will be taxed at 20 percent.  The $250,000/$500,000 exclusion for sale of principal residence remains in place.

Estate Tax

The first $5 million dollars in individual estates and $10 million for family estates are now exempted from the estate tax.  After that the rate will be 40 percent, up from 35 percent.  The exemption amounts are indexed for inflation.
Article from