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Top 10 Reasons to use a GOOD LOCAL mortgage broker

During a recent real estate transaction, on which I was the listing agent (representing the seller of the property),  I experienced first-hand the obstacles that can occur when a buyer is using a mortgage broker or loan originator from outside our state.  The closing was unnecessarily delayed by 14 days because the lender did not understand how business is done in Colorado and has no incentive to learn.

Here are my top 10 reasons buyer’s should use a GOOD LOCAL mortgage broker when securing a loan for the purchase of a home:

#10 They understand how real estate transactions are handled in your state.

#9  They have taken the time to establish relationships with title companies ensuring a smooth transaction for your purchase.

#8 They are willing to work closely with everyone involved with the transaction from real estate agents to title companies, inspectors and contractors.  Communication is key in successful real estate transactions

#7  They are able to be more flexible with changing situations throughout the entire process and can respond quickly to special requests.

#6  Using a good local mortgage broker can give you an advantage  in multiple offer situations.  Your offer is evaluated on more than just the purchase price, it will also be evaluated on the likelihood you will make it to the closing table. I have negotiated many multiple offer situations, both as the buyer’s agent and as the seller’s agent.  The reputation of the buyer’s lender is important.

#5 They know about special state, county or city programs that may provide credits or incentives to buyers.

#4 They will focus on your personal GOALS and build a program around what matters most to you: low down payment, target mortgage payment, 1st-time home buyer programs, grants and assistance programs, etc.

#3 They know that every deal is a little different and can successfully navigate you though all the details required to deliver the funds ON-TIME for Closing.

#2 They have an incentive to work closely with you as a client since their business success depends on quality customer service rather than the quantity of transactions.

And the # 1 reason to use a local mortgage broker … You’re making one of the most  important purchases in your lifetime – don’t leave the details to someone who doesn’t  know your market or who hasn’t taken the time to get to know you.

If you’re thinking of buying a home and need a referral to several great local mortgage brokers, be sure to contact me!

Protecting Homeowners from Mortgage Relief Scams

Guest Article by Sarah Parr
Protecting Homeowners from Mortgage Relief Scams
By Sarah Parr
The United States has some of the most deceiving businessmen today: mortgage relief scam artists. They exploit, profit from and give concerned homeowners who are behind on mortgage payments a false sense of security. Scam artists may look through newspapers or foreclosure filings at courthouses and government buildings and target clients from areas known as centers of foreclosure activity. Advertisement may come in the form of door-to-door solicitation, flyers on telephone poles or roadside signs or traditional web, radio and television advertising.
Mortgage relief scams are difficult to decipher, so here are a few tips to avoid encountering a scam.
Before reaching for your wallet…
Qualification of specific government programs that aid in the loan modification process or foreclosure defense is free, according to It also doesn’t cost a cent to speak with a government agency-approved housing counselor. Nevertheless, homeowners frequently report shady companies that charge clients for access to government programs and housing counseling. If a homeowner rescue company asks for a large amount of money upfront for access to the latest government program or a recent mortgage settlement, it could be a sham. Information for housing counseling and government relief programs can be easily accessed online. Homeowners should also be cautious of companies that advise homeowners to pay mortgages to them and not to the loan provider.
Nothing is promised
Foreclosure protection or the modification of a loan is never promised, and access to specific government programs may only be guaranteed for some borrowers. Disappointingly, mortgage relief scam artists will try to persuade someone that a loan modification or foreclosure defense handled by their company is guaranteed. A scam artist may pretend to be a member of a legitimate organization approved by, or affiliated with, the government and state that a homeowner qualifies for a specific government program that aids in foreclosure defense or loan modifications.
Detecting phonies
In order to appear authentic and reliable, scam artists will do anything these days. Non-attorneys often pose as attorneys who only offer loan modification services, according to the New York Times. Consumers should be suspicious of these firms, especially since most law firms include loan modifications as one of many services. Some law firms even pose as non-profit groups that offer loan workouts or forensic loan audits.
Another kind of scam artist, the “foreclosure rescuer,” may convince a client to transfer the title or sell his or her home, and then tell the client to stay in the home as renters. They will reassure the former homeowners that they will be able to reclaim the house once they’ve recovered financially. However, the scam artist will be able to evict the victims and claim the home.
People on the verge of losing their home should watch out for the scams covered above. Also, homeowners who would like a loan modification or who are at risk of foreclosure should never avoid any communication from their lender. Free foreclosure counseling is provided by government agency-certified housing counseling agencies, or by contacting the Homeowners’ HOPE Hotline.

Fiscal Cliff Deal Extends Mortgage Debt Relief Act

Thanks to Denise Wing of Academy National Mortgage for this information:

Thanks to some last minute maneuvers in Congress, the Mortgage Debt Relief Act was extended through the end of 2013 as part of the deal reached by lawmakers to avoid the fiscal cliff. The law was set to expire at the end of 2012. Legislators left in place a 2007 tax break for homeowners whose debt is forgiven by lenders and preserved exemptions for profits on home sales.
Mortgage debt that’s been forgiven by lenders in short sales or loan workouts is typically taxable, which means money coming out of borrowers’ pocketbooks. Short sales are deals in which homeowners sell their properties for less than they are worth as long as banks approve. Help arrived in 2007, when the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act came to be, giving people a break from taxable income on loan balances of up to $2 million, or $1 million for a married tax filer who’s submitting a separate return.
This move will help keep momentum going for a housing market that last year started to reverse a five-year slump that pushed the U.S. economy into the longest recession since the 1930s. The law helps the housing market by reducing the number of foreclosures. Repossessions are also down by one third compared to their highest levels in 2010.
Consumer advocacy groups would like to see a provision that excludes loans in which borrowers tapped their home equity while refinancing to be dropped because it creates a large paperwork burden for everyone who claims an exemption.
It is believed by many analysts the expiration of the mortgage-debt relief act could have led to serious economic consequences for parts of the nation. Possible outcomes included a surge in bankruptcies and foreclosures because certain borrowers would have been stuck with a tax bill after a short sale or loan modification. This could also have led to a reduction in the number of homes available in the market as consumers would have attempted fewer short sales and simply let their homes go back to the lender.
Since there are some situations were a tax liability could still be incurred, please consult your tax professional about the consequences of completing a short sale or home loan modification.
Keeping You Informed
Academy National Mortgage Corporation mortgage professionals are dedicated to keeping you informed of the latest market trends and mortgage options. Call Academy National Mortgage Corporation today at 303-987-0622, to obtain custom loan options designed to fit your needs and help you obtain your home goals.

Upside Down? Refinance with HARP 2.0

Are you upside down on the mortgage for your home, 2nd home or investment property?  Would you like to take advantage of the low interest rates but assumed you couldn’t?

My husband and I own a rental property in N Aurora.  The loan was an “interest only” loan and the property is worth about $10,000 LESS than what we owe.  We have been frustrated wishing we could refinance but not being able to afford to bring that much money to the closing table.

Earlier this summer I heard about the HARP 2.0 program.  HARP stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program.

Home Affordable Refinance addresses the problem faced by millions of homeowners who have been unable to take advantage of low mortgage rates to refinance because their property value has fallen. The loan modification program is intended to prevent foreclosure for borrowers in default or in imminent danger of default, and has clear guidelines regarding qualification and terms.”

 We have been approved for a new loan at a lower interest rate for a monthly payment that is slightly less than what we were paying for the interest only portion of our previous loan.  No appraisal was required, either.  I can’t explain what a relief it is to know that we no longer have to worry about the payments on that property going up.  Our rent barely covers the mortgage payment and other expenses and any increase could easily put us in a serious financial bind.

For specific details about the program you can go to, then contact your mortgage broker or current lender and ask for help getting the refinance started.

Here is a brief summary of the eligibility requirements:

  • The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. You can check to see if your current mortgage is eligible by going to the Freddie Mac and/or Fannie Mae  websites.
  • The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
  • The mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009.
  • The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%.
  • The borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance, with no late payment in the past six months and no more than one late payment in the past 12 months.

Additional information:

  • There is NO maximum loan to value ratio if you currently have a fixed rate mortgage. If you have an adjustable rate mortgage the loan to value ratio cannot be above 105%.
  • They’ve also tried to streamline the process by using an automated valuation model (AVM), which in many cases will not require you pay for an appraisal.

I am not a lender or mortgage broker and don’t intend for this blog post to cover all of the details and requirements but to let you know that there may be some help for you.  Be prepared to spend many hours getting your documentation together for the underwriter’s but in our experience it was time well spent.

If you live in the Metro Denver area would like some referrals to mortgage brokers that can help you get started, please feel free to contact me.

4 Tips for home mortgage shoppers

These tips were provided by Denise Wing of Academy National Mortgage. To contact Denise visit her website at  or give her a call at 303-987-0622.
Finding the mortgage product that fits your lifestyle and financial situation is crucial to any refinance or new home purchase. If you are one of the many looking to take advantage of the current low rates and discounted homes on market, read these 4 tips before making your next mortgage decision.
Get acquainted with mortgage basics
Get educated! Borrowers should know terminology and mortgage basics before they shop. By knowing mortgage lingo and market conditions you can be sure to understand the terms of the mortgage product and discuss any concerns or questions you may have with your Academy National Mortgage Corporation mortgage specialist.

Know your credit score
In order to get the best interest rate possible, you’ll want to ensure your credit score is up to snuff. Request your free annual credit report and amend any discrepancies before applying for a mortgage. Addressing any issues on your credit report prior to applying for that loan will allow you to take advantage of more desirable mortgage rates and products.

Shop your product options
It’s always tempting to simply pick the product with the lowest interest rate, but buyers should also consider closing costs and points before locking into their new loan. Work with your mortgage professional to determine the mortgage products that best fit your financial situation and loan needs.
Though conventional loans (which require a 20% down payment) are typically the most desirable, a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) may be more feasible. FHA insured mortgages almost always require mortgage insurance which is paid for by you, the borrower, in return for issuing a minimal down payment (typically 5-10%) and less restrictive qualifying requirements..

Know the market trends
Mortgage rates adjust daily. If you find a low rate on a loan you like, consider getting a rate lock. A rate lock reserves that interest rate for a certain number of days and can protect you from a rise in the interest rate which may potentially increase your monthly mortgage payment.
Remember, after you’ve locked the rate, you’ll want to work closely with your Academy National Mortgage Corporation mortgage professional to ensure your loan will close before the lock period ends.

The top four housing market trends to keep your eye on this summer

This article is compliments of Denise Wing of Academy National Mortgage
As we enter into the dog days of summer many would expect house sales and prices to pick up, but according to economists and mortgage professionals, this may not be the case in many major markets. Read on to learn a bit more about some of the up and coming mortgage application trends, rate trends and buying trends to ensure you’re making financially wise decisions this summer.

Mortgage Rates Are Low, but Predicted to Rise
Though rates remain low, many economists expect mortgage rates to rise, especially now that the Federal government has pulled out of the mortgage game. If you are one of those homeowners who have been putting off a refinance, you may want to consider making the move and locking into a rate within the next few months.
Housing Prices Continue to Fall
Traditionally the summer is known as the home buying season, but according to Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), sales are projected to be slow and few in many major housing markets. If you’re in search of a property deal, now’s the time to hunt.
Take advantage of the slow summer market.
New Twist in the Mortgage Application Process
If you’re in the midst of applying for a mortgage, think twice before taking on new debt. Sure, it may be tempting to apply for your favorite store’s credit offer and save 20% on your purchase, but this small savings can derail your mortgage application process. Mortgage professionals are now required to check your credit before closing, so applying for a new credit card or loan while your mortgage application is being processed may result in major approval delays.
Accurate Good Faith Estimates (GFE)
The feds are cracking down on those lenders who deliver inaccurate good faith estimates and secretly slip in surprise fees at closing. With an accurate GFE you can borrow with confidence. An accurate GFE will ensure you’re fully aware of all fees upfront so that you’re not stuck with any unexpected expenses when all is said and done.

With these mortgage and housing trends in effect, it is plain to see that now is prime time for buyers and homeowners to consider purchasing a new home or refinancing their current mortgage. Visit Academy National Mortgage Corporation online at or call a mortgage specialist at 303-987-0622 to find a mortgage program that is right for you.
Keeping You Informed
Academy National Mortgage Corporation mortgage professionals are dedicated to keeping you informed of the latest market trends and mortgage options. Visit Academy National Mortgage Corporation online at, or call us today at 303-987-0622, to obtain custom loan options designed to fit your needs and help you obtain your home goals.

Denise Wing
Academy National Mortgage Corporation

Phone: 303-987-0622