Ingrid B. Quinn

NMLS ID #211652 Arizona, Loan Consultant


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First and Second Combo Mortgages are Making a Come Back!

983077351003885_mortgage-applicationI have recently come across loan pre-qualifications where a 1st and 2nd combination mortgage loan option may be the right solution for a client. One main reason that a client may wish to separate their total mortgage amount into two loans; avoiding P.M.I. (private mortgage insurance). Many lenders including Cobalt Mortgage offer these types of loan scenarios when buying a home. Use of the combination of a 1st mortgage and 2nd mortgage is when the total amount to be borrowed is to be separated in to two loans. This is typically done with the first mortgage being within conforming loan guidelines (loan amount depending on location of the home) and a secondary retail or private loan being is set up for the remaining amount. A conforming (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) first mortgage will typically have more favorable interest rates than a non-conforming loan. Second mortgages can be taken in typically 2 forms, as a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) or a fixed rate mortgage.
PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance is required by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as most investors when a 20% down payment is not made. Private mortgage insurance is paid to protect the lender against loss if a borrower defaults on a loan. Some borrowers choose to use a 1st and 2nd mortgage loan option when they have money for a down payment; however it is not enough to meet the 20% requirement. I have discussed P.M.I. in detail in my previous blog “P.M.I. vs. M.I.P. What’s the Difference?” (Please feel free to visit that blog for further information on that subject) PMI may also be tax deductible for some clients but for those who it is not, may want the 2nd mortgage for the purpose of having tax deductible interest.
It is best to discuss your options with your mortgage lender and your tax professional for guidance on the options right for you. For questions or suggestions please feel free to contact me at Ingrid.Quinn@CobaltMortgage.com or visit me at http://www.ScottsdaleMortgageExpert.com or http://www.CobaltMortgage.com/IngridQuinn .


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Jumbo Loans vs Conforming Loans

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I recently began working with a client on a home loan that requires Jumbo financing. I was surprised to hear that the realtor was running into trouble finding a lender to provide the financing her clients needs. So I felt that an explanation of the two types of programs was required. Every client has a unique situation and should speak with a professional about their specific needs. So back to the subject at hand, a jumbo loan!

There are conforming loans and non-conforming loans. Conforming loans are loans that adhere to guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the amounts vary, depending on where you live and what the median prices for homes are. In most of the areas of the country, $417,000 is the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limit. In higher cost areas of the country such as California, Hawaii and the Washington, DC metropolitan area, there are Conforming-Jumbo Loans (also called Conforming “High Balance” loans). They range from $417,001 up to $625,500 for a single unit property (single family homes, condos, townhouses), 10% is the minimum down payment. These loans have rates approximately .25% to .375% higher than Conforming loans. And condos have higher rates by approximately .25% on these as well. Multifamily properties also have higher rates by approximately .25%, and higher down payment requirements of 20% to 25% down.

A home loan that goes over either of these types of loans is considered non-conforming and is referred to as a Jumbo loan. Jumbo loans (also called Non-Conforming) are from $625,501 and up for high cost areas and $417,001 and up for the rest of the country. The minimum down payment required is usually 20% though there are select programs that may offer a lower down payment. An example may be a doctor’s loan. These loans have rates approximately .5% higher than Conforming loans. Condos and multifamily properties may or may not have higher rates depending on the lender.

Jumbo loans are for the luxury or higher priced market. They are designed to meet the needs of the high income, high asset and high credit score client or in certain cases the just high asset, high credit score client. For more information about Jumbo loans, please contact me at Ingrid.Quinn@cobaltmortgage.com or visit my websites http://www.scottsdalemortgageexpert.com or http://www.cobaltmortgage.com/ingridquinn.


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To Make a Pre-Payment or Not?

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I get this question quite often from clients who would like to make a lump sum payment and reduce their mortgage payment without going through a full refinance. Check with your servicer to find out if they offer this feature in your loan or if you are contemplating a purchase or new refinance, it is a good question to field before you choose a lender for your transaction. The feature initially discussed is a courtesy offered by your servicer and not all lenders or servicers allow for recasting. Prepayment without penalty is allowed on most loan products and a review of your loan documents at closing is important.

Recasting is the process whereby a borrower applies a significant one-time payment to substantially reduce the unpaid principal balance of the loan in order to lower the monthly payment. Although the remaining loan term and interest rate remain unchanged, re-amortizing the loan based on the newly reduced principal amount results in a lower monthly payment. Conventional, conforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans are generally eligible, but loan recasts are not allowed on FHA and VA loans. Recasting a jumbo loan depends on the individual loan.

Different lenders will require a different minimum principal curtailment. Typically, the minimum is $5,000 or even $10,000. There will be a nominal one time fee ranging from $100-$500 also. The interest rate on the loan will not change and the re-amortization will be over the remaining original term of the loan. The loan will be re-amortized based on the newly reduced principal amount, resulting in a decreased Principal and Interest (P&I) payment and an overall lower monthly payment. New billing statements will be adjusted to reflect the lower payment amount.

This is a good alternative to a refinance when you have a more favorable interest rate than what the current market is offering. Also, there are no typical refinance closing costs related to the re-amortized loan process.
On the other side of this scenario, is a lump sum payment keeping the P & I payment the same and the term of the loan will then be shortened. This is a typical pre-payment. It obviously will depend on your long term reasons for opting for either type of loan restructure and you should consult your financial professional and your mortgage professional for guidance.

For questions please feel free to email me at Ingrid.quinn@cobaltmortgage.com or visit http://www.scottsdalemortgageexpert.com or http://www.cobaltmortgage.com/ingridquinn.


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Don’t Kill Your Credit Score!

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Credit, Credit, Credit! Your credit score is a crucial part of your financial future and present. Whether you are looking to open a credit card, buy a home/vehicle your credit score will not only dictate your ability to make that purchase, but also what interest rate you will have. You have three different credit scores, but for this article I am going to focus in on one and that is your FICO credit score. It registers on a range of 300 to 850.
You should strive to have a score of 780 or higher to be in the best shape to make major purchases with the best interest rates. In the mortgage industry we suggest that our clients hold a minimum of a 620 credit score. This is primarily the lowest score most, not all, lenders have as a threshold for a mortgage.
Now let’s get down to what this article is all about. What can damage your credit score and what you should look out for. I will discuss seven different things that can greatly affect your credit score.
Carrying Large Balances:
You should never accumulate large amounts of debt. Yes, keeping a large balance on a credit card can enable you to increase that cards limit. However, you need to be aware that your debt effects about 30% of your overall credit score.
Closing Credit Cards:
This may seem like a smart move if you are having credit issues, but the length of time you hold a line of credit also effects your credit score. If you are able to maintain a credit card for many years it looks much better on your credit as opposed to quickly paying off balances and closing cards.
Paying Late:
Nobody wants to see a late payment charge on their account and payment history is a major factor that lenders look into. For your FICO credit score, payment history makes up about 35% of the score.
Defaulting:
It may seem obvious, but failing to pay back an owed amount to a lender will severely damage your credit score. The largest form of default is bankruptcy or foreclosure on a home. Both of these situations can easily cut your credit score by 100 points.
Having to many lines of open credit:
This is when the age old phrase “to much of a good thing,” comes into play. Applying for a loan or credit card with numerous creditors can cause your credit score take a small hit. If you apply for multiple lines of credit at the same time, those little hits will add up quickly.
Not Having a Credit Card:
Many people are cutting up their cards and closing their accounts in hopes of helping to keep them out of debt, but this is a double edged sword. On the one side you are not accumulating more debt and in turn do not have to worry about payment. On the other hand, you are not showing payment/credit history and are not helping your credit. Having a small credit card that you use for something specific like fuel or groceries is smart to have as long as you are able to make your payment at the end of the month.
Co-Signing:
We all have friends and family we care about. There are times where those people may need our help to qualify to receive a line of credit. You must take precautions when choosing to co-sign on anything. If you are not fully capable of taking on that debt alone it may not be the best choice to help. You should always prepare for the worst and if for some reason the person you co-sign with is not able to make the payment it will become your responsibility. You don’t want to be faced with a collection agency looking for money from you because you tried to help someone out.

These are all great examples of what can hurt your credit score and things you should look out for. You should always be diligent about keeping up with your credit score and know what’s going on. Work smarter so you don’t have to work harder in the long run.
If you have any questions regarding a home mortgage or suggestions please feel free to email me at Ingrid.Quinn@CobaltMortgage.com or visit me at http://www.CobaltMortgage.com/IngridQuinn or http://www.ScottsdaleMortgageExpert.com


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M.B.A. Shows Mortgage Applications Decreasing

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The Mortgage Bankers Association released a weekly survey as of Aug. 21st, 2013 that spoke about mortgage applications. We recently had been seeing the market increase at a rapid rate and it is surprising that applications would decrease so suddenly.
The MBA stated that their finding s shows, “The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 4.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 5 percent compared with the previous week.”
Form the press release we can see that this drop is not due to the lack of people buying home, but rather people no longer refinancing. “The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent from one week earlier,” where as “The Refinance Index has dropped 62.1 percent from the recent peak reached during the week of May 3, 2013.”
It seems that this recent shift away from refinancing is really affecting the real-estate market. The MBA state that this change has greatly to do with rate changes in the past month, “The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to 4.68 percent from 4.56 percent, with points increasing to 0.42 from 0.39 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan- to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week.”
This is speaking on a national level. The MBA covers 75% of retail residential mortgage applications in the U.S. . People should not be afraid to purchase or refinance right now. Rates being in the mid 4’s are truly not bad. In the time I have spent working in the mortgage industry I have seen rates more than twice that and people were still buying homes.
Buyers need to be aware of that is happening in the market and not hesitate to ask questions and seek out answers. For the full press release please visit http://www.mortgagebankers.org/NewsandMedia/PressCenter/85394.htm .
For any questions of suggestions please feel free to email me at Ingrid.Quinn@cobaltmortgage.com of visit me at http://www.CobaltMortgae.com/IngridQuinn or http://www.ScottsdaleMortageExpert.com


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Locking, What is it?!

Lock on Chains
In today’s volatile market, consumers need to understand what a lender offers as options for locking in their loan. Many consumers think that when they begin speaking to a lender, the rate they discuss that day will be the rate they carry from there on. However, this is not the case. Laws govern what constitutes a loan application. An actual loan application requires that 6 pieces of information are received, which triggers disclosures for the good faith estimate and the ability to lock in loans. These items are social security number to pull credit, borrower name, estimated value, monthly income, loan amount sought & property address. These six things are important because without these six items a lending company is not able to give a borrower a locked rate.
A borrower is required to give all of the information except the address when prequalifying. Once you have a property under contract then you have the ability to lock in a rate for the loan. Loan rates are locked in for a specific period of time. This time frame is based upon the close of escrow date. Typically loans are locked 15, 30, 45 or 60 days. There is the option of locking in rate for a longer period of time, but this is mainly used when you are purchasing a home that is being built for you and will not be completed with in 60 days.
What does locking in a rate/loan actually mean? When you lock your loan your lender should provide you the rate and/or points as well as the specific date of expiration of those terms. Regardless of how the market changes, your rate will continue to hold as it was locked. This can be both a good and bad thing.
Whether the market improves and rates lower or the market worsens and rates increase you are guaranteed to have the rate you have in writing. There can be an exception to these rules, but only with some lenders. This is called a renegotiation policy. This can typically occur when the market improves at least .25%(depending on your lender’s rules) and your lender will allow you to change your locking contract. Keep in mind that when you choose to lock in your rate, you are asking the lender to protect you and you are making a commitment to do the loan with your lender. The shopping rate time is over. Renegotiation is a courtesy provided by your lender.
Borrowers need to make sure that when they go to lock in their rate, that their lender gives them their terms in writing. You should never assume something has been done without seeing it in writing. Be safe, talk to your lender about locking and what their renegotiating options are. Never hesitate to ask questions and learn as much as you can.
For questions for suggestions please feel free to email me at Ingrid.Quinn@CobaltMortgage.com or visit me at http://www.scottsdalemortgageexpert.com or http://www.CobaltMortgage.com/IngridQuinn .


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Foreclosures Are Vanishing!

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As of last Thursday the number of homeowners who are either facing foreclosure or are behind on their mortgage payment has dropped to the lowest point in the past five years.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) had a press release last week that stated, “The serious delinquency rate, the percentage of loans that are 90 days or more past due or in the process of foreclosure, was 5.88 percent, a decrease of 51 basis points from last quarter, and a decrease of 143 basis points from the second quarter of last year.”
The MBA talked about how the number of foreclosures we are seeing is more of a historical normal as opposed to the high rate of foreclosure we saw even a year ago. We are seeing the housing market improve each and every quarter.
The MBA said, “Most states are at or only slightly above longer-term averages, and some of the worst-hit states are showing improvement.”
Delinquencies and foreclosures have returned closer to their pre-crisis levels in states such as California and Arizona that don’t require mortgage companies to take back homes by appearing before a judge.
California and Arizona had foreclosure rates of 1.6% and 1.5%, putting them at No. 37 and No. 38 in foreclosures nationally. Those states had the third and fourth worst foreclosure rates in the country at the depth of the housing downturn.
Nationally, banks initiated foreclosure on around 0.6% of mortgages during the second quarter, down from a peak of 1.4% in 2009 but above a more normal level of 0.4%. “The rate of new foreclosures being started is still way too high, but it is down from the peak,” said Jay Brinkmann, Economist and SVP of Research and Economics.
Mr. Brinkman also said, “While overall economic growth and jobs creation have been less than robust, the improvements have not been consistent across the country or all sectors. The result is that those states with the weakest economic growth and the most sclerotic foreclosure systems have seen the slowest improvements in delinquency and foreclosure rates.”
All in all we can see that the housing market is still working its way back up even if it is not at the same rapid rate that we have been seeing in the past few months. However, it is nice to hear that the economic forecast for the near future looks good.
For questions or suggestions, please feel free to email me at Ingrid.Quinn@cobaltmortgage.com or visit me at http://www.CobaltMortgage.com/IngridQuinn or http://www.ScottsdaleMortgageExpert.com