Borrowers with Good Credit Need Down Payment Assistance: Part 1

Borrowers with good credit need down payment assistance (DPA). Unfortunately, DPA is often marketed only towards buyers with poor credit, which creates an unfortunate have/have-not scenario: houses get purchased by borrowers with poor credit or borrowers with good credit and large savings, but not by borrowers with good credit and low savings, even if these borrowers can afford a monthly mortgage payment. This situation unnecessarily locks borrowers out of the housing market for years while home prices increase.

 

This situation is also exacerbated by the facts that borrowers with good credit are often advised to save up for a down payment and other options might not be mentioned. These borrowers are sometimes never aware that they could buy a home now with some assistance, and that buying a home now may achieve more in the long run.

 

That said, why is down payment assistance the better option for borrowers with good credit?

 

Data collected by Home at Last shows that DPA helps all borrowers accumulate wealth faster by buying now, with down payment assistance, than saving now and buying later. How? Home prices, on average, go up (Home At Last shows overall increase from 2000 to 2017). Sometimes there’s a downturn in the market, even a big one, but homebuyers will likely see price appreciation if they stay in their home for 3–8 years. This means wealth accumulation for borrowers who use DPA and buy now. This also means a higher down payment down the road and very little wealth accumulation for borrowers who rent and save now. This disparity is even greater for borrowers with good credit, who can often get better rates even on mortgages with down payment assistance. This reasoning is supported by Home At Last’s projected numbers that, in a three-year period, a borrower who buys a $300,000 home using DPA will accumulate about $60,000 in wealth more than a renter who spends that period saving for a down payment. Those are significant numbers, particularly for low- to moderate-income borrowers.

 

Home at Last’s data is substantiated by CBC Mortgage Agency’s own numbers (CBCMA is the company that provides Chenoa Fund, a DPA program), as reported in the National Mortgage Professional Magazine. From 2016 to 2020, 96% of borrowers who used Chenoa Fund had an average home value increase of $27,000. Especially considering how new loans from 2019 and 2020 bring the average down, that’s a really good number. Most of those borrowers are low- to moderate-income, and many with credit scores as low as 620. It is awesome that these borrowers are able to break out of the renting cycle and see real wealth increase. Just as good, some of those borrowers have great credit scores and are realizing the same benefits. Clearly, down payment assistance should be offered to any borrower who needs it and can afford a monthly mortgage payment.

 

Home and Last’s data and CBCMA’s data fuel compelling arguments that buying now with DPA is the best option for borrowers who can afford a monthly mortgage payment. And, with over 50% of renters seeing the down payment as the primary obstacle to homeownership (Urban Institute), the need for DPA couldn’t be more relevant. The best thing to do now is to bring DPA to more borrowers with good credit scores.

 

Next week’s article will discuss more reasons why borrowers with good credit need down payment assistance.

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CBC Mortgage to Assist DPA Borrowers During COVID-19 Crisis

As seen on National Mortgage Professional

CBC Mortgage Agency (CBCMA) has announced that it is taking steps to ensure that its borrowers are able to stay in their homes during the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

Many CBCMA borrowers receive a forgivable second mortgage in order to pay for closing costs and a downpayment. As a condition of that forgiveness, a borrower must maintain timely payments on the first mortgage during the first three years of the loan. In response to growing borrower concerns about the economy, CBCMA announced any borrowers facing possible job loss would not lose the forgivable feature of their second mortgage.

 

“There’s a crisis upon us, and the economic repercussions are only beginning to be understood,” said CBCMA President Richard Ferguson. “What we do know is that COVID-19 is causing a severe shock to our economy and loss of income for many, including the new homeowners we’ve striven so hard to help. The measures we’re taking today are intended to help our borrowers keep their homes during this very challenging time.”

 

Since the pandemic, Ferguson said, questions have poured into CBCMA from borrowers who are concerned about the status of their loan forgiveness, should they lose their jobs in the current economic environment.

 

In addition to protecting the forgivable feature of its downpayment assistance program, CBCMA is reaching out to borrowers and offering education on how to handle the crisis. Through a letter sent by Money Management International, a HUD-approved non-profit counseling service, the company is advising borrowers not to overreact even as the barrage of constant coronavirus news coverage unfolds.

 

CBCMA is also counseling borrowers to reduce the impact of the pandemic by cutting their expenses. This includes not overbuying supplies and not making future travel and event plans that include non-refundable fees. In addition, borrowers are encouraged to stay current on their mortgages if possible. If a borrower is facing economic disruption, CBCMA will counsel them by reviewing their budget and finding ways for them to prioritize their spending.

 

“We expect more calls from borrowers asking us for help in dealing with their challenges, and we will continue stepping up to provide assistance,” Ferguson said. “Doing so is just as important as helping borrowers overcome downpayment barriers so they can afford the dream of homeownership-which is a dream worth protecting, especially today.”

See publication here.

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When is it time to buy a home?

By: David Ludlow

Most Americans dream of owning a home, and it’s not hard to understand why. Homes represent stability and wealth—even owning a modest home in a low-income neighborhood is a big step up for many American renters, renters who appreciate the stability of monthly mortgage payments over increasing rent, and who appreciate having the control to do whatever they want with their house. Unfortunately, many Americans, even though they dream of owning a home, don’t believe that they will ever become a homeowner.

 

Many unique challenges prevent people from even looking into buying a home; you’ve probably heard many of these challenges before, or may be living one. A very common challenge is money: Rising rents and other living expenses make it difficult or impossible to save up. It can be very hard to create savings as a single parent, or as someone who has to pay large medical bills. Student loans and other debts can make people feel trapped. People find other difficulties based on their stage of life: Young couples may be afraid of the commitment a mortgage represents, or afraid of settling down. Couples nearing retirement who have never owned a home may not believe that they would be able to afford a home on retirement income.

 

These examples of challenges come from many of the people we at CBC Mortgage Agency have helped become homeowners. These people had high aspirations for where they wanted to go in life, but difficulty homing those aspirations, so to speak.

 

So when is it time to buy a home? How did these people take their unique situations and put themselves where they needed to be to accomplish their dream?

 

There’s no simple answer to knowing when to buy a home—but putting yourself in the right situation will help you be ready when opportunity arrives. These three steps can help you prepare yourself to become a homeowner:

 

1) Want to own a home. The first step is the simplest, and you’re probably already there if you’re reading this article. If you want to own a home, let that desire compel you to act. In particular, set realistic goals and write them down—“Spend thirty minutes weekly researching the local housing market” is an example of a specific goal you have direct control over. You could start on websites that list houses, like Zillow, or by looking up real estate blogs about your area.

 

2) Educate yourself. There are many benefits to educating yourself on how mortgages, house hunting, and homeownership works. One benefit is the confidence that comes with knowledge. Another is an awareness of all the tools at your disposal. Consider doing the following:

  1. A) Research the benefits of owning a home versus renting—this can help you overcome concerns you have about the risk of being a homeowner.
  2. B) Research how mortgages work—just a little bit of research can show you that mortgage payments are often the same as rent, or lower. Even if a mortgage payment is a little higher than rent, mortgage payments accumulate wealth, while rent never does; seeing how this wealth accumulates over time will help motivate you.
  3. C) Contact lenders and realtors in your area—they can help you find out what price range you can afford and where to look for homes. They can also point out ways to improve your financial or credit situation, or resources to get financial help and advice. Most lenders and realtors can be contacted online, which may feel more comfortable if you don’t want to set up an appointment or phone call.
  4. D) Research payment assistance options in your area—from down payment assistance to rent-to-own, most states and cities have a large variety of programs that want to help you, affordably and responsibly, become a homeowner. As an example, Chenoa Fund down payment assistance operates in every state except New York and has low entry requirements.

 

3) Maintain Awareness. This step is essentially a continuation of the above two steps. If you want to own a home, and if you continually strive to educate yourself about the housing situation in your area, and what assistance options are available to you, and what lenders will be best for you, then you have put yourself in the best possible situation to know when a home within your budget is on the market and what resources you have to get that home. The best part is, once these pieces slide into place, most Americans, even those in difficult situations, realize that they found their time to buy a home.

 

If you do your best to follow the above steps, there’s no guarantee that you will find a home to buy tomorrow or even in a few months. But you will know that these steps are working for you when you find confidence and purpose in your dream of homeownership; you will grow in knowledge of what responsible homeownership looks like and where you can find resources to help you, and you may even make contacts among realtors or lenders who can help you find a home and then buy that home.

 

And, if you are in a difficult situation, you will know these steps are working for you when you find an assistance program that meets your specific needs. For example, if you don’t have enough savings for a down payment, consider Chenoa Fund down payment assistance, a program offered by CBC Mortgage Agency. Chenoa Fund provides 3.5% DPA assistance on FHA and conventional loans and accepts borrowers with FICO scores as low as 620—often the exact bump someone needs to become a homeowner.

 

So when is it time to buy a home? If you keep yourself educated and up-to-date, you will know when the opportunity comes for you.

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CBCMA Working to Keep Down Payment Assistance Recipients Solvent During COVID-19 Crisis

By RICHARD FERGUSON, President, CBC Mortgage Agency

 

There’s a crisis upon us, and the economic repercussions are only beginning to be understood. What we do know is that COVID-19 is causing a severe shock and loss of income, in particular to the new homeowners we’ve striven so hard to help. 

 

We also know that today’s troubling environment is very fluid, and that things could change in an instant. Currently, there is talk about a potential government-backed payment holiday for those who lose their job or income as a result of the pandemic. But details are short at the moment. 

 

What can be done in the meantime? For us, the answer is simple—helping borrowers who bought their homes using down payment assistance (DPA) keep their homes during this crisis and beyond.

 

At CBC Mortgage Agency (CBCMA), we believe that everyone in our country should have access to affordable housing. That’s why we help credit-worthy low- and moderate-income individuals buy homes through the Chenoa Fund DPA program, which helps borrowers clear the down payment hurdles that keep many from realizing their homeownership dreams. But this is only one part of our mission. We’re also committed to helping borrowers stay in their homes, especially during unique circumstances like the ones they face today. 


For example, many of our borrowers receive a second mortgage that is forgivable. But as a condition of that forgiveness, a borrower needs to maintain timely payments on the first mortgage during the first three years of the loan. Since the pandemic, questions have poured in from borrowers who are concerned about the status of their loan forgiveness, should they lose their jobs in the current economic environment. 

 

In response, we announced that any borrowers affected by the economic fallout from the coronavirus will not lose the forgivable feature of their down payment assistance loan. In addition, we are also staying in touch with borrowers and educating them after their loans close by utilizing a 12-month post-purchase support program that is unique in our industry. 

 

In 2017, we partnered with Money Management International, a HUD-approved, nonprofit credit counseling organization. Money Management International helps our borrowers transition from renting into homeownership and advises them during times of difficulty, like many are facing today. This is accomplished through regularly scheduled phone calls with our borrowers in addition to emails and texts. 

 

So, what are we telling our borrowers? As the barrage of constant coronavirus news coverage unfolds, we advise people not to overreact. Being stressed about the virus and its impacts, including the effect on income, is a natural response. We counsel against panicking and acting irrationally, which could worsen the impact on the borrower’s family. 

 

Secondly, we counsel borrowers to reduce the impact of the pandemic by cutting their expenses. This includes not overbuying supplies and not making future travel and event plans that include non-refundable fees. We also encouraging borrowers to reach out to their creditors if their income is being disrupted by the pandemic.


Lastly, borrowers are encouraged to stay current on their mortgages if possible. If a borrower is facing economic disruption, we counsel them by reviewing their budget and finding ways for them to prioritize their spending. 

 

CBCMA is committed to keeping borrowers in their homes during this time of difficulty. We expect to continue getting calls from borrowers asking us for help in dealing with their challenges, and we will continue stepping up to provide assistance. Doing so is just as important as helping borrowers overcome down payment barriers so they can afford the dream of homeownership—which is a dream worth protecting, especially today. 

 

Read our letter being sent to CBCMA customers by clicking here.

 


Richard Ferguson is president of CBC Mortgage Agency, a nationally chartered housing finance agency and a leading source of down payment assistance that helps low-income consumers, often in minority neighborhoods, achieve the dream of homeownership. He can be reached at richard.ferguson@chenoafund.org.

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Important Covid- 19 Information from CBCMA

Hello all! 

Just a quick update, we are all healthy and well here at CBCMA! We appreciate each and everyone of you and the calls of concern as well as the queries of well-being of our staff and families in the midst of the pandemic and earthquake which hit Salt Lake City a couple of days ago. 

We’d like to share what is happening here at CBCMA and what to expect from us during this time. 

The Cedar Band of Paiutes has responded to this global threat by facilitating a work-from-home environment for all its companies including CBC Mortgage Agency, enabling all operations for Chenoa Fund to continue.  We continue to register and purchase loans and provide down payment assistance.  We have authorized a few staff members to work from our corporate office to handle physical tasks such as receiving and shipping notes and other trailing docs. All functions of our organization continue to operate at full capacity and are expected to continue into the foreseeable future. 

Recap: We are still open and here to help serve you! 

Have questions? Feel free to reach out to your Corporate Account Director or VP, National Program Director, Matt Pettit at matt.pettit@chenoafund.org 

 

Stay healthy! 

 

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March 17, 2020: Chenoa Fund Correspondent Newsletter

First, and foremost, Happy St.Patrick’s Day from everyone here at CBC Mortgage Agency!

In this issue of the Chenoa Report, you will find the following updates and information: 

  • Program Guidelines Updates 
  • CBC Mortgage Agency On the Road
  • Chenoa Fund in the News 
  • Chenoa Fund blog posts 
  • Marketing Resources 

Program Guidelines Update: 

On behalf of CBC Mortgage Agency, we do apologize for our late release of this month’s Program Guidelines. Thank you for your understanding and patience. Thanks for checking in on the 8.4 update for CBC Mortgage Agency’s Correspondent Lending Guide. This month’s updates are few, but detailed. Please also note that this announcement page should not be used in lieu of the official policies found in the proper section in the Correspondent Lending Guide.

Regarding Flood Certificates, if there is not a Core Logic certificate in the file, CBCMA will pull the certificate and charge $15 to the lender on the PA. More details can be found in section 5.34.4.

Our Escrow Holdback requirements were clarified to be more in line with FNMA and FHA guidelines. The most notable change to our overlays is that Escrow Holdbacks no longer need to be pre-approved by scenariodesk@chenoafund.org. However, Escrow Holdbacks still need to be weather-related. For more details on this policy, please read 5.34.10.

CBCMA’s subordination policy, found in 11.2, was updated following feedback from our investors. Some policies to consider:

  • On amortized loans, CBCMA does not allow for subordinations in the thirty-six months beginning with the first payment on the loan.
  • On soft seconds, CBCMA does not allow for subordinations. The note specifically dictates that a refinance of the first mortgage would trigger a payoff of the second mortgage.
  • If it is discovered that the original loan has a loan defect, this may be cured by the original maker of the loan via a refinance, and CBC Mortgage Agency would subordinate this refinance.

Please take the time to review the full policy in detail.

CBC Mortgage Agency On The Road: 

We’ve had a quiet month on the road for CBCMA! We have also just issued a travel ban until further notice in efforts to do our part in not allowing the virus to spread. If someone from our organization was supposed to attend and your event is still happening, please reach out to Matt Pettit (matt.pettit@chenoafund.org)  for guidance on how we can still participate. 

 

Chenoa Fund In the News: 

Chenoa Fund was proudly included in the following publications: 

Down Payment Assistance Helps To Bridge Homeownership: 

https://nationalmortgageprofessional.com/news/74110/downpayment-assistance-help-bridge-homeownership

 

Chenoa Post: 

We are now posting to the blog 2x a week! With new updates, tips and tricks and content you can use to promote your business, we’re proud to introduce the Chenoa Post. 

See this weeks postings here: 

Two Questions Real Estate Agents Should Ask About Lenders 

https://chenoafund.org/two-questions-real-estate-agents-ask-about-lenders/

7 Lender Tips for Building Relationships with Real Estate Agents 

https://chenoafund.org/7-lender-tips-for-building-relationships-with-real-estate-agents/

Interested in co-writing or guest writing on our blog? Email lendermarketing@chenoafund.org for more information! 

 

Marketing Resources: 

We have materials in Spanish! This question has been coming up a lot lately so we figured we’d help our bilingual friends out by doing a quick “How to find these resources.”

From the homepage, select the Lender tab. From there, on the left menu you’ll see the Marketing Resources tab: 

 

On this page, you’ll enter your email address. Once the page is unlocked, scroll until you see several tabs that have (Spanish) in parentheses. You’ll find several versions of the material there in Spanish for your use. 

See a flyer that we don’t have in Spanish yet that you would like to use? Email lendermarketing@chenoafund.org with your request! 

 

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Two Questions Real Estate Agents Ask about Lenders

 

 It is very common for homebuyers to look to their real estate agent to recommend a lender or loan officer for a mortgage. How do you choose which lender you will recommend? How will the lender help grow your business? How will the lender work with your clients to help them successfully close their loan on time? The following are two questions to consider when making your decision.

 

Should I choose to work with a lender or mortgage broker? A recent Inman Watt1000 study1 found that 47% of agents prefer mortgage brokers, 31% prefer bank lenders, and 22% prefer non-bank lenders.The following are the differences between lenders.

 

  • Banks. Many financial institutions that offer banking provide other services like lending. Applying for loans from a borrower’s home bank can qualify them for perks and discounts over other lenders. Banks are known to have higher interest rates among lenders.  Banks can also take longer to close because of the volume of applications they receive.

 

  • Credit Unions. Credit unions do offer mortgages and have some of the lowest rates.  This is because credit unions are non-profit organizations which do not have the pressure for higher profit margins on the loans they provide. Credit unions have requirements for membership and may limited to the number of loans available.

 

  • Non-bank” lenders. Non-bank lender include any mortgage lender that is not a bank or credit union.  For example, these can include online lenders like Better.com and Guaranteed Rate, as well as private mortgage lenders like Quicken Loans, Rocket Mortgage, and Loan Depot.

 

  • Mortgage Brokers.  A mortgage broker acts as an intermediary between banks, mortgage lenders, and borrowers.  They use their network to help borrowers find the best loan for their needs and budget. They are not actually a lender themselves.

 

 

A good rule of thumb is to have contacts that you have vetted for each type of  resource. Choose those whose working style and client base is similar to your own.

 

What are the character traits to look for in a lender? When choosing to partner with a lender, consider the following:

 

  • Accountability. The lender should be willing to invest time in your clients, to explain the loan process, and to help your clients understand what they can do to help ensure their loan is approved. The lender should clearly define their role and specifically outline what they will be doing to help ensure the loan closes on time.

 

  • Communication. A good lender will communicate on a regular basis with the agent and client about the status of the loan. Make sure that the lender will communicate according to your preferences (e.g., email, text, or phone call to your home, cell, or office). 

 

  •  Know their products. A knowledgeable mortgage professional knows the industry and their products well enough to explain them in layperson’s terms. This is critical when it comes to trusting your clients with the lender. The homeowner is responsible for every document they sign, and even the most consumer-friendly mortgage disclosures can be confusing at first glance. A good lender will make sure that borrowers understand what they are signing.

 

  • Experience and Reputation. Carefully evaluate the lender’s track record, particularly what their clients say about them. Great lenders know that their biggest asset is their reputation, and each will make sure they do what it takes to take care of the customer.

 

  • Willing to market together. There are many ways that you and the lender can work together. See how the lender works with other agents in social media, email, direct mail, and print communications. Consider sharing marketing costs, doing seminars, targeting communities with promotions, and more.

 

  • Diversity in product offerings. The lender should have product offerings that will match the client base they serve. For example, if you have a client base that is credit worthy and lower income, you will want a lender who has products like down payment assistance (DPA). One way to find lenders who offer DPA is to  contact CBC Mortgage Agency  to find lenders from across the United States who offer and represent the Chenoa Fund down payment assistance.

 

About the Author

At CBC Mortgage Agency , we offer nationwide down payment assistance in the form of second mortgages through the Chenoa Fund program. We offer five different second mortgage products, each with their own individual underwriting requirements and guidelines, in an effort to provide options to borrowers of any income and most DTIs. Our options include products for both FHA and conventional loans; some of our products include 0% interest rates and no monthly payments. 

 

 

1 Inman Watt1000 Study: What real estate brokers and agents want from lenders

 

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7 Lender Tips for Building Relationships with Real Estate Agents

 

Developing relationships with real estate agents is one of the most valuable actions a lender can pursue when building professional networks and business. The strength of these relationships is forged through collaborative communication and in serving a shared client, the borrower. 

 

Overall, agents want to know that you will be adding value to their business. In a similar vein, the partners you decide to work with can hurt your brand if they don’t bring the same care and attention that you do. Good real estate agents will carefully evaluate lender partners, learn about their reputation, get to know them, and work with them to build a solid real estate team and network. To build solid relationships with real estate agents, consider the following seven tips:

 

Show your knowledge of the mortgage industry. The mortgage industry constantly changes, and real estate agents need to have confidence that they are partnering with a mortgage expert who has the knowledge and experience to successfully guide them and their borrowers through the mortgage loan process. You will need to demonstrate that you have a deep knowledge of the products you represent (e.g., FHA to Down Payment Assistance) and that you understand how to work with the clients they serve. When you first meet agents, consider focusing on relationship building by having sincere conversations to develop a common ground about working together. Stay away from the “Pushy Loan Officer” who only wants to push loans and set appointments to talk.

 

Demonstrate added value in agent communications. Real estate agents constantly receive marketing communications from lenders. How will you stand out? How will you provide value? How often will you send communication? The key is to make sure that you provide value. Ask real estate agents what type of information will help them and their borrowers. Try to keep regular contact; for example, you could send a weekly email with industry updates, with rates, and sharing your industry experience on how agents can guide their clients on financing options. Or being able to develop leads in joint communications to build business.

 

Expand your social media presence. Real estate agents rely heavily on referrals to drive business—you help each other find business this way. Your presence, or lack of presence, on social media will say volumes about your ability to help them expand their business to future clients. When you have a growing social presence, it shows your value, in terms of recommendations provided by current and former borrowers, and networking ability. Of course, you will want similar exposure from agents. Be willing to share the posts of agents within your social network and interact with them digitally.

 

Co-branding digital and print media. There are many ways that you can include agent partners in joint digital communications. Show the agent that you can provide value to the relationship with multiple marketing touches that attract clients, including both physical and digital (or print) content. Some more value-producing ideas include:

  •   Email drip campaigns to inform clients on the homebuying process
  •   Social media posts
  •   Property websites that showcase both the agent and the preferred financing partner
  •   Property flyers
  •   “Just Listed” and “Sold” postcards
  •   Open house flyers and sign-in sheets

 

For an example of co-branded marketing material, see the Chenoa Fund marketing resources. Chenoa Fund correspondents have an extensive library of 100+ marketing resources (e.g., flyers, door hangers, yard signs) that they can use for co-branding messages with agents.

 

Establish a track record of trust. Real estate agents want to know that you have a track record of delivering on your promises, such as helping clients close on time. It doesn’t take many empty promises to scare off a loan officer. Whether your promise is to call back with an answer by a specific time or take a specific action on a loan, you and your team need to have the reputation of consistently delivering on promises and have the facts ready to prove your record. Keep the agent informed throughout the escrow. A simple way to keep everyone informed and establish trust is to send clients and realtor partners  milestone emails based on loan progress..

 

Be local and available. Real estate agents like working with lenders who are local and have a strong understanding of the community and market. Being able to meet with the agents’ clients and to provide pre-qualification letters will go a long way to be more competitive in the eyes of borrowers. Become an affiliate member of the local or regional real estate agent association. Also consider joining business networking groups, which can also be a good source of referrals.

 

Demonstrate diverse product offering. Agents want to know that you have product offerings that will match the client base they serve. Help the agents understand types of mortgage loans you can provide: conventional loans, FHA loans, VA loans, fixed-rate loans, adjustable-rate mortgages, jumbo loans, and more. Don’t assume that agents understand all the nuances about loans such as each mortgage loan may require certain down payments or specify standards for loan amount, mortgage insurance, and interest. As a nationwide provider of down payment assistance, Chenoa Fund is a product that many lenders are adding to support the creditworthy, lower income clients of their communities.

 

About the Author

At CBC Mortgage Agency , we offer nationwide down payment assistance in the form of second mortgages through Chenoa Fund. We offer five different second mortgage products, each with their own individual underwriting requirements and guidelines, in an effort to provide options to borrowers of any income and most DTIs. Our options include products for both FHA and conventional loans; some of our products include 0% interest rates and no monthly payments. 

  • Click here to find an approved Chenoa Fund lender.
  • Click here to become an approved a Chenoa Fund Lender

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Creating the Path to Homeownership for all in Atlanta

 

Did you know that Atlanta is home to one of the nation’s largest African American communities, yet it ranks among some of the lowest black homeownership rates? Homeownership is key to creating intergenerational wealth for our black communities and changing the quality of life for future generations. Coinciding with Black History month, Dr. Alveda King, niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and daughter of A.D. King and his wife, Naomi Barber King, recently partnered with leading industry professionals to host a free homeownership workshop. Dr. King shared her experience buying a home in Atlanta and the barriers she had to overcome to become a homeowner.

 

This workshop, held at the Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral in Austell, Ga. is part of a series of events across the country sponsored by the UHOUSI Initiative, which attempts to close the racial wealth gap exacerbated through the lack of homeownership among our black communities. The UHOUSI Initiative is a nationwide effort designed to help first-time homebuyers learn about down payments, credit, and other barriers to homeownership. These workshops educate our community about the importance of homeownership and how to become homeowners in a responsible and sustainable way.

 

Pioneers in the mortgage industry led the workshop, including Ben Slayton, president of Legacy Home Loans, and first Black REALTOR® in the U.S. Mr. Slayton and his colleagues spoke passionately about the path to homeownership and also discussed one of the major road blocks preventing most of our black brothers and sisters from becoming homeowners – the down payment.

 

For many Americans, the down payment provided on their mortgage comes from a family member.  If you are privileged enough to have intergenerational wealth in your family, this is very advantageous.  However, the majority of our African American communities simply do not have the means to provide this generous gift to their children. Fortunately, there are government programs to help these communities achieve the dream of homeownership by extending down payment assistance (DPA) to qualifying, credit-worthy participants. CBC Mortgage Agency’s Chenoa Fund is a leading example of one of these programs.

 

CBC Mortgage is a federally chartered, public-purpose government agency that provides down payment assistance to credit worthy borrowers through their Chenoa Fund. Their mission is to provide affordable and sustainable homeownership, particularly for credit-qualified low to moderate income borrowers. For many of the prospective homebuyers in attendance, they realized that with the help of DPA programs like the Chenoa Fund, they too could turn the dream of homeownership into a reality.

 

In total, more than 250 people registered for the Saturday event, and nearly 60 individuals met with lenders from Legacy Home Loans. These families are now on the path to begin the process of owning a home.

 

Down payment assistance programs help to remove a major roadblock to homeownership for many Americans. These programs are firmly committed to bridging the racial wealth gap and building sustainable, intergenerational wealth through homeownership. We are changing the dynamic of our minority communities, one home at a time.

 

Tai Christensen is the director of government affairs at The Chenoa Fund.

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5 Questions Every Lender Should Discuss with Borrowers and Why

For homebuyers, the mortgage application process is a very stressful time that requires answering many personal questions related to work, income, and debt. Mortgage applicants expect to be asked to verify their employment and income, but can be suprised to find a wealth of additional questions that loan officers ask to verify and document where every dollar comes from in order to prove to underwriters that the borrower can repay the loan.

 

In the early meetings with borrowers, taking time to outline what will be required, and why, will go a long way to prepare them to successfully meet the requirements of the loan application process. These conversations will also foster a foundation for open communication throughout the loan process if expectations are set and clearly defined. To help with this, we’ve provided a list of suggestions to consider before asking the borrowers too many questions. These suggestions are grouped by topic..

 

Job History. As the lender, you will ask the borrower to provide a two-year history of employment, including a contact who can verify that the borrower’s claim. Counsel the borrower what additional information might be required and how the information will be evaluated. For example:

  • Share that you will be looking to see if the borrower has been in the same job or line of work for a significant period of time, ideally two or more years. Explain that this shows that they have stability.
  • If the borrower has been in school, let them know that as the lender, you may be asking them for a college diploma or transcript to confirm that they were in school at that specified time.
  • Advise the borrower, if possible, not to switch jobs until after the loan closes. This simple action can quickly get their mortgage approval terminated.

 

Income. Typically, you will ask the borrowers proof of income that can include recent paystubs, W2’s, and tax returns when the borrower is self-employed. Share with the borrower that you are looking for steady income because you want to see that the borrower brings in enough income to pay the mortgage. Consider sharing more information, such as:

  • If there are income discrepancies such as with bonus and commission income, this can trigger additional questions that will need additional information.
  •  That, if the borrower receives Social Security, child support, or income other than wages, they will need to provide documentation to confirm that income will continue.
  • That, as a self-employed individual, the borrower will need to provide extensive documentation and answers to questions about their business and income.

 

Credit History & Debts. Let the borrower know that you will be reviewing their credit report to review their debt-to-income ratio. Ask the borrower to review their credit history before applying for a mortgage to make sure that the record is accurate. Share, for example:

  • That debt is a significant consideration for lenders because it is a picture of the borrower’s financial stability. The more obligations the borrowers have, the harder it will to keep up with that debt, and it will affect their ability to pay the mortgage on time.
  • That debt is not necessarily a bad thing when applying for a mortgage. Assure them that most applicants have some debt. Confirm that you will be evaluating the type of debt and how much debt they have. This is a good time to review the concept of the debt-to-income ratio and how it is used for loans.
  • That you will be examining all of their debt, including other mortgages, car loans, student loans, alimony, and credit cards. You want the borrower to be in a situation where their monthly debt payments are a reasonable amount of their pre-tax income. Define what desired debt level means, in terms of percentage, and provide an example. 
  •  That, if the borrower has any disputed debts or debts that have been repaid, they may need to provide proof of payment and, in some cases, have the issue erased from the credit report before they can qualify for the loan.
  •  That it is essential that they avoid making any big purchases, such as buying a car, during their period where they are trying to get a mortgage. A car purchase can throw off the credit situation and usually means taking on a lot of additional debt. This is often one of the major mistakes borrowers make.
  •  That, if the borrower has a number of recent credit inquiries, lenders may ask if they have taken out other loans or new credit cards that have yet to show on the credit report.
  • That missing payments on a loan may be an indication that you cannot keep current on a mortgage loan.

 

Saving and Assets. Outline that you will  want to know exactly where the borrower’s savings and assets have come from to ensure that the borrower is not borrowing money from a third-party to make the down payment. Share, for example:

  • That gift letters are required (when applicable) and need to meet lender restrictions.
  • That you will want to verify how much money the borrowers currently have in their bank accounts and any investments they have. You will be looking to see, for example, if they have at least two mortgage payments in their savings.
  •  That you know things happen when the borrowers buy a home, such as something breaking and needing repair. You want to know that such a situation will not wipe out their bank account and that they will have enough savings to survive the first period of homeownership and still make the payments.

 

Divorce and Legal Matters. This is always a touchy area, but important to address with the borrower. Share, for example:

  • That legal issues, especially if the borrower is a plaintiff, could impact home financing. Lenders want to know if the borrower is involved in a lawsuit because of the potential cost and the possibility that a judgment may go against the borrower. 
  •  That you are concerned with the financial details of a divorce because of the possibility that a borrower could be held responsible for an ex-spouse’s debt. In addition, if the borrower is seeking to include child support or alimony as income on the borrower’s loan application, you will need proof that the income will continue.

 

 About the the author

At CBC Mortgage Agency, we offer Nationwide Down Payment Assistance in the form of second mortgages through the Chenoa Fund program. We offer five different second mortgage products, each with their own individual underwriting requirements and guidelines, in an effort to provide options to borrowers of any income and most DTIs. Our options include products for both FHA and conventional loans; some of our products include 0% interest rates and no monthly payments. 

 

 

The post 5 Questions Every Lender Should Discuss with Borrowers and Why appeared first on Chenoa Fund – Down Payment Assistance.

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