Category Archives: Ocala Loan Modification

Ocala Foreclosure Rate at all time High | Area foreclosure rate for November highest in 28 months

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty
3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, Florida 34471
352-266-2637
Check out this article from Ocala Star Banner

The Ocala area had the dubious distinction in November of having the second highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan areas throughout the United States.

The rate was the highest it has been in the past 28 months, according to data from RealtyTrac, an online company that analyzes foreclosure trends.
One in every 199 Marion County homes during November had a foreclosure filing against it, leaving the county behind only the Florida metropolitan area of Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, which had one foreclosure for every 158 homes.
Marion County’s November foreclosure rate was the fifth consecutive monthly increase and a 44 percent hike compared with November 2011.
Wayne Archer, director of the University of Florida’s Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies, said it is difficult to say what is behind the November increase, but it could be due to an increase in bank foreclosures previously held up by the courts and the robo-signing scandal.
That scandal included false affidavits in thousands of foreclosure cases made by bank representatives during the past few years. When the problem came to light during the past two years, many banks froze foreclosure procedures until proper documents could be obtained.
Archer said the freeze is thawing and that the new foreclosure trend could be the result.
But, Archer said, the local foreclosure spike should be balanced with the recent good news for housing sales in which prices have consistently risen during the past several months, along with the growing number of homes being sold.
Despite the improving housing sales market, Archer predicts that the high number of foreclosures won’t subside much any time soon.
Other Florida cities ranked in the top 10 for highest housing foreclosure rates in the country included:
— Jacksonville, one in 253 units
— Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, one in 260 units
— Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice, one in 277 units
— Port St. Lucie, one in 278 units
— Gainesville, one in 283 units
All seven Florida metro areas in the top 10 posted annual increases in foreclosure activity.
The other three cities with top 10 metro foreclosure rates were in California:
— Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, one in 248 units
— Stockton, one in 265 units
— Modesto, one in 270 units
Foreclosure filings include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.
Foreclosed properties often sell for less than conventional home sales, pushing down home prices. They also typically are not as well maintained, potentially creating blight in neighborhoods.
Foreclosures nationwide decreased 3 percent compared with October and were down 19 percent from November 2011. That was due in large part to big year-over-year drops in California, Georgia, Michigan, Texas and Arizona, RealtyTrac concluded.
Foreclosures increased from a year ago in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Nine states posted 12-month highs in foreclosure activity in November, including Florida, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and South Carolina.
Marion County’s foreclosure rate was the highest since August 2010, when one of every 163 homes was in some form of the foreclosure process.
Judy Ray, president of the Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors and owner of Legacy Realty and Associates in Belleview, said the area’s foreclosures are linked to the community’s unemployment rate. When people have no jobs or are under-employed, they can’t make their mortgage payments, she said.
“There are people who can’t find jobs, companies closing,” Ray said. “I know people who haven’t made a (mortgage payment) in two or three years.”
Marion County’s October unemployment rate was 11.8 percent, but some people think it is higher because many unemployed people accepted part-time work or jobs paying significantly less than what they earned before losing their jobs. Many also are no longer looking for work.
In addition, Ray thinks that following the problems with robo-signing, banks held off foreclosing, until now.
“There are limits for the banks. They put up with it, but that’s changing,” Ray said. “And you had to be five, six months behind before the banks even took notice.”
As for the future, Ray said, “It’s going to stay the same. They’re not going to go away. I see more bank foreclosure filings.”
Contact Fred Hiers at 352-867-4157orfred.hiers@starbanner.com.

Rhonda Has helped many home owners facing foreclosure, give her a call at 352-266-2637 to assist you with your foreclosure and short sale needs

As always you can search for homes in Florida at www.BucknerHomes.com . I am always here to help you.
Just call and say Help Help me Rhonda 352-266-2637

Ocala Home Buyers | 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate Rises

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty
3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, Florida 34471
352-266-2637

Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages rose this week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace at 3.24 percent, up from 3.17 percent at this same time last week.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate hovered between 3.17 and 3.23 percent for the majority of the week, rising to the current rate this morning.

“Last week, rates crept up slightly after the Federal Reserve announced changes to their bond-buying program that may result in a raise to the federal funds rate and reduce bond-buying more quickly than anticipated, pushing rates up sooner than previously expected,” said Erin Lantz, director of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace. “Next week, we expect rates will remain near these levels, unless major progress is made in fiscal cliff negotiations in advance of the holidays.”

Additionally, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate this morning was 2.57 percent, and for 5/1 ARMs, the rate was 2.4 percent.

What are the rates right now? Check Zillow Mortgage Marketplace for up-to-the-minute mortgage ratesfor your state.


*The weekly rate chart illustrates the average 30-year fixed interest rate in six-hour intervals.

Give Rhonda a call to help you find that perfect home and to discuss the options that buyers have. As always you can search for homes in Florida at www.BucknerHomes.com . I am always here to help you.
Just call and say Help Help me Rhonda 352-266-2637

Live in Ocala? Are You A Boomerang Buyer: Buying Again After a Foreclosure or Short Sale

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty
3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, Florida 34471
352-266-2637

Storms never last.

And so it is with many families across America who have gone through either a short sale or a foreclosure in the past few years. Sure, going through a foreclosure or a short sale can be a little stormy, but after a period of time the storm will clear, and it will be time to buy a house again.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal popularized a catchy name for people who have gone through the storm of a foreclosure or short sale and are now ready to buy a house again — boomerang buyers. According to the WSJ, 729,000 foreclosed borrowers are now eligible to apply for an FHA mortgage, up from 285,000 in the same quarter in 2011. This number is expected to rise to 1.5 million by the first quarter of 2014.

Which means it is safe to say that millions of people in the next few years are going to ask the question: What is required in order for me to get a mortgage after a short sale or foreclosure?

Some lenders have special financing programs for people who fall into the boomerang buyer group, but the most common types of financing are FHA, VA and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac conforming loans. Here are the requirements for these popular types of loans if you have been involved in a short sale or foreclosure:

Buying a house after a short sale

If you went through a short sale and are ready to buy a home again, there are different rules depending on which type of loan you are considering, how much you are planning to put down as a down payment and whether or not you had late payments on your old mortgage before the short sale was completed.

Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Mortgage VA Mortgage FHA Mortgage
Wait Time 4 years with 10 percent down or 2 years 3 years or
2 years with 20 percent down or * Immediately
2 years with 10 percent down and extenuating circumstances
You may be wondering about the *Immediately part of this grid. Yes, it is possible for someone to buy a home with an FHA loan right away if they were current on their mortgage payment at the time of their short sale or if they went into default for reasons beyond their control.

While it is possible to buy again after a short sale immediately depending on the above circumstances, the more common scenario is to wait for two years and get a Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loan with 20 percent down or waiting three years and getting an FHA loan with 3.5 percent down.

Buying a house after foreclosure

As with a short sale, the waiting periods are different when buying again after a foreclosure based on which type of financing you are seeking.

Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Mortgage VA Mortgage FHA Mortgage
Wait Time 7 years or 2 years 3 years
3 years with extenuating circumstances
For most lenders, an extenuating circumstance is a non-recurring event that was beyond an applicant’s control that resulted in a sudden, significant and prolonged reduction in income or extreme increase in financial obligations. Such events are unpredictable, temporary in nature, out of the borrowers control and unlikely to happen again.

Using that definition as a guideline, it will be up to an underwriter to decide whether your particular situation qualifies as an extenuating circumstance.

Credit considerations

When it comes time to apply for a mortgage after a short sale or foreclosure, the waiting period required by FHA, VA or Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac guidelines is one thing — having the credit score to qualify is another, and you need to meet both requirements.

A short sale generally has less of an impact on someone’s credit score than a foreclosure. The biggest impact is caused by late payments, and the foreclosure process usually will take longer than a short sale — so there are more late payments for the credit bureaus to count. Also, how the foreclosure or short sale shows up on your credit report can make a difference. If your loan was “settled,” it will not be as harmful to your credit as if it was recorded as a “default.”

There are a few simple things you can do to clean up your credit after a foreclosure or short sale — including paying off your credit card debt, making all of your other monthly payments on time and keeping records of your on-time payments and monthly budgets showing that you have cut back on spending.

The good news is that storms never last, and depending on what kind of storm you have been through, there is a pathway to follow where you can buy a home again.

Give Rhonda a call to help you find that perfect home and to discuss the options that buyers have. As always you can search for homes in Florida at www.BucknerHomes.com . I am always here to help you.
Just call and say Help Help me Rhonda 352-266-2637

Fiscal Cliff Matters To Housing | Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Extension

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty
3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, Florida 34471
352-266-2637

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, Florida 34471352-266-2637

The much feared ‘Fiscal Cliff’ matters big time for housing.
Why?
Wrapped deep within the ongoing negotiations on now to avoid the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ is the extension of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act. Short sales, REOs, Loan Mods….basically the entire housing market would be seriously gut punched if the Mortgage Debt Relief Act isn’t extended.
But, don’t worry. Its getting extended.
From what I have read, folks I have spoken the 2007 Mortgage Debt Relief Act WILL be extended. My contacts in D.C. have told me that neither political party is debating the necessity of extending the Mortgage Debt Relief Act

What I am concerned about is the Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction. Don’t be surprised if the final agreement has in it a limit as to how much you can deduct and limit the deductions based on your income.

Rhonda Buckner Ocala’s Short Sale Specialist 352-266-2637 Sells Short Sales Quickly

Getting Ready to Vote Ocala? | Obama’s Housing Initiatives: A Timeline

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty
3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, Florida 34471
352-266-2637

In their platform, Democrats tell it this way: President Barack Obama’s “swift action” stabilized a crisis-stricken housing market and helped millions of American families stave off foreclosure through restructured loans that shaved hundreds of dollars off their mortgage bills. The president “cracked down” on abusive lenders, held financial giants accountable and leveled the playing field for home buyers.

Mitt Romney paints a somewhat different picture.

“President Obama’s only plan to address the housing crisis was the same plan he used to try to fix the economy: Spend more taxpayer money on big-government programs,” Romney says on his campaign website. The Republican presidential candidate blames Obama for cooking up an “alphabet soup” of “big-government programs” that hindered the housing recovery, saddled taxpayers with a risky glut of government-backed mortgages and created a marketplace of uncertainty where credit-worthy borrowers too often left banks empty handed.

The housing market was on a calamitous trajectory when Obama took office. Perhaps the most common criticism is that Obama was over-cautious in trying to reverse its course. During his term, millions of homeowners have received foreclosure notices, and home values continued to erode through 2011, pushing the nation’s borrowers deeper underwater. At a July 2011 town hall meeting the president acknowledged misreading how long it would take for the housing market to bottom out. Despite having already revamped his housing programs, Obama admitted a need to again go “back to the drawing board.”

A little over a year later, home values just saw their biggest quarterly gain in six years, and foreclosure filings hit a five-year low in September. Negative equity levels, while still distressing, are improving.
Zillow’s chief economist, Dr. Stan Humphries, said the trajectory of the housing recession was fixed long before Obama took office. Home values relative to income levels had ballooned to 50 percent greater than historical norms. When markets felt the first tremors of home-value declines in 2006, Humphries said, a market correction was already inescapable.

“To suggest that something could have prevented this correction is like saying one can defy gravity,” Humphries said. “I believe Obama’s housing policies have been more about helping people caught up in the maw of this correction, and it was a mistake to perceive these initiatives as having the ability to change the overall trajectory of home prices.”

“Simply put, these economic forces needed to play out,” Humphries said.

Below are highlights of the Obama administration’s housing initiatives:

March 2009

The Obama administration created the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), designed to help as many as 4 million homeowners at risk of foreclosure reduce their monthly mortgage payment through modified loans. By offering financial incentives to lenders, the administration hoped participation would be swift and widespread. It wasn’t. Three and a half years later, the number of homeowners to receive a permanent modification recently surpassed 1 million, according to the U.S. Treasury, which puts their median monthly savings at $539.

March 2009

The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) was launched to help underwater — or nearly underwater — homeowners refinance into lower-rate loans without having to buy mortgage insurance. Only homeowners with government-backed loans are eligible. The program, roundly criticized early on, was initially limited to homeowners who owed at least 80 percent of the value of their home but no more than 105 percent. Participation was meager. In response, the administration raised the negative equity cap to 125 percent, then eliminated it altogether this year. As a result, HARP refis surged from 93,000 in the last quarter of 2011 to more than 180,000 in the first quarter of 2012, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

November 2009

Obama extended an $8,000 tax credit to first-time home buyers, a program begun under the previous administration, giving home buyers until June 2010 to close on their purchase and still remain eligible. Humphries has referred to the program as a $30 billion “waste of taxpayer money.”

July 2010

Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which included provisions meant to reform the mortgage lending industry and protect consumers from aggressive lending practices. For starters, lenders will soon face penalties if they fail to consider a borrower’s ability to repay a loan. The law’s effectiveness ultimately depends on a watchdog agency the law created, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. So far the bureau has made strides to help home buyers more effectively shop for mortgages by requiring lenders to provide simplified disclosure forms that clearly spell out the cost and risks of a loan. And the bureau is soon expected to define criteria for “qualified mortgages,” which will guide mortgage companies in deciding which borrowers are able to repay a loan.

January 2011

The U.S. Treasury rolled outs its Second Lien Modification Program — 2MP. Like HAMP, it offers incentives for lenders to reduce principal payments, but on second mortgages. To qualify, homeowners must have a HAMP modification on their first mortgage. To date, almost 94,000 homeowners have received second-mortgage modifications, saving a median $159 per month, according to government figures.

December 2011

HARP 2.0 took effect, expanding eligibility to deeply underwater homeowners and lowering, or eliminating, fees for some borrowers. Mortgage lenders were given protections against responsibility for any fraud committed on the original loan. Participation has increased.

January 2012

Obama announced in his State of the Union address that he was sending to Congress “a plan that gives every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage, by refinancing at historically low rates.” The plan, nicknamed HARP 3.0, would expand the program to homeowners with privately held loans and be paid for through a new fee on large financial institutions. It has not passed.

January 2012

The administration expanded HAMP eligibility to borrowers with higher debt loads and tripled incentives to banks for cutting principal on loans. Extending the program through 2013, the administration also pledged to offer incentives to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make principal reductions on certain loans instead of continuing to limit the program to private mortgage lenders.

February 2012

The five largest mortgage lenders agreed to a $25 billion government settlement over alleged foreclosure abuses. The settlement called for the banks — Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial — to collectively set aside $20 billion in write-downs for underwater borrowers in danger of foreclosure. The remaining $5 billion would be paid to federal and state governments, with roughly $1.5 billion being redistributed in $2,000 checks to 750,000 homeowners who were wrongly foreclosed upon during the housing crisis. After four months, the banks had given $10.56 billion in relief to around 138,000 borrowers. A report found that the vast majority — nearly $8.7 billion — went to forgiven debt in short sales, while loan modifications accounted for roughly $750 million in principal reductions.

October 2012

The Justice Department sues Bank of America for $1 billion, the latest in a string of civil lawsuits brought against the country’s largest financial firms. The case accuses Bank of America of running a reckless mortgage scheme called “hustle,” in which it allegedly off-loaded “defective” loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, effectively saddling taxpayers with the risky loans.

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty has Helped many home owners in Ocala and Marion County with all of there Real estate needs! Give her a call at 352-266-2637 and she can answer all of your real estate questions

Facing Foreclosure in Ocala? | The Foreclosure Report – September 2012

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty
3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, Florida 34471
352-266-2637

Dramatic Declines in Foreclosure Activity
September 2012 California Notice of Defaults were down 20.7 percent from the prior month, and down 48.1 percent compared to last year. There has been speculation that the banks would rush to clear inventory before the CA Homeowner Bill of Rights takes affect in January 2013, causing an increase in the number of foreclosures. Clearly this is not the case as we continue to see the number of Foreclosure Starts decline. Notice of Trustee Sales remains basically flat, up 1.9 percent from the prior month.

September 2012 California Foreclosure Sales are down 17.9 percent from the prior month, and down 30.4 percent compared to last year. However, a larger portion of Trustee Sales, 39.2 percent, are being purchased by investors compared to 27.2 percent last year.

In the other states in our coverage area, Foreclosure Starts are down with Arizona down 37.1 percent, Nevada down 40.1 percent, Oregon down 40.0 percent, and Washington down 31.2 percent from the prior month. Sales are also down with Arizona down 24.3 percent, Nevada down 19.5 percent, Oregon down 0.3 percent, and Washington down 33.5 percent from the prior month.

“It was recently reported that the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers have implemented all of the 320 servicing standards required under the national mortgage settlement,” stated Sean O’Toole, Founder & CEO of ForeclosureRadar. “The continued decline in Foreclosure Starts clearly shows that even though servicers are now apparently in compliance and clear to move forward with foreclosures, they are still in no rush to foreclose on the majority of delinquent borrowers.””

Avoid Foreclosure and Short Sale your home Call Rhonda Buckner, Ocala’s Short Sale Specialist at 352-266-2637

Way out your Options! | Tips to Help Prevent Foreclosure

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty
3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, Florida 34471
352-266-2637

In early 2011, you may remember there was a lull in foreclosure activity – a lull that was prompted by nationwide scrutiny into lenders’ home-seizure practices. But in more recent months, as barriers that have been holding foreclosures back have been removed, banks, anxious to rid their books of long-delinquentmortgage loans, have been stepping up foreclosures — all over the country.

Granted, we’re well below the peak levels we saw from 2007-2010, but even so, consider this: In March, 2012, foreclosure filings were reported on nearly 200,000 properties — that’s 7.4 out of every 10,000 homes.  With many more foreclosures in the pipeline, here’s how to avoid becoming a statistic:

Buy a home you can truly afford

Ok, so this is an obvious point, but reiterating the numbers is never a bad idea: Your housing costs (mortgage, insurance, taxes) should be no more than 25-28% of your monthly take-home pay. Use Zillow’s affordability and mortgage calculators.  They’ll estimate the monthly costs of home ownership within the context of your monthly budget. If the payments seem too unruly (Give them a test drive!), you may need to come up with a larger down payment or shelve your purchase plans altogether.

Contact your lender immediately!

Doesn’t look like you’re going to be able to make that payment .. again? You need to let your lenderknow about your financial woes immediately, and, ideally, while your head is still above water and your credit is in tact.

Consider temporary relief

If you think that your inability to your make your mortgage payments is going to be temporary, see what kind of temporary relief your mortgage servicer can offer.  They may be willing to accept reduced payments over a certain period of time; they may allow you to skip payments over a certain period of time; they may extend the grace period for late payments.  Just remember:  these solutions are temporary, so in the interim, try to find new ways to slash spending and save more. You must also prioritize your bills, paying attention to the ones that are the most essential.

Look into a modification

If your financial situation has permanently changed, then temporary relief is not going help much. You may need to have your loan modified.  And while there are many different ways to do a modification, they generally incorporate interest rate cuts, term extensions and principle reductions –  or a combination of these methods.  Yes, there is a lot of paperwork involved, and yes, it can be complicated, but banks are under pressure to do these modifications and as a result, we are seeing higher success rates: the average savings, per modification, is about $500 a month. To see if you are eligible for a modification, go to makinghomeaffordable.gov.

Explore a short sale

If you’re underwater (as 23% of homeowners are today), cash-strapped, desperate for relief, and foreclosure is looking imminent/speed is of the essence, then you might want to consider a short sale.  This where you’re selling your home, for less than what you owe on it, to your mortgage lender. The upside: No more negative equity burden; it’s not as damaging to your credit as a foreclosure is; you can purchase a home again in as little as 3 yrs; and you’re selling your home with your pride in tact.

Rhonda Buckner has helped several families in Ocala and is a certified short sale specialist. She has the answers to your questions give her a call at 352-266-2637

HARP 2.0 Dominates Conforming Mortgage Landscape In Some States

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty 3200 SE 20th AVE Ocala, Florida 34471 352-266-2637

HARP Statistics : HARP refinances as a percentage of all refinances, by state, July 2012

HARP 2.0 has been a boon to the U.S. homeowner. As mortgage rates have dropped, it’s given homeowners with little, zero, or negative equity access to this year’s ongoing Refi Boom. Not surprisingly, in some states, HARP is more common than in others.

Click here to get HARP mortgage rates.

HARP : Minimal Qualification Standards

The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is a government refinance program meant for homeowners whose homes have lost value. It was initially launched in 2009 as part of the Making Home Affordable initiative, a program which also launched HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program).

The main difference between HARP and HAMP is that HARP is for homeowners who are current on their respective mortgages. HAMP is for homeowners facing foreclosure or whom are otherwise delinquent on their mortgage.

HARP is sometimes called the “Obama Refi”, and it’s a program offered via Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exclusively. The Fannie Mae version of HARP is known as “Refi Plus”. The Freddie Mac version is known as “Relief Refinance”. Both programs do the exact same thing.

The requirements for a HARP mortgage are basic :

Your loan must have been securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
Your loan must have been securitized on, or before, May 31, 2009
You may not have previously used the HARP program to refinance
In addition, your mortgage payment history must be perfect for the last 6 months with no more than one late payment in the last 12 months.

Click here for a complete HARP Q&A.

HARP 2.0 : Underwater Homeowners Get Relief

When HARP was initially launched in 2009, it was built to reach more than 7 million U.S. households. Through its first two years, however, it was clear that the Home Affordable Refinance Program was falling short of that goal.

Between 2009-2011, HARP helped fewer than one million households.

So, to help give HARP more teeth, the government re-wrote and re-tooled it. The changes were split into two parts. The first part was meant to reduce HARP lending risks for banks, compelling more banks to offer the program. That move was successful.

The second part was geared at homeowners. With HARP 2.0, regardless of home equity, homeowners were made refinance-eligible. HARP was changed to allow for unlimited LTV. So long as your loan size does not exceed your local conforming loan limits, you can use HARP.

It doesn’t matter what your home is (not) worth. Yes, you can use HARP to refinance.

Click here to get HARP mortgage rates.

Nevada, Florida, Arizona Lead In HARP “Market Share”

Since HARP has moved to unlimited LTV, it’s become a big part of the refinance landscape in the states hardest-hit by last decade’s housing downturn. States like Nevada, for example, where nearly 70% of all refinances in July were HARP refinances. Or, Florida, in which 60% of all refinances were HARP.

There were four states in which HARP accounted for more than half of all conforming refis.

For July 2012, the top 10 states in terms of HARP refinances as a percentage of all conforming refinances closed were :

Nevada : 69.49% of closed conforming refinances were via HARP
Florida : 60.04% of closed conforming refinances were via HARP
Arizona : 57.13% of closed conforming refinances were via HARP
Michigan : 51.78% of closed conforming refinances were via HARP
Georgia ; 49.67% of closed conforming refinances were via HARP
Idaho : 49.42% of closed conforming refinances were via HARP
Minnesota : 37.05% of closed conforming refinances were via HARP
Oregon : 35.20% of closed conforming refinances were via HARP
Washington : 32.05% of closed conforming refinances were via HARP
Maryland : 30.25% of closed conforming refinances were via HARP
The states in which HARP loan were less common included Alaska (5.77%), South Dakota (4.12%) and North Dakota (1.05%).

These states are home to fewer Home Affordable Refinance Program refinances, in part, because the pool of eligible borrowers is relatively smaller. Alaska, North Dakota and South Dakota didn’t see the same home price deterioration as much of the country between 2007 and October 2011.

Click here to get HARP mortgage rates.

Get HARP Mortgage Rates

If you’ve been looking at the HARP program — regardless of your loan-to-value and regardless of whether you’ve been turned down for HARP by a bank — it’s a good time to look again. HARP mortgage guidelines vary by bank, and those guidelines seem to be getting more loose, on the whole.

Ask for today’s HARP mortgage rates. See how low your mortgage payment could get.

Give Rhonda Buckner a call if you have any questions at 352-266-2637

Facing Forclosure in Ocala? | Tips to Help Prevent Foreclosure

Rhonda Buckner- Buckner Homes Realty 3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, Florida
34471 Phone 352-266-2637

In early 2011, you may remember there was a lull in foreclosure activity – a lull that was prompted by nationwide scrutiny into lenders’ home-seizure practices. But in more recent months, as barriers that have been holding foreclosures back have been removed, banks, anxious to rid their books of long-delinquent mortgage loans, have been stepping up foreclosures — all over the country.

Granted, we’re well below the peak levels we saw from 2007-2010, but even so, consider this: In March, 2012, foreclosure filings were reported on nearly 200,000 properties — that’s 7.4 out of every 10,000 homes. With many more foreclosures in the pipeline, here’s how to avoid becoming a statistic:

Buy a home you can truly afford

Ok, so this is an obvious point, but reiterating the numbers is never a bad idea: Your housing costs (mortgage, insurance, taxes) should be no more than 25-28% of your monthly take-home pay. Use Zillow’s affordability and mortgage calculators. They’ll estimate the monthly costs of home ownership within the context of your monthly budget. If the payments seem too unruly (Give them a test drive!), you may need to come up with a larger down payment or shelve your purchase plans altogether.

Contact your lender immediately!

Doesn’t look like you’re going to be able to make that payment .. again? You need to let your lender know about your financial woes immediately, and, ideally, while your head is still above water and your credit is in tact.

Consider temporary relief

If you think that your inability to your make your mortgage payments is going to be temporary, see what kind of temporary relief your mortgage servicer can offer. They may be willing to accept reduced payments over a certain period of time; they may allow you to skip payments over a certain period of time; they may extend the grace period for late payments. Just remember: these solutions are temporary, so in the interim, try to find new ways to slash spending and save more. You must also prioritize your bills, paying attention to the ones that are the most essential.

Look into a modification

If your financial situation has permanently changed, then temporary relief is not going help much. You may need to have your loan modified. And while there are many different ways to do a modification, they generally incorporate interest rate cuts, term extensions and principle reductions – or a combination of these methods. Yes, there is a lot of paperwork involved, and yes, it can be complicated, but banks are under pressure to do these modifications and as a result, we are seeing higher success rates: the average savings, per modification, is about $500 a month. To see if you are eligible for a modification, go to makinghomeaffordable.gov.

Explore a short sale

If you’re underwater (as 23% of homeowners are today), cash-strapped, desperate for relief, and foreclosure is looking imminent/speed is of the essence, then you might want to consider a short sale. This where you’re selling your home, for less than what you owe on it, to your mortgage lender. The upside: No more negative equity burden; it’s not as damaging to your credit as a foreclosure is; you can purchase a home again in as little as 3 yrs; and you’re selling your home with your pride in tact.

Rhonda Buckner Specializes in Short Sales and can help get you through the entire Short Sale Process. Call Rhonda Buckner at 352-266-2637

Ocala FHA Homeowners Consider a FHA Streamline Refinance.. | What Is An FHA Streamline Refinance?

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty, 3200 S E 20 Ave. Ocala,
Florida 34471 phone 352-266-2637

The FHA Streamline Refinance is a special mortgage product, reserved for homeowners with existing FHA mortgages. Homeowners with conventional mortgages via Fannie Mae or Freddie can’t use it. FHA Streamline Refinances are the fastest, simplest way for FHA-insured homeowners to refinance their respective mortgages.

The FHA Streamline Refinance program’s defining characteristic is that it does not require a home appraisal. Instead, the FHA will allow you to use your original purchase price as your home’s current value, regardless of what your home is actually worth today.

In this way, with its FHA Streamline Refinance program, the FHA does not care if you are underwater on your mortgage. In fact, the program encourages underwater mortgages. Even if you owe twice what your home is now worth, the FHA will refinance your home without added cost or penalty.

The FHA allows for unlimited loan-to-value with its Streamline Refi program — a huge help to FHA homeowners in places like Florida, California, Arizona and Georgia.

Except for this “no appraisal” benefit, the FHA Streamline Refinance is very much like other loan products. It’s available as a fixed rate or adjustable mortgage; it comes with 15- or 30-year terms; and there’s no prepayment penalty to worry about.

Another big plus is that FHA mortgage rates are as low with the Streamline Refinance program as with “regular” FHA loans.

Click here for today’s FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage rates.

FHA Streamline : No Verification Of Job, Income, Credit

Another big plus is that the FHA Streamline Refinance is fairly easy for which to qualify.

In a sweeping guideline update, in April 2011, the FHA abolished verification for practically everything on an FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage application. Now, as written in the FHA’s official mortgage guidelines, the mortgage approval process for an FHA Streamline Refinance says :

Employment verification is not required with an FHA Streamline Refinance
Income verification is not required with an FHA Streamline Refinance
Credit score verification is not required with an FHA Streamline Refinance
And, as mentioned earlier, there’s no need for a home appraisal, either.

Click here for today’s FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage rates.

Put it all together and it means that you can be (1) out-of-work, (2) without income, (3) carry a terrible credit rating and (4) have no home equity — and yet, you will still be approved for the FHA Streamline Refinance program.

That’s not as crazy as it sounds, by the way.

To understand why the FHA Streamline Refinance is a smart program for the FHA, we have to remember that the FHA’s chief role is to insure mortgages — not “make” them.

Therefore, it’s in the FHA’s best interest to help as many people as possible qualify for today’s low mortgage rates. Lower mortgage rates means lower monthly payments which, in theory, leads to fewer loan defaults.

This is good for homeowners that want lower mortgage rates, and for the FHA, but mostly for the FHA.

Are You FHA Streamline Refinance Eligible?

Although the FHA Streamline Refinance eschews the “traditional” mortgage verifications of income and credit score, as examples, the program does enforce minimum standards for applicants. The official FHA Streamline Refinance guidelines are below.

Click here for today’s FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage rates.

Perfect, 12-Month Payment History Is Required

The FHA’s main goal is to reduce its overall loan pool risk. Therefore, it’s number one qualification standard is that homeowners using the Streamline Refinance program must have a perfect payment history stretching back 12 months. 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day lates are not allowed. Furthermore, loans must be current at the time of closing.

210-Day “Waiting Period” Between Refinances

The FHA requires that borrowers make 6 mortgage payments on their current FHA-insured loan, and that 210 days pass from the most recent closing date, in order to be eligible for a Streamline Refinance.

Employment And Income Are Not Verified

The FHA does not require verification of a borrower’s employment or annual income as part of the FHA Streamline process. There is no Verification of Employment, nor are there paystubs, W-2s or tax returns required for approval. You can be unemployed and get approved for a FHA Streamline Refinance so long as you still meet the other program requirements.

Credit Scores Are Not Verified

The FHA does not verify credit scores as part of the FHA Streamline Refinance program. Instead, it uses payment history as a gauge for future loan performance. This means that FICOs under 640, under 620, under 580, and under 500 are eligible for Streamline Refis.

The Refinance Must Have “Purpose”

Streamline Refinance applicants must demonstrate that there’s a Net Tangible Benefit in the refinance; a legitimate reason for refinancing. Loosely, Net Tangible Benefit is defined as reducing the (principal + interest + mortgage insurance) component of the mortgage payment by 5 percent or more. Another allowable Net Tangible Benefit is to refinance from an adjusting ARM into a fixed rate loan. Taking “cash out” to pay bills is not an allowable Net Tangible Benefit.

Loan Balances May Not Increase To Cover Loan Costs

The FHA prohibits increasing a Streamline Refinance’s loan balance to cover associated loan charges. The new loan balance is limited by the math formula of (Current Principal Balance + Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium). All other costs — origination charges, title charges, escrow population — must be either (1) Paid by the borrower as cash at closing, or (2) Credited by the loan officer in full. The latter is called a “zero-cost FHA Streamline”. Click here for a zero-cost FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage rates.

Appraisals Not Required

The FHA isn’t concerned about home value — it’s insuring your loan regardless. Therefore, the FHA does not require appraisals for its Streamline Refinance program. Instead, it uses the original purchase price of your home, or the most recent appraised value, as its valuation point. Homes that are underwater are still FHA Streamline-eligible.

FHA Streamline Refinance Mortgage Insurance Requirements

The FHA Streamline Refinance is an FHA-insured mortgage, and FHA borrowers are required to make two types of mortgage insurance payments — an upfront mortgage insurance payment paid at closing, plus an annual one split into 12 installments, paid with your mortgage payment each month.

With respect to mortgage insurance premiums, as of June 11, 2012, homeowners using the FHA Streamline Refinance program are split into two classes :

Homeowners whose new loan replaces an FHA-backed mortgage endorsed before June 1, 2009
Homeowners whose new loan replaces an FHA-backed mortgage endorsed on/after June 1, 2009.
Beginning June 11, 2012, homeowners in the first class — those with”old” FHA mortgages to refinance — will pay markedly lower mortgage insurance than homeowners in the second class of borrowers.

Click here for today’s FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage rates.

FHA Streamline Refinance MIP Rates (For Loans Endorsed Before June 1, 2009)

If your existing FHA mortgage was endorsed prior to June 1, 2009, your mortgage insurance premiums have been “grandfathered”. You can refinance to the FHA Streamline Refinance program and pay reduced rates for both for upfront MIP and annual mortgage insurance premiums.

Upfront MIP

For an FHA Streamline Refinance that replaces a loan endorsed prior to June 1, 2009, the new FHA mortgage’s upfront mortgage insurance is equal to 0.01 percent of the loan size, or 1 basis point.

For example, if your new FHA Streamline Refinance is for $100,000 mortgage, the FHA will assess a $10 upfront mortgage insurance premium (MIP) to be paid by you at closing. The FHA automatically adds the $10 payment to your new loan balance.

Click here for today’s FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage rates.

Annual MIP

Annual MIP is similarly cheap. For an FHA Streamline Refinance that replaces a FHA loan endorsed prior to June 1, 2009, the annual MIP is 0.55% annually, or 55 basis points.

The complete annual MIP schedule is as follows :

15-year loan terms with loan-to-value over 90% : 0.55 percent annual MIP
15-year loan terms with loan-t0-value under 90% : 0.55 percent annual MIP
30-year loan terms with loan-to-value over 95% : 0.55 percent annual MIP
30-year loan terms with loan-to-value under 95% : 0.55 percent annual MIP
15-year fixed rate mortgages with LTVs of 78% or less pay no annual MIP.

For an FHA Streamline Refinance that replaces a FHA loan endorsed prior to June 1, 2009 and for which the mortgage is a jumbo FHA mortgage in excess of $625,500, there is no additional mortgage insurance premium.

Click here for today’s FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage rates.

FHA Streamline MIP For Loans Endorsed On/After June 1, 2009

If your existing FHA mortgage was endorsed on, or after, June 1, 2009, your new FHA mortgage insurance premiums are the same as for all other FHA mortgage applicants.

Upfront MIP

For an FHA Streamline Refinance that replaces a loan endorsed on, or after, June 1, 2009, the new FHA mortgage’s upfront mortgage insurance is equal to 1.75 percent of the loan size, or 175 basis points.

For example, if your new FHA Streamline Refinance is for $100,000 mortgage, the FHA will assess a $1,750 upfront mortgage insurance premium (MIP) to be paid by you at closing. The FHA automatically rolls the $1,750 payment into your new loan balance.

Not all FHA homeowners will pay this full amount, however.

One great thing about the FHA Streamline Refinance program is that the FHA offers refund on previously-paid upfront MIP so long as you’re still within the first 3 years of your mortgage.

As an example, refinancing after 11 months grants a 60% refund, but waiting just one more month lowers that refund down to 58%. This is why is rarely a good idea to “wait to refinance” with the FHA. With the FHA Streamline Refinance, the sooner you refinance, the bigger your MIP refund, and the lower your final loan size. This preserves home equity.

You can review your own FHA mortgage insurance refund chart at top.

Click here for today’s FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage rates.

Annual MIP

For an FHA Streamline Refinance that replaces a FHA loan endorsed on, or after, June 1, 2009, the annual MIP varies based on loan type and loan-to-value.

The annual MIP schedule, for loans with case numbers assigned on, of after, June 1, 2009 :

15-year loan terms with loan-to-value over 90% : 0.60 percent annual MIP
15-year loan terms with loan-t0-value under 90% : 0.35 percent annual MIP
30-year loan terms with loan-to-value over 95% : 1.25 percent annual MIP
30-year loan terms with loan-to-value under 95% : 1.20 percent annual MIP
15-year fixed rate mortgages with LTVs of 78% or less pay no annual MIP. Mortgages made for $625,500 or more are subject to an additional 0.25 percent annual mortgage insurance fee.

A Los Angeles, California homeowner, therefore, using the FHA’s full $729,750 local loan limit for a low-downpayment, 30-year fixed rate mortgage will pay annual mortgage insurance premium of 1.50% to the FHA, or $912 per month.

Note that mortgage insurance payments are included in the FHA’s Net Tangible Benefit requirement. You must lower your monthly payment by at 5 percent to qualify for the FHA Streamline Refinance.

Click here for today’s FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage rates.

Apply For Your FHA Streamline Refinance Here

The FHA Streamline Refinance is among the easiest and best-valued mortgage products available.

If you have an existing FHA mortgage, get yourself a FHA Streamline Refinance rate quote. FHA mortgage rates are low and my office underwrites and funds FHA loan in-house. This means we can close your mortgage faster, entitling you to a bigger FHA refund check on your Streamline Refinance.

Click here to get a rate quote and start your FHA Streamline Refinance application.

This FHA Streamline Refinance information is accurate as of today, . If you get FHA Streamline Refinance information somewhere else, it may be inaccurate or out-of-date.

For all of your real estate needs contact Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty at 352-266-2637