Saturday, March 24, 2007

Predatory Lending: What to Look Out For As You Search for a Home

The weather is better, more people are looking to buy homes. Caution please, about the type of loan you get. Specifically, avoid predatory lenders. Here are some tips about what to watch out for:

*Someone tries to get you to buy a home for more than it is worth based upon an inflated or false appraisal. You can help avoid this by working with a real estate professional who can provide you with real comps. Not to downplay the Internet appraisal models like Zillow, but, a Realtor® in the trenches can get you the best, updated information about home sales in a particular area.

*A lender is a predator if they are knowingly lending more money to you than you can repay, lending more than 100% of the value of the loan, or charging high fees in connection with a loan. You can help ensure you make a wise loan decision by talking to at least three mortgage lenders. You can weigh what all three tell you. And keep in mind, going with the one that seems to promise you the moon may not be wise: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

*If a mortgage lender encourages you to falsify any information (yearly salary, etc) in order to qualify for the loan, be wary and seek another lender. Mortgage fraud is not good. Note: do you look good in prison orange?

*The home you want to buy looks a lot like others sold in the area, in similar condition, but someone wants you to pay a lot more for the home than the others. This may sound like the first point, but it's a tad different. There may not be an appraisal involved. Make sure a qualified professional advises you on home sales so you can make a wise decision.

*You are asked to sign blank documents, with people telling you the details will be filled in later. This may sound like a no brainer, but believe me, it happens.

*Someone writes up a purchase agreement for a home, and it has an addendum stating that the Seller will be holding a second mortgage which will be 'forgiven' by the Seller immediately upon your taking Title to the home. This is a big red flag. It means someone is inflating the price of the house - and someone is getting the difference in the real price of the house and the inflated price - that someone should not be you, a broker, a lender or an appraiser. It's fraud.

*You are told that your only chance of getting a loan will be through this one lender. Now I know the American Dream is to own a home. But, if only one mortgage lender in the World will qualify you to get a mortgage....it probably should make you think: is this really the right time for me to buy, or should I wait and save money, clear up my credit, first? And of course if you have checked with other mortgage lenders as I stated above, you will have a better idea about whether now is the right time for you to consider buying a home.

I may be a Realtor® and yes I only make money if people buy or sell homes. However, I need to be able to sleep at night! Those of us who are true professionals only want you to buy a home when you are ready, willing and able. On that note, if you have concerns and know you cannot buy a home now, but want to figure out a strategy so that sometime in the future you CAN buy a home, let me know. There are financial counselors, free of charge, who will work with you for a year (in the mortgage 'arm' of my company) so that you can begin to get your finances on track. Here is an article from The New Standard written by Michelle Chen, about Ohio's Predatory Lending Laws. Peace Out - 3C

1 comment:

badcreditresources said...

Most predatory mortgage lending is done with sub prime loans, or loans which are provisioned for people with less-than-perfect credit history. Unfortunately, predator lenders have exploited these consumers who don’t have much knowledge about mortgage loans.