Q: Denise, I have a lot of clients who don’t qualify for traditional loans. However, I am hesitant to suggest they talk to other lenders with more liberal programs as I am concerned that it looks like we are pushing for the same conditions that led to the mortgage meltdown in the first place. So, how do I know a good loan program from one that is predatory?
A: I am so glad you are looking out for your clients. I have had this question several times over the last few months. It seem that several buyers or sellers who could not qualify under the very stringent conditions of years past are now out looking at their options. There could be a number of reasons why an otherwise-qualified buyer cannot get a loan – divorce, not-easily documented income, past foreclosure, inconsistent monthly income, or perhaps the seller has to buy before they sell their own home and use the proceeds.
In reaction to the mortgage meltdown, lending practices had been shored up significantly in the last few years. Parameters for getting a loan have loosened since then but there are certain segments of the population who are still having a tough time qualifying.
It behooves you to learn about the options out there so you can help steer potential buyers in the right direction and offer recommendations regarding lenders who may be able to help their situation. In terms of being concerned about alternative loan programs leading to the next mortgage meltdown, I am relieved at the measures that are currently in place to protect consumers and I hope those guidelines are followed. I always suggest doing your homework and making sure that anyone you recommend is above board. If you have concerns about lending practices, HUD has information on their website: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/sfh/buying/loanfraud.