Source: www.hud.gov. For more information or an appointment with a HUD-certified counselor, contact the Southeast Community Development Corporation at 410-342-3234 www.southeastcdc.org.
FINDING the RIGHT LOAN for YOU
ARE THERE ANY COSTS OR FEES ASSOCIATED WITH THE LOAN ORIGINATION PROCESS?
Yes. When you turn in your application, you’ll be required to pay a loan application fee to cover the costs of underwriting the loan. This fee pays for the home appraisal, a copy of your credit report, and any additional charges that may be necessary. The application fee is generally non-refundable.
WHAT IS RESPA?
RESPA stands for Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. It requires lenders to disclose information to potential customers throughout the mortgage process, By doing so, it protects borrowers from abuses by lending institutions. RESPA mandates that lenders fully inform borrowers about all closing costs, lender servicing and escrow account practices, and business relationships between closing service providers and other parties to the transaction.
For more information on RESPA, or call 1-800-569-4287 for a local counseling referral.
WHAT IS A GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE, AND HOW DOES IT HELP ME?
It’s an estimate that lists all fees paid before closing, all closing costs, and any escrow costs you will encounter when purchasing a home. The lender must supply it within three days of your application so that you can make accurate judgments when shopping for a loan.
BESIDES RESPA, DOES THE LENDER HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES?
Lenders are not allowed to discriminate in any way against potential borrowers. If you believe a lender is refusing to provide his or her services to you on the basis of race, color, nationality, religion, sex, familial status, or disability, contact HUD’s Office of Fair Housing at 1-800-669-9777 (or 1-800-927- 9275 for the hearing impaired).
WHAT RESPONSIBILITIES DO I HAVE DURING THE LENDING PROCESS?
To ensure you won’t fall victim to loan fraud, be sure to follow all of these steps as you apply for a loan:
• Be sure to read and understand everything before you sign.
• Refuse to sign any blank documents.
• Do not buy property for someone else.
• Do not overstate your income.
• Do not overstate how long you have been employed.
• Do not overstate your assets.
• Accurately report your debts.
• Do not change your income tax returns for any reason. Tell the whole truth about gifts. Do not list fake co-borrowers on your loan application.
• Be truthful about your credit problems, past and present.
• Be honest about your intention to occupy the house
• Do not provide false supporting documents.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I’VE APPLIED FOR MY LOAN?
It usually takes a lender between 1-6 weeks to complete the evaluation of your application. Its not unusual for the lender to ask for more information once the application has been submitted. The sooner you can provide the information, the faster your application will be processed. Once all the information has been verified the lender will call you to let you know the outcome of your application. If the loan is approved, a closing date is set up and the lender will review the closing with you. And after closing, you’ll be able to move into your new home.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK OUT FOR DURING THE FINAL WALK-THROUGH?
This will likely be the first opportunity to examine the house without furniture, giving you a clear view of everything. Check the walls and ceilings carefully, as well as any work the seller agreed to do in response to the inspection. Any problems discovered previously that you find uncorrected should be brought up prior to closing. It is the seller’s responsibility to fix them.
WHAT MAKES UP CLOSING COST?
There may be closing cost customary or unique to a certain locality, but closing cost are usually made up of the following:
• Attorney’s or escrow fees (Yours and your lender’s if applicable)
• Property taxes (to cover tax period to date)
• Interest (paid from date of closing to 30 days before first monthly payment)
• Loan Origination fee (covers lenders administrative cost)
• Recording fees
• Survey fee
• First premium of mortgage Insurance (if applicable)
• Title Insurance (yours and lender’s)
• Loan discount points
• First payment to escrow account for future real estate taxes and insurance
• Paid receipt for homeowner’s insurance policy (and fire and flood insurance if applicable)
• Any documentation preparation fees
WHAT CAN I EXPECT TO HAPPEN ON CLOSING DAY?
You’ll present your paid homeowner’s insurance policy or a binder and receipt showing that the premium has been paid. The closing agent will then list the money you owe the seller (remainder of down payment, prepaid taxes, etc.) and then the money the seller owes you (unpaid taxes and prepaid rent, if applicable). The seller will provide proofs of any inspection, warranties, etc.
Once you’re sure you understand all the documentation, you’ll sign the mortgage, agreeing that if you don’t make payments the lender is entitled to sell your property and apply the sale price against the amount you owe plus expenses. You’ll also sign a mortgage note, promising to repay the loan. The seller will give you the title to the house in the form of a signed deed.
You’ll pay the lender’s agent all closing costs and, in turn,he or she will provide you with a settlement statement of all the items for which you have paid. The deed and mortgage will then be recorded in the state Registry of Deeds, and you will be a homeowner.
WHAT DO I GET AT CLOSING?
Settlement Statement, HUD-1 Form (itemizes services provided and the fees charged; it is filled out by the closing agent and must be given to you at or before closing)
• Truth-in-Lending Statement
• Mortgage Note
• Mortgage or Deed of Trust
• Binding Sales Contract (prepared by the seller; your lawyer should review it)
• Keys to your new home