Flat Fee MLS Listings in Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana,
Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington

Archive for the ‘Lending’ Category

Bank of America Falling behind already

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Friday, December 11th, 2009

Bank of America has more mortgages eligible for the HAMP program than any other loan servicer, however, they are lagging behind the industry average in actually modifying borrowers loans.  (nearly 10% behind the industry average)

Bank of America looks at these numbers a tad differently.  They choose to focus on the total volume of loan mods processed. In this situation, it is in fact true B of A has made more loan mods than any other servicer. ( but again, they have hundreds of thousands of more applications than any other servicer)

If you take the next 3 largest HAMP loan servicers and add together the # of delinquent loans on their books, they equal just about the total # of Bank Of America.  However, these next 3 servicers have processed more than double the # of loan mods processed by Bank of America. (Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi)

Problem banks in our flat fee MLS area

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Monday, September 21st, 2009

We received the Unofficial Problem Banks list from CalculatedRisk, a finance and economics blog.

Some of the banks mentioned in the states we do business:


ARIZONA: CrediCard National Bank, Desert Hills Bank, Heritage Bank, Meridian Bank, Mesa Bank, Towne Bank of Airzona, Valley Capital Bank.

CALIFORNIA: California National Bank, Canyon National Bank, Coast National Bank, Community Bank of San Joaquin, Community Banks of Northern California, Desert Commercial Bank, Discovery Bank, First Federal Bank of California, First Regional , First Standard Bank, First Vietnamese American Bank, Gateway Bank, Golden Coast Bank, Golden Security Bank, Granite Community Bank, Imperial Capital Bank, Independence Bank, Innovative Bank, International City Bank, La Jolla Bank, Los Padres Bank, Merchants Bank of California, Mission Oaks National Bank, New Resource Bank, Pacific Coast National Bank, Pacific Valley Bank, Palm Desert National Bank, Pan American Bank, Plaza Bank, San Joaquin Bank, United Commercial Bank, Uniti Bank

COLORADO: Canon National Bank, Community Banks of Colorado, First National Bank – Fort Collins, First National Bank of the Rockies, McClave State Bank, Native American Bank, Park State Bank & Trust, Pikes Peak National , Premier Bank, Rocky Mountain Bank &  Trust, Southern Colorado National Bank, Valley Bank and Trust

HAWAI’I: None.

IDAHO: None.

IOWA: Community National Bank – Waterloo, Community State Bank, First Bank – West Des Moines, First National Bank MidWest, Polk County Bank, The First National Bank of Farragut,  The First National Bank of Logan

LOUISIANA: Central Progressive Bank, First National Bank USA      , Statewide Bank

MONTANA: Bank of The Rockies, First Citizens Bank of Polson, Mountain West Bank, United Bank

NEBRASKA: The Farmers and Merchants National Bank of Hatton, Charter West National Bank, Hastings State Bank, Nebraska Bankers’ Bank, The Farmers Bank, The First National Bank of Valentine, The First National Bank of , TierOne Bank

NEVADA: Carson River Community Bank, Nevada Bank and Trust Company, Nevada Security Bank

NEW MEXICO: First Community Bank, High Desert State Bank, Valley National Bank

OREGON: Bank of the Cascades, Columbia Community Bank, Columbia River Bank, MBank

TEXAS: Border Capital Bank, Citizens State Bank, Commercial State Bank of El Campo, First Bank of Snook, First National Bank of the Mid-Cities, Gladewater National Bank, LegacyTexas Bank, Libertad Bank, Prosper Bank, Texana Bank, Texas Community Bank, Texas National Bank, Texas Republic Bank, The First National Bank of Trenton, The Morris County National Bank of Naples, Town Center Bank, Tradition Bank – Bellaire, United Community Bank, Uvalde National Bank

UTAH: Advanta Bank Corp., Barnes Banking Company, CIT Bank, Capital Community Bank, Capmark Bank, Centennial Bank, Liberty Bank, Inc, Prime Alliance Bank, Transportation Alliance Bank, Inc., Utah Community Bank Woodlands Commercial Bank

WASHINGTON: AmericanWest Bank, Bank Reale, City Bank, Eastside Commercial Bank, Frontier Bank, Homestreet Bank, Horizon Bank, Mountain Pacific Bank, Rainier Pacific Bank, Seattle Bank, Venture Bank

Refinancing Going Crazy

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Monday, December 29th, 2008

Most everyone is aware that rates are absolutely plummeting right now. Refinance Applications are going through the roof. The questions is, should you refinance your house? The thing that most people forget is that refinancing cost real money. Loan officers will try to slide by the fact that when you refinance, they are rolling the cost of refinancing on the back end of the note. What this means is that if you owe 200k and it cost you 5k to refinance, you now owe 205k. Just because you aren’t paying cash upfront for the service doesn’t mean it is free.

So when should you refinance? The first general rule is that you need to know you will be in your house at least a couple of more years. Calculate your monthly savings from your new projected monthly payment. Now, compare this with your total cost to refinance. How many months will it take you to recapture the total cost of refinancing? For example, if your total cost to refinance is 1200 and your monthly saving will be 100, you know it will take 12 months to break even on your refinance. Generally speaking, if you are recapturing your loss within a 2 -3 year period, it’s not a bad idea to consider refinancing.

Montana FHA Loan Limits going down in 2009

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

We received a note from Western Security Bank in Billings that the FHA limits for Yellowstone County are going down to $271,050 in 2009 (from $292,250)  If your home is in the upper $200’s to low $300’s, you need to seriously consider listing your property now before the potential negative impact of this change.  There is still time to get a property listed, under contract, in escrow for around 30 days, and sold by the end of the year.

Why AZ homeowners in the $275,000 to $350,000 should LIST NOW

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

On January 1, 2009, the new maximum FHA loan limit in Arizona will be reduced from $346,250 to $271,050.  The only exception is Coconino County (i.e. Flagstaff) where the limit will be $330,500.  This is on top of the increase in down payment from 3 to 3.5%.  Home prices are directly related to supply and demand.  The supply will not be affected by this; it is high.  The demand, especially for buyers in this price range, will be significantly affected.  FHA programs allow people to buy a home with very little down payment and a very good interest rate.  If a buyer can come up with 3% of $325,000 ($9,750), it is very possible that the buyer will be able to qualify for an FHA program and be able to buy a $325,000 house.  However, if the FHA program limits decrease, the same buyer may have to go with a conventional program that requires 10% down payment, mandatory mortgage insurance, and a higher interest rate.  The same exact buyer may not have the down payment or the ability to afford higher payments.  It is quite possible that the buyer’s maximum buying power could down to near the new FHA loan limit range.  Not all buyers will be equally affected; some may be able to come up with a higher down payment but will reduce the loan balance (and thus the purchase price) to make the payments stay the same, others may be able to still buy in this range.  You get the idea, however.

As a homeowner in this price range, the best advice might be to list your property for sale now, price it extremely well so that it sells in the first two weeks, and accept a contract with a closing date prior to the end of the year.  We have no crystal ball; it is quite possible our forecast is wrong.  However, just as we saw prices come down on lower priced homes when seller-funded down payment assistance (DPA) programs went away on October 1, we are concerned for our sellers that something similar might happen with the new FHA loan limits.

Bank of America and Countrywide

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Friday, October 17th, 2008


Recently, I was asked by a friend of mine who had just been laid off why he should keep making his mortgage payment. As a responsible individual, he is greatly concerned about his credit, thus, despite his increased financial difficulties, he continues to make his payments. He is upset that government, media, and lenders are focusing on those individuals who are at risk of foreclosure. Essentially, those individuals who choose to not make payments are being rewarded with various opportunities to stay in their homes. His question is this, why aren’t we trying to help those homeowners who are just barely getting by… especially those who have maintained their sense of responsibility by honoring the debt they promised to repay?

Looking back on the conversation, I do begin to wonder if the bailouts are making thing worse by giving homeowners who are struggling less incentive to keep make their payments. You hear each and every day about programs designed to assist owners in re-negotiating their rates and even asking for re-evaluations of value. At some point, every struggling homeowner is going to quit making payments and ask for the same assistance that is being given to those who have not honored their promise to repay.

Something to Follow

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Wednesday, October 8th, 2008


NAR is reporting an increase in pending listings from July to August of this year. (The report cites an increase of 7.4%.) Here is the important thing to consider. This increase is right about the time it was announced that the Nehemiah program would be discontinued as of Oct 1st, 2008. Is the jump the result of buyers who were previously waiting out the market instead getting off the fence prior to the termination of the Nehemiah program? This seller assisted program was responsible for hundreds of thousands of closings over the past 6-9 months. Are these pending #’s just a result of one last surge from this loan program before it died out? Sept – October pending numbers will be extremely interesting to examine when they are released.

SIVA Loans

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Monday, October 6th, 2008

We speak with various lenders over the course of the business week to stay apprised of market conditions with regards to financing. One thing we are hearing is that lenders want to get out of the “Stated Income Verified Asset” space. These types of loans do not require the borrower to demonstrate proof of income (e.g. pay stubs), but still require proof of assets. One mortgage broker is quoting astronomically high rates and fees for this product: 8.5% with 6 points for a 75% LTV 30 year fixed rate mortgage. By comparison, a conforming 30 year fixed rate mortgage was quoted at 6.125% and 0 points.

When you hear that credit is tightening and mortgages are tougher to get, this is true. By throwing out super high rates and fees for selected programs, lenders are basically eliminating programs they don’t want to be involved with. As recently as a few years ago, many of these programs were not really available anyway. Understand, however, that traditional mortgage products (including some jumbo mortgages) are still very much available and the rates in most cases are reasonable.

FHA Loans

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Friday, August 22nd, 2008

FHA Loans are government insured loans that have recently become increasingly popular. 3-5 years ago, 100% financing was available everywhere to almost everyone. These programs resulted in a decrease in the number of FHA transactions because they eliminated the need for the FHA loans. In the past 18 months, 100% financing has almost all but vanished for those with anything less than perfect credit. Skip forward to today, FHA financing allows a buyer with decent to good credit to acquire financing with minimal down payment. (typically 3%) Rates for these programs are extremely competitive to those of your typical 80/20 30 yr fixed notes. Historically, FHA programs help serve as a catalyst to get first time home buyers into the market. As a seller, if your home falls within the FHA loan limits, expect to see offers that feature this type of financing. You can find an enormous amount of information about these programs online or by calling us at 800 657 6579.

J. Andrew English

More Housing Recovery Info

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Friday, August 1st, 2008


This is a great article on how the new housing recovery law will do very little to help homeowners in Southern Nevada. To summarize, if your loan amount greatly exceeds the value of your home, your lender is unlikely to cooperate. Unfortunately for many Las Vegas residents, this is the exact situation they are in. If you have 2 notes on the property, the program will be contingent upon the 2nd lien holder writing off the note. This means that if the 1st and 2nd lien holders are not the same company, the 2nd lien holder might be unwilling to just wash away the debt. On the other hand, even if the same lender holds both notes, if the sum of the two notes greatly exceeds current appraised value, they will be unlikely to cooperate.

These two scenarios hit home hard in Las Vegas because many homeowners owe upwards of 125% of the actual market value of their homes.  If we put this into numbers, a lender will not accept a loss on a property they are owed 450k and the current appraised value is 300k. They can’t, they would be out of business within a few weeks.  The refi is at 90% of appraised value, thus, the lender is losing an additional 10% on top of what is being washed away.

The new law will help a lot of individuals, however, in most cases, it will not help those that are the deepest in debt.