Written By: Stacey Sprain, Op-Ed Writer
This past week or so, I’ve had many people asking for my advice and overview of Hope for Homeowners. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of info out there on the program from HUD, but no word as far as I’m aware of as far as a single lender that is offering the program out for brokering. I’ll be honest, I don’t expect we’ll see many if any.
It sounds like a great option on paper and seems to be enough to peak the interest of many originators who are looking for any possible signs of life out in the housing market but let’s look at this from a business perspective - what lender out there wants to take in any more risky loans at this point? Their portfolios are already overflowing with defaults and late payments. I suspect that H4H will be utilized mostly by those lenders that service their own loans as a way to assist homeowners in trouble so that they can avoid costly foreclosure and legal fees.
I don’t know about anyone else out there but I am still just absolutely dumbfounded that what is happening in our country was ever allowed to happen in the first place and quite frankly, I’m really angry about it. I am furious that people with Harvard and Princeton degrees who grew up with silver spoons in their mouths were allowed to make decisions to create and offer loan products to people who clearly never came close to qualifying for a mortgage.
It was all about the mighty dollar to them and nothing about common sense. They didn’t give a damn about consumers. That these people in these high-ranking positions were allowed to taint the image of the industry that so many of us dedicate our time and our lives to makes me absolutely livid. I don’t know about you, but I want answers and I demand that people be held accountable for their bad decisions and mismanagement. It shouldn’t have required rocket scientists to realize that people with no money in the bank, 60/80 ratios and ridiculously bad credit probably shouldn’t be approved for a 100% LTV mortgage.
I ran across a few opportunities in the past few years where I could have placed borrowers in sub-prime loans but I flat out refused to do it. Today, looking at the state of our economy it makes me really proud that I stuck to my morals and that I maintained my integrity. There is one couple that I am still communicating with who actually valued my opinion back when they approached me to buy a home in 2006. I could have stuck them in a sub-prime loan and made a bundle but I chose to take the high road, explain to them why I couldn’t do it to them and I offered to allow them to seek out the lender down the street I knew would jump at the chance.
Fortunately for them, they listened to my advice and I thank my lucky stars for them every single day that they did. Their lifestyle at that time would surely have lead them to the default and foreclosure status so many others are seeing right now. I just knew it wasn’t right for them and their credit and family financial status were worth more to me than a paycheck. They have followed along with me for this past year and a half and are working toward reaching the goals we set for them back in 2006. Eventually, I will get them into a home but only when I am 100% certain it’s financially smart for them and their family.
The one good thing to come out of all this crisis is the “changing of the guards” along with a serious “house cleaning” across the industry. I am guessing that many of the originators who jumped into our industry when “the getting was good” are long gone and that we’re left with those of us who take things seriously and maintain our stance on common sense no matter the price.
Even if you’re not able to assist troubled homeowners by offering them the Hope for Homeowners program, please do what is best for them and point them in the right direction. Be sure to visit the list of resources that HUD offers at www.fha.gov and suggest that they visit the site as well. HUD is expected to issue a list of participating lenders in the very near future and you will find the list there when it’s posted.
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About The Author
Stacey Sprain - As an op-ed writer, Ms. Stacey Sprain is currently a NAMP® Certified Ambassador Loan Processor (NAMP®-CALP). With over 15+ years of mortgage banking experience, Stacey is also a Quality Control Manager for a major mortgage lending institution.