August 17th, 2007 9:23 AM by Lehel Szucs
One of the lenders we work with sent us this note and we thought it would be great to share. What is interesting is that all the other lenders we work with are saying the same things.
The purpose of this communication is not to alarm you but to alert you to drastic and irreversible changes currently taking place in the mortgage market. If you or anyone else you know will need mortgage financing in the next 18 months, you need to read this!
Just last week, American Home Mortgage and its wholesale counterpart, American Brokers Conduit, became the latest casualties of the credit crisis. Last year, this company closed over $58 billion in home loans. Despite being, by all accounts, a well-run business, market conditions forced them to file for bankruptcy, leaving billions of dollars in loans in their pipeline unable to close. Tens of thousands of borrowers have now been left without financing as a result of companies like this going under.
Clearly, with over 100 national lenders having now closed shop in the last eight months, this is no longer simply a subprime lending issue. The credit market is experiencing unprecedented turmoil. According to Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, "Financial markets have been volatile in recent weeks, credit conditions have become tighter for some households and businesses, and the housing correction is ongoing."
What does this mean to consumers?
Potential borrowers cannot wait any longer.
For those who are considering buying a home, be aware that the volatile credit market can change overnight, leaving fewer options available to borrowers attempting to qualify for a mortgage. This is even more true for those looking to refinance. With decreases in home values and fewer available mortgage instruments, delaying any longer could get significantly more expensive.
Borrowers with applications in process must not delay. Applicants should work with their mortgage professional to complete all paperwork quickly, especially on non-conforming, stated-income, and stated-asset loans. Even minor delays can result in funds being yanked at the closing table!
Sellers can no longer be reluctant to accept offers or reduce prices. Tightening credit and diminishing mortgage products will continue to reduce the pool of qualified buyers. This, along with the increase in national housing inventories, means now is not the time to hold out for the "best" price possible.
Buyers with credit issues or who have difficulty providing required documentation can no longer sit on the fence. If market conditions change, buyers who qualify for a loan today may not qualify a few weeks from now for the same exact loan. Just this week, many lenders have stopped offering No-Doc loans, and some lenders have even pulled back on all forms of stated loans. As market conditions continue to change, a buyer's pre-approval status can disappear even more quickly, delaying or spoiling the deal.
Subprime and Alt-A refi candidates, especially those with ARMs scheduled to reset over the next 12 months, need to act now – even those with a pre-payment penalty. ARMs borrowers struggling with monthly payments now might be shocked to know that monthly payments can double in some cases once an ARM resets.
What does this mean to you?