Know Your Rights: Fair Lending Practices When Applying for Home Loans in Texas

Texas Lending

For Texas homebuyers, navigating the murky waters of the home loan process (texaslending.com/loan-process.asp) may be confusing. But Texas Lending (TexasLending.com) offers a straightforward, customer-focused approach to home loans that makes the process far less daunting. Below, Texas Lending answers common questions about the home loan process that should alleviate most concerns.

Q: I’m a first-time homebuyer. What should I expect during the home loan process?

Texas Lending: First, congratulations! Buying a home is an exciting experience. One thing we usually caution new homebuyers about is the paperwork. A home loan involves quite a bit of paperwork, but we work with customers to walk them through what each document means and why it is necessary.

Q: Will I qualify for a home loan?

Texas Lending: It’s important to visit a lender before beginning your search for a new home. The lender will review your documentation to determine whether you qualify. Very early in the process your credit history will be pulled since that establishes both eligibility and an interest rate for which you may qualify.

Q: Why is so much paperwork involved?

Texas Lending: Banks are concerned with protecting their own interests. Since 2008, lenders have been very cautious, so homebuyers must realize that banks aren’t merely trying to make life difficult for consumers. The necessary documentation must also comply with federal and state regulatory requirements. It is simply a matter of protecting the interests of the client.

Q: What about fraudulent practices? How can I tell if a lender isn’t operating above-board?

Texas Lending: One thing to watch for is a lender who rushes you through the process. You shouldn’t feel pressured to make any decisions before you’re ready. On the other hand, if you have been requested to provide certain documentation, it does need to be submitted in a timely manner or it will unnecessarily slow down the process. You should also watch out for hiked interest rates. Shop around and learn what interest rates you qualify for before agreeing to a rate that is well above the current interest rate for home loans. This is especially true if the lender is promoting no closing costs as part of the deal.

Q: Are there laws that protect me as a homebuyer?

Texas Lending: There are numerous laws that apply both to discrimination and unfair practices in the home lending industry.

Q: What laws protect me against discrimination?

Texas Lending: We would refer you to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (justice.gov/crt/about/hce/housing_ecoa.php), which prohibits discrimination on any grounds related to race or nationality, but it also protects against discrimination based on your age or marital status.

Q: Can a lender ask my age or marital status?

Texas Lending: Yes. In fact, it’s quite common for lenders to ask questions about your age and marital status if you live in a state where community property is an issue. You may also be asked about your age if it might bring some benefit to you, such as mortgages that require a homebuyer to be a certain age. Reverse mortgages (texaslending.com/revers-mortgage.asp), for instance, only apply to homebuyers who are 62 years and older.

Q: Are there any state laws that apply to discrimination in my state?

Texas Lending: Many states have laws that apply to this. In Texas, the Texas Fair Housing Act (tdhca.state.tx.us/housing-center/fair-housing/) prohibits discrimination as stated under federal law.

Q: What do I do if I feel I’ve been a victim of discrimination in lending?

Texas Lending: Texas residents who feel they’ve experienced discrimination should contact the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division (twc.state.tx.us/crd/civil-rights-program-overview.html). The agency has a form for reporting a complaint.

Texas Lending is a Dallas-based home lender that provides home purchase loans (texaslending.com/purchase.asp), refinance loans (texaslending.com/refinance.asp), and home equity loans (texaslending.com/homeequity.asp) to residents in 12 states. Texas Lending works with customers to find the best loan for each unique situation, offering FHA and VA loans, in addition to conventional loan options and reverse mortgages. For more information on how Texas Lending can help you, visit texaslending.com.

Texas Lending,
4100 Alpha Rd.
Dallas, TX 75244
NMLS# 137773
NMLS# 138112
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TexasLending.com Describes the New FHA Streamline Program

TexasLending.com has been fielding quite a few questions about the new FHA Streamline Program. Many homeowners want to know if they qualify and whether the program is the right fit for their individual situations. Here, TexasLending.com addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about the FHA Streamline Program.

Q: Does my loan have to be FHA to qualify?

TexasLending.com: The FHA Streamline Program is available only to those who already have FHA mortgages. If your mortgage was through Fannie Mae or Freddie, you won’t qualify. TexasLending.com can work with FHA mortgage holders who think this might be a good fit for them.

Q: What if my home won’t appraise for its original value?

TexasLending.com: That’s the intent of the Streamline program. The FHA Streamline Program uses your home’s original purchase price for the refinance value.

Q: What if I owe more than my home is worth?

TexasLending.com: This program actually is geared toward helping those who are underwater in their mortgages, which is a situation that applies to all too many homeowners these days.

Q: Will employment verification and a credit check be required?

TexasLending.com: The FHA Streamline Program only requires verbal employment verification. There is no requirement for income verification, or a credit check.

Q: That sounds too good to be true. What is required to qualify?

TexasLending.com: While TexasLending.com has seen people who are unemployed with bad credit successfully qualify for the FHA Streamline Program, one thing that is important is that you have paid your mortgage on time for the past twelve months.

Q: What if I have only one 30-day late in the past year?

TexasLending.com: You won’t qualify, but TexasLending.com may be able to help you find other options.

Q: What if I only bought my house a couple of years ago?

TexasLending.com: We can work out the details of your individual case, but if your home loan was signed before June 1, 2009, you’ll qualify for lower mortgage insurance. If your home is more recent than that, you’ll still qualify, but at a higher mortgage insurance rate.

Q: What if I purchased my home within the past year?

TexasLending.com: The FHA Streamline Program requires six months of on-time payments on your current FHA loan before refinancing is a possibility. TexasLending.com can help new homeowners work out what to do within those first 210 days to qualify for the program.

Q: Has TexasLending.com found any other requirements attached to the FHA Streamline Program?

TexasLending.com: The entire intent of the FHA Streamline Program is to “streamline mortgages” to reduce the principal/interest/mortgage insurance ratio for homeowners. We look over a homeowner’s mortgage to make sure the net tangible benefit is in place before the homeowner completes the paperwork.

Q: What if I can’t afford the closing costs?

TexasLending.com: We can help homeowners determine if they qualify for a zero-finance FHA Streamline refinance.

TexasLending.com is a Dallas/Fort Worth-based mortgage lender that specializes in providing one-on-one consultations with clients. Founded in 2001, TexasLending.com has the ability to help Texas homeowners with a variety of mortgage lending needs. TexasLending.com has won the Consumers’ Choice Award for five years straight, prompting recognition by both the governor and mayor.


TexasLending.com
4100 Alpha Rd.
Dallas, TX  75244
NMLS# 137773