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from Local Attorney, Michael H. Wasserman

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sign the ATA petition to separate bicyclists and pedestrians on the Lakefront Trail

by: Michael H. Wasserman

According to Active Transportation Alliance, the 18-mile Chicago lakefront path is the busiest trail in the country, with peak usage at more than 30,000 users per day during the summer. (Lucky me) it is also the main artery of my commute to work most days. Even the most occasional user can tell you - it is simply not engineered/able to accommodate such a large volume of mixed mode users all travelling at different speeds.
Everyone should enjoy the lakefront. Often. It is one of the City's great assets. Improving park facilities like trail improvements will only enhance the experience for us all. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

FNMA Extends Spring First Look Closing Cost Promo

by Michael H. Wasserman

The spring 3.5% closing cost credit incentive offered on newly listed Fannie Mae “HomePath” properties has been extended for one more month. 
Introduced back in February, the original program applied to offers submitted by March 31st for contracts closing by May 31st.
The deal now applies for offers submitted by April 30 that close by June 30th.
This appears to be a highly popular incentive program. I am working with several clients on FNMA purchases fortunate enough to participate here. These are great opportunities to boost buying power for select Chicago area home and condo purchases.
More information available from FNMA here

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN: Return of the Sub-Prime Loan

The mortgage industry is poised to start making sub-prime mortgage loans again. CNN Money reports that several smaller lenders are now offering loan products to borrowers with credit scores of 640 and lower. Last month, Wells announced it would offer FHA guaranteed loans to borrowers with credit scores as low as 600. Now Carrington Mortgage (a firm I have not seen funding Chicago area home mortgages) has announced it will lend to consumers with credit scores as low as 540.

In fact National Mortgage News reports that the average minimum FICO score for the 15 lenders with the lowest minimums in fourth quarter 2013 was 571, down from 599 one year ago.

Lenders are aiming principally at two market segments - young first time home buyers and former owners who were wiped out in the market collapse. Why? two forces seem to be driving the softening of the lending standards: A shrinking pool of new loan applications and rising costs associated with adaptation of the new QM (qualified mortgage) regulations. In other words, some lenders adapting to the standards imposed so that they would underwrite loans more stringently want to cover their costs by making loans to lesser qualified borrowers!

VA & FHA backed loans will still allow for very low downpayments, but in the private markets, borrowers should expect to pay interest rates as high as  8-10%  and have down payments of 25-30% of the purchase price.