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from Local Attorney, Michael H. Wasserman

Friday, March 30, 2012

CURRENT MARKET CONDITIONS - GETTING YOUR NEXT MORTGAGE LOAN

Mark Greene at Forbes Magazine nailed it earlier this month in his article the perfect loan file, which really does capture the rigor with which lenders are scrutinizing every mortgage loan application these days. In my opinion, this should be mandatory reading for every buyer in the marketplace now.

Lenders demands for proper / acceptable supporting documentation can be pretty daunting.  I see many clients with qualifying income and credit scores being driven to tears by the excruciating process. In recent weeks more than a couple have simply quit. Some are using all cash to make their deals, avoiding the hassle altogether. Others are giving up their dreams of home ownership. If I never hear a loan originator ask for (or a client complain about) "just one more thing,"  I will be a happy man.

Certainly understandable that lenders are being very cautious while processing their loans applications. No one wants to see loan failures given the still-too-recent market collapse - particularly where Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are making the originators buy back problem loans. But, just the same, ill prepared consumers are at their breaking points. Inadequate loan documentation leads to delays, multiple requests for "proofs," and general levels of frustration are pretty high. Trying to keep up with the underwriters demands can be pretty severe.  Many clients react poorly when told that the documentation they offered are rejected as "not good enough." Doubly so, when the loan officer "guesses" (hopefully suggests?) that they "might" be.  

Smart real estate professionals, loan officers, processors, realtors, and attorneys must take extra care and effort, preparing their clients before the wage battle with the loan underwriter. Letting prospective buyers know what they are in for - early on - helps sets expectations properly, and will surely make the process a bit easier, at least less unpleasant that it currently is.  Smart professionals should probably refer their clients to this article, to help their clients understand why.

Monday, March 26, 2012

SHARING OUR SUCCESS - THANKS TO YOU

For a second consecutive year, I pledge to donate a portion of my fee from each successful Chicago area real estate closing that I work on to a worthy charitable organization.  Clients designate the specific recipient from a list of ten pre-approved organizations and all donations are made in their honor.

The Thanks to You program is intended to both express gratitude to the clients that hire me, and to help build a stronger community for us all. Together last year, we pledged more than $4,000 to organizations supporting better education, better health, and the fine arts.

This year should be even better.
 
I am pleased to announce the finalized list 2012 grant recipients:


  • WORKING IN THE SCHOOLS - Promotes literacy and the love of reading among low-income and minority students in Chicago Public Schools by providing one-on-one tutoring and mentoring.
  • READING IN MOTION - Provides at-risk children from Kindergarten through 3rd grade with the key tools required to achieve grade-level reading, through the power and discipline of the arts.
  • ALZHEIMER'S ASSOCIATION - The leading, global voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care and support, and the largest private, nonprofit funder of Alzheimer research.
  • RESPIRATORY HEALTH ASSOCIATION - A Chicago agency that promotes healthy lungs and fights lung disease through research, advocacy and education through community-based interventions.
  • WEST TOWN BIKES - Promotes bicycling among Chicago’s youth with a focus on under-served populations. WTB teaches independence, professional skills, environmental stewardship, & the importance of exercise & good nutrition. Earn-a-bike youth programs offer instruction in bike building, mechanics, & bike safety. (Even a little science too!)
  • GIRLS IN THE GAME - Girls who grow up playing sports develop into healthier, happier and more successful women. Chicago’s leading girls' health and fitness organization empowers making healthier choices and develops confidence and leadership skills needed to succeed on and off the field. 
  • EMERGENCY FUND - Provides immediate no red tape, short term financial aid to low income individuals and families on the brink of crisis. Crisis Solution Grants may cover transportation passes, food vouchers, eye glasses, prescription medicine, and clothing, rent, and/or utilities of clients in need.
  • GREATER CHICAGO FOOD DEPOSITORY - Chicago’s food bank, distributes donated and purchased food in Cook County, equivalent to  135,000 meals every day.
  • TREE HOUSE HUMANE SOCIETY - A cage-less, no kill cat shelter dedicated to the rescue & rehabilitation of sick, injured & abused stray cats, with a particular .focus on the care and placement of stray cats with special physical & emotional needs.
  • TIPITINA’s FOUNDATION - Supports New Orleans’ & Louisiana unique musical culture by providing youth band instruments, workshops, internships and coop work spaces to local artists


Do let me know if you want to know more about this project, these organizations, or of course, if you are interested in working together on your next home purchase or sale.