FHA Changes Streamline Refinance Rules - makes it harder!
FHA streamline refinance has always been a great tool for home owners. In the most simple format, a person who currently has an FHA loan could fill out some paperwork, and close a new loan shortly thereafter with a new lower rate (payment), and with no out of pocket closing costs.
As long as the person had made their past 12 FHA loan payments on time, and had a job, you were approved. There was no appraisal, no credit score requirement, and no income or asset documents required. The client still has normal closing costs, but they could be rolled into the new loan.
The new rule revises current procedures for streamline refinance transactions to establish new requirements for loan seasoning, payment history, income verification, and demonstration of net tangible benefit to the borrower. It also provide for collection of credit score information; and to cap maximum loan-to-value at 125 percent.
A BIG CHANGE IN THE RULES will be that in order to roll in the closing costs, an appraisal will now be REQUIRED. If the loan-to-value is UNDER 125%, this shouldn't be an issue other than they now have the added cost of an appraisal. If the customer wishes to pay closing costs out-of-pocket with cash at the closing, then an appraisal will NOT be required. This rule alone will effectively kill FHA streamline refinances as we know them today as EVERYONE rolls closing costs into their new loan.
These revisions also bring NEW documentation standards for streamline refinance transactions in line with other FHA loan origination guidelines, ensures the borrower's capacity to repay the new mortgage, and prohibits the dangerous practice of loan churning, where borrowers raise cash through successive cash-out refinancing that put them further in debt.
These new rules are in part due to the increasing level of FHA foreclosures. FHA doesn't actually provide loans, rather, it guarantees loans for lenders in exchange for lenders taking on higher risk, lower credit score, and small down payment home buyers according to FHA guidelines. FHA foreclosures have increased steadily recently as the mortgage industry no longer offers sub-prime and exotic loans, leaving many potential home buyers with no other option BUT FHA.