Archives for December 2007

Happy New Year from Mortgage Porter


The Mortgage Master family and Mortgage Porter wishes you a very happy and healthy  New Year.

Mortgage Master will be closing by 2:00 p.m. on December 31, 2007 and reopening for business as usual on January 2, 2008.  Remember, many offices will have reduced staff during this holiday season.

Thank you for your patronage and for reading Mortgage Porter this past year.   Your support means the world to me and I look forward to sticking around for 2008 and beyond.

Happy New Year!

Private Mortgage Insurance deduction extended through 2010


Included in the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act that President Bush signed just before Christmas is the continuance of being able to deduct private and FHA mortgage insurance if you meet certain criteria through 2010. 

  • The mortgage must be used for "acquisition indebtedness" which means for purchasing your home or a refinance doing substantial improvements.  This also includes refinancing the mortgage you used to purchase your home, however the amount is based on what the original loan amount was when you purchased your home.
  • The deduction applies to "qualified residences" which is your primary residence and a second home that is not a rental.
  • Adjusted gross incomes up to $109,000 qualify for the deduction.  Adjusted gross incomes of $100,000 or less are allowed to deduct 100% of the allowed pmi.  AGI’s of 100,000.01 – $109,000 are on a sliding schedule (the higher the income, the lower the deduction).
  • You must itemize your taxes in order to obtain the deduction (you need to do this in order to claim your mortgage interest deduction as well).

Consumers should meet with their Mortgage Professional to help them consider all options before selecting a mortgage. 

Debt to Income Ratios (aka DTI)

This is a follow up to the email I received asking several excellent questions.  I addressed what is required for a full doc loan in my previous post.   Now it’s time to answer Question #2:

[Read more…]

What will 2008 bring to the local mortgage industry?


To start with, there will be a significant reduction in those who can legally take  a loan application in Washington.    Effective January 1, 2008, if a loan originator works for a company that is registered with the State of Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), the loan originator must have:

  • Passed their competency exam.  (Most who take it do pass…many are simply opting to not take the test).
  • Attended two DFI approved 3-clock hour courses (one must be on ethics).
  • Renewed their license if it expires by 12/31/2007.

The last stats I’ve heard is that out of the over 15,000 Loan Originators who registered with DFI, fewer than 2,000 have taken and passed the exam.  That’s reduction of just over 85% of Loan Originators working for mortgage brokers in Washington State. 

Originally I assumed that LOs who do not want to take the steps required to work for a mortgage broker, would decide to work for a mortgage bank where they are not held to these standards by the state of Washington.   This is not going to be the case.   After talking with a few of my mortgage banking brothers & sisters, I’ve learned that many banks are "googling" Loan Originators names before hiring and if they were rejected from DFI, the bank sales manager is able to see the nitty gritty details of their disqualification of being a Licensed Loan Originator.   Bank Mortgage Sales Managers also visit DFI’s site and run an LO’s last name to see if they were rejected, withdrawn or licensed.     Add to this equation that there are going to be fewer jobs for Loan Originators with some local banks, such as Washington Mutual, laying off employees and closing some of their retail loan centers.

A majority of the 13,000 or so Washington Loan Originators who have elected not to take the three simple steps I’ve referenced really don’t have a lot of options in the mortgage industry.  Yes, a bank will hire a good producer who has not been rejected from DFI…but there’s only so many of those and no reason for a bank to hire someone who’s a marginal producer.

Let’s also not forget that it’s been an amazing ride for the mortgage industry since August.   Some LOs will decide this job just ain’t worth it.  You really need to know your guidelines and various programs these days and be prepared to forget what you just learned because the guidelines just changed (again) or the program is discontinued.

So after the New Year celebrations pass, if your Loan Originator is still around to help you as your preferred Mortgage Professional, give ’em a pat on the back.  There will be fewer of us left standing when it’s all said and done.   

I personally cannot wait for this year to end and to start new in 2008!

Happy New Years!

Merry Christmas from Mortgage Porter


Merry Christmas from Mortgage Porter, Rhonda Porter and Orson

A Letter to Santa

This is from my youngest sister many years ago (she is now a Wholesale Rep for EverBank).  This is just so cute, I had to share it with you!  Merry Christmas.

Mortgage Master will be closing early today at 1:00 p.m.  I’m taking the day off to finish making Pear Gingerbread Triffle for Christmas brunch at my other sister’s home and Roasted Asparagus with Pancetta and Goat Cheese for my inlaws tonight for Christmas eve.


JP Patches Statue Update

I just received this email from Urban Sparks.  If you’re a reader of this blog, you Thumb_meandjp know JP Patches is my childhood hero.   I was fortunate to have him surprise me on my birthday this year when he showed up at my home.   Fundraising is still actively taking place for the statue to honor JP and Gertrude in Fremont.  It was recently announced that JP is fighting blood cancer.  He still managed to show up at the Seattle Aqaurium to the delight of locals and do a fundraiser a few weeks ago for Channel 9 (our public television station).

I have added a link on the left side of Mortgage Porter so you can easily donate anyJpstat  amount you would like or purchase a Patches Paver.  This link featuring this handsome clown will remain until we have enough funds raised to complete JP and Gertrude’s statue.  Still looking for last minute Christmas Gifts?  A Patches Paver is the perfect present for Patches Pals!   

View photos from when the statue model was unveiled at Fremont earlier this year.

Hi Patches Pals,

Let’s boost JP’s and Gertrude’s spirits for the Holidays.  They still boost spirits all year round and they’ve done it for 50 years!  Think of the joy they’ve brought you.

Let’s give them a boost for the holidays; let’s finish the statue fundraising now, before the end of the year, so they can dance around it in early 2008.

J.P. and Gertrude still give to community by making increasingly-rare public appearances that touch kids of all ages.  And they do it with clown makeup.  As sweet as Gertrude is and as dedicated as she is to winning J.P.’s heart, she’s pretty tired of putting her face on and washing it off again before bedtime. 

This year, J.P. and Gertrude have worked extra hard with a team of “youngsters” at NATAS-NW and Urban Sparks to support the gift of the statue to generations of grownup kids and to generations of kids that they hope will get to grow up after spending time at Children’s Hospital. 

They know that they can live long beyond their mortal lives as role models of humor, kindness, and generosity and they know that the donations that the ICU2TV will collect for years to come will help Children’s Hospital serve kids who need more than a good laugh.  So they’re ignoring their advanced ages and pushing on to support this effort – not for ego but for their love of kids. 

Depending on whether you were 7 years old in 1958 or 1981, J.P. and Gertrude are 23 to 46 years older than you.  Think about that for a moment.  Let’s cut ‘em some slack….

Chris Wedes and Bob Newman and say “Thank you from all of the kids who teamed up to honor J.P. Patches and Gertrude.  Together we made bronze.  You can relax now and stand forever.”

…If we go beyond bronze and raise extra money, that extra money will go to J.P.’s favorite charity – Children’s Hospital.  So we can’t go wrong.  No need to pull your pie!  Donate here

Please help push this fundraising effort over the top right now so we can finish the statue and give J.P. and Gertrude the recognition they so richly deserve.  Then join them at the unveiling in 2008.

Thanks so much. Your Patches Pals at:

NATAS Northwest and Urban Sparks

P.S.  Here is a recent article on J.P.

See the Mayor of the City Dump get honored by

Seattle’s Mayor and City Council:

(Fast forward to 10 minutes.)

Does Santa qualify for a Reverse Mortgage?


If Santa and the Mrs. would like to add a steady tax-free income each month while he’s volunteering, making toys and traveling around the world, he may want to consider how a Reverse Mortgage could benefit their lives.

Reverse mortgages can be a financial tool for Seniors who would like to have access to additional funds.   A reverse mortgage is essentially a loan against home equity for borrowers who are at least 62 years old.

Unlike a traditional mortgage where you make monthly payments, a reverse mortgage pays from your equity.   Instead of paying down your balance every month, your loan is actually growing as it provides tax free income to the Senior.  The mortgage is paid off when the last senior leaves the home.  Here is a calculator to see how much cash you may qualify for utilizing a reverse mortgage.

Reverse mortgages are easy to qualify for as long as their is enough equity in the property:

  • Youngest borrower must be 62 years of age or older.
  • No income or credit score requirements.
  • Counseling is required from a HUD approved agency (no cost to the borrower).
  • Property must be the primary residence.  (It does not need to be mortgage free).

In addition, reverse mortgages are non-recourse (the borrower can never owe more than the appraised value).

Santa and Mrs. Claus can use a reverse mortgage to:

  • receive a lump sum of money (with no payments due until the last borrower leaves the home).
  • receive a monthly tax free payment.
  • purchase a primary residence.

The money can be used for anything they wish from bridging the financial gap between what they planned for retirement and the reality of retirement to vacationing or what’s on their Christmas list.

I’m pleased to be able to offer Reverse Mortgages and the Family Opportunity Mortgage programs both designed to help Seniors. Questions?  Please contact me or your local Mortgage Professional.