IRS breach potentially delaying real estate transactions

iStock-000017972256XSmallEarlier this week, it was revealed that over 100,000 tax payers may have had their personal information stolen from the IRS. This data breach is potentially causing hiccups with real estate transactions currently in process too.

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Keep me posted!

I forgot that postage rates were going up on January 27, 2013. Some of my clients who will be receiving my quarterly newsletter will see an extra $0.01 in postage on this issue! 

“Going postal” will soon mean “taking the weekend off” this summer when Saturday mail delivery ends. It will be interesting to see how this impacts the mortgage process, especially refinances with the right of rescission period. Currently with an owner occupied refinance, three business days must pass after signing before the loan can close. Many consider “three postal” days as three business days. This could cost additional time with some rate lock commitments. Stay tuned!

By the way, I do have a couple extra of my newsletters left over – if you would like me to mail one to you, please send me your name and address.  

Of course if you’re interested in residential mortgage for home purchase, refinance or even a reverse mortgage, I’m happy to help you as long as the home is located in Washington state.

Happy Friday!

Fall back on Sunday, November 4, 2012

I’ll be setting my clock back an hour before I go to bed tonight.  Day Light Saving Time ends November 4, 2012.  I’ve often wondered what it would be like to do away with DST and how it might impact the Seattle area.

2012 10 20 12 09 12 41
Lincoln Park, West Seattle

Back to School!

Today I’m doing something that mortgage originators who work for banks and credit unions don’t have to do: continuing education with an NMLS certified instructor. 

As a Licensed Mortgage Originator, every year I’m required to take 8 hours of continuing education – non-licensed (aka registered) mortgage originators are currently not required to. I hope this changes and I expect it will.  

Why there are different standards for mortgage originators who take residential loan applications is due to the SAFE Act. My suspicion is that powerful banks and credit unions lobbied their Congressmen to have softer rules for their mortgage originators…which they have. (Whenever a mortgage originator at a bank tries to say they are already regulated, I like to point to Washington Mutual). My personal opinion is that banks want to hire less experienced mortgage originators so they can pay them less since they are “bank fed” leads.

Any how, I always look forward to my “class” as my instructor is Jillayne Schlicke and her classes are always informative and very interesting.

I will be back to work tomorrow, Thursday, September 21, 2012.

Thank You, JP

 I learned tonight of the passing of my childhood hero, JP Patches. If you didn’t grow up in the greater Seattle area in the late 70’s, you my not have had the privilege of knowing how wonderful JP Patches is. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of starting our morning off in our Renton home first (having to) watch Zoom until JP Patches came on. I was so excited just to hear the theme song start of the early morning coo-coo clock sounds. JP Patches made my day. I loved his funny skits and that he was always kind and seemed to know what was going on. He provided normalcy while my parents were going through a divorce and trying to work things out with their relationship  He played my favorite cartoons and I would wait on the edge of my seat with ever other kid within KIRO’s viewing area, hoping he would mention my name when he peered at us through the ICU2TV. I remember being absolutely honored in kindergarten when the photographer for our class photo called me Getrude because of my dress that my Mom made me. (I love that dress, by the way).

He is my childhood hero.

When my husband and I were making plans for our wedding. We actually had hired Chris Wedes (JP) to perform our ceremony. He said he had never officiated a wedding before, which we were fine with. We had planned on doing the ceremony with JP at our home.

The home wedding plans wound up being not what wanted to do. When we decided not to have him perform our ceremony, he was gracious and I promised him a bottle a wine. He was so gracious.

Much to my surprise, my husband surprised me on my birthday with…my most favorite clown…the best present ever! I’m wearing a t-shirt that I had bought years ago and proudly wore all the time. Of course, JP autographed it for me.

Not only was I thrilled to have JP as a guest in our home, and my birthday guest were all equally thrilled. He has the ability to make everyone feel like a child again.

I love JP. This year, when I decided to try painting on black velvet, I wanted to have my first painting to be of JP.

J.P. is so loved and will be very missed. I can’t help but feel grateful that he has been a part of my life. Than you, Chris Wedes for J.P. Patches.

Here are some of my photos of JP.

President Obama’s Refi Plan for Non-HARP Qualified Homeowners #MyRefi


On last week’s State of the Union Address, President Obama announced a plan to help underwater homeowners who do not qualify for a Home Affordable Refinance.  In order to qualify for a Home Affordable Refi (aka HARP 2.0) the home owner’s mortgage needs to have been securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac prior to June 1, 2009 and meet other qualifications.  If the home owner currently has a jumbo loan, they are instantly disqualified for HARP 2.0. since jumbo mortgages are non-conforming (not Fannie or Freddie programs). HARP is also restricted by existing conforming loan limits and in the greater Seattle area, the current conforming loan limit is $506,000.  Even if you have a conforming loan amount of $567,500 (last year’s conforming loan limit in Seattle), current HARP guidelines limit you to a $506,000 loan amount.

President Obama’s proposal is to help underwater home owners who have made their mortgage payments on time and who do not qualify for HARP 2.0 is to allow them to have an FHA insured mortgage without an appraisal.  FHA insured mortgages have different loan limits than conforming. In the Seattle area, the FHA loan limit is $567,500. Obama’s new refi program, should it come to fruition, will be limited to FHA loan amounts. 

FHA mortgages are a great program, however they’re also very expensive when compared to conventional loans.  This is because they have both upfront and monthly mortgage insurance fees, which are constantly being raised by Congress. FHA mortgages have both upfront and monthly mortgage insurance regardless of the loan to value of the property. 

As of 8:30 this morning, an FHA rate on a loan amount of $567,500 in Seattle – Bellevue with a 720 or higher credit score is 3.750% for a 30 year fixed rate (apr 4.767).  Principal and interest with the financed UFMIP is $2,654.46 and the monthly mortgage insurance premium is an additional $515.85 for a total (PIMI) payment of $3,170.31, not included property taxes and insurance.  This PIMI payment equals an interest rate in the low-to-mid 5% range if you compare it to a conventional mortgage.

NOTE: Rates quoted in this post are from February 1, 2012; for a current rate quote for your home located in Washington State, click here.

This program is also costly as Obama plans to pay for it by charging banks additional fees and we all know that this trickles down to the consumer. The Temporary Payroll Tax illustrates how banks have increased mortgage rates AND the cost to extend a rate lock commitment.

It’s reported that the new program will not require an appraisal or proof of income and will be available for primary residences only. Employment will need to be verified and mortgage payments must have been made on time for the last 6 months.  Although this is “Obama’s Refi Plan”, we have to wait and see if Congress approves it and how the big banks and lenders will embrace this program.

If you currently have an FHA insured mortgage, you don’t need to wait and see if Obama’s refi plan will help you. You may already be able to refinance with an FHA streamlined refi without an appraisal. 

If you would like to stay informed of mortgage programs like this, please subscribe to my blog (upper right corner) or follow me on Twitter and Facebook.  You can unsubscribe anytime!

If you are interested in a mortgage for a home located anywhere in Washington state, I’m happy to help you! I have been originating all types of loans at Mortgage Master Service Corporation since 2000.  Click here for your no-hassle mortgage quote on your Washington property.

Thank YOU, Veterans


As General Colin Powell said in an interview last night, "every day should be Veterans Day".  A heartfelt thank you to those who serve our Country and their families.

Mortgage Master Service Corporation is closed today in observance of Veterans Day.

What’s Moving Mortgage Rates, November Holidays and More!

Europe continues to impact our markets as we watch the drama in Greece and Italy continue to unfold. It's amazing to some that something that is happening so far away may impact your mortgage rates. This is because mortgage rates are based on mortgage backed securities (bonds) and investors will either seek the safety of bonds over stocks when stocks are deteriorating or will opt for stocks and sell bonds when a better return is available. Basically, bad economic news tends to be good for mortgage rates (not so good for our retirement accounts) and good news, as well as inflationary data, tends tends to drive mortgage rates higher. 

This afternoon, we'll have the results of a $32B auction of 3-year Treasury Notes.  We don't have any major economic reports scheduled to be released until Thursday, November 10th, with the weekly Initial Jobless Claims. On Friday, we have Consumer Sentiment from the University of Michigan.  On Friday, the bond markets will be closed in observance of Veterans Day.

Something else to keep in mind with November is that it is a shorter month as we are beginning "the holiday season". Some of these holidays may impact your refinance waiting periods or when you may be able to close.

Friday, November 11, 2011 is Veterans Day.  Veteran’s Day is a federal holiday, therefore, this date cannot be included when counting the waiting period for rescissions for refi's, MDIA (initial waiting period and re-disclosure waiting period) or HVCC.  In addition, this date is not counted in the 3 day disclosure requirement for initial disclosures or re-disclosures.  Banks, county courthouses, and Mortgage Master Service Corporation will be closed for business on Friday, 11/11/11.

Thursday, November 24, 2011 (Thanksgiving):  Thanksgiving is a federal holiday, therefore, this date cannot be included when counting the waiting period for rescissions, MDIA (initial waiting period and re-disclosure waiting period) or HVCC.  In addition, this date is not counted in the 3 day disclosure requirement for initial disclosures or re-disclosures.  Banks, the post office, the county courthouses, and Mortgage Master Service Corporation will be closed for business on Thursday, 11/24/11.

Friday, November 25,2011:  This is NOT a federal holiday.  While courthouses and Mortgage Master Service Corporation are closed, this date can be included in the waiting period for rescissions, MDIA (initial waiting period and re-disclosure waiting period) or HVCC.  In addition, this date is counted in the 3 day disclosure requirement for initial disclosures or re-disclosures.

Also in November… 

In a few weeks we should have more details about HARP 2.0 and learn what 2012's loan limits will be for Conforming and FHA loans.  And hopefully this month, there will be decision on the VA funding fee, which was earlier reduced and then retracted. It's quite possible that conforming and FHA loan limits may be reduced further – we really have no idea what Congress is going to agree on at this time.  Currently the conforming and FHA loan limits in King, Pierce and Snohomish County is $506,000 (reduced from $567,500 on October 1, 2011).   If you have a "high balance" loan amount and are considering refinancing or buying, you may be gambling becoming a "jumbo loan" with each day you wait.  

If you have questions or need help with a mortgage on a home located anywhere in Washington, please contact me.  I am a Licensed Mortgage Originator who not only provides information to consumers via my blog, I help people with homes in Seattle, Redmond, Tacoma, Everett and beyond with their refinance and home purchase mortgage needs. I also adopt mortgages. If you haven't heard from your mortgage originator in the last six months, it's quite possible they are either no longer licensed or may have chosen another career. If your home is in Washington, and you would like to be treated like one of my clients (added to may mailing list, receive updates and a review of your current mortgage – no refinance or new mortgage is required) please contact me.