Wells fargo assumption department

wells fargo assumption department

We're helping more people put their first or next home within reach, even without a large down payment or traditional credit.

With Wells Fargo, you can get a fixed-rate mortgage with a down payment as low as 3%. There are no area median income requirements and you can use gift funds and down payment assistance programs.

  • Show your credit history from sources like rent, tuition, and utility payments.
  • Qualify with income from rentals or from someone who lives with you but isn't a borrower.
  • With a low down payment, is required and increases loan cost and monthly payment.
  • The home you're buying is where you'll live - it's your primary residence. And the property must be a single family dwelling.

Reach out to a home mortgage consultant today to discuss loan amount, loan type, and property to ensure eligibility.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans provide fixed-rate and adjustable-rate financing with down payment options as low as 3.5%.

  • May allow you to use a gift or grant for all or a portion of down payment and closing costs.
  • Require less cash upfront, but you typically have to pay premiums.
  • Let you qualify with a co-applicant, even if the person doesn't live in the home.
  • You can typically only have one FHA mortgage at a time.

Ask a home mortgage consultant to help you compare the monthly and long-term costs of all loans. Mortgage insurance requirements may cause you to pay more over the life of the loan.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans provide fixed-rate and adjustable-rate financing for veterans and other borrowers who meet the eligibility requirements of the VA program. Please see a home mortgage consultant for details.

  • Offer low- and no-down payment options, and do not require monthly mortgage insurance.
  • Allow closing costs to come from a gift or grant.
  • Require a one-time that can be financed into your loan or paid in cash at closing.
  • You can get VA financing for your primary residence only.

You may be able to finance up to 100% for loans up to the conforming loan limit in most areas. Higher loan amounts may be available in certain areas.

Easy-to-Own SM Guaranteed Rural Housing Program

The Guaranteed Rural Housing Program, provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), helps low-to-moderate income buyers in rural areas become homeowners.

  • Provides financing of up to 100% with no required down payment.
  • Offers long-term fixed-rate terms, helping to keep payments predictable over the life of the loan.
  • Lets you finance closing costs, legal fees, and other prepaid fees.
  • You'll pay a one-time guarantee fee and an annual fee to the USDA's Rural Development program.

The guarantee and annual fees, collected as part of your monthly mortgage payment, will increase the cost of the loan and monthly payments.

Learn more about your options and what to expect with these helpful videos.

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Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

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If you are a service member on active duty, prior to seeking a refinance of your existing mortgage loan, please consult with your legal advisor regarding the loss of any benefits you are entitled to under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act or applicable state law.

Equal Housing Lender

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

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No, but if you're buying a home, it's highly recommended that you obtain a property inspection and make your purchase offer contingent on the findings of the inspection.

There is a difference between a property inspection and an appraisal. An appraisal is required by most mortgage lenders in order to support the value of the real estate and the terms of the mortgage agreement.

The decision to use an attorney is up to you. In general, real estate attorneys are involved in purchase transactions; refinancing generally doesn't require an attorney. There are many areas of the country where attorneys are not typically used in real estate transactions.

Wells Fargo offers several , including conventional loans (those not backed by a government agency).

  • Conventional fixed-rate loans are available with a down payment as low as 3%.
  • FHA loans are available with as little as 3.5% down.
  • VA loans offer low- and no-down payment options for eligible veterans and other eligible borrowers.

To ensure eligibilty, please talk to a home mortgage consultant to discuss loan amount, loan type, property, and specific program requirements.

Not all mortgages are assumable, but you can tell if you have one by the language in your note and mortgage.  You can also find out by speaking to one of our assumption specialists at 1-800-340-0570 .

If you have an existing assumable mortgage, you may be able to add or remove borrower(s) through an assumption loan.

Common reasons for an assumption loan include divorce, legal separation, death, or direct purchase. In these situations, it may make sense to get an assumption loan instead of a traditional purchase or refinance if the terms of the existing mortgage are more favorable than those of a new loan.

  • May enhance the property's marketability, especially if interest rates are rising
  • May not need a new appraisal, lender title policy, survey, and inspection

  • There are fees to assume a loan, including closing costs that must be paid separately from the mortgage.
  • The buyer or person assuming the loan must meet credit and income qualifications and provide requested documentation.

For more information or to determine eligibility, call the Wells Fargo Assumption Department at 1-800-340-0570 .

Interest rates are influenced by the financial markets and can change daily – or multiple times within the same day. The changes are based on many different economic indicators in the financial markets. .

  • A rate lock gives you protection from financial market fluctuations that could affect your interest rate range.
  • You can choose to lock or not lock your interest rate range. On the date and time you lock, that interest rate range remains available to you for a set period of time.
    • If there are no subsequent changes to your loan and your interest rate range is locked, the interest rate range on your application generally remains the same.
    • If there are changes to your loan, your final interest rate at closing may be different.
  • Locking ensures that your loan pricing will be unaffected during the lock-in period by giving you a specified period of protection from financial market fluctuations in interest rates.
  • Locking sets the range of pricing available to you; it doesn’t guarantee that a specific rate will apply.
    • Your final rate, which may not be determined until closing, will reflect the pricing that was available at the time you locked.
  • Floating – or not locking – means your rate will fluctuate with the up and down movements of the market.
    • The benefit to floating is if interest rates were to decrease, you would have the option of locking in at a lower level of rates.

Refer to our for more information.

The fee for locking varies.

  • You can lock anytime you locate a property, or start your refinancing process, up until ten business days before the closing.
  • You can select a specific length of time for your lock, usually 60 days.

The time to close will vary, depending on your situation. Once you've been preapproved, closing generally occurs within the rate-lock period you've chosen, which can range from 30-90 days.

Yes. There are costs related to processing any new loan application; they can include fees paid to third parties, such as an appraiser, the title company, and other closing expenses.

The origination charge is the amount charged for services performed on the initial loan application and loan processing. This includes all charges (other than discount points) that lenders and brokers involved in the transaction will receive for originating the loan. It includes any fees for application, processing, underwriting services, and payments from the lender for origination.

Each state has its own specific closing requirements, so check with your closing representative for the details. Typically, closings can be held at Wells Fargo locations or at an attorney's office. Some states permit "mail away" - or "mail out" - closings. If you’re able to obtain a "mail away" closing, we will send you the documents using overnight delivery.

The amount you'll need to close your loan includes your down payment, closing costs, and prepaid amounts for property taxes, and insurance escrow accounts. Prior to closing, you'll be informed of the final amount.

Proof of homeowners insurance will be required before you can close your loan. Typically, you will need to present an insurance binder and pay for one year's worth of insurance coverage.

Mortgage insurance is required if you have less than 20% equity (or down payment) in your home and protects the mortgage lender from losses if a customer is unable to make payments and defaults on the loan. There are two types of mortgage insurance, Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP).

A homeowners insurance (or hazard insurance) policy covers loss from damages to your home, your belongings and accidents as outlined in your policy.

  • You have MIP if you have an FHA loan, which is a type of government loan.
  • You have PMI if you have a loan that isn't under a government program and your down payment was less than 20%.

You can also to Wells Fargo Online ® and visit the Escrow Details page of your mortgage account to learn which type of mortgage insurance you have.

An insurance policy protects a lender and/or homebuyer (only if homebuyer purchases a separate policy, called owner's coverage) against any loss resulting from a title error or dispute.

All mortgage lenders require lender's coverage for an amount equal to the loan. It lasts until the loan is repaid. As with mortgage insurance, it protects the lender but the borrower pays the premium at closing.

Typically, after closing your mortgage loan, you will have the option of enrolling in an automatic mortgage payment program. You may be asked to provide an authorization form with a voided check or savings account slip attached to set up the draft. The payment is typically debited on a preset day each month.

Yes, you can make a payment and manage your mortgage account online, anytime. Gain instant access to your mortgage account details, loan history, tax and interest data, contact information updates, and more. It's fast, it's simple, and it's FREE!

Although you can't pay your mortgage with a credit card, you can set up automatic mortgage payments so that your monthly payment can be withdrawn automatically from your checking account each month.

Home equity is what's available after subtracting what you owe on your mortgage (and any other outstanding liens) from your home's current market value. If you don't own a home and need financing, look into a personal loan or a line of credit that doesn't rely on home equity.

The amount you can borrow is largely determined by taking your home's appraised or fair market value, and subtracting the balances of any outstanding mortgages and liens on the property. If you qualify, the minimum home equity line of credit amount is ,000 and in most cases the maximum is 0,000.

Homestead properties located in Texas must be secured by no more than 80% of the combined-loan-to-value or 50% of the fair market value, whichever is less.

There are no fees to apply and a choice of . There may be additional fees, depending on the type of home equity financing you choose and the state in which the collateral property is located.

The average number of days from application to approval will vary. Depending on your credit history, the equity in your home, and the financing program selected, we may be able to approve your financing more quickly. If you apply online, you may be conditionally approved instantly, subject to verification of your application information.

The average time for closing varies, but is generally around 45 days.

The minimum APR on the Wells Fargo Home Equity Line of Credit is 1%; the APR will never be more than 18%. The APR on the Wells Fargo Home Equity Line of Credit is variable and subject to change daily. In Texas, the Wells Fargo Home Equity Account has a variable APR that is subject to change monthly.

Home equity lines of credit have a draw period of 10 years and 1 month. During the draw period, you can access available equity without reapplying. Once the draw period has ended, your outstanding line balance will convert to a repayment period of 20 years.

Your monthly payments will include both principal and interest.

For home equity lines of credit:

  • Your minimum payment will be the lesser of 0.00 or the amount needed to repay your balance with interest.
  • If you withdraw additional funds during the draw period or the variable-interest rate changes, your monthly payment may change.
  • Your payments are recalculated monthly to repay your principal balance over the remaining months of your draw period and your repayment term.

You make monthly principal and interest payments. You can choose to make additional principal payments without penalty, so long as you do not close your account.

The home equity line of credit has a variable interest rate that is calculated by adding a preset margin (as defined in your Home Equity Line of Credit Agreement) to the Prime Rate as published in the Western Edition of the Wall Street Journal. Your rate and payments will increase or decrease as the Prime Rate changes.

The home equity line of credit provides a fixed-rate advance option that allows you to convert all or a portion of your line of credit balance to a fixed rate and term during the draw period. A minimum of ,000 applies.

You may be eligible for a relationship discount as well as other discounts. Please contact a Home Equity Specialist prior to signing your home equity documents at 1-888-667-1772 to see if you qualify.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other sponsored content on Credit.com are Partners with Credit.com. Credit.com receives compensation if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any financial products or cards offered.

Track the progress of your loan, upload documents, even sign select documents. All online, from your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Talk to your home mortgage consultant to see if yourLoanTracker is available for your loan.

When you close on your home, you open more doors. Having all your accounts in one place, flexible payment scheduling, easy online access — these are only a few of the services you get with Wells Fargo.

Wells fargo assumption department

is one of the nation's leading mortgage investors, providing a complete line of competitive products and services. Wells Fargo Funding (Correspondent) clients include mortgage companies and banks, large and small, which provide mortgage financing to borrowers. These companies originate, underwrite and close mortgage loans before selling them to Wells Fargo Funding.

Wells fargo assumption departmentWells Fargo has lowered the bar for popular government-backed mortgages, stirring hope among consumers with credit scores that have taken a beating during the recession.

Wells Fargo, the largest mortgage lender in the country, said it will begin accepting credit scores of 600, down from 640, for VA and FHA loans. A VA loan has no down payment requirement, while an FHA loan requires a down payment as low as 3.5%.

JPMorgan Chase has not said whether it will follow Wells Fargo in the decision, and Bank of America said “there may be cases” where it would accept a credit score in “the lower 600 range.”

Banks are increasingly motivated to boost lending to homeowners now that the refinancing boom is over. Wells Fargo’s mortgage business dropped to billion at the end of 2013, down from billion the previous quarter and 5 billion at the end of 2012.

While the FHA accepts credit scores of 580, finding a lender willing to make such a loan can be a big challenge, and borrowers with bad credit find that these loans can be very costly.

Wells Fargo is currently offering a 30-year fixed-rate FHA mortgage at 4.25%, but mortgage insurance and fees bring the APR to 5.837%.

According to Wells Fargo spokesman Tom Goyda, the move “is an effort to increase access to credit, especially for first-time and low- to moderate-income buyers.” Borrowers must still meet underwriting requirements, including showing enough income to repay the mortgage.

The move may lead other lenders to begin relaxing lending standards that have been tight since the housing bust of 2008.

Borrowers with a credit score under 620 have generally been considered “subprime.” While the FHA serves borrowers with poor credit, it mostly stood on the sidelines during the subprime housing bubble because its income-verification standards were stringent. When the subprime mortgage market disappeared in 2007, the FHA returned as a major player.

Industry analysts say that lenders will likely ease credit standards this year as home prices stabilize and refinancing volume disappears, leaving banks looking for new business. Banks still face new regulations over mortgage underwriting.

To further increase easing of lending, the FHA has started to allow borrowers who have gone through bankruptcy or foreclosure to become eligible for a new mortgage after just one year, instead of three, assuming they have repaired their credit.

Guy Schwartz of CMG Financial added that Wells Fargo “is not getting too far from the pack by going to 600, but it’s nice to hear one of the big players deviating from the herd a little bit.”

NEW YORK Wells Fargo & Co ( WFC.N ) has relaxed its standards for loans for some high-priced homes as the largest U.S. mortgage lender tries to combat an industry-wide drop in mortgage volumes.

The bank has eased its lending standards on mortgages it acquires from other banks, said spokesman Tom Goyda, for "jumbo9quot; loans that are too large to receive a guarantee from government-backed mortgage companies.

In late July, the San Francisco-based bank lowered the minimum credit score on these fixed-rate jumbo mortgages to 700 from 720, Goyda said. Credit scores range from 300 to 850, and levels below 640 are often considered subprime.

The lower requirements for jumbo loans are the latest effort by Wells and other banks to loosen mortgage criteria that are still tight by historical standards. Of the large banks surveyed by the Federal Reserve in July, thirty-nine percent said they were somewhat relaxing requirements on prime residential mortgages, and all banks reported that demand for prime mortgages was at its highest level in a year.

The mortgage industry is seeking to replace lost revenue after a spike in mortgage rates in the second half of 2013 made refinancing less attractive.

But for many lenders the search for revenue is tempered by the fact that the housing market is still recovering from the worst crisis since the Great Depression. New rules and regulations designed to prevent the next mortgage implosion have also made some banks less willing to take risk in the market.

In June, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said, "It is difficult for any homeowner who doesn't have pristine credit these days to get a mortgage. I think that is one of the factors that is causing the housing recovery to be slow."

In addition to lowering minimum credit scores, Wells Fargo is now willing to buy jumbo loans from other lenders that go toward the purchase of a second home, Goyda said. For a refinancing, the bank is now willing to buy mortgages whose balance exceeds the size of the borrower's previous loan, known as "cash-out refinancing."

Wells Fargo's standards for mortgages it buys from other lenders remained more conservative than those it offers directly to consumers via its branches and online, Goyda said. The minimum credit score on those jumbo mortgages is 680.

The latest expansion of Wells Fargo's mortgage lending comes six months after the bank began to offer home loans directly to borrowers with credit scores as low as 600 that were eligible for insurance with the Federal Housing Administration. Its previous minimum credit score for FHA-insured loans was 640.

Wells Fargo executives have said its steps to expand access to mortgage credit are low-risk, as all borrowers must demonstrate an ability to repay the loan in accordance with rules issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that came into effect in January. Most products the bank offers are 30-year, fixed-rate loans that do not allow borrowers to defer principal payments, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage President Mike Heid said at the bank's May investor day.

"This talk about returning to subprime is just nonsense," Heid said.

As industry-wide lending volumes have declined over the last year, Wells Fargo's drop has been even sharper. The bank said last month that it made billion in home loans in the second quarter, 58 percent less than the same period of 2013, compared with a 50 percent fall in industry-wide volumes, according to estimates from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

"The purchase market is softer than we thought that it would be," said Wells Fargo Chief Financial Officer John Shrewsberry on a July conference call with analysts. "We9apos;re not seeing breakout returns to pre-crisis levels of the enthusiasm around homeownership."

Chief Executive John Stumpf told Reuters in a July interview that the volume of mortgages it purchased from other banks in the second quarter was lower because those lenders are now selling directly to investors under government programs.

(Reporting by Peter Rudegeair; editing by Andrew Hay)

By ANDREW Demillo and Kelly P. Kissell The Associated Press

Wells Fargo & Co., the largest U.S. home lender, has assigned about 400 underwriters to originate mortgages for the bank to hold, with as many as 40 percent of those loans likely to fall outside government guidelines taking effect this week.

The bank is training the group as a way to increase lending without losing control of quality, according to Brad Blackwell, head of portfolio lending for the San Francisco-based lender. The group will review loans including those with terms that prevent them from qualifying for protections provided by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, under new rules, he said.

Wells Fargo, responsible for about one in five U.S. mortgages last year, is pushing the initiative to compete for clients seeking non-conventional loans such as those with interest-only payments. That segment will be increasingly sought-after at a time when rising interest rates are curbing borrowing demand and banks are facing the biggest regulatory overhaul since the Great Depression.

“As rates continue to rise and refinancing volume continues to contract, lenders are going to be looking for a way to keep their staffs busy,” said Erin Lantz, director of mortgages at Zillow Inc.

Congress directed the CFPB, formed as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, to create the qualified mortgage rule after banks were blamed for helping spark the 2008 credit crisis by giving mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them. The regulations provide a measure of legal protection to banks that meet guidelines and expose them to legal liabilities if the loans charge high fees or require total debt payments exceeding 43 percent of the borrower’s income.

“What you see happening on Jan. 10 is the most sweeping re-regulation of mortgage finance that I’ve seen,” said Pete Mills, senior vice president of residential policy at the Mortgage Bankers Association, whose home loan career started in 1983.

Unlike the loose lending practices of the last decade, most lenders now approve borrowers only after fully documenting their incomes and assets. At a time when government-backed loans account for 90 percent of the market, non-qualified mortgages can’t be insured by the Federal Housing Administration or sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the government-controlled enterprises that package home loans into bonds.

Wells Fargo wants to give its clients more loans that can’t be sold to the government-backed firms. The bank is confident the new underwriting group, which will make both qualified and non-qualified mortgages, will allow it to originate debt that doesn’t meet the CFPB’s safe harbor, said Blackwell. Non-qualified mortgages could be between 25 percent to 40 percent of the bank’s total nonconforming loans, or about 5 percent of all mortgages, he said. Nonconforming loans are those that can’t be sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

The approach represents a change for the bank, which long made loans with the intention of selling them all.

“In the early days of our history, we were a mortgage bank: our primary responsibility was to originate and sell,” Blackwell said. “Today we are originating for our portfolio. These are loans that we will hold for their lifetime.”

Wells Fargo added .5 billion in nonconforming mortgages in the six months ended September, bringing the total held by the bank to .4 billion, according to a bank .

Bank of the West, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas SA, also plans to offer non-qualified mortgages to its clients regardless of amount, according to Stew Larsen, executive vice president of the mortgage banking division based in Omaha, Nebraska. The rules are an opportunity for banks that have capacity to hold loans on their balance sheets to take market share from mortgage companies that lack that capability, he said.

Non-qualified mortgages have the potential to be a 0 billion a year market, starting with the most creditworthy borrowers and broadening as home values and the wider economy improve, according to Raj Date, who stepped down as deputy director of the CFPB a year ago to found Fenway Summer LLC, which plans to offer non-conforming loans in 2014.

Lenders are responding to mortgage volumes that are forecast to plunge 33 percent this year to .17 trillion from 2013, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Rates on 30-year mortgages averaged 4.53 percent last week, up from 3.35 percent in early May, according to Freddie Mac.

The rate increased when the Federal Reserve signaled plans to reduce billion in monthly bond purchases and already has diminished the refinancing that accounted for two-thirds all home loans in the last two years.

Declines in refinancing have led the largest lenders to start cutting jobs. JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it may dismiss 15,000 employees, Wells Fargo cut more than 6,200 positions and Bank of America Corp. eliminated at least 3,400 mortgage-related workers. Citigroup Inc. also said it’s looking to trim staff.

Banks are being cautious about testing the limits of the new rules as they continue settling disputes arising from the last decade’s lending spree.

JPMorgan, which agreed to pay .1 billion in October to resolve claims by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about debt sold to the financing companies, has no plans to expand or discontinue products after Jan. 10, including non-qualified mortgages for borrowers with a high-net worth, according to Amy Bonitatibus, a spokeswoman for the New York-based bank.

Bank of America will continue providing interest-only loans to “preferred customers in a very conservative manner,” according to bank spokesman Terry Francisco.

Citigroup will offer some loans such as adjustable-rate mortgages and those too large to qualify for agency guidelines, according to Mark Rodgers, a bank spokesman. The loans will only be made when they are “appropriate and suitable” for borrowers, he said.

The new rules will help protect consumers and reduce the risk that the economy will crash again because of shoddy lending, Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat of Massachussetts, said yesterday.

“The rules will reshape the mortgage market for the better,” Warren, who first proposed creating the CFPB, said during a floor speech. “They will give people a better chance to buy homes and a better chance to keep those homes, and they will force mortgage lenders and servicers to compete by offering better rates and customer service, not by tricking and trapping people. ”

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While lenders initially will be reluctant to extend non-qualified mortgages to borrowers with lower incomes, limited assets or low credit scores, they will probably stretch the rules as they seek to expand business, just as they began offering loans to subprime borrowers in the last decade, according to Richard Eckert, an MLV & Co. analyst who worked as a risk management analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco in the 1990s.

“Just like back in the early 2000s, to keep the party rolling they slipped into subprime,” he said. “People that were high and mighty and were going to take the high road a year ago when quarterly loan originations were 0 billion and now seeing those dry up to as little as 0 billion, I think they are taking a real hard look at what they may have passed up.”

Even as it cuts mortgage jobs, Wells Fargo has selected between 300 and 400 underwriters who will execute different policies and report to separate bosses than peers who check over loans the bank sells to investors, Blackwell said in a telephone interview.

“We have separated the underwriting group into a separate team that only underwrites loans” for the bank’s own balance sheet, he said. “We found it impossible to achieve our objectives” with the two groups together, he said.

The underwriters will be located in six locations around the country and the training of the group and policy writing will be completed by the end of the year, Blackwell said. Tim Disbrow, head of west-coast underwriting and fulfillment, will oversee the effort.

This may lead to faster closing times and fewer mistakes, according to Joseph Morford, an RBC Capital Markets analyst based in San Francisco. That should build trust with the company’s financial advisers and private bankers, who are expected to refer wealthy customers, he wrote in a Dec. 23 note to clients.

“The brokers should feel more comfortable that their customers will be handled appropriately, which over time should lead to more mortgage referrals,” Morford wrote after meeting with David Carroll, head of Wells Fargo’s wealth and retirement unit.

Already, the new policy has “allowed us to do more volume with better service and better quality,” Blackwell said.

Wells Fargo has announced that it will accept lower credit scores for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration.

“We have dropped our FICO minimum for FHA from 640 to 600,” says Wells Fargo Executive Vice President Franklin Codel, adding that the move is a way for the bank to start “opening up our credit box more.”

Codel says the bank is looking to expand mortgage-credit availability now that it has significantly reduced its repurchase risk. Wells Fargo was among several banks that had to pay millions to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to resolve repurchase claims from loans that were bought by the GSEs and then went sour during the housing bust.

Codel says that Wells Fargo also implemented the a month before the Jan. 10 deadline.

Codel says Wells Fargo was “monitoring the production flows” to determine which loans would be rejected under the new QM rules. “We found very, very few,” he adds.

Source: “,” National Mortgage News (Feb. 6, 2014)

A move by Wells Fargo Bank to lower the bar for certain government-backed mortgages is stirring hopes of homeownership among people with credit scores battered by the recession.

The San Francisco-based bank, which is the country’s biggest mortgage lender, said recently that it would begin accepting scores of 600, down from 640, for FHA and VA loans, which require as little as a 3.5 percent down payment.

JPMorgan Chase hasn’t said whether it will follow suit. Bank of America said “there may be cases” where it would accept a credit score “in the lower 600 range,” depending on the borrower’s ability to repay the loan.

“Credit is loosening up,” said Guy Cecala of Inside Mortgage Finance. “It was overly tight right after the credit crisis in 2008 and really had nowhere to go but looser.”

Banks are motivated to increase lending to homebuyers because of a decline in refinancings. Wells Fargo’s mortgage lending business was billion in the fourth quarter of last year, down from billion the previous quarter and 5 billion in the last quarter of 2012.

The FHA accepts scores down to 580 and even lower in some circumstances, but finding a lender to make such loans can be difficult and for people with damaged credit the loans can be costly. Wells Fargo is offering a 30-year fixed FHA mortgage at 4.25 percent, although mortgage insurance and fees bring the effective rate up to 5.837 percent.

Joe Gonzales, a metalworker who lives in a rented apartment in South San Jose, hopes he can qualify. “It’s getting really expensive here to buy a home, and the credit thing is really hard,” he said.

He said he needs something bigger for his wife and three children than his two-bedroom rental and has been thinking about moving out of state, maybe to Las Vegas, where homes are more affordable. “I need something that’s mine. It’s the American dream, bro. One thing about being American is buying a home.”

Gonzales said a loan officer ran his credit scores a couple years ago and “my credit score wasn’t that great. Since then, I’ve paid off a lot of stuff and my credit score has come up.” Last year he made good money on the metalworker’s job he’s held for seven years, “but it’s like I’m struggling.”

Wells Fargo spokesman Tom Goyda said the change is “an effort to increase access to credit, especially for first-time and low- to moderate-income buyers.” Borrowers will still have to meet underwriting requirements, which include a demonstrated ability to repay the loan.

The bank’s government-backed lending, which is mostly FHA but also includes VA and Rural Housing Services loans, accounted for about 26 percent of its lending for the first nine months of 2013, Goyda said.

But underwriting standards are still much tougher than they’ve been in the past 20 years, Cecala said. “Even with slightly looser standards, we’re nowhere near where we were before.”

On the other end of the credit spectrum, Bank of America has created a loan of up to million that requires only 15 percent down from buyers who have had a history of homeownership in the past three years, and are borrowing above the limits for conforming loans — currently 5,500 in the metro Bay Area.

Guy Schwartz of CMG Financial in San Ramon said Wells “is not getting too far from the pack by going to 600, but it’s nice to hear one of the big players deviating from the herd a little bit.”

Contact Pete Carey at 408-920-5419. Follow him on .

Wells fargo loan assumption package

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Will it be safe to send my credit report to a mortgage broker?

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The fact that you are facing foreclosure on your own home will not prevent you from assuming the loan on your father's property. The foreclosure or the short sale will affect your credit score. But as you are doing a non-qualifying assumption, you need not qualify in terms of credit to assume the loan. Once you assume the loan and keep making the payments on time, your father's property will remain safe.

Wells fargo assumption department

CONVENTIONAL ASSUMPTION PACKAGE WITH RELEASE OF LIABILITY The loan must be current PRIOR to the receipt of the Assumption Package The assumption process.

Wells fargo assumption department

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Wells fargo assumption department

FHA Loan Assumption Process How it works at 8003400570 to request an Assumption package our Assumable FHA loan with Wells Fargo.

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