Happy Halloween. Yes, today I turned 40...black cat is out of the bag. To stave off any possible jokes; NO, I was not born with a mask on!
One thing that does frighten Real Estate Investors, however, is the fact that there is a new Government Act that jeopardizes the Owner Financing Investment vehicle. Taking a step back, Owner Financing is exactly what it sounds like; the owner of the property (or another company such as an "Escrow Company"), handles the payments, which is referred to as "servicing" the payments. Dolores Demers, the president of the Las Cruces Association of Realtors (and works with Re/Max), says that, "Owner financing has worked well for generations in this country", and that it has been a great option for, "innumerable buyers who are capable of making regular payments on an amortized loan, but who don't qualify for traditional mortgage loan products". However, as DeMers writes in her article, "Real Estate View: Dodd-Frank Act puts owner financing at risk", for the Sun-News, "parts of the Dodd-Frank Act will severely restrict owner financing and will do harm to buyers and sellers"
DeMers points out a few highlights from the Dodd-Frank Act that will raise eyebrows:
* The seller cannot be the builder of the home being financed.
DeMers ask the following question: "Why would the government want to restrict a builder from selling his own product" on terms that are "satisfactory to the buyer"?
* The loan must amortize fully with no balloon mortgage allowed.
DeMers says that most sellers offering owner financing are "older than 50", and asks rhetorically, "How many are going to outlive a 30-year note?". There must be a short term balloon in case the seller wants to sell to another party (and not have to "steeply discount the note".
* Buyer has three years to rescind the sale. The seller must document the buyer's ability to pay using underwriting requirements consistent with the Truth in Lending Act.
"If the seller makes even one small error, the buyer has up to three years to rescind the sale and demand back all the money that has been paid to the seller", says DeMers, regardless of "the benefit the buyer has gotten from the use of the property during the time he had it". This is, in no uncertain terms, "Not Fair".
* Only buyers who are already eligible for conventional financing will be able to use seller financing. The seller must determine in good faith the buyer's ability to repay the loan.
Wait...isn't Owner Financing supposed to help those who cannot pass the "underwriting scrutiny of the Truth in Lending act". As DeMers says, "The buyers who need the helping hand of owner financing won't be eligible."
* Seller limited to three installment sales per year. A seller must become a licensed mortgage loan officer if more than three properties are sold in a year using owner financing.
DeMers says that there are many people in her state of New Mexico that have, "helped the people in their communities get started on the path of home ownership through owner financing", and asks what difference does it make "how many properties are offered as installment sales in a year as long as the seller has determined each buyer has a reasonable ability to repay the loan?". Very good point.
The summary of this is that DeMers is trying to stir some action against this "sweeping rule change", and we agree. These alternate means of buying (or selling) a home are what gives people hope and a chance to move forward. She adds that the "Dodd-Frank Act treats owner financing as if it were predatory lending", which it is not. She also recommends that you contact your elected officials to protest the Act. I agree. Good point. Stand up and be counted !
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Have a Great Weekend, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
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TAGS: #OwnerFinance #Financing #realestateinvestors #DoddFrankAct #balloonmortgage #TruthinLendingAct #Escrow #Realtors #installmentsales #Halloween