Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Homebuyer Protection Alert!

Recent Federal legislation can impact your closing date. When completing your Purchase Agreement, even if you are prepared to move forward and close quickly, a more conservative timeframe of at least 30-45 days from the time of the contract acceptance would be a more realistic expectation at this time.

Listed below is information on two pieces of legislation that stand to impact your closing date, and a few bullet points that explain the reasoning behind and effects of each measure.

HVCC: Home Valuation Code of Conduct
HVCC was designed to ensure that appraisals are conducted objectively and without pressure from parties with an interest in the transaction. Under HVCC:

The appraisal and selection of the appraiser will be ordered by someone not directly involved in the origination of the mortgage. This could be either someone else within the mortgage company or a third-party appraisal management company.

A copy of the appraisal must be provided to the homebuyer/borrower no less than three days before closing.

The minimum time expectations for receipt of the appraisal should be a few weeks and not days. (While receipt of the appraisal may be received in shorter timeframes, conservative expectations are warranted.)

Communication between the appraiser and the originating mortgage professional is prohibited. It is imperative that the agents involved in the transaction be prepared at the time of inspection to offer supporting value information if warranted.

HERA: Housing and Economic Recovery Act
HERA was designed to ensure that the borrower(s) involved in the transaction are given accurate disclosure information (Truth in Lending Statement pertaining to Annual Percentage Rate or APR) regarding the loan they are applying for and adequate time to re-evaluate their decision to proceed in the event of any changes that would impact their costs to finance. Under HERA:

No fees may be collected for the transaction other than those for running a credit report at the initial time of application. Additional fees may be collected only after four business days.

Should the APR change by more than .125% on a fixed rate loan or .250% on an adjustable rate loan, the lender must disclose the new APR and the borrower must have a minimum of three business days to review the information before the transaction may proceed.

Items that can trigger re-disclosure requirements include a change(s) in the loan amount, closing date, loan program, any fees that impact the APR or interest rate from the rate indicated on the original loan application.

In cases where documents are sent by mail to the borrower related to re-disclosure of APR and/or providing a copy of the appraisal, anticipate six business days (three to allow for mailing and three to allow adequate time to review them) before a closing can occur.


Jorge Merlos
(909) 945-8621

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