An unprecedented number of people are currently out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The good news is that buyers or those seeking to leverage their home equity who are furloughed or otherwise unemployed can still get mortgages.
Lending has become very restrictive, but it’s still possible to be approved. It’s advised to contact a licensed lending professional to review your situation — analyzing finances, assets, credit, etc. These days, lenders will focus more on credit history, down payment, reserves and assets.
Income for traditional lending is based on a debt to income ratio (DTI). To keep DTI low, prospective buyers should review unnecessary expenses (i.e. subscription services), adjust insurance coverage and limit credit card use. They also should call creditors to negotiate terms on all debts.
Many lenders and credit providers will work with borrowers to reduce interest rates. Borrowers also should be sure to explore all possible options to avoid credit card debt such as a 401k withdrawal, selling assets, tapping into the cash value of life insurance, taking online jobs, etc.
HECM loans, more commonly known as reverse mortgages for homeowners 60+ use residual income (RI). Reverse mortgage guidelines also allow asset dissipation which is a calculation which converts your assets into an income calculation. Qualified seniors, especially those on a fixed or limited income, will have a far easier time qualifying for reverse mortgages over traditional mortgage loans.
Reverse mortgages offer the ability to borrow up to roughly 50 percent of the home’s value with flexible repayment terms. Borrowers have the option to make monthly payments or defer payback until the last remaining borrower leaves the home. Contrary to popular belief, borrowers do not relinquish ownership. Unlike any other type of mortgage loan, there is no mandatory monthly payment required. Payback, including loan interest, is deferred until the last remaining borrower permanently leaves the home.
Those 62+ in search for a new home may select the HECM for Purchase loan, which combines a reverse mortgage with the equity from the sale of your previous home (or from other savings and assets) to buy your next primary home in a single transaction. Regardless of how long you live in the home or what happens to your home’s value, you only make one initial down payment towards the purchase, provided that you pay property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and maintain the property.
Another advantage of an HECM for purchase loan is that it defers payback until the last remaining borrower leaves the home. This flexibility can offer much needed additional cash flow during times of economic uncertainty.
One other non-traditional financing option is a non-qualified mortgage (Non-QM). Primarily for self-employed borrowers, some non-QM loans allow bank statements to be used in lieu of traditional proof of income.
Overall, my advice to mortgage seekers who are out of work is to be patient and calm. The loss of employment and income is not your fault. Don’t get in over your head in times of uncertainty. This will pass and it is possible to find other employment.
If you still wish to proceed in the home buying process, consult a licensed mortgage professional to discuss your personalized options. Do your homework and become educated. Evaluate your income situation. With a purchase, it may make sense to delay upsizing for the time being. Shop around but be decisive. Guidelines and programs are changing rapidly during these uncertain times. Best of luck and health.
As in the case with most recessions, the COVID-19 global pandemic has investors and businesses looking to “leverage.” Simply put, this is the concept of using various financial instruments or borrowed capital to multiply the potential return.
With 10+ years of experience, Joe Susserman is a top-level producer with a proven track record of success in the reverse mortgage space.
At The Steven J. Sless Group of PRMI, Joe educates homeowners to determine if a reverse mortgage will meet their financial goals. He then helps clients to navigate through all steps of the loan process.
“I enjoy assisting seniors to help them live a better retirement,” said Susserman, who has three sons and two grandchildren. Joe says, “I aim to provide the highest level of customer service and be responsive to all of my clients’ needs.”
JOSEPH SUSSERMAN: NMLS 986529. Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation Commissioner of Financial Regulation #5511.
Steven J. Sless has become regarded as the “go-to housing wealth source” by various media outlets. Bringing nearly 20 years of mortgage industry experience, he founded The Steven J. Sless Group of PRMI, the lender’s national division dealing exclusively with reverse mortgages.
A powerful speaker and communicator, Steven regularly gives seminars and learning workshops for homeowners 60+, their family and trusted advisors. Exploring the nuts and bolts of reverse mortgages, Steven presents the facts, dispels common myths and misperceptions, and answers questions so his audiences can make informed decisions and take control of their retirement.
In 2019, Steven earned the CLTC®: Certified Long-Term Care professional designation, demonstrating that he also has acquired the critical tools necessary to discuss the subject of longevity and its acute consequences on a client’s family – financially, physically and emotionally – years down the road.
“Possessing knowledge of long-term care and what decisions must be made before care is needed will allow me to better serve the needs of my clients,” Steven says. “Having a deeper understanding of my clients’ needs will allow me to have a more advanced conversation with them, their family and trusted advisors.”
In addition to helping clients and educating colleagues and audiences, Steven loves spending time with his wife and two young daughters. He also is an avid fan of the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles, and he enjoys playing golf and cooking.
Steven J. Sless NMLS# 298581 . Licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner to engage in business in Delaware 5644 expires on 12/31/2021. Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee. Georgia Department of Banking and Finance 6521. Indiana-Department of Financial Institutions Consumer Credit Division, First Lien License 11069 Secretary of State Securities Commission Second Lien License 103936. C.P.D. Reg. No.-19-07981
Brandy Nickoles has over 17 years of experience in the mortgage industry, dedicating the last 8 years solely to reverse mortgages. With great knowledge of the reverse mortgage product, she is committed to making sure our borrowers have a seamless experience.
Instrumental in creating infrastructure from file setup through loan funding, Brandy manages the loan pipeline. This includes everything from analyzing documentation and loan scenarios, to creating and implementing process/procedures, and coordinating with lenders.
Brandy also trains and oversees team members to ensure tasks are completed timely and efficiently. Having worked with Brandy for nearly a decade, Steven and Andrew can attest that her attention to detail and organization is top notch.
The Steven. J. Sless Group is fully operational and committed to expediting loans for our clients during these unprecedented times.
We have implemented the following measures to ensure the safety of our team members, strategic partners and valued customers:
Call us at 410-814-7575 or schedule an appointment. (link )
Andrew Parker began his career in the mortgage industry in 1999 and transitioned to focusing solely on reverse mortgages in 2008. Through the years, Andrew has built a stellar reputation in scaling mortgage teams and overseeing products and systems training.
He has worked in tandem with Steven for the past 18 years and now oversees day-to-day production operations at the Steven J. Sless Group. In addition to managing loan originators and coordinators, providing product training and helping them to structure loan scenarios, Andrew works with credit desks to get clients approved. He also navigates underwriting approvals.
Andrew is a big reason why The Steven J. Sless Group get clients approved for loans that other lenders don’t, and why the team closes loans much quicker than the industry average. He has consistently forged strong bonds with and earned the trust of clients and strategic partners.
With 10+ years of mortgage industry experience, Robert Sklar educates clients about reverse mortgage loans and the strategy of incorporating housing wealth in retirement planning.
In doing so, he structures loan scenarios based on clients’ specific goals and needs. He also reworks loans to new terms and identifies additional conditions as needed to insure a viable credit decision. And he analyzes credit reports, property appraisals, titles and associated documentation.
Passionate about making a profound impact in the lives of his clients and others, the Hofstra University graduate has become a trusted resource of information and education in and around Baltimore.
ROBERT SKLAR: NMLS 1161107. Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Commissioner of Financial Regulation #5511.
Bringing 30 years mortgage industry experience, Sharon Birdow is adored by her clients and colleagues alike.
The West Chester University graduate, wife and mother of four has served as branch partner and originating loan officer, branch manager and senior mortgage loan officer. She was named Loan Originator of the Year in Volume in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
At The Steven J. Sless Group of PRMI, Sharon helps clients 60+, their families and trusted advisors to obtain reverse mortgage loans. She regularly consults with financial professionals on the benefits an HECM provides and how to utilize this tool in individual retirement planning.
“It’s my privilege to educate and empower older Americans about the versatility of reverse mortgages,” Sharon says. “I love helping our clients achieve financial independence and peace of mind in their golden years.”
Fifteen-year customer relations and hospitality management veteran, Justin Zornman is the group’s first remote hire.
Based out of Kalamazoo, MI, he is responsible for helping clients to navigate the loan process. He also assists loan originators and aids the processing team to expedite loan closings.
A University of New Orleans graduate, Justin is currently completing his studies to pass the mortgage originators exam, get licensed and, one day, open a Michigan branch for the group.
“I am honored to ease the way for homeowners, 60+ to secure a better retirement,” Justin says. “I look forward to ultimately establishing The Steven J. Sless Group of PRMI as the market leader in Michigan.”
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