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Brent Mendelson's Blog

By Brent Mendelson | Mortgage Broker
or Lender in Bethesda, MD
  • Why is there so much more paper on loans these days?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Oregon, Financing in Oregon, Military Movers in Oregon  |  May 15, 2014 5:02 PM  |  187 views  |  No comments
    If you like ironic humor read the first few pages of this attachment. The CFPB makes lenders come up with disclosure after disclosure and then pays money to find out.....that people don't understand the disclosures and it makes them nervous and frustrated!! If a former Deputy Sec Treas can't figure it out how can the average person understand? I'll tell you how, work with me!! I walk you thru every line, every number over and over as many times as needed AND I go to my closings as much as possible so I am there with you every step from start to finish. I've battled traffic, snow, down pours and earthquakes and Presidential motorcades to get to my closings. I've even driven to WV to help a nervous client navigate the stack of paper. Please call 240-235-5314 or email bmendelson@1stmarinerbank.com for more information. Licensed in all 50 states. NMLS #111407


    Above is the link to their report if you can't sleep some night...
    It's not going to get any better anytime soon either. More red tape is certainly in the works.
  • New VA loan programs for Oregon veterans

    Posted Under: Financing in Oregon, Agent2Agent in Oregon, Military Movers in Oregon  |  September 11, 2013 6:08 PM  |  402 views  |  No comments
     I am pleased to announce effective immediately 1st Mariner Mortgage has 100% VA cashout loans available with a credit score minimum of 660. VERY few lenders excede the 90% LTV on a VA cashout.
    1st Mariner mortgage is licensed in all 50 states. My speciality is VA loans regardless of current lender or where you reside. Veteran references available upon request. Please inquire for veteran discounts on title services and closing credits also. Attached is a matrix for maximum loan to value, minimum credit score and information on the VA funding fee. Disability of 10% or greater allows the waiver of the funding fee in most cases. Please contact me for loan pre approval.

    Thank You,
    Brent Mendelson
    VA Loan Specialist

    100% VA Cash-Out Refinance!

    Make home improvements, pay off high interest credit card debt, fund college education,

    the possibilities are endless! Take advantage of today’s low rates – no mortgage insurance required.

    Maximum LTV 100% with a
    Minimum credit score of 660

    The maximum loan amount is 100 percent of the appraised value, plus the VA funding fee

  • Rules and regs on getting a loan with a recent BK.

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Oregon, Agent2Agent in Oregon, Military Movers in Oregon  |  June 21, 2013 8:45 PM  |  182 views  |  No comments

    I get many calls for loans with one or both of the borrowers coming out of a bankruptcy. There are different rules for both chapter 7 and 13. Some of the other factors are why the BK occurred, what type of loan you wish to get <VA,FHA,CONVENTIONAL> how many BK filings there have been and by far the #1 most important factor is have you reestablished and maintained good credit since the BK? If you filed a BK and have been late on bills after that it is extremely difficult to get a new loan. Especially on a purchase. Not impossible though. I just did it for a borrower but it was a SERIOUS battle.  A few things to understand if you are going to try and get a loan within the BK period.

    1. Chapter 7 and 11 require a 4 year waiting period from the discharge date. Not the filing date. Discharge date is when the judge signs the paperwork basically starting the clock.

    2. Chapter 13 is a 2 year waiting period and only 12 months for FHA from the discharge date or four years from the dismissal date.

    3. Again it's very important to understand that these are generally minimums that are allowed and banks can and do add additional overlays onto the basic guidelines.  For example there could be a bank that applies a 4 year waiting period and 5 years for multiple filings for loans they will accept. And even if you are past that minimum requirement the loan would still receive extra scrutiny and stand a higher chance of being denied even if approved by Fannie and Freddie. Just because a bank can make a loan doesn't mean they will.

    4. The loan size also matters. Over 417k borrowed is more restrictive and less than that will be slightly easier to obtain.

    Additional requirements can be broken down into two categories.

    Extenuating Circumstances and Financial Mismanagement

    For extenuating circumstances the guidelines are.

    Minimum 620 credit score.
    24 months re-established credit after the discharge date of the BK.
    3 tradelines open and active and paid on time are the general rules.

    For financial mis management the guidelines are

    680 credit scores minimum
    48 months re-established credit since the discharge/dismissal of the BK.

    The following additional credit requirements apply to both of the above guidelines.

    No more than two installment or revolving payments more than 30 days late in the last two years.
    No debt of any type more than 60 days late at all in the time period.
    No housing lates since the discharge date.
    No new records for BK'S, foreclosures, judgements, collections or chargeoffs.
    Proof that credit history doesn't have multiple accounts with credit cards maxed out or near the credit limits.

    There is more depending on each unique situation but this is enough to see if you meet these guidelines. No one involved should ever relax and assume it's a done deal but it is possible If the loan officer is on the ball and doesn't accept the initial resistance AND the borrower know that they will have to work harder for it than a normal loan you have a chance to buy your new home or refinance and save money. Good luck, I hope this was helpful and please let me know any questions.

    Thank You,

    Brent Mendelson
    Senior Loan Officer
    1st Mariner Mortgage
    nmls #111407

  • Features and benefits of the VA purchase program

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Oregon, Financing in Oregon, Agent2Agent in Oregon  |  December 7, 2012 1:28 PM  |  191 views  |  No comments

    My name is Brent Mendelson and I specialize in VA loans for both purchases and refinances.
    I wanted to take a few minutes and explain how a VA loan works, the features and benefits, a few of the restrictions lenders and VA put on the loan and the main drawback of a VA loan.

    First the benefits.

    A veteran can purchase a home with no down payment. That's right no money is required.
    Even better the loan has no mortgage insurance as conventional or FHA loans.
    There is a funding fee that is waived if the veteran receives VA disability.
    The funding fee ranges from 2.15% for active duty military to 2.4% for National Guard/Reserves if you are a first time buyer. If you are a subsequent user the fees are 3.3%

    If you put down 5% or 10% the funding fee is reduced across the board for all buyers.

    Active duty or retired Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard are of course eligible provided they were honorably discharged. A little known fact is members of NOAA and the Public Health Service are also included in the VA loan program.

    Surviving spouses of veterans who died in service or from service-connected disabilities (whether or not such surviving spouses are veterans with their own entitlement)

    The loan limits could be as high as $625,500 depending on which county you wish to live. Here is a link for every county in the US. http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/documents/docs/Loan_Limits_2012_Dec_2011.pdf

    If the county you seek isn't listed then the limit is $417,000

    If anyone else knows a loan program that allows a loan of $625,500 with no money down, no mortgage insurance and a possibility of no funding fee please let me know. :) The funding fee is rolled into the loan, you
      do not have to pay it in cash.

    The loan process works much the same as any other loan as far as documents required except for a DD-214. There are other steps though that involve the actual home you wish to buy,

    VA residual income is one of the major underwriting guidelines required to qualify for a VA mortgage.  Residual income is calculated by determining the gross monthly income of the veteran and spouse.  Then deduct from that total gross monthly income the following monthly expenses:

    • State Taxes
    • Social Security
    • Federal Taxes
    • Proposed new monthly house payment (PITI: principle, interest, taxes and insurance)
    • Estimated Maintenance and Utilities
    • Monthly Child Care Expense
    • Alimony or Child Support
    • Monthly consumer debt payments: installment and revolving credit cards

    These are important guidelines and again if the loan officer isn't up to speed on VA loans this is where it generally falls apart.

    There are both fixed rates and ARM'S available as well.
    The loans are assumable which means when you sell the home under certain circumstances the  buyer could assume the actual terms of the loan. In an era of 30 year fixed rates around 3% this could be a HUGE factor in selling the home.

    You are only allowed one VA loan at a time under almost all circumstances but there are exceptions to this rule.

    If rates ever do fall you are eligible for a low cost reduced paper work refinance loan called an IRRL.

    You can also do a cashout to up to 100% limit later if need be also. Most lenders do limit you to 90% however.

    Credit scores are not a priority to VA but they are to lenders. Most will not approve loans under a 640 however 1st Mariner mortgage will down to 600 scores under certain circumstances.

    You can get up to 6% of closing help from the seller but..... you'll probably not need it right now because VA loans currently come with very large lender credits under most circumstances. This amount is different in every case and subject to change with no warning.

    If you have any questions about VA loans in general or specific questions please let me know. We offer VA loans in almost all 50 states for purchase and refinance loans.

    Now for the downside to these loans. There aren't many but there are a few that Realtors and buyers and sellers need to know.

    VA appraisals have never been selected by lenders and are randomly assigned.
    They are much tougher on certain repair aspects of the appraisal process usually on paint and wood issues. Chipped and pealing paint and a rotted deck will ALWAYS be flagged for repair per VA rules. There is no rehab loan like the FHA 203K loan.

    No one else other than a spouse can be on the loan to help qualify for the loan. Not even if the couple is engaged and living together the non married spouse CAN NOT be on the loan.
    There is no non occupant co-borrower.like FHA allows.

    If a married couple uses a VA loan and gets a divorce it's much tougher to remove the spouse from the deed and loan. You can do it but it must be an IRRL hybrid loan.

    The last one might be the biggest downside but actually has the least actual basis in reality.
    Many sellers and their agents believe VA loans involve more red tape than other loans.
    This is up to your lender to step in and help them understand the steps involved and relieve them of the mis-guided anxiety they may feel. VA loans should take no longer than a conventional loan if you have the right VA lender working for you.

    I am the right lender for your VA purchase clients. If I can ever be of service to explain these loans or pre approve your veteran loan please do not hesitate to contact me. I hope this was helpful.


    Brent Mendelson
    1st Mariner Mortgage
    Licensed in ALL 50 states

  • Oregon gets higher home loan rates starting Nov 1.

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Oregon, Home Selling in Oregon, Agent2Agent in Oregon  |  October 8, 2012 5:28 PM  |  347 views  |  No comments

    close [x]
    At the end of October there are HUGE changes coming again to the way loans are priced. Below is a more technical anaylsis of what will happen and why but in a nutshell the change are as follows.

    If your loan is locked BEFORE the end of October and closes within its projected timeframe there will be no change to the rate and pricing. The danger will be if loans are locked and have to be extended after October 31st it will be VERY expensive, almost impossible to honor the lock pricing as currently structured.  So just to clarify if you lock now and close within the time frame the lock says you are good. If ANYTHING goes wrong, no matter what it is going to be a HUGE problem for all parties. It will mean higher rates, points to be charged or in the case of tight DTI ratios it will kill the deal at the last minute. Short sales and foreclosures are particularly vulnerable.

    You might get a GREAT RATE but you better start asking how long the lock is for or you are going to find out in Nov it will be a different story. There will be a lot of blame passed around but there is nothing the loan officer or even the lender can do. Fannie and Freddie are run by Congress so we all know what that can mean. 

    Last thing and very important.
    FHA/VA would not be affected by the G-Fee increases because FHA collects MIP and insures the loan. VA collects a VA Funding Fee and guarantees the loan.

    I hope this was helpful and please let me know if there are any questions.



    Brent Mendelson

    Senior Loan Officer

    1ST Mariner Mortgage





    Lending in all 50 states


     Congress mandated the FNMA and Freddie Mac properly measure their risk of insuring mortgage securities, therefore, later this month, both GSE’s will be adding 10 bps to their “G-Fee” (Guaranty Fee). The financial impact of this is an increased cost within the transaction of approximately 40 – 80 bps.

    -   The G-Fee is an annual insurance payment made to the GSE’s for guarantying the flow of monthly P&I payments to the investors in the MBS’s.

    -   Since mortgages are assumed to have a life-span of 4 – 8 years (varies by bank and owner of MBS’s), the financial impact is 10 bps x 4 – 8 times = 40 – 80 bps.


    Earlier this year, the US Congress made FNMA and Freddie Mac absorb the cost of the Payroll Tax Holiday by adding to the G-Fee in March. This was also a 10 bps increase to the G-Fee.


    The financial impact of the G-Fee increases are significant:

    -   Prior to 2007, a large bank would have paid 12 – 15 bps in total G-Fee.

    -   By November 1, this will have increased for three reasons:

    o   The GSE’s no longer show significant favoritism to large lenders, therefore, the base G-Fee rose to 25 bps to most companies from 2008 – 2011.

    o   The Payroll Tax Holiday expense: +10 bps

    o   Added G-Fee risk adjustment: +10 bps.

    -   Therefore, today’s rates have the following additional expense paid to the GSE’s in the pricing:

    o   13 + 10 + 10 = 33 bps x 6 year life = 198 bps.

    o   This equates to roughly an increase of 50 bps of additional INTEREST RATE from 2007 – 2012..

  • VA IRRL Features and benefits

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Oregon, Financing in Oregon, Agent2Agent in Oregon  |  June 25, 2012 10:01 PM  |  213 views  |  No comments

    I wanted to discuss a little known feature of the VA loan program. It's called the IRRL loan which stands for Interest Rate Reduction Loan.

    If you already have a current VA loan and have been current on the loan you should be eligible for the refinance program. We offer this program in 49 of the 50 states. Sorry Nevada! Soon I hope.

    Here's why the program is an incredible opportunity in general and spefically with First Mariner Mortgage.
    First Mariner has zero lender fees to obtain a VA streamline refinance. The only fees we charge are 3rd party fees for credit and flood cert. Total cost is $40 dollars.

    No appraisal is required using 1st Mariner Mortgage's direct portfolio program. If for some reason an appraisal is required we pay for it not the veteran. This is HUGE if your property is upside or underwater and other lenders have said no without an appraisal.

    There are no assets required and no income documents required either. No paystubs, no W-2'S no tax returns for self employed borrowers. You basically sign the loan application, provide a mortgage statement, hazard insurance and your note and HUD-1 and that's it. The loans are MUCH faster as a result and close on average in about 3 weeks.

    You can go to 100% of the value of the house if need be.
    There is also no mortgage insurance for VA loans.
    If you receive VA disability there is no funding fee.
    If you do not receive disability the funding fee is lowered to .50% and the fee can either be rolled into the loan or paid for in cash with a lender credit.

    The rates are extremely low now and a very popular option is to slightly increase the rate and receive a lender credit to help pay the closing costs and thereby keep your loan low without adding all the normal closing costs for other types of loans. 

    I closed an IRRL this evening. It took three weeks and the borrowers received a credit of $4,808 to help pay closing costs. So their payoff was $245,423, we made the new loan $244,000 and the clients brought $1,078 to the table and it was only that high because a year's worth of homeowners insurance was due in the amount of $810. They are getting back $2,453 in their current escrow account and do not have a July payment. 

    There are also 15, 20, 25 and 30 year mortgages as well as ARMS if you are interested. 

    I specialize in VA loans and have for almost 10 years. I am proud to assist our military community in saving money and paying off their mortgage as quickly as possible. For testimonials from past clients please refer to http://reviewbrentmendelson.blogspot.com/

    It costs nothing to call and review options with a VA loan specialist.

    Any questions or anything I can do to help in any way please do not hesitate to ask. 

    Thank You,

    Brent Mendelson
    1st Mariner Mortgage




  • Oregon homeowners need a solid housing plan from DC

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Oregon, Financing in Oregon, Foreclosure in Oregon  |  December 7, 2011 2:22 PM  |  632 views  |  2 comments

    I wrote this a few weeks ago and will post in all 50 states to garner maximum exposure. I fear for the future of this country in the wake of the "super committee" failure. If Congress and the President can't get something like that right then there is NO way they can possibly "fix" the housing market. Please feel free to re post if you agree with that I say. Maybe send to a member of Congress?

    Full Disclosure. I am a card carrying member of the Republican Party and did not and will not vote for President Obama. I have no problem giving the President credit when he has a good idea and does the right thing. I want him to do well and succeed. Things as a whole will improve for the nation and I love this country more than a political party.

    However the President's "plan" for underwater mortgages is incredibly lacking in urgency, details and a true sense of what the problem even is let alone how to fix it.

    When we needed true leadership we received a speech in Las Vegas that was long on promises but short on well everything else.

    This week we FINALLY had at least an outline of the new and improved "plan"

    We can't even take applications for it until December 1 and if you are underwater by at least 125% then you can't deliver the loans to Fannie until MARCH of 2012.

    Mr. President, people are hurting NOW. Giving a speech in October and offering even a sliver of help until March is 5 syallbles and one word. UNACCEPTABLE.
    • The reason for the delay is embarrasing to our political system that aids and abets Fannie as well as Fannie themselves. They need to reprogram the computer basically to say it's OK to accept over 125% This is in the instructions themselves as to the reason why. First off I'm guessing a simple computer fix. Secondly all Fannie needs to say is "casefile will read ineligible but if LTV is sole reason then acceptable". This has been done on confirming jumbo loans until the software was fixed.

      Either way to me this is unacceptable.

      Not to mention no word on appraisals as to whether they are needed. How can you not address something that simple?

      If it's left to Congress and the White House and the same groups and organizations like Fannie and Freddie to get us out of the mess then folks we have a long hard road ahead of us. Until the housing market leads the way for a national economic recovery we will sit idle for far too long of a time. Our homes are our most treasured possession and the most expensive item any of us will ever purchase. People won't feel wealthy and spend until they feel their home is on safe ground. This is a crisis of confidence that is depressing consumer spending.

      If you agree call Congress and urge them to revamp the "plan" 202-225-3121 is the Capitol switchboard
      The number for the White House is 202-456-1414. It was their idea after all

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