It is bank to bank, but the banks are tightening up. With so many bad loans on the books, they're being very conservative now. The days of 100% financing (except VA) and $10,000 allowances are limited. The banks want to know it's a good loan and the buyer is invested. If a buyer has nothing in the house, what's to stop them from walking away later? Many banks are cutting out a lot of the closing cost assistance, allowances and gift funds being used for down payments.
I had a deal that died recently (foreclosure) because the bank sent back an addendum stating they would only pay 3 months of prepaids. The agent insisted NO ONE would escrow more than 3 months. She was determined that this was an across the board new rule, but I had a current good faith estimate and a settlement statement of a very recently closed transactions showing otherwise.
So, banks have their prerogatives... and they're all tightening up!
Does anyone know of a lender giving mortgages with less than a 640 credit score right now? That's what I've been hearing. And the debt to income for ALL debt including mortgages is being capped under 40%. Does anyone have any proof otherwise?