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Tampa FL USDA Approved Lender ListI know that many of you are thinking that an IRS tax lien will automatically put a stop to the USDA loan process.

However, USDA guidelines offer qualifying flexibility in cases of delinquent Federal tax debt. In today’s short video, I’ll review the details of qualifying for a USDA mortgage with a tax lien.

Please also take advantage of our FREE download, “USDA Blueprint for Success.” This is a great educational resource that breaks down the USDA loan process step by step. It’s a must-have for realtors and home buyers alike.

Please Note: Today’s topic deals specifically with IRS repayment plans as it pertains to USDA loan qualifying. This is not tax advice.  For any further IRS related questions, please consult with your tax professional.

Tax Liens and Repayment Plans

Tax Lien: Per the IRS, “A federal tax lien is the government’s legal claim against your property when you neglect or fail to pay a debt.” Additionally, when you do not fully pay the debt, the IRS will file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien in order “to alert creditors that the government has a legal right to your property”.

Repayment Plans: Depending on the specific tax situation, different types of IRS installment repayment plans may be available. This allows the balance to be paid over an extended amount of time.

Can you qualify for a USDA mortgage with a tax lien or repayment plan?

You can qualify for a USDA mortgage with Federal tax liens when all of these conditions are met:

  1. Sebring, Avon Park, Highlands County USDA LoansThey are in an approved repayment plan.
    • USDA guidelines specifically state: “An applicant with delinquent Federal tax debt is ineligible unless they have a repayment plan approved by the IRS.”
  2. They have made a minimum of 3 timely payments to their repayment plan.
    • USDA guidelines specifically state: “A minimum of three timely payments must have been made.  Timely is defined as payments that coincide with the approved IRS repayment agreement.”
  3. The 3 minimum payments cannot be prepaid in a lump sum.
    • USDA guidelines additionally state: “the applicant may not prepay a lump sum at one time to equal three monthly payments to meet this requirement.”

Documentation needed will be items such as the IRS installment repayment agreement and relevant payment history to reference the terms have been met which could be evidenced through bank statements or cancelled checks.

Lastly, don’t forget that your monthly repayment plan installments are also included within your USDA debt ratios.

Yes, You Can Qualify

Can you qualify for a USDA mortgage with a tax lien or repayment plan?

In summary, qualifying for a USDA loan with an outstanding IRS tax lien is possible with proof of an approved repayment plan as discussed above.

As an approved USDA lender, we are here for your unique qualifying situation. We have dedicated systems in place from pre-qualification to closing. Simply call or email to discuss your scenario or if would just like to take advantage of our free 2nd opinion service.

800-806-9836 Ext. 280
SeanS@MPLX.org

Make it a great day and I look forward to seeing you for the next tip of the week!

USDA loan income limits have increased!As of May 4th, 2020 USDA loan income limits have increased. I bet you will be surprised at just how high they are!

As you will see in today’s video, the USDA loan income limit increase can help homebuyers trying to qualify immediately. It can also benefit families who are trying to increase their maximum USDA qualifying sales price.

Don’t forget to download our USDA Blueprint for Success. This complimentary guide breaks down the USDA process step by step, and is a great educational resource for the home buying process!

USDA Loan Income Limits

Florida USDA loan income limits have increased!A key part of USDA loan eligibility involves determining if your household income will meet USDA income limits. This is also known as “Annual Income”. This  income calculation includes ALL household members and not just those who are on the loan.

The next step is understanding your applicable county USDA income limit.

Just Announced

As an example, I will be sharing the income limits published for Florida to show how the recent income limits have changed.

Effective 5/4/2020 the following USDA loan income limits will apply:

  • 1-4 person household has been increased from $86,850 to $90,300
  • 5-8 person household has been increased from $114,650 to $119,200

In addition, certain counties will allow for increased limits above and beyond what we discussed today. An example of such would be Collier County where Naples, FL saw USDA loan income limit increases up to $94, 650 and  $124,950 respectively.

For your convenience, I have included a link below to check current USDA loan income limits for any USDA county:

 Current USDA INCOME LIMITS

Important NotesTexas, Tennessee, and Alabama USDA loan income limits have increased

The following are important points to remember when determining if your Annual Income meets USDA loan eligibility requirements:

  • Never assume that your income is either eligible or ineligible for a USDA loan;
  • Additional factors may apply, and as your USDA lender, we are here to help with the calculations; and
  • Not all lenders have experience with processing and closing USDA loans. This may affect your qualifying ability!

As an approved USDA lender, we are known for our program expertise and have specific systems in place to process USDA loans from pre-qualification to closing.

Plus, our FREE download, USDA Blueprint to Success, walks you through the USDA home loan process, eligibility requirements, and much more!

Sebring, Avon Park, Lake Placid FL USDA loan income limits have increased!

Just call or email if you have any USDA qualifying questions, want to discuss a new scenario, or would just like to take advantage of our free 2nd opinion service which is great for those existing transactions

800-806-9836 Ext. 280
SeanS@MPLX.org

Make it a great day, and I look forward to seeing you right here for the next tip of the week!

Tampa FL USDA Approved Lender List

USDA income eligibility guidelines have recently been updated and now allow for more flexibility with earnings received from part-time and secondary types of employment. This means enhanced USDA income eligibility and qualifying ability!

In today’s video, I will discuss the recent changes and explain how this income may be used to improve your USDA qualifying ability.

Before we get started, don’t forget to download any of our USDA Free Resources which includes valuable tips, guidelines, and additional information on understanding the USDA qualifying process.

USDA Income Eligibility

Part-Time and Second Jobs

Improved USDA Income Eligibility for Florida, Alabama, Texas, and TennesseePrevious USDA guidelines required receiving this type of income for at least two years before it could be used to qualify for a USDA loan.

Now, updated USDA guidelines only require income earned from Part-Time and Secondary Employment to be received for one-year when using towards USDA income eligibility.

USDA guidelines also state that these types of earnings…

will be presumed to continue unless there is documented evidence the income will cease

Seasonal Employment

However, for those who receive income from seasonal employment, there has been no change to the qualifying guidelines. Seasonal employment still requires a full two-year history of receipt before it can be used for USDA income eligibility.

USDA income limits in Florida

Moreover, USDA guidelines also require that total household income be calculated when determining the county’s USDA income limit.  This means that if even when we are not able to use certain types of income for qualifying purposes, that household income is still counted towards the all-important USDA income limit for that county.

Each Scenario is Unique

Remember that each scenario is unique, so let our USDA expertise, efficiency, and program knowledge go to work for you! My team is built to help walk homebuyers through the USDA process step by step.

Just simply call (800) 806-9836 Ext 280 or email SeanS@MPLX.org so we can help identify and properly calculate USDA income eligibility when using Part-Time, Second Jobs, or even Seasonal Employment.

As always, I want everyone to make it a great day and look forward to seeing you right here for the next tip of the week!

USDA Rent to Own: Here's How to Buy the House you Rent with a USDA Loan in FL, AL, TX, TNCan you buy the home you are renting with a USDA loan?

As more renters transition into homeownership, USDA rent to own opportunities are increasing for those homebuyers who want to purchase the home they are renting. This topic is especially important for property managers or landlords, listing agents with properties that have tenants, and for tenants who wish to purchase.

Today, I will review how it can be possible to buy the house you are renting with a USDA loan.

It is important to realize each step in the USDA process. That’s why we have a FREE USDA Blueprint for Success Guide. This complimentary download is designed to walk you through the USDA qualifying process. It’s ideal for homebuyers and realtors alike!

The nice part about trying to purchase the home you already live in is the focus can now be placed on qualifying. Here are the qualification steps for USDA rent to own.

1. Rental History

USDA Rent to Own Florida, Alabama, Texas, Tennessee Let’s get started by reviewing rental history first.

Is your landlord a private owner, property management company, or Real Estate brokerage?

This is critical because verification of rental history is required. Documentation from a company managing the rent will customarily hold more weight and strength with the USDA approval process when compared to a private landlord verification.

Do you pay rent by check, cash, or money order?

I know you have heard me say this before, but paying by check is a far better form of rental verification. This is especially true when paying to a private landlord.

2. USDA Minimum Credit Qualifying Requirements

Additionally, USDA loans are known for their credit  flexibility and although minimum credit conditions will be required, obtaining a certain credit score does not guarantee loan approval.

The  credit history of an applicant must be sufficient to validate their credit score with USDA requiring at least two accounts on the credit report that have been or are currently open for 12 months based on the date the account was opened as stated on the credit report.

Remember, in cases where there is a lack of an established traditional credit history, USDA guidelines will also permit for the verification of non-traditional credit references such as Cable, Electric, Water, and Phone bills.

3. USDA Employment History Guidelines

USDA Guidelines will require earnings to be adequate, dependable, and documented through items such as pay stubs, W2 forms, tax returns, and verifications of employment.

Please remember that while at least 2 years on the same job is preferred, it is not a requirement.

Tampa FL USDA Approved Lender List

USDA Rent to Own

While the three 3 qualifying steps above are not exhaustive, it is a great starting point to help you transition from renting your home to owning it with a USDA loan. As a USDA approved lender, our expertise and knowledge are here to help you each step of the way.

Plus, if you are ready to take the next step towards learning the USDA qualifying process, download our  USDA Blueprint for Success FREE report which is designed to give you an overview of the USDA Home Loan process, eligibility requirements, and much more. Download it now!

Temporary Exceptions for USDA Appraisals, Inspections and Employment Verification

On March 27, 2020, the USDA published guidance on how to handle certain exceptions to USDA appraisals, inspections and employment verification prior to closing.

While today’s video is longer than usual, we have received a high amount of questions regarding this topic and as a result, I will walk through the recent exceptions provided by USDA for appraisals, inspections, and employment verifications. This will help keep you in the know about critical requirements.

Additionally, because Metroplex is a lender, we are included within the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce for the financial services sector and have a responsibility to maintain our normal work schedule which includes processing loans, maintaining a consistent workflow, closing loans, and working on new pre-qualification requests during the COVID-19 crisis.

Remember, as an approved USDA lender, we take pride in our USDA experience and would like to share that knowledge with you through our FREE USDA guides and fact sheets.  These are available to help both home buyers and realtors understand the USDA process. You can download them all here!

USDA Temporary Exceptions

Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program Temporary Exceptions to Interior Inspection Appraisals and Verbal Verification of Employment in Relation to COVID-19 Pandemic

USDA Rural Development has issued exceptions that are effective as of March 27, 2020, and are in effect for a period of 60-days.

For the complete excerpt click here.

USDA Appraisal Reports – Existing Dwelling

For purchase and non-streamlined refinance transactions, when an appraiser is unable to complete an interior inspection of an existing dwelling due to concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, an “Exterior-Only Inspection Residential Appraisal Report”, will be accepted.

In such cases, appraisers are not required to certify that the property meets HUD Handbook 4000.1 standards. The USDA appraisal must be completed in accordance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Practice (USPAP) and the Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD).

This exception is not applicable to new construction properties or construction to permanent loans. As a reminder, USDA appraisals are not required for streamlined and streamlined-assist refinance transactions.

USDA Repair Inspections – Existing Dwelling

Tampa FL USDA Approved Lender ListLoans for which a completion certification is not available due to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, a letter signed by the borrower confirming that the work was completed is permitted.

Lenders must also provide further evidence of completion, which may include photographs of the completed work, paid invoices indicating completion, occupancy permits, or other substantially similar documentation. All completion documentation must be retained in the loan file.

This exception is not applicable to rehabilitation and repair loans noted in section 12.28 of the 3555 Handbook.

USDA Verbal Verification of Employment

Lenders must document and verify the borrower’s annual and repayment income in accordance with USDA guidelines. Diligence must be used in obtaining the most recent income documentation to re-verify the borrower’s repayment ability prior to loan closing.

When the lender is unable to obtain a Verbal Verification of Employment (VVOE) within 10 business days of loan closing due to a temporary closure of the borrower’s employment, alternatives should be explored.

For example, email correspondence with the borrower’s employer is an acceptable alternative to a VVOE. If the lender is unable to obtain a VVOE or acceptable alternative, the requirement will be waived when the borrower has a minimum of 2-months cash reserves.

In the case of a reduction of income, the borrower’s reduced income must be sufficient to support the new loan payment and other non-housing obligations. Borrowers with no income at the time of closing are not eligible regardless of available cash reserves.

As you can see, these updated exceptions provide both flexibility and additional guidance during these unprecedented times.

USDA Loans Mobile Alabama, USDA Loans Birmingham Alabama

Remember, let our USDA expertise go to work for you!

Just call or email if you have any qualifying questions, want to discuss a new scenario, or would just like to take advantage of our free 2nd opinion service… which is great for those existing transactions.

800-806-9836 Ext. 280
SeanS@MPLX.org

Most importantly stay safe, and as always I look forward to seeing you right here for the next tip of the week!

 

How Do I Qualify for a USDA Streamline Refinance?

How can you take advantage of lower interest rates and reduce your monthly payments when you have a USDA mortgage? USDA loans can be refinanced with the USDA Streamlined-Assist Refinance program and one of the best features is that it does not require an appraisal!  In today’s video, I’ll review the qualifying details associated with the USDA Streamline-Assist Refinance program.

As an approved USDA lender, we take pride in our USDA experience and would like to share that knowledge with you through our FREE USDA guides and fact sheets.  These are available to help both homebuyers and Realtors understand the USDA process. You can download them all here!

How Do I Qualify for a USDA Streamline Refinance?USDA Streamline Assist Refinance

The USDA Streamline-Assist Refinance program is a 30-year fixed-rate program that allows homeowners with an existing USDA mortgage to take advantage of lower interest rates. Thankfully, there is no appraisal required during this process and no prepayment penalties.

Qualifying Criteria

In order to qualify for a USDA Streamline Assist Refinance the following conditions must be met:

  1. You have an existing USDA mortgage.
  2. No late payments within the past 12 payment. This would be considered anything that is reported as a 30-day delinquency.
  3. The total family household income must meet the current USDA income eligibility requirement.

How Much Does it Cost?

As a starting point, appraisal or inspection fees are not required. Plus, the USDA Streamlined Assist Refinance program allows you to finance eligible closing costs which is able to save money on out-of-pocket expenses.

Furthermore, we at Metroplex do not charge application fees!

Are You Ready to Refinance your USDA mortgage?

The USDA Streamline Assist Refinance program helps reduce a homeowner’s interest rate and monthly payment without the need for an appraisal. Plus, as a USDA approved lender we have the expertise and experience to aid you in each step of the process.

How Do I Qualify for a USDA Streamline Refinance?Simply call 800-806-9836 Ext. 280 or email SeanS@MPLX.org to discuss your scenario, and let us show you the “Metroplex” difference!

Lastly, download any of our FREE USDA Resources here! These complimentary USDA guides and fact sheets are helpful resources that are always available for you.

Thanks for continuing to recommend us for all of your mortgage needs, and I look forward to seeing you right here next week!

Improved Qualifying for USDA Overtime Income, Bonuses, and Commissions in Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, and TexasIn order to maximize your USDA sales price, calculating all available income is critical!

However, because everyone is not paid the same, it is also important to understand the most recent and updated qualifying guidelines used for calculating USDA overtime income, bonuses, and commissions.

In today’s video, I’ll show you how to make the most out of your USDA loan qualification by reviewing the improved and increased flexibility provided for these types of income sources.

Plus, if you are ready to take the next step towards learning the USDA qualifying process, download our  USDA Blueprint for Success FREE report which is designed to give you an overview of the USDA Home Loan process, eligibility requirements, and much more. Download it now!

UPDATE – Improved Qualifying for USDA Overtime Income, Bonuses, and Commissions

1. USDA Income Guidelines

As a quick review, USDA guidelines group income into two categories:

  1. Annual income is used when calculating USDA Income Eligibility Limits.
  2. Repayment income is used to calculate debt ratios and the USDA maximum qualifying loan amount.

The current Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, and Texas USDA annual income limits can be found here.

As for the income that can be used for determining your loan qualification, USDA provides qualifying flexibility for the follSebring, Avon Park, Lake Placid, Okeechobee USDA Loansowing different types of income sources:

  • Overtime
  • Bonuses
  • Commissions

The good news is that these requirements have recently changed and are now greatly improved!

2. New Guidelines for USDA Overtime Income, Bonuses, and Commissions

USDA previously required a two-year history for income that was earned from overtime, bonuses, and commissions.

However, updated USDA guidelines now only require a one-year history for us to count this income towards your USDA qualifying sales price!

While it is ideal that these types of earnings are from the same place of employment, this is not required either.

Additionally, while the continuance of this type of income will be presumed unless there is documented evidence that the income will cease, USDA guidelines will require that:

Underwriters must analyze overtime for the current pay period and YTD earnings. Significant variances (increase or decrease) of 20 percent or greater in income from the previous 12 months must be analyzed and documented before considering the income stable and dependable.”

3. How do you calculate USDA qualifying income?

Tampa FL USDA Approved Lender List

Most of all, don’t be caught up in calculation confusion!  Let our USDA expertise, efficiency, and program knowledge work for you!

Remember, we are known for our communication and are just a phone call away!

Either call (800) 806-9836 Ext 280 or email SeanS@MPLX.org so we can help identify and properly calculate USDA overtime income, bonuses, or commissions.

In fact, my team and I are built to help walk homebuyers through the USDA process step by step. That is why we take pride in offering several important USDA Free Resources which include important tips, guidelines, and proper qualifying steps.

Find them all here!

 

Can you finance the vacant lot next door with the same USDA loan?In rural areas, what can be done when a seller wants to include their adjoining vacant lot as part of the same sale? Thankfully, USDA loans can be flexible when trying to include an adjoining parcel.

However, it’s important to be aware of 5 critical points when working to purchase a home and the vacant lot next door with a USDA loan.

In today’s video, I’ll explain how a USDA loan can help you buy the vacant lot next door and include it as part of a single transaction. This is specific to a USDA loan since other loan programs have their own unique requirements.

For a great overview of mortgage loan options side by side, download our FREE Loan Comparison Sheet here!

How do you purchase the adjoining vacant lot with the same USDA loan?

USDA guidelines offer improved flexibility when attempting to purchase and include the vacant lot next door within the same USDA loan.

While this is not a comprehensive list, below are 5 critical points to remember when purchasing a home and financing the adjoining vacant lot with the same USDA loan.

  1. Highlands County, Sebring, Avon Park, Lake Placid, Okeechobee USDA loansLots must be adjoining (connected)
  2. If the lots have not yet been combined, remember to separately list each parcel ID on the same sales contract
  3. The appraiser will include all parcels in the value
  4. Lot must meet USDA site requirements:
    • be typical for the area
    • be predominantly residential in use, character and appearance.
    • the property must NOT include buildings principally used for income-producing purposes
  5. All lots will need to be included with the final survey

Summary – How to include a vacant lot next door with a USDA loan?

Remember that when trying to include the adjoining vacant lot with the same transaction, guidelines will vary between loan programs as well as between lenders, so upfront communication is critical prior to signing a sales contract.

Can you finance the vacant lot next door with the same USDA loan?Here at Metroplex, we encourage both homebuyers and Realtors to call and discuss your scenarios.

Let our vast experience and expertise with complicated situations go to work for you.

Please reach out by calling (800)806-9836 Ext. 280 or emailing SeanS@MPLX.org

We are here to help you in each step of the mortgage process!

Lastly, don’t forget to discover all of our FREE USDA Resources.

These educational downloads include our USDA Blueprint For Success and our guide to USDA Financing for New Construction.

Make it a great day and I look forward to seeing you for the next tip of the week!

 

What is the USDA foreclosure wait period?A waiting period determines how quickly you can qualify for a mortgage after foreclosure. However, that period depends on the mortgage type you are applying for. Today, we focus on the USDA foreclosure wait period.

To see all waiting periods for each loan type, feel free you can download our complimentary loan comparison chart here.

USDA Foreclosure Wait Period

In working with so many of our customers over the years, I have found that foreclosures often occur due to circumstances outside of the homeowner’s 

control, rather than financial mismanagement.

With that being said, once a foreclosure has been finalized, a waiting period is required before a USDA mortgage can be provided.

A waiting period determines how quickly you can qualify for a mortgage after an event such as a foreclosure, bankruptcy, or short sale and can vary depending on the mortgage type you are attempting to qualify for.

Presently, the published foreclosure guidelines for USDA Loans require a 3 year wait period. However, exceptions are possible!

Are USDA foreclosure exceptions possible?

As noted above, USDA loan exceptions are possible after foreclosure. However, this is determined on a case by case basis. Thankfully, our USDA expertise and experience has successfully approved USDA foreclosure exceptions over the years.

What needs to be checked?

When you’ve had a previous foreclosure on a government loan such as VA, USDA, or FHA, it’s vital for your lender to check the CAIVRS database.

The CAIVRS database documents liens, defaults and other outstanding debt owed to federal agencies. This is crucial because an outstanding claim could stop your loan application from proceeding.

If there is a claim reporting a previous foreclosure, be prepared to wait for clearance prior to qualifying for a USDA loan.

USDA Foreclosure Guidelines

What is the USDA foreclosure wait period?

Remember, the required USDA foreclosure wait period is 3 years. If you are applying for a different type of loan, the required wait period may be different. You can view all waiting periods by downloading our FREE Loan Comparison Chart.

If you have recently been denied for a mortgage because of a previous foreclosure, please take advantage of our expertise by using our free Second Opinion Service (SOS).

It’s great for both new pre-qualifications and existing transactions!

How much USDA land can be purchased with a USDA home loan?

USDA loans are sought after by homebuyers since they allow for no down payment and offer financing flexibility. Additionally, USDA guidelines have recently improved in regards to how much acreage can be purchased with a USDA home loan.

While it is true that you are not able to just purchase raw land with a USDA Guaranteed loan, in today’s video, I will explain how much USDA land is permitted when purchasing an existing home or with the construction of a new home. 

Plus, download our FREE USDA Blueprint for Success! This educational guide is designed to walk you through the USDA process and guidelines.

USDA Acreage Limits

To begin with, the USDA Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program is designed for Single Family Housing and is not a solution for working farms or income-producing properties. Also, remember that any land that you purchase must be in connection with either an existing home or through the construction of a new home.

If you are building a home, under the USDA Single Close Construction to Permanent Program, we are able to offer no down payment USDA construction loans for Single Family, Modular, and Manufactured Homes which includes the ability to purchase land in conjunction with the construction or build on land that you already own.

Moreover, USDA guidelines do not have acreage limitations, just that it must be typical for the area as discussed below.

USDA Site Size Requirements

USDA  guidelines state the following for site size requirements: “The site size must be typical for the area.”

How much USDA land can be purchased with a USDA home loan in FL, TX, TN, or AL?

This definition clearly opens up the potential for higher amounts of USDA land to be purchased and comparable sales in the area will help to justify if the site size is typical.  As a result, do not assume that properties with increased acreage may or may not be eligible until we have a chance to review the scenario further.

USDA Land and Home Scenarios or Questions

Most of all, don’t let the details overwhelm you, because that’s what my team and I are here for! If you have any scenarios or questions, please reach out so we can provide additional guidance and upfront review in order to help determine how many acres you can purchase with a USDA loan.

If you have any questions or scenarios, please contact us by phone or email:

(800)806-9836 Ext. 280
SeanS@MPLX.org.

Summary – USDA LandHow much USDA land can be purchased with a USDA home loan in FL, TX, TN, or AL

In summary, the most important point to remember is that the size of the USDA land should be typical for the area. This is vital for determining how many acres you can buy with a USDA loan.

Our vast experience and expertise are here to aid you in each step of the process. Let us show you the “Metroplex difference!

Lastly, don’t forget to download our USDA Blueprint for Success. Make it a great day and I look forward to seeing you for the next tip of the week!

 

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