Articles by Dani Hernandez

Ask the Underwriter: A borrower qualifies using W-2 income, do I include the self-employment loss?

You ask, our LendingLife underwriter answers
Question: I have a borrower who is looking to purchase a new home. They are employed by a large corporation and qualify for the loan using only their W-2 income. However, the borrower has a Schedule E loss on their tax returns from Self-Employment through an S-Corporation. If the borrower qualifies using only their W-2 income, do I need to include the self-employment loss in their debt-to-income ratio? Click for the answer!
Read More

Ask the Underwriter: Are DACA recipients eligible for FHA loans?

Here are the requirements
On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that the protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients must stay in place and that the government must resume accepting new applications for the program. This is great news for the Dreamers! But what does it mean for DACA borrowers who are looking to buy a new home this spring? This week, Underwriter Dani Hernandez provides a walk through of the FHA’s guidelines and explains the documentation needed to get your DACA borrowers into a new home using FHA financing.
Read More

Ask the Underwriter: Can the borrower’s cash to close be less than the FHA minimum required investment amount?

There's a loophole
Ask any mortgage professional and they will tell you if you use an FHA loan to buy a new home, you must make a Minimum Required Investment equal to 3.5% of the purchase price or appraised home value (whichever is less). Most of these "experts" will also tell you this means the minimum down payment and cash due from the borrower at closing must be equal to 3.5%, and they will insist your out-of-pocket cost cannot be any less. And this misconception is so widely believed that it caused a bit of panic in my office this week. Read on to find out about how a little loophole helps avoid this problem...
Read More

Ask the Underwriter: Can personal property be included on the sales contract?

It varies by loan type
Your borrower finally found the perfect house! They send you a copy of the executed sales contract and everything is great…until you notice that the window treatments are listed as personal property to be included in the sale. Suddenly, you’re having flashbacks of your underwriter losing their $^!# because the last sales contract you sent included a lengthy list of personal items from the seller’s “Custom Man Cave” to be included in the deal. These are just window treatments though… no big deal… or is it?! Keep reading to find out!
Read More

Ask the Underwriter: Negative self-employment income? No problem… here’s how to exclude it!

Simply put the spouse first!
When co-borrower income that is derived from self-employment is not being used for qualifying purposes, the lender is not required to document or evaluate the co-borrower’s self-employment income (or loss). Any business debt on which the borrower is personally obligated must be included in the total monthly obligations when calculating the debt-to-income ratio.
Read More

Ask the Underwriter: My borrower owes a federal tax debt to the IRS… Is this mortgage deal dead?

Here's how to close that loan
Question: My borrower owes the IRS approximately $16,000 for tax years 2016 and 2017. They have $20,000 in savings, but were hoping to use that money as a down payment to purchase their first home. Is there a way to get them approved without making them pay off the entire tax debt first or is this a dead deal until it is paid? And the answer is...
Read More