Chris Salese

In my previous column, I mentioned that the FHA made a surprise announcement to lower their mortgage insurance premium, which was part of a large package of final moves by the Obama administration before they departed the White House.

Then, in an unprecedented maneuver about two weeks later, the FHA indefinitely suspended their lower mortgage insurance premium offer at the direction of the Trump administration after they took over the White House.

This type of gamesmanship or political hacking by both the red and blue teams has definitely added fuel to the stress fire that’s burning across our nation right now.

Hopefully, calmness and thoughtfulness by both teams will prevail for the sake of the consumer.

Unfortunately, as a result of this tug of war, there were many buyers caught in the middle of their purchase transactions who had to shift gears and expectations because of these government announcements.

There were plenty of homeowners who stood to benefit from these new lower FHA mortgage insurance premiums too. However, none of that materialized for the consumer.

Maybe that changes down the road, maybe it doesn’t. Who knows.

In the meantime, your lender got stuck with the bill for having to absorb the time and energy of re-tooling their heavily regulated home loan disclosure process in preparation for this lower mortgage insurance premium and then again for the reversal of it.

If the intent was to lower the mortgage insurance premium to help offset the recent rise in home loan rates, then industry expert Rob Chrisman asked, “Why did they not lower the mortgage insurance premium in late November when interest rates were where they are now?”

Chrisman also questioned, “why did they make the mortgage insurance reduction effective one week after the inauguration and why was it based on closing dates instead of case numbers?”

Well, I certainly don’t know these answers and perhaps never will, yet they seem to be valid topics of conversation, to say the least.

Going forward, there’s increased chatter of all sorts of possible state and federal tax packages that could impact homeowners and future homeowners alike.

Since you can’t control the future, you should focus on the present.

During your upcoming application process, please be aware of the heightened need to protect yourself from password cracking soon, too.

As a quick reminder:

1) Don’t reveal a password over the phone to anyone.

2) Don’t reveal a password in an email message.

3) Don’t reveal a password to the boss.

4) Don’t talk about a password in front of others.

5) Don’t hint at the format of a password.

6) Don’t reveal a password on questionnaires or security forms.

7) Don’t share a password with family members.

8) Don’t reveal a password to co-workers while on vacation.

9) Don’t use the “remember password” feature of applications.

10) Don’t write passwords down and store them in your office or briefcase.

11) Don’t store passwords in a file on ANY computer system without encryption.

Chris Salese can be reached at chris@delsurmortgage.com or (707) 363-4439. He is a licensed California mortgage banker (NMLS 254469 /1850 CA BRE 01377933/01215943) and equal housing lender.

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