I’ve lost my job and I can’t pay my mortgage.

 How am I going to pay that Mortgage

The documents have been signed, the moving van is fueled and ready to go, and our borrowers are mere hours from moving into their new home in Sacramento. They are first time homebuyers and the excitement in their eyes is undeniable. Then comes the call from our funding department; “we can’t approve this loan because your borrower is no longer employed”. What? You are mistaken; he is an engineer and has been with his company for over 10 years? This can’t be right? “I am sorry, his job was terminated today”.

As a mortgage loan originator in California, this is something I am becoming very familiar with. The Los Angeles Times noted last week the California jobless rate climbed to 12.5% in December (up from 12.4%) and is among the nations highest. To add salt to the already deepening wound, economist expect more job cuts as Gov. Jerry Brown tries to close our $28 billion budget deficit. Even gloomier yet is the prediction by the Business Forecasting Center at the University of Pacific, stating our unemployment rate will stay above 10 percent for three more years. Continue reading

Money: The Marriage Killer

One reason money is such a conflict in marriage is because “money” and all the behaviors attached to it, has different meaning to different people. And when this difference on money matters arise, many of us revert to bad habits – don’t talk about it and hope it will go away.
Well, we are already a few weeks into January and it’s time to get your financial house in order – a News Year’s resolution to add to your list. But this time, I want you to sit down with your significant other and talk money no matter how much you hate it. Continue reading

What’s hiding in your Tax Man’s Closet?

Can I trust my Tax preparer?

It is that special time of year already! As our W2’s and 1099’s come trickling in, we are reminded to start organizing our 2010 paperwork because March and April are right around the corner. Over the years, I have had my share of tax horror stories and all of them were predicated on bad tax advice. I won’t go into the gory details, but suffice to say, I learned that taxes are not meant to be taken lightly.

The IRS estimates that the average taxpayer needs over 20 hours to do his or tax return, or longer if they are filing a Schedule C for business or a Schedule E for real estate. I am busy enough with work, rowing, more work, and watching American Idol that I choose to have a professional take care of my taxes. Continue reading

Why don’t I have the best rate?

Is this the best rate?

Is this the best rate?

Without fail, the number one question I get from first time callers looking to refinance or purchase a new home is “what’s your rate?” I used to stumble a bit when asked this question because there is so much involved in getting an accurate interest rate and one that can’t be solved in a 30 second conversation. I wish it were that easy people.

After years of experience, now I don’t even hesitate with my answer – I now respond with “What rate do you want? This tactic usually serves to disarm them a bit and allow me to go into more detail regarding the components that go into an interest rate.  Continue reading