Mortgage expert David Reed invites Walletpop readers to ask him questions about real estate financing. leave your questions in the comment section of this post.
I got a couple of emails this past week from potential clients who had different situations they were needing help with but they both made frequent use of "quotation marks." It's not that quotation marks are some odd punctuation, it's not, but it's always the "use" of quotation marks in an email that can give me pause.
The first email was from a real estate agent who was moving to Austin from California and she was referred to me as someone who might help in her "situation." She was in real estate but also taught piano on the side.
She wrote, "David, I'm in real estate and moving to Austin. I do well in real estate and have actually been involved in a few Austin deals this past year. I do know however, that I will require a "stated" income loan." When she put quotation marks around the word "stated" I had a hunch what was up.
I called her and we spoke and she told me she wasn't sure if she had reported all of her piano teaching income on her tax returns. If she hadn't, she said, she would have to go "stated," meaning a loan program that doesn't verify income but merely uses what is put on the application. I told her "stated" loans were no longer available and that was pretty much that.
Another email came in just a couple of days later, saying "We're about to close on a house and needed more money to close so my sister is giving me a "gift" to help us out." (quotation marks, his) I called and again my hunch was right, the "gift" wasn't a gift at all but a short term loan to be paid back. I told him I didn't have a program that allowed gift money to be paid back, it had to be a gift, period.
When someone sends an email and conveniently places quotation marks around "the problem" it's an automatic, "wink, wink, know what I mean" thing. Lenders don't do "wink, winks" any longer. Those that did are out of business.
Real estate finance expert David Reed is president of CD REED Mortgage Bankers in Austin, TX and author of Mortgage Confidential: What You Need to Know That Your Lender Won't Tell You and Mortgages 101: Quick Answers to over 250 Critical Questions About Your Home Loan.