Foreclosure Data Equity Title

Hello –
I’m bringing you some News You Should Know: Foreclosure Data through the end of March 2013Click on the link to take you to the chart that supports the narrative and/or watch the video explanation.
Share this info with your Buyers! Use it at Open Houses! Print, Post, Save and Email this information! Everyone wants to know about Real Estate and what is happening in our Market! Be the knowledgeable source…and when you get a contract, use Equity Title Biltmore!
Here is the Take Away:
Default Properties: The status of a property currently within the Foreclosure process after the Bank records a Notice of Trustee Sale due to lack of borrower making payments for at least 90 days. Properties remain in this status until there is a recorded Trustee Sale or Cancellation of Trustee Sale.
  • At the end of March 2013, there were 9,194 Active Default Residential Properties. This is down from the previous month when there were 9,750Active Default Residential Properties.  FYI: The All-Time high was in December of 2009 when there were 47,606 Active Default Residential Properties.

Foreclosures: When the Bank either sells the property at the Trustee Sale (Auction) or takes the property back via Trustee’s Deed.

  • Foreclosures hit an All-Time, one-month high in March 2010 with 5,451. InMarch 2013, there were 901 Foreclosures. This was down by 79 units fromFebruary.

REO Properties: Properties that the bank owns due to lack of sale at the Trustee Sale (Auction).

  • At the end of March 2013, there were 4,597 Residential REO Properties – vs. the previous month when there were 4,713. This is down by 116 REO units – from last month! In March 2012, there were 7,408 REO Properties – so we are down by 38% from then. There are approximately 933 REO Properties listed in the MLS, with an additional 1,470 REO Properties that are in UCB and Pending Status in the MLS. This means that there are approximately 2,194 REO Properties that are Foreclosed on, but have not yet been listed in the MLS.


  • Short Sales currently represent approximately 14% of the total sales for Maricopa County
  • REO Sales currently represent approximately 11% of the total sales for Maricopa County
  • Normal Sales now represent 75% of the total sales – the highest point in the last 5 years!


  • Valleywide, prices have increased by 46% since the market low in August 2011.
  • Properties that were previously underwater, may no longer be!

Thanks to Equity Title Sarah Moran


Arizona Property Tax Calculation Change

If you own property in Arizona please check your property valuation statement when comes out towards the end of February or early March. If the value is higher than you think it should be ask me or another Realtor for a Comparative Market Analysis or have the property appraised and consider challenging the value.  You may not need to challenge the value, it may not be worth your time and trouble to challenge it, but you should check just in case.

Remember Prop. 117? It was advertised, incorrectly, as keeping your taxes low. It does cause  property taxes to be calculated differently: makes the calculation simpler, uses only the limited property value (LPV) for the calculation of the primary and secondary taxes instead of both LPV and the full cash value (FCV), and limits the increase in value of LPV to 5% per year or FCV whichever is lower, however it can very quickly make your property taxes higher.  Since the FCV serves as an upper limit on the amount the taxes can be calculated against you’ll want to be sure that value is as low as practical.

Prop 117 takes effect in 2015 and you need to challenge the valuation of your property THIS YEAR for it to be in effect for the 2015 calculation of tax (FCV and LPV for 2014 was set this January and will be mailed out later this month).  If you don’t get your tax valuation statement in the mail early March then go online at  to find it.  You only have 60 days after the statement is issued to challenge it.  Not getting the statement is not an excuse.  They don’t care.  The time to challenge is within 60 days of the statement being ISSUED.  If you miss the deadline you’re done.

Let me know if you have any questions or would like contact information for resources to assist with the process of challenging your property valuation.  In general you can challenge the valuation yourself but there are people who can assist if you don’t have the time to do it yourself and the difference in value is great enough that it’s worthwhile to hire someone to do it for you.


Oh, By the Way…If you know someone interested in buying or selling who would appreciate this level of service please give me a call with their name and number of have them give me a call.  I’ll take great care of them.

New Laws Concerning HOA (Homeowners Association)

New Law Regarding HOA Fees

Effective December 31, 2011


    Under this new law HOAs may charge a homeowner no more than $400.00 as a fee for preparing documents related to the disclosures an HOA must deliver during the sale of a home.  Additionally, the HOA may not collect this fee earlier than the close of escrow and may only charge the fee once to a homeowner for a transaction.  A.R.S.§ 33-1260 (C, D); A.R.S.§ 33-1806 (C, D); SB1149.


There has been some confusion regarding whether this new law applies to transfer fees charged by an HOA on the sale of a home. Transfer fees can be thousands of dollars, and are frequently a percentage of the sales price of the home.  Transfer fees are authorized by A.R.S.§ 33-442, which does not impose a limit on transfer fees.


The new law only specifically limits fees for HOA disclosure documents.  Therefore, there is still no limitation on the amount of transfer fees.

By:  Christopher A. Combs, Esq. ( Combs Law Group)

No Seasoning on Cash Out Refi’s

No Seasoning on cash out refinances after cash purchase

Borrowers who purchased the subject property within the past six months are eligible for a cash-out refinance if all of the following requirements are met:

The new loan amount is not more than the actual documented amount of the borrower’s initial investment in purchasing the property, plus the financing of closing costs, prepaid fees, and points (subject to the maximum LTV, CLTV, and HCLTV ratios for the transaction).

The purchase transaction was an arms-length transaction.

The purchase transaction is documented by the HUD-1, which confirms that no mortgage financing was used to obtain the subject property.

The source of funds for the purchase transaction can be documented (bank statements, personal loan documents, HELOC on another property). Any loans used as the source for the purchase transaction will be required to be repaid on the new HUD-1.

All other cash-out refinance eligibility requirements are met and cash-out pricing is applied.

Note: The preliminary title search must not reflect any existing liens on the subject property. If the source of funds to acquire the property was an unsecured loan or HELOC (secured by another property), the new HUD-1 must reflect that source being paid off with the proceeds of the new refinance transaction
Taken from:

Mortgage Insurance…When Can I Stop Paying?!

Mortgage insurance is a policy that protects lenders against losses that result from defaults on home mortgages. FHA requirements include mortgage insurance primarily for borrowers making a down payment of less than 20 percent.

New FHA Annual Mortgage Insurance Premium
President Obama signed a bill in August of 2010 giving HUD the flexibility to increase Annual Mortgage Insurance Premiums. According to Mortgagee Letter 11-10, the increase in Annual Mortgage Insurance Premiums will be effective for all case numbers dated on or after April 18th 2011.

HUD is implementing a 25 basis point increase in the annual premium for terms of greater than 15 years and equal to or less than 15 years. On loans with greater than 15 year terms, the new amount depends on the down payment. If the down payment is equal to or greater than 5%, the new Annual Premium is 110 basis points (bps). If the down payment is less than 5%, the new Annual Premium is 115 basis points (bps).

On loans equal to or less than 15 year terms, the new amount depends on the down payment. If the down payment is equal to or greater than 10%, there will not be any MIP charged. If the down payment is less than 10%, the new Annual Premium is 50 basis points (bps).

Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium
Effective for loans on or after October 4th, 2010, for FHA regular purchases and refinance products, the Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium is 1.00%, which decreased from 1.5%. This amount remains unchanged.

FHA’s monthly mortgage insurance payments will be automatically terminated when these conditions occur:

  • For mortgages with terms 15 years and less and with Loan to Value ratios 90 percent and greater, annual premiums will be canceled when the Loan to Value ratio reaches 78 percent regardless of the amount of time the mortgagor has paid the premiums.
  • For mortgages with terms more than 15 years, the annual mortgage insurance premiums will be canceled when the Loan to Value ratio reaches 78 percent, provided the mortgagor has paid the annual premium for at least 5 years.
  • Mortgages with terms 15 years and less and with loan to value ratios of 89.99 percent and less will not be charged annual mortgage insurance premiums



New HARP Program/Refinance

Eligibility criteria for HARP Phase II loans are as follows: 
  • The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae;
  • The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009;
  • The mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009;
  • The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%;
  • The borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance, with no late payment in the past six months and no more than one late payment in the past 12 months.
    Info taken from the Briggs and Lang Team (Cobalt Mortgage)

97% Conforming Loans Are Back

Are you looking for an alternative to FHA loans? 



97% Conforming loans may be your answer.  Below are the requirements;

  • Must be Owner Occupied
  • Purchase loans
  • Fixed Rates Only
  • No Upfront Mortgage insurance premium
  • Mortgage Insurance approval required
  • 720 middle score required
  • Arizona Declining market is Ok



 Loan Humor



New Underwriting Guidelines effective 12/1/2011 

* All Borrowers’ Birth Certificate will be required with Pictures taken in the hospital with medical staff. Birth certificate with a live home delivery will not be eligible for first time home buyers.

* Marriage certificate with bridal dress will be required if both husband and wife are required to qualify for the loan

* GFE will not require signature but will require blood sampling from a recognized institution within three days of application

* DNA test will be performed at closing to avoid any ARM length transaction. Loan funding will be contingent upon satisfactory receipt of DNA results.

* Verification of deposit will be acceptable only if Bank representative is present at the closing.

* Copy of Pay stubs and W2 will only be acceptable through IRS only with a wax sealed envelope mailed directly to the lender.

* 7 Witnesses from neighborhood will be required as proof of primary residence in case Borrower owns more than 1 property.

* All appraisers will be required to use Mask and ear plugs at the time of inspection to avoid any personal influence by the Borrower for the appraised value.

* In order to correctly calculate DTI and true house running ratio a list of Grocery items, monthly usage and brand names will be required with receipts and projected 12 months consumption chart.

* Closing will not occur without loan officer presence at settlement and Loan officer picture will be taken at the closing in a Mug shot format with loan number. Picture should meet standard guideline of 2 X 2 inch in color format with one facing and one side view.

* Loan officer picture will be attached to the Deed and note and will be made available for general public and security agencies in case Borrower defaults on the loan.



Wes Lueseck…LO