Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or looking to refinance your existing mortgage, Fortune will ensure that your home loan experience is clear and simple. We bring you big-bank service, with a small-bank feel.
We offer the following mortgage plans:
- Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
- Veterans Affairs (VA)
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Home Affordable Refinance Program
- Jumbo loans
- Portfolio Financing
Glossary of Terms
Owner's title insurance provides protection to the homeowner if someone sues and says they have a claim against the home from before the homeowner purchased it.
When you purchase your home, you receive a document most often called a deed, which shows the seller transferred their legal ownership, or title to their home, to you. Title insurance can protect you if someone later sues and says they have a claim against the home from before you purchased it. Common claims come from a previous owner's failure to pay taxes or from contractors who say they were not paid for work done on the home before you purchased it.
Most lenders require you to purchase a lenders title insurance policy, which protects the amount they lend. You may want to buy an owner's title insurance policy, which can help protect your financial investment in the home.
You can usually shop for your title insurance provider separately from your mortgage. If you shop for title insurance, you may be able to save money. If you choose to buy owners title insurance, the total cost will usually be lower if you use the same provider for both the lender's policy and the owner's policy, compared to buying them separately.
Depending on the state where you are buying your home, your title insurance company may give you an itemized list of fees at closing, which may be different than what is shown on your Loan Estimate or Closing Disclosure. This does not necessarily mean you are being charged more.
Lenders title insurance protects your lender against problems with the title to your property such as someone with a legal claim against the home. Lenders title insurance only protects the lender against problems with the title. To protect yourself, you may want to purchase owner's title insurance.
Lenders title insurance is usually required to get a mortgage loan. Lenders title insurance protects your lender against problems with the title to your property for example if someone sues to say they have a claim against the home. Lenders title insurance does not protect your investment in the home (your equity). If someone sues with a claim against your home, you are the first person responsible. The lender's title insurance policy only covers claims that affect the lender's loan. To protect your equity in the event of a title problem, you may want to purchase an owner's title insurance policy.
Homeowners insurance pays for losses and damage to your property if something unexpected happens, like a fire or burglary. Standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover damage from earthquakes or floods, but it may be possible to add this coverage. Homeowner's insurance is also sometimes referred to as "hazard insurance."
Many homeowners pay for their homeowner's insurance through an escrow account as part of their monthly mortgage payment. You make the payments to the lender, and the lender holds the part of the payment that is for insurance in an escrow account. Then, when the bill for the insurance is due, the lender pays it from the escrow account.
The cost of your homeowner's insurance, as well as any similar insurance to protect the property, is listed on page one of your Loan Estimate, in the Projected Payments section. However, it's usually a good idea to do your own research about how much homeowners insurance costs. You can shop separately for homeowners' insurance and choose the provider and plan that is right for you.
When you have a mortgage, your lender wants to make sure your property is protected by insurance. That's why lenders generally require proof that you have homeowners' insurance. If you don't have insurance, your lender is allowed to buy it for you and charge you for it but your lender must give you advance notice. If your lender buys insurance on your home because you did not keep up your homeowner's insurance, that insurance may only cover the lender, and not you. It also may be more expensive than what you could buy on your own.
Homeowners insurance protects your property. Homeowners' insurance is not the same as mortgage insurance.
An appraisal is a written document that shows an opinion of how much a property is worth. The appraisal gives you useful information about the property. It describes what makes it valuable and may show how it compares to other properties in the neighborhood. An appraisal helps assure you and your lender that the value of the property is based on facts, not just the seller's opinion.
When you borrow money to buy or refinance a home, your lender may need to get a new appraisal and may require you to pay for it. Your lender may also use other ways to check the value of the home. For a typical home loan (that is, a loan secured by a first mortgage on your residential real estate), you are entitled to receive a copy of appraisals and opinions of value your lender gets. You should receive them soon after they are delivered to the lender in complete form no later than three days before closing.
You can't be charged a fee for copies of an appraisal or other valuation. But you can be charged a reasonable fee for the lender's cost of preparing the appraisal or other valuation.
The HUD-1 Settlement Statement is a document that lists all charges and credits to the buyer and to the seller in a real estate settlement, or all the charges in a mortgage refinance.
You can send a QWR to request information about the servicing of your mortgage loan or to assert that the company has made an error. Make sure your QWR explains in detail what information you want, or why you think the account is in error.
When you send your servicer a qualified written request, make sure to send it to the correct address. It may be a different address than where you send your payments.
Your servicer must generally confirm it received your letter within five business days and respond with an answer within 30 business days.
The closing is the last step in buying and financing a home. The "closing, also called settlement, is when you and all the other parties in a mortgage loan transaction sign the necessary documents.
After signing these documents, you become responsible for the mortgage loan. Familiarize yourself with some of the key documents you will be signing so that you know what to look for when you get them.
If you're purchasing a home with a loan, the closing of your loan (the time when your loan becomes final and the funds are distributed) and the closing of your home purchase (when you become the owner of your new home) typically happen at the same time. Once the closing is complete, you are legally required to repay the mortgage.
Your closing may include some or all of these entities:
- Your real estate agent or realtor
- Your title insurance company
- An escrow company
- Your attorney (if you come from a state where attorneys conduct closings, or if you hire legal representation for your closing)
- The seller's attorney
- Your lender may or may not attend
Depending on what state you live in, all the parties may sit around a table and sign all the documents at once. Or the closing could take several weeks as the signatures of each party are collected separately. Some companies allow you to electronically sign documents, either in advance of closing or at the closing table. A closing may even be conducted by mail or even on the internet.
Regardless of who performs the closing or where it occurs, there will be many important documents that you'll need to sign that will have lasting financial implications on your life.
Each year Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), set a maximum amount for loans that they will buy from lenders. In general, the loan limits are $417,000, although they go as high as $625,500 in some high-cost parts of the continental United States and Puerto Rico, and higher still in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Mortgage loans are allowed to exceed these loan limits. Larger loans are called jumbo mortgages. The cost of obtaining a jumbo mortgage is generally higher than the cost of obtaining other loans. For this reason, they are often higher-priced mortgage loans.
A conventional loan is any mortgage loan that is not insured or guaranteed by the government (such as under Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, or Department of Agriculture loan programs).
Conventional loans can be conforming or non-conforming.