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Lenders and servicers are required to follow the standard set forth in the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and applicable state law. RESPA and some states set limits on the amount that can be collected by the lender or servicer to pay for escrow items, such as property taxes and insurance, and place a cap on the amount of the reserve. Reserves are funds that a servicer may require a borrower to pay into an escrow account to cover unanticipated disbursements which will need to be made before the borrower's payment is available in the escrow account. There are limits on the additional amounts that can be collected as reserve.
You could say that, because all mortgages rates fall into one of these two categories - that is, the interest rate you pay is either the same (fixed) for the life of the mortgage, or it can change (adjust) over the life of the mortgage. But within these two broad categories, there are many different kinds of mortgages, designed to fit people in different financial situations, and many of them are especially for first-time homebuyers.
Typically, after closing your mortgage loan, you will have the option of enrolling in an automatic mortgage payment program. The service is free and easy to set up. You may be asked to provide an authorization form with a voided check or saving account slip attached to set up the draft. The payment is typically debited on a pre-set day each month.
Yes, however, it is very easy to complete an application online.
Yes, a Mortgagee's Title Insurance Policy or Title Guaranty will be required for all mortgage transactions; Purchase and Refinance.
Rates are determined by the secondary market and other financial indicators. These rates can change daily or even more than once within the same day. The changes are based on many different economic indicators in the financial markets. Check today's rates.
The Homeowner's Protection Act of 1998 allows borrowers whose loans originated after July 29, 1999, to request cancellation of PMI at 80% loan to value based on amortization or actual payments if the borrower has a good payment history, if the borrower provides evidence the property value has not decreased, and certifies that there are no subordinate liens on the property. Lenders are required to terminate borrower paid PMI at 78% LTV based on the amortization schedule if the loan is current. If none of the above is done, PMI will terminate automatically at the midpoint of the loan term.
For loans originated prior to July 29, 1999, PMI guidelines will vary from lender to lender and can change at any time. Some investors will not allow the cancellation of PMI. Typically, PMI is required on your loan for a minimum of 24 consecutive payments absent any law to the contrary. After that time, if you have 20% or more equity in you property and meet certain other conditions, you may request to have it removed. Typically, there is no guarantee that your PMI will be removed, and most loan investors will require a new appraisal at your expense prior to removing PMI.
This depends on the type of ARM you choose. Every Bank of the West ARM has a "cap," or maximum percentage by which the interest rate can increase or decrease in any one adjustment period. And every ARM has a lifetime cap as well.
For example, if you choose a 3-year ARM, your interest rate cannot increase or decrease by more than 2.00% in the initial adjustment period, or by more than 2.00% in any one year adjustment period. And over the lifetime of the loan, your rate cannot go up more than 6.00% over the original rate. Example: If the beginning rate is 4.50%, the maximum over the life of the loan would be 10.50%.
Many homebuyers are worried about this issue. In fact, your credit report is often an essential part of the loan decision process. Maintain a good credit report by always paying your debts on time. If there are any discrepancies, you will be required to explain and possibly document.
How often the loan rate changes to reflect adjustments in the financial index depends on the type of ARM you choose. For example, a 3-year ARM rate is fixed for three years and may change annually thereafter; and the rate may go up or down.
Private mortgage insurance makes it possible for you to obtain a mortgage with little to no down payment. Such mortgages are increasingly in demand in today's home market because potential homeowners, especially first-time homebuyers, are not able to accumulate the 20% down payment that would be required without insurance. Veterans or those on active military service can obtain loans with no down payment at all.
Even when you have an excellent credit record and the capability to meet mortgage payments, lenders may require private mortgage insurance as a matter of policy for any loan with a down payment of less than 20%.
Gifts can be used to meet the cash requirements to close when the donor is a family member. Gifts must be verified by a letter specifying that no repayment is expected. Generally, when applying for a conforming conventional loan, you must contribute at least 5% of the down payment from your own resources. With FHA financing, the entire down payment may be from gift funds. With VA financing, the total amount that is needed to pay the down payment and closing costs may come from a gift source.
Purchasing real estate requires expenditures you may not be familiar with, especially if you are a first-time buyer. There are origination fees, discount points, appraisal fees, credit report fees, surveys and title insurance costs. The federal government has tried to make it easy for you to compare one lender to another. The Federal Regulation Z requires lenders to disclose the APR (or Annual Percentage Rate) on loans prior to, at the time of, or not later than three days after the application. APR is the cost of your credit expressed as a yearly rate. It takes into account the interest rate, discount points, loan origination fee and certain other costs. Since all lenders are required to use the same guidelines in determining APR, this is a good basis for comparing the cost of various loan programs and lenders. When you shop for a loan, you will soon find that lenders offer many with varying terms.
The information listed on the Borrower's Loan Checklist may be required for your loan application. Use it as your guide for gathering the information required to apply for a mortgage loan.
For most homeowners, the monthly payments include three separate parts: a payment on the principal of the loan (that is the amount borrowed); a payment on the interest; and payments into a special account (called an escrow account) that your lender maintains to pay for things like your hazard insurance and property taxes. These elements are called PITI (Principal-Interest-Taxes-Insurance).
Bank of the West will require a one-year paid receipt for the homeowner's insurance policy for at least the replacement value of the property securing the loan at closing.
An escrow account may be established at the time you close your mortgage loan. This account is held by the lender for the future payments of recurring items relating to the mortgaged property, such as real estate taxes and insurance premiums, as they become due. Lenders usually require you to pay an initial amount for each of those items to start the reserve account at the time of closing.
Private Mortgage Insurance is a type of guaranty that helps protect lenders against a loss due to foreclosure. This insurance protection is provided by private mortgage insurance companies. It allows lenders to accept lower down payments than you would normally be allowed. In effect, it substitutes for the borrower's equity that would be available to cover a lender's losses in the unfortunate event of foreclosure.
The APR (annual percentage rate) reflects the cost of your mortgage loan as a yearly rate. It also incorporates the cost to obtain the loan, such as: discount fees, loan origination fee, prepaid interest, and mortgage insurance, if required. The APR allows you to compare, in addition to the interest rate, the total cost of financing your loan, among various lenders. The interest rate is the actual note rate.
f you are concerned that interest rates may rise during the time your loan is being processed, you can "lock in" the current rate for a fixed number of days. When you "lock in" to an interest rate, you are guaranteed that rate for the agreed upon length of time. If you choose to "float", your interest rate will fluctuate with the market and will be subject to both upward and downward trends in the market. The benefit to floating a rate is if interest rates were to decrease you would have the option of locking into a lower rate.
Typically, on a primary residence, the minimum that you need to put down to eliminate PMI is 20%.
Title insurance provides the lender, and the buyer (if you purchase owner's coverage), with coverage for losses resulting from specific title defects listed in the policy. In cases where land and property have changed hands over time, there is always the possibility an error has occurred. If an error has occurred, it's possible that someone else may be in title to or have an interest in the property. It's also possible that improvements encroach on property lines or that other similar problems may exist. In these scenarios, if you do not have title insurance you could lose your investment in your home. Lenders require "lender's coverage" to protect their investment and it only protects the lender. Owner's coverage is optional and provides separate coverage for the borrower.
Yes, typically there is a fee charged at application to cover the cost of review and evaluation and a credit report.
Condominiums are already under HARP and, under the enhanced program, condominiums that originally met Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac requirements remain eligible.
No. The Home Affordable Refinance will not return cash to you for the purpose of paying other debts.
No. You must be current on your mortgage with no 60-day mortgage late payments in the past 12 months.
Unfortunately, if your loan is not a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan, it is ineligible for HARP. However, you may still be eligible for a non-HARP refinance.
HARP is only one of several refinancing options possibly available to homeowners and is unique in that it is the only refinance program that enables borrowers with little to no equity in their homes to take advantage of low interest rates and other refinancing benefits.
Call 800-563-1852 to speak with a Mortgage Banker about your options or check rates.
No. There is a series of criteria. Having your mortgage held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac is just a pre-qualifier.
The first step is to learn if your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac by visiting http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/ or www.freddiemac.com/mymortgage. If you determine that your loan is owned or guaranteed by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, speak with a Bank of the West Mortgage Banker to determine your options and apply
If you're not behind on your mortgage payments but have been unable to get traditional refinancing because the value of your home has declined, you may be eligible to refinance through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). HARP is designed to help qualifying borrowers get a new, more affordable, more stable mortgage. HARP refinance loans require a loan application and underwriting process, and refinance fees will apply.
No. The objective of a refinance under HARP is to help homeowners get into more stable or more affordable loans. Refinancing will not reduce the principal amount you owe to the first lien mortgage holder or any other debt you owe.
If your existing loan has private mortgage insurance, you will need the same amount of insurance coverage for a refinance under HARP. If your existing loan does not have private mortgage insurance, it will not be required as part of a refinance under HARP.
The objective of a refinance under HARP is to provide creditworthy homeowners who have shown a commitment to their current obligation to refinance into a new mortgage at current rates.
Homeowners whose mortgage interest rates are much higher than the current market rate should see an immediate reduction in their payments. Homeowners who are paying interest only, who have a low introductory rate that will increase in the future, or who face a balloon payment may not see their current payment go down if they refinance to a fixed rate and payment. These homeowners, however, could save a great deal of money by reducing the amount of interest paid over the life of the loan.
Refinancing into a more stable fixed-rate loan product and avoiding future mortgage payment increases would likely improve your ability to sustain your mortgage payments over the long-term. When you submit a loan application, your Mortgage Banker will give you a "Good Faith Estimate" and a "Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement" that includes your new interest rate, estimated mortgage payment, and the amount that you will pay over the life of the loan. Compare this to your current loan terms. If it is not an improvement, a refinancing may not be right for you.
- Bank of the West Online Banking customers can schedule payments from their accounts to pay their mortgage. Go to the Account Overview page and click "Pay Now" beside your Mortgage Loan. By clicking on this link you will be able to set up transfer payments from your other Bank of the West accounts. The frequency can be set to pay just once or make it a recurring transaction. If you elect to pay just once, you will be charged a service fee of $15.00.
- Bank of the West Online Banking customers can schedule payments from another institution to pay their mortgage. To schedule, click on the Payment Options tab above. Bank of the West charges a $15.00 fee for using the One-Time Payment method. Your depository institution may charge other fees, as well.
- EasyPay Online. To schedule, click on the following link: EasyPay Online. If you elect this service, you will be charged a service fee of $15.00.
- EasyPay by phone (Interactive Voice Response (IVR)) call 1(877) 348-2729. If you elect this service, you will be charged a service fee of $15.00.
- PhonePay with a Counselor by calling 1(800) 545-8180 or (402) 551-2301. If you elect this service, you will be charged a service fee of $15.00.
By clicking on the EasyPay Online link above, you will be leaving the Bank of the West website.
If you already have Bank of the West Online Banking you can add your Mortgage.
- Log in to your Online Banking account
- Click on "Message Center"
- Click on "Send a message"
- From the "Subject" menu select "Add an Account"
- In the body of the message let us know what account you would like to see online
- Your Mortgage will be added to your "Account Summary" page.
If you do not have Online Banking, go here to sign up. If you have a Bank of the West checking and debit card, you can start using online banking today. If you do not have a Bank of the West checking and debit card, you must complete the online enrollment form and we will send you a confirmation email to notify you that your enrollment request has been approved.
When entering your name in the fields provided, you must enter your name exactly as it appears on your account. Please provide us with your social security number. An email address is mandatory for enrollment. You are responsible for entering your complete and correct email address.
Click here for additional questions for Online Banking.
If financial hardships are making your home mortgage payments difficult to afford, let us help you. Please contact us immediately, don’t wait until after you’ve missed a payment. The sooner you contact us, the more options we may have available to help you avoid foreclosure, if you qualify. We’re Here to Help.
If you think there has been an error in the servicing of your account or if you would like to request information about your account, please write to us at one of the following:
Bank of the West
P.O. Box 3492
Omaha, NE 68103-3492
Home Equity Loan or
Home Equity Line of Credit
Bank of the West
P.O. Box 2078
Omaha, NE 68103-2078
In your letter, please provide the following information:
Account Information: Your name and loan number. You may also include the property address.
- Description of Problem: If you believe there is an error in your account, describe what you believe is wrong and why it is a mistake.
- Description of Information Requested: If you would like to receive information about your account, describe what information you are requesting.
You must send us written notices of errors and requests for information at one of the addresses listed above. Notices and requests sent to other addresses may not be responded to in a timely manner.