The Retracting Self-Certification Mortgage Market

Once upon a time self-employed workers found it nearly impossible to get a mortgage unless they had an enormous deposit and a large income from their business activities that spanned many years. Those times may be about to return as lenders are pulling their self-certification mortgage products from the market as if they are tailed beef.

Many years ago lenders had strict criteria regarding who they would lend money to and the circumstances under which home loans would be approved. Life was simpler then as the great majority of the work had steady employment, a salary or wage, and monthly payslips.

However, as time went by the work slowly evolved into a mix of employed and self-employed workers, business owners, investors, and freelancers. Although a large portion of the workforce remained employed, a significant proportion of those workers began to receive bonuses and commissions instead of a salary. This created uncertainty regarding their monthly imports. Additionally, many other workers became self-employed and others became proprietors of small businesses which provided their daily bread.

Finding a standard employee with a steady, provable and predictable salary was no longer easy. This meant that traditional mortgage products were no longer applicable to a large portion of the work so lenders were forced to invent a new type of home loan to ensure they could keep on lending.

Enter the self-certification mortgage. A product originally designed for self-employed workers who did not receive a pay slip from their boss each month. Instead these workers contracted out their services to business that would pay them by the hour, or they ran their own small businesses and billed their clients when their work was done. Many self-employed individuals who worked in this manner had high levels of income so it seemed ludicrous that they should be excluded from the mortgage market.

Self-certification mortgage products were before launched onto the mortgage market with the best intentions – to satisfy the needs of self-employed individuals who lenders believed could service the loans. Unfortunately, due to lax lending rules, self-certs were also approved to people with low incomes who simply lied on their application forms about how much they earned. In addition to this, many lenders reduced their required deposit levels, meaning that people with little or no savings could also apply for a self-certification mortgage.

Because of this, great sums of money were loaned to people who should not have been approved for a mortgage. Mortgage brokers and borrowers alike took advantage of the lethal combination of low deposit requirements and not having to prove earnings to the lenders. Self-certification mortgage products are now being vigorously blamed for much of the damage that has occurred via the global credit crunch. As a result lenders have rolled hundred of self-cert products from the market and are refusing to lend to anyone on a first-time-buyer basis.

For existing home owners looking to remortgage, lenders have reverted to the stricter criteria that were attached to self-certification mortgages in the first place. These include low loan-to-value ratios and proof that applicants are really self-employed. Perhaps the lenders had it right in the beginning.

Former funeral director sentenced for false services claims

Former funeral director sentenced for false services claims
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. –  A former West Virginia funeral director who filed false insurance claims for services for clients who were still alive has been sentenced to a year and a month in federal prison.
Sixty-one-year-old Joel L. McGuire of Alderson was sentenced Tuesday for wire fraud in federal court in Bluefield.
McGuire was the director of Broyles-McGuire Funeral Home in Union in Monroe County. Prosecutors say he sold insurance policies to pay for clients’ funerals upon their death. In 2012, McGuire submitted an insurance claim that he provided a funeral that cost more than $3,300 even though the client was still alive.
Prosecutors say the insurer reimbursed McGuire for the claim. He also admitted receiving more than $50,000 for other false claims for clients who had not died.
McGuire was ordered to pay full restitution.
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How A Mortgage Broker Works, And Should You Have One Working For You?

You may have heard of a mortgage broker, but have very little idea if what a mortgage agent does or if you will ever need one. Many people think a mortgage dealer is the same as the loan officer at their financial institution, but specializes in mortgages. But that is large a mistake.

A loan officer is an individual working exclusively for one bank or lender, while a broker can be a single person or a company acts as a go-between for a mortgage lender and a buyer by providing them with an avenue to conduct their business.

Almost all states require that a agent have a license, but the licensing standards vary from state to state. Being licensed as a broker in one state, therefore, does not necessarily qualify someone to function in the surrounding ones, and he or she will have to take the steps to become licensed according to their regulations before working as a agency in them.

The Lender's Mortgage Broker

A mortgage agency will be to serve as the marketer for either a buyer or a lender. If hired by the lender, the broker will both market the lender's mortgage services, and research the financial qualifications of potential borrowers. Working as a mortgage dealer may entailing looking into both the credit histories and income streams of those seeking mortgages, and to verify their incomes, collect their financial data, interview them, and physically visit their homes or workplaces.

After collecting all the information and completing the background investigation of a potential borrower, the interest dealer will submit the data to the lender for that he or she is acting and include a recommendation as to the borrower's creditworthiness. The bank or lending institution will assess the agency input, and include it in their final determination of whether or not to offer a mortgage. The recommendation of a mortgage merchant will be a big factor in the lender's final decision.

The Buyer's Mortgage Broker

If you're a prospective home buyer and wondering if hiring a mortgage broker will help you get the best mortgage terms, just be aware that a refinance broker will not really be working for you and in most states is not acting as a fiduciary to protect your financial interests. It's legal, in many states, for a refinance agent to recommend a higher interest loan than the borrower unnecessarily needs to accept, so that the broker can pocket the difference. And if the mortgage agency can persuade the borrowers to accept a penalty for paying their mortgage early, they will get a bonus from the lender.

So as a borrower, your best bet is to work directly with your lenders, shop around, and then use the lowest rate you are quoted as a basis for negotiations.

Life Insurance – Different Things To Note If You Want Lower Rates

A person's lifestyle and habits have huge effects on his or her life insurance rates. In spite of these you can still pay less for life insurance if you are aware of a few things you should avoid.

Most of us know that we will save in life insurance if we lose weight and / or stop smoking. What most of us do not realize is how much we'll save if take such steps. You can lower your rates by as much as 50% if you reapply after quitting smoking for at least twelve months.

Smokers pay twice as much with most insurance companies. So you can see that if you add the savings you'll get for the right weight, you'll even save much more. A 50% rebate is quite possible if an overweight gets into the right shape for them.

Although it's good to take convenient options, do you know by what factor they raise you life insurance premium?

For example, although it's more convenient to pay monthly it costs you a lot more? Some insurers have fees that are as high as 20% of the annual premium if policyholders opt for monthly payments. You've got to determine if the cost of the convenience is justified.

Just check with your agent to see if the difference is a compromise you're okay with. If the compromise is worth it, then go for it. But if it's not, you can save such amounts and pay yearly.

How do you check?

Get and compare quotes. Furthermore, you can take this to the next level for more savings if you get and compare quotes from at least three sites that return life insurance quotes for your state.

When to Lock or to Float Your Mortgage

For most people, especially borrowers, the ruling factor over locking or floating on a rate is the length of closing. This mainly has to do with the inconsistency of today's rates. For the past several months, rates have been historically low and fluctuations have been slight. There are those weeks, however, where rates have spiked and created hesitation and concern for many borrowers.

There are several different factors to consider when taking into consideration when to lock and when to float.

Lock and Load

Banks can be quite apprehensive when it comes to clients deciding to lock interest rates. It is because the rate upon application would not necessarily apply in time for closing. Banks usually offer higher interest rates and / or higher applicable fees in anticipation of the inconsistencies and instability of the rates. And the borrowers are likely the ones to suffer.

Floating By and By

Asking the rates to float can work for borrowers, as they would not suffer to be locked in a specified interest rate when it goes down in the market. However, if the interest rates rise then clients also have to deal with paying off more than would have had they locked into a rate arrangement.

The Guessing Game

Predicting how the rates will change in the next few days, weeks, months, and years is like playing a guessing game. The best rule of thumb is to talk to a mortgage specialist when rates are at a good point. They can advise you on how to get the best rate for your current mortgage situation and help take out some of the guessing work of the market.

Your Best Option

A lot of people will tell you the best option for a guaranteed low rate is to lock in when the closing is a few days or weeks away from the application. The general idea is to lock interest rates if the closing is up to two months or 60 days, since locking an interest rate works well for a short period.

However, if the closing is past 60 days, it is usually better to your float interest rate. When interest rates do fall, borrowers can enjoy the benefit of being handcuff-free from a specified interest rate and hope it will keep that way or keep falling until the closing period.

How to Get Cheap Life Insurance Online in Virginia

Some individuals just do not think ahead and by the time they realize that they need a life insurance policy, they are already suffering with a serious illness. It can seem impossible at that point to find affordable life insurance but that's just not the case. With all the cheap life insurance that can be purchased online in Virginia, residents here have several different viable options.

Virginia insurance companies are permitted to sell a type of life insurance that is referred to as all risk. This really means that the consumer takes all the risk. People interested in this type of insurance can gather quotes online from some of the insurance companies that offer it. It should be noted that even though they will have a policy in place, if they die within a specified time period which may be up to two years, the beneficiary they named will not get anything.

Another point to keep in mind when looking for cheap life insurance online in Virginia is how frequently each insurance company you get a quote from, wants to be paid. Most people like the idea of ​​spreading their payments out over the course of a year, but that can actually result in a higher overall premium. If their quote is based on a twice yearly payment, try and adapt to that to save yourself some money. You can even save a little each month in a separate bank account so that when the payment does come due you'll be prepared.

There's another hidden cost that comes with the convenience of paying more frequently and that's service charges. Although this can seem minimal if they are just a few dollars a month, when you add that up over the course of a year, it's quite a bit of wasted money. Most insurance companies will note the frequency of payments that they prefer on their website during the quote process.

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When To Get Car Insurance?

It's important that you have a car insurance policy before you actually drive the vehicle in question. It's illegal to drive a car on UK roads without a relevant policy for it. This applies wherever you are simply driving a car from one house to another or going for a long journey on a motorway – you must have a car insurance policy to be within the law.

It's even illegal to drive the car from the point of purchase to your home if you do not have a policy in place. This may seem strange as some people might be worried about buying a car insurance policy for a vehicle they have not yet sealed a deal for. The way around this is to get someone who has fully comprehensive cover allowing them to drive other vehicles to drive the car back to your home address for you. Alternatively, whoever it is you are buying the car from may allow you to put down a deposit, a proportion of the final sale price, to secure the car while you go away and sort a cover policy before driving it away and paying the full amount .

The main point is that there are no exceptions when it comes to the law, you must have a relevant policy in place before you drive a car on public roads. The police take a dim view of those who are caught. You can end up in court and face penal points on your license plus a fine. Persistent offenders may end up with a driving ban, and those who routinely break the law can even find themselves going to prison.

Although many people are still tempted and fail to get a policy, current technology means it is easier for officers to catch offenders. Something called automatic number plate recognition or ANPR technology means the police can simply use a camera to record the registration numbers of passing vehicles and compare them immediately to a database to see if they have a policy on them. Any questionable vehicles flagged up by the system will probably find themselves immediately dropped over.

Car insurance is also still needed if you are a learner driver, and you will need something in place before you take to the roads with your L plates and qualified driver in the passenger seat. Many people use a relative's or friend's car and are put on its insurance policy as a 'named driver' before taking to the wheel. Cutting corners is not advised and remember when you do get a car policy, cover comes in different levels – third party only is the minimum legal requirement.

To recap, here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • You need a policy before driving a car on UK public roads.
  • Insurance needs to be in place before you take to the wheel, whatever your reason for driving that car.
  • Learner drivers also need to be covered when driving on public roads.
  • Penalties for driving without a policy can include points on your license and heavy fines.

Why Full Coverage Auto Insurance is Important

If you have a little time to kill, take a look at the local trial docket of your township, city, or county court. You will discover that there are thousands of drivers in your district that have no auto insurance. What does this mean to you? It means that basic auto insurance is not enough to cover you if you are involved in an accident. There is a very big chance that if you get hit, the other party will not have auto insurance coverage. The cost to repair your vehicle will fall on your shoulders. If you have only basic auto insurance, this means you will have to pay for repairs out of pocket. To fully protect yourself you need uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage. You do not get these insurance add-ons with the lowest level of liability insurance.

You are justified in thinking that the roads are not safe. In the United States, more than a million accidents each year are caused by people without auto insurance. In America, responsible drivers get full coverage insurance for their automobiles. There are substantial risks involved when driving and responsible drivers want to be protected against those risks.

Full coverage insurance also protects you whenever you are the person at fault. If you are the at-fault party in a vehicle accident, full coverage auto insurance pays for your damages and the damages done to other parties. If you have only liability coverage, damage done to others will be paid, but you will be personally liable for damages made to your own car.

Full coverage insurance provides complete protection. If you hit a telephone pole, no problem. You pay the deductible and the insurance company pays the rest. If your car is stolen, no problem. You are covered. An important insurance add-on to full coverage is uninsured and under-insured motorist. These insurance add-ons more fully protect you. If you are hit by an at-fault driver and they have no vehicle insurance, you are covered. If you are hit by an at-fault driver and they do not have enough insurance coverage to pay for damages, you are covered.

One of the best parts of full coverage vehicle insurance is the peace of mind it provides. If you are involved in an accident, sometimes your rental car is free. You do not have to be concerned about things being stolen from your car; your insurance covers that too. Some insurance policies will also cover you in the event of vehicular crime. For example, if you are involved in a drunk driving accident your insurance company may provide legal representation.

Always fully review the terms and conditions of your vehicle insurance policy. Know what is and is not covered. Policies vary greatly between companies and between jurisdictions. For superior protection and peace of mind, always get a full coverage insurance policy. You will be protected against all major risks, and that is what insurance is all about.