With more than 38 years of experience dealing with banks and lenders in the mortgage industry, John Monkman says that homeowners who retain a lawyer tend to have an easier time securing mortgages than those who try to go it alone. Monkman is a tax lawyer in Palm Springs and the owner of Monkman Law, and it is his job to help clients with financing their home purchases.
In current market, financing the purchase of a new home or property is no longer a simple process. What was once as easy as visiting a lender and asking for a loan has now turned into a multi-step process that even experienced homebuyers are having difficulty navigating. That is why I recommend hiring an attorney to help sort through the confusion.
With financial markets have changed quickly, different standards are being used for mortgage seekers every month. Although it is still possible to get a mortgage, even in today’s economy, I also advise people to expect that the process of getting approved for a loan is probably going to take more time than it may have in years past.
The lending market is not great right now for someone who doesn’t have a FICO score that is in the 700-range. A person’s FICO (which stands for Fair Isaac Corporation) score is important when trying to get approved for a loan because many lenders are no longer willing to work with borrowers whose scores are not up to snuff. Nonetheless, as a tax lawyer in Palm Springs, I have worked with many clients who were able to get approved for mortgages even without having FICO scores in the 700+ range.
What Monkman Law Helps
At Monkman Law, my first step in getting a client with a lower-than-average FICO score approved for a mortgage is to take a look at his tax returns. If the client doesn’t have tax returns-possibly because he failed to do his taxes for one or more years-then I will recreate those returns using all the deductions and credits the client qualifies for, and submit those amended returns to the IRS.
In addition, I employ a full-time real estate manager who has a license to work with both loans and sales. Not only that, but he is also a general contractor as well. We will frequently work together to find ways to help certain clients get financing for new home purchases by discussing our clients’ cases with well-known banks and lenders who might be willing to loan money to somewhat risky individuals.
Recently, I began helping out a well-known client who works in the film industry. This client was forced to give up his mansion during a split with his wife, but now he is ready to buy another property. Because the lending market has tightened up significantly, though, he has come to my office for advice and help with finding a lender willing to cover his jumbo mortgage.
While these types of large mortgages are common in exclusive areas like the Pacific Palisades, they also happen to be harder to obtain since lenders would rather not take such large risks. In these cases, though, getting a client approved for a large mortgage is always easier when he has a high FICO score up in the 700 range. By coming to Monkman Law for help, this film industry executive was able to release himself from the stress of finding a mortgage.
As a tax lawyer in Palm Springs, I will handle as much of the mortgage process as possible for my clients, including finding a lender, getting the client pre-approved for the loan, and closing the deal when possible. Many clients prefer to get pre-approved for home loans before they even start looking at properties, since there is no sense in a person entering into escrow on a property if he won’t be able to close the deal by securing a loan.
I am currently working on getting my client pre-approved for a large loan. So I am dealing with a person in Woodland Hills, California, who I know is very savvy when it comes to working with borrowers with high FICO scores. And together, we can get these clients pre-approved. On the other hand, in the cases where clients have little to no hope of securing low interest mortgages, I will let them know right away rather than string them along. If I can’t help them, then I want them to know before they get upset.
This article is for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this article as a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances, and you should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. Publication of this article and your receipt of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship.