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News Release

FHFA Announces Maximum Conforming Loan Limits for 2019

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Baseline Limit Will Increase to $484,350


Washington, D.C. – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2019.  In most of the U.S., the 2019 maximum conforming loan limit for one-unit properties will be $484,350, an increase from $453,100 in 2018. 

Baseline limit

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) requires that the baseline conforming loan limit be adjusted each year for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reflect the change in the average U.S. home price.  Earlier today, FHFA published its third quarter 2018 House Price Index (HPI) report, which includes estimates for the increase in the average U.S. home value over the last four quarters.  According to FHFA's seasonally adjusted, expanded-data HPI, house prices increased 6.9 percent, on average, between the third quarters of 2017 and 2018.  Therefore, the baseline maximum conforming loan limit in 2019 will increase by the same percentage. 

Posted by Dennis ODonoghue on November 27th, 2018 3:51 PM

New FHA Mortgage Limits Listed Below

Revised December 1, 2017












Posted by Dennis ODonoghue on February 13th, 2018 3:00 PM


Fannie Mae HomeStyle®

The Fannie Mae HomeStyle program, enables borrowers to either purchase or refinance their home while including rehabilitation costs in the same loan. This program offers the borrower the ability to finance the cost of a rehab project ranging from a simple remodel through structural improvements and upgrades including luxury items.

  • Up to 95% LTVof After Improved Value
  • Credit score as low as 620
  • Owner occupied 1-4 units, condos, SFR, PUDs, second homes and investment property
  • No minimum repair amount
  • Use for improvements to out-dated homes, structural deficiencies, additions and expansions. Upgrade bathrooms, kitchens and outdoor living space; including built-in outdoor kitchens, BBQs, fireplaces and swimming pools.
  • A HUD Consultant or Licensed Construction Inspector are required for inspections and can help the project run smoothly.
  • Improvements must be permanently affixed to the real property and add value to the property

Forum Mortgage Bancorp offers a variety of simple, affordable financing options designed to meet the needs of our clients.  Forum's nationwide resources, local knowledge, personal attention and service are the hallmarks of our business. Call us today and we'll help you take your business to the next level.

Programs neither originate from nor are expressly endorsed by any government entity.

Call me to get started today.



Thank you for your continued partnership.

Dennis O'Donoghue

Sr. Mortgage Consultant

Posted by Dennis ODonoghue on August 31st, 2017 12:21 PM



Re: Investment Property Purchase Loan:  


¨      We offer “Low” Down-Payment Options for the Purchase of a Single-Unit Investment Property……


Possible to Finance 85% Loan to Value for the purchase of Investment Purchase…..


Possible to use Potential Rental Income to help Qualify for the Loan……



General Description


Investment Property-Purchase Program





Min Credit Score

Loan Approval



620 or Per MI

Per MI & Automated Underwriting




Lower Credit Scores allowed, but evaluated on a case by case basis (per Fannie/Freddie).


This is a Conventional Loan Program for Non-Owner Occupied/Investment Single Unit Dwellings:

·         Condos are allowed

·         Town Homes allowed

·         Single Family detached allowed

·         Minimum FICO SCORE is 620 or what is required per MI Companies,


General requirements for this program require good credit, but lower scores and compensating factors will be considered. Loan amounts in excess of 80% of the property value must qualify for mortgage insurance, (MI). 


Please contact me if you have any additional questions






Posted by Dennis ODonoghue on May 4th, 2016 4:18 PM

Call & Ask How to Renovate Your Home

5235 N. Latrobe

September 2015

5235 N. Latrobe

April  2016

Photo of 5235 North Latrobe Avenue CHICAGO, IL 60630

You are Invited to Come to my Seminar on Renovation Loans



Learn About Renovation Loans

Purchase Homes in Need of Repairs or

Renovate/Improve Current Home



v  We will discuss  FHA 203k & HomeStyle Loan Programs

v  All are welcome to attend a Free Seminar about Renovation Loans

v  Realtors, Home-Owners, Contractors & 1st-Time Home-Buyers  

v  These loans can be used for purchase or refinance transactions



Wednesday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Chicago Public Library

Austin-Irving Branch

6100 W. Irving Park Rd, Chicago  



Thursday, April 28 at 6:00 p.m.

Chicago Public Library

 Roden Branch

6083 N. Northwest Hwy, Chicago



Dennis O’Donoghue

Sr. Loan Officer

Forum Mortgage Bancorp



Ph: 773-774-9040 x 121

Direct: 773-499-6364




Posted by Dennis ODonoghue on April 14th, 2016 4:34 PM

Forum Mortgage Bancorp Offers Full & Streamline 203(k) Loans

What improvements are eligible under the New Streamlined (K) Program?

The Streamlined (k) program is intended to facilitate uncomplicated rehabilitation and/or improvements to a home for which plans, consultants, engineers and/or architects are not  required. The Streamlined (k) program includes the discretionary improvements and/or repairs shown below:


  • Repair/Replacement of roofs, gutters and downspouts
  • Repair/Replacement/upgrade of existing HVAC systems
  • Repair/Replacement/upgrade of plumbing and electrical systems
  • Repair/Replacement of flooring
  • Minor remodeling, such as kitchens, which does not involve structural repairs
  • Painting, both exterior and interior
  • Weatherization, including storm windows and doors, insulation, weather stripping, etc.
  • Purchase and installation of appliances, including free-standing ranges, refrigerators, washers/dryers, dishwashers and microwave ovens
  • Accessibility improvements  for persons with disabilities
  • Lead-based paint stabilization or abatement of lead-based paint hazards
  • Repair/replace/add exterior  decks, patios, porches
  • Basement finishing and remodeling, which does not involve structural repairs
  • Basement waterproofing
  • Window and door replacements and exterior wall re-siding
  • Septic system and/or well repair or replacement

What are the minimum and maximum amounts for repair costs under this program?


Given the need for homeowners to make minor repairs without exhausting personal savings, and in consideration of the increasing cost of materials, the minimum repair cost of $5,000 is eliminated and the ceiling is now raised to $35,000. This revised maximum repair/rehabilitation amount recognizes the cost of making older homes more energy efficient. Note that as described below, when the repairs exceed $15,000, the mortgagee must perform or obtain an inspection to determine that all listed repairs were completed.


Posted by Dennis ODonoghue on March 21st, 2016 11:50 AM




Economic News

Week Ending February 27, 2016

Consumer & Realtor Corner

This news is designed to assist you by providing information that will be helpful to your existing and previous clients as well as other industry related contacts.  Feel free to forward this to your database, post on blogs, websites and more.

Home Prices Still Rising, But Still Affordable

Home prices may have been on the rise the last few years, but homes are still more affordable now than they were in the pre-bubble years, according to the latest Mortgage Monitor Report released by Black Knight Financial Services. Households are using 21 percent of the national median income to pay a home loan on a median-priced home. In 2000-2002, the average payment-to-income ratio was 26 percent, and in 2006, it was 33 percent.

However, Black Knight’s report warns that if home prices continue to increase – as they have year-over-year for 43 consecutive months – the affordability picture in home ownership could start to change in two years. Black Knight factored in a continuing 5.5 percent annual home price appreciation as well as interest rate rises of 50 basis points a year. Under that scenario, “we see that in two years home affordability will be pushing the upper bounds of that pre-bubble average,” says Ben Graboske, senior vice president at Black Knight Data and Analytics.

Source: Black Knight Financial Services

Note: The answer to rising home prices and rents? Buy now as a home provides inflation protection!

Some are enjoying the sale

While many are not too happy about the stock market retrenching and others who work in the energy industry are suffering through a retrenching, much of America is enjoying the sale going on right now. What is on sale? Gasoline and home loans. If these gas prices hold, we would expect a very busy summer vacation season and this should boost the economy. The American Automobile Association has indicated that the price of gas is now averaging over $1.00 per gallon less than the highs hit in 2015.

Lower than expected rates on home loans are fueling an increase in refinancing by homeowners. In mid-February, the share of applications for home loans which were refinances hit over 60% of the total market. Refinancing also puts more cash in consumers' pockets. With the spring real estate season about to start, it remains to be seen whether low rates will also boost home sales. We will add our own speculation.

We believe that if the economy continues to produce jobs near the same rate it did in 2015, and if rates stay low, this could be a banner year for real estate. The only issue holding back real estate sales is the lack of inventory. We expect builders to ramp up to meet the demand produced. The bottom line is that owning is cheaper than renting in most areas of the country and the sale on home loans has made homeownership even more affordable.

The Markets

  • Rates on home loans were unchanged last week, holding close to 2015 lows.
  • Freddie Mac announced that, for the week ending February 18, 30-year fixed rates remained unchanged at 3.65%.
  • The average for 15-year loans also remained unchanged at 2.95%.
  • The average for five-year adjustables increased slightly to 2.85%. A year ago, 30-year fixed rates were at 3.76%, slightly below today's levels.
  • Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac -- "After another week of financial market oscillations driven by rumors of potential limits on oil production, the 10-year Treasury yield edged up 5 basis points, and the 30-year fixed rate on home loans remained unchanged at 3.65 percent. Despite this week's uptick in Treasury yields, the 10-year is still 54 basis points lower than it stood at the end of 2015, while the 30-year fixed rate has dropped only 36 basis points over the same period."

Note: As of January 1, Freddie Mac is no longer providing survey data for 1-year adjustables. 

Rates indicated do not include fees and points and are provided for evidence of trends only.  They should not be used for comparison purposes.


Real Estate News

Breaking News 

The number of households headed by someone 50 or older has grown the fastest as the overall population ages, but the number of younger households has also been increasing in recent years—albeit as renter households. According to the new report "Failure to Launch: The Outlook for Household Formation & Home Ownership," published by The Demand Institute, 31 percent of Millennials were living with their parents in 2015, up from 27 percent in the early 2000s. While young adults are staying with parents for longer, they eventually move out and form new households, especially once they reach their 30’s. “Young adults do want to purchase homes, eventually, but they are staying in school longer and getting married later in life,” said Jeremy Burbank, a vice president at The Demand Institute who leads the American communities research program. “Incomes have been improving for millennials, but they are still earning less than young adults did in 2000 after we adjust for inflation. Higher home prices are making it more difficult for many to become homeowners.” A period of sustained rental demand will have important implications for the U.S. economy, just like the boom in homeownership did in the early 2000s, according to the new report, while the rental market and multifamily construction will continue to experience strong growth as single-family home construction remains well-below historical levels. The implications also extend beyond the housing sector. “Renter household spending has grown more than four times faster than owner household spending since 2006 in the U.S.," added Burbank. "We have found that in many categories renters spend money differently and have different needs than homeowners, and we project that renters are a significant and growing market opportunity for consumer-facing companies. Source: National Mortgage Professional

The homeownership rate in the U.S. rose for a second straight quarter as job growth and loosening credit put an end to almost two years of steady declines. The share of Americans who own their homes was 63.8 percent in the fourth quarter, up from 63.7 percent in the previous three months, the Census Bureau reported. The increase followed one in the third quarter after a string of declines that started in late 2013. Buoyed by the improving U.S. employment rate, renters are jumping back into homeownership. Sales of existing homes jumped 14.7 percent, the most on record, in December, with first-time buyers accounting for 32 percent of purchases, matching the highest share since August, according to the National Association of Realtors. “The homeownership rate has found a floor,” Matthew Pointon, U.S. property economist for Capital Economics Ltd., said in a phone interview. “We expect it to rise very gradually over the next few years.” The rate, while up from a 48-year low in the second quarter, remains below the peak of 69.2 percent reached in June 2004. Source: Bloomberg Business

Originators have reason for optimism this year, according to one economist who is forecasting strong business prospects. “2016 will be a very strong year for purchases even if rates rise; if they do rise, it won’t be significant,” Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American Mortgage Solutions, told Mortgage Professional America. “Economists have been forecasting rate increases over the last 2-3 years and it hasn’t happened; even with the Fed recently raising its rate, rates on home loans have actually gone down.” Recently released stats support Fleming’s forecast. Applications are up year-over-year and that’s an important indicator of just how strong the market currently is, according to Fleming. That’s good news considering he believes refinance business will dwindle this year. “I do expect refi rates to go down; if rates go up, refinances will drop,” Fleming said. However, he argues increased rates won’t have the same impact on purchases. Source: Mortgage Professional America


Contact Me Today:



Dennis O’Donoghue
Senior Loan Officer
Direct: (773) 499-6364
Office: (773) 774-9040
Fax: (773)453-3880




Articles and commentary are provided for general information only and should not be relied on as legal or financial advice. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Forum Mortgage Bancorp.


Posted by Dennis ODonoghue on February 23rd, 2016 11:42 AM



As Rates Have Come Down, 

Refinance Activity Is Up!


See How Much $$

We can Save You…


Great Rates <> Low Fees



Dennis O’Donoghue Direct 773-499-6364.

Sr. Loan Officer

7221 W. Touhy Avenue

Chicago IL 60631

Office: 773-774-9040 x 121


Exceptional Services Indeed…



Posted in:Low Fees
Posted by Dennis ODonoghue on February 12th, 2016 12:57 PM
A Reverse Mortgage ....

11:16 pm Dawn Swinson


A Reverse Mortgage is a loan for senior homeowners that  is secured by the equity in their primary residence . The loan generally does not have to be repaid until the last surviving homeowner permanently moves out of the property or passes away. At that time, the estate has approximately 6 months to repay the balance of the reverse mortgage or sell the home to pay off the balance. Any remaining equity is inherited by the estate. The estate is not personally liable if the home sells for less than the balance of the Reverse Mortgage.


Bottom of Form

Eligibility for a Reverse Mortgage

To be eligible for a HECM Reverse Mortgage, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requires that all borrowers be at least age 62. The home must be owned free and clear or all existing liens must be satisfied with proceeds from the reverse mortgage. If there is an existing mortgage balance, it can be paid off completely with the proceeds of the reverse mortgage loan at closing. Generally there are no  credit score requirements for a reverse mortgage.

Outliving the Reverse Mortgage

Generally speaking, a reverse mortgage loan cannot be outlived and will not become due, as long as at least one homeowner lives in the home as their primary residence, continues to pay required property taxes and homeowners insurance and maintains the home in accordance with FHA requirements.

Estate Inheritance

In the event of death or in the event that the home ceases to be the primary residence for more than 12 months, the homeowner’s estate can choose to repay the reverse mortgage loan or put the home up for sale.

If the equity in the home is higher than the balance of the loan when the home is sold to repay the loan, the remaining equity belongs to the estate.

If the sale of the home is not enough to pay off the reverse mortgage, the lender must take a loss and request reimbursement from the FHA. No other assets are affected by a reverse mortgage. For example, investments, second homes, cars, and other valuable possessions cannot be taken from the estate to pay off the reverse mortgage.

Loan Limits

The amount that is available generally depends on four factors: age (older is better), current interest rate, appraised value of the home and government imposed lending limits. Use the calculator to estimate how much you could be eligible for.

Distribution of Money from a Reverse Mortgage

There are several ways to receive the proceeds from a reverse mortgage.

  • Lump sum – a lump sum of cash at closing.

  • Tenure – equal monthly payments as long as the homeowner lives in the home.

  • Term – equal monthly payments for a fixed number of years.

  • Line of Credit – draw any amount at any time until the line of credit is exhausted.

  • Any combination of those listed above

    Difference Between a Reverse Mortgage and a Home Equity Loan

    Generally a home equity loan, a second mortgage, or a home equity line of credit (HELOC) have strict requirements for income and creditworthiness. Also, with other traditional loans the homeowner must still make monthly payments to repay the loans. A reverse mortgage generally has no  credit score requirements and instead of making monthly mortgage payments, the homeowner receives cash from the lender.

    With a reverse mortgage the amount that can be borrowed is determined by an FHA formula that considers age, the current interest rate, and the appraised value of the home. Typically, the more valuable the home,  the higher the loan amount will be, subject to lending limits.

    To summarize the key differences, with traditional loans the homeowner is still required to make monthly payments, but with a reverse mortgage the loan is typically not due as long as the homeowner lives in the home as their primary residence and continues to meet all loan obligations. With a reverse mortgage no monthly mortgage payments are required; however, the homeowner is still responsible for property taxes, insurance, and maintenance.


Posted by Dennis ODonoghue on February 11th, 2016 1:05 PM

 Our Stated Income Program, (SIVA) is designed for Well Qualified Borrowers with Minimum Net Worth of $750,000. (We do Verify Assets)


This Loan Program is designed for Self-Employed Borrowers who want to avoid more complicated loans which require full income verification. This program is limited Owner-Occupied Properties Only.   


This is a Jumbo Loan Program with a Minimum loan amount of $417,001 and can range as high as $2 million dollars. SFR & PUD's only are allowed.


Based on Borrower's Verified Liquidity, We will Request Personal Bank Statements to Support the Amount of Stated Income.



Posted by Dennis ODonoghue on February 3rd, 2016 2:36 PM

Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)

Here to Help!

The Home Affordable Refinance Program or HARP can, and has been, a real life saver for many homeowners who wish to take advantage of today's low interest rates. What makes this program special is it's meant specifically for borrowers who are upside down, or close to it, as far as the value of their home versus what they owe. In other words, if a borrower is literally underwater equity-wise on their conventional, i.e.: FannieMae or FreddieMac mortgage, they may be eligible to refinance without paying down any principal on their mortgage.

What is a HARP? There has been a lot of talk about “the rolling out of the HARP” in the press, but it's actually been around since 2009. It has many names, the Making Home Affordable Plan, The Obama Refi Plan, DU Refi Plus and Freddie Relief Refi. There are some fairly strict eligibility requirements, the major one being that your current loan must already be backed by FannieMae or FreddieMac, and it must have been bought by Fannie or Freddie prior to June 1, 2009. If your current mortgage is an FHA, USDA, VA or a jumbo, you are not qualified for this particular program. However, don't feel left out. All of those loans have their own particular streamline refinance programs that could be a benefit to you, too.

To find out if a loan is backed by Fannie Mae, look under http://loanlookup.

 "Fannie Mae Loan Look-Up or Freddie Mac Loan Look-Up"

Forum Mortgage Bancorp participates in the HARP Program  Borrowers are encouraged to contact us to determine eligibility.

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 HARP. This program is designed to help you get a more affordable, more stable mortgage. HARP refinance loans require a loan application and underwriting process, and refinance fees will apply.

Posted by Dennis ODonoghue on September 15th, 2015 1:07 PM

Advantages for Military Homebuyers

The VA Loan has many advantages that make it one of the most appealing paths to homeownership — and this great benefit is reserved exclusively to those who bravely served our country and select military spouses.

When combined, the benefits of the VA mortgage allow service members and Veterans to take advantage of substantial cost savings under qualification requirements designed specifically for members of the military and their unique needs.

The VA Loan has many advantages that make it one of the most appealing paths to homeownership — and this great benefit is reserved exclusively to those who bravely served our country and select military spouses.

  • Lower Payments
  • Zero Down-Payment
  • Easier to Qualify
  • Great for First-Time Buyers

As a Veteran, you’re also eligible to take advantage of current low interest rates by streamlining your existing VA loan.... Let us lower your Interest Rate

Don't Waste Your VA Loan Benefits. Call Us to Take Advantage of Them!

At the core of our business philosophy is a commitment to extraordinary service, honesty, and clear communication. Our team is comprised of highly seasoned professionals who share in FORUM MORTGAGE BANCORP’S  Lending's objective to revolutionize our partners' expectations. Let’s do business…………

Please Call with Any Additional Questions on this Great Loan Program

Dennis O’Donoghue

Direct: 773-499-6364

Posted in:VA LOANS and tagged: VA BUYER
Posted by Dennis ODonoghue on September 15th, 2015 12:44 PM



Posted by Dennis ODonoghue on September 15th, 2015 12:11 PM

Everyone is talking about…………


Freddie Mac Home Possible Mortgage ® & Home Possible Advantage SM


Below are a Few Highlights for the Home Possible Advantage 97% Program.


** Designed for….First-Time Home Buyers, Repeat Buyers & Low to Moderate Income Borrowers

Flexible Terms: Low Down Payments & Flexible Source of Funds.

  • Purchase or Rate& Term Refinance
  • Up to 97%  Loan to Value
  • Fixed Rate & 30-Year Term
  • 1 Unit Primary Residence
  • Low Mortgage Insurance Cost
  • Borrowers may not own any other properties to qualify for this program but don’t have to be first time homebuyers
  • Borrowers’ own funds not required for 1-unit properties
  • No reserves required, lowering cash needed to close
  • Income Limitations Apply... Call with Questions

Homeownership education course required for first time home buyers only.


Please Call with Any Additional Questions on this Great Loan Program

Dennis O’Donoghue

Direct: 773-499-6364


Posted by Dennis ODonoghue on September 15th, 2015 12:09 PM



Top Reasons to Choose Forum Mortgage Bancorp



• Jumbo Fixed Terms & ARMs (Primary Residence)

- $750,000 to 90 LTV/ 90%CLTV
- $1,000,000 to 80% LTV / 90% CLTV
- $1,500,000 to 70% LTV / 90% CLTV
- $2,000,000 to 65% LTV / 90% CLTV

PURCHASE: one loan up to 90% LTV ($750,000 max loan amount)
• No add to rate for loan amounts up to $2,000,000
• First time homebuyers up to 90% LTV
• On LTVs 85% or less all of down payment can come from gift funds.

• Personal Vacation Homes up to $1,000,000
(70% LTV = $1,000,000 / 75% LTV = $650,000).
• 3-4 unit owner occupied program up to 75% LTV (max loan $650,000 )

• Investment properties available up to 75% LTV (max loan $650,000 )

• Construction to Permanent Refinance up to 90% LTV
• Previous Bankruptcy/Foreclosure Allowed if over seven years
• 2-unit property to 90% LTV
• 30 year fixed rate available on Jumbo

Dennis O’Donoghue


Posted by Dennis ODonoghue on July 19th, 2012 1:36 PM

Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)

Frequently Asked Questions about HARP

HARP is the Refinancing Solution You Need

HARP has been expanded to help more homeowners qualify for refinancing their mortgage—

even those with little or no equity available. With HARP you could take advantage of low interest rates and other refinancing benefits even if the value of your home has declined and you owe more than your home is worth. The questions and answers below will help you better understand how this program can help you.

Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)

What is HARP?

HARP stands for the Home Affordable Refinance Program. It was introduced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Department of the Treasury in early 2009 as part of the Obama Administration’s Making Home AffordableÔ program. HARP provides eligible homeowners, who may not otherwise qualify for refinancing because of declining home values, the ability to refinance their mortgage into a lower interest rate and/or more stable mortgage product. The program was enhanced in 2011 to assist more eligible borrowers who could benefit from refinancing their home mortgage.

What does it mean to “refinance” my mortgage?

When you refinance your mortgage, you are applying for a new mortgage, which replaces your current home loan.

What enhancements were made to HARP that may make me eligible now?

There were several changes to HARP, but the primary enhancement removed the limit on the amount that homeowners could be “underwater” (owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth). With that change, many homeowners who were not eligible will now qualify.

Is HARP the only refinance program available?

HARP is one of several refinancing options available to eligible homeowners. But HARP is unique—it’s

the primary refinance program that enables eligible borrowers with little to no equity in their homes to take advantage of low interest rates and other refinancing benefits.

Making Home Affordable is a trademark of the United States Department of the Treasury.

How can I find out whether my loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?

Only mortgages owned or guaranteed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are eligible for refinance under the enhanced and expanded provisions of HARP. You can confirm that your mortgage is owned by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac by checking the following Web sites:



What if I have an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM)?

HARP allows you to replace your adjustable-rate mortgage and many homeowners opt for a more stable fixed-rate mortgage. Every adjustable-rate mortgage is different, but refinancing may still provide you with a lower monthly payment, and allow you to avoid the sometimes large payment increase that comes once your ARM initial rate ends. The stability of a fixed monthly payment will give you security in knowing what you’ll owe every month.

How does the HARP refinance process work?

Call us today at 773-499-6364. One of our mortgage professionals will help you understand how refinancing could benefit you. If you agree that HARP is right for you, we’ll help you through every step of the process.

Where can I learn more?

There is plenty of information about HARP on the Internet, but we recommend visiting, which is the official website of the Administration’s initiative that helps homeowners get mortgage relief through a variety of programs. You may also visit our website at

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have adopted changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and you may be eligible to take advantage of these changes. If your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you may be eligible to refinance your mortgage under the enhanced and expanded provisions of HARP. You can determine whether your mortgage is owned by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac by checking the following Web sites: or

Posted in:General
Posted by Dennis ODonoghue on May 24th, 2012 12:41 PM

A Reverse Mortgage is a loan against the equity you have built up in your home that you do not have to pay back for as long as you live there.

Homeowners who are at least 62 years of age and have paid off their mortgages or have small balances left to pay are eligible.

In Illinois Reverse Mortgages are allowed under the Illinois Banking Act that defines a home that you live in, along with the attached property, as a “homestead” (if you own and live in your own residence you may be eligible for a general homestead exemption under the Property Tax Code).

The home that you own and live in must be a single-family dwelling or a two-to-four unit property to be eligible for a Reverse Mortgage. Stand alone houses, townhouses, condominiums (if FHA-approved) and some manufactured homes are eligible. The home has to meet HUD minimum property standards and be in reasonable condition; in some cases, limited repairs to the property can be made after the closing of a Reverse Mortgage.

With a Reverse Mortgage, you can get cash from your home’s equity without having to move or repaying the loan each month. Lenders receive the loan principal, plus interest, when the home is sold. Money remaining from the sale after the lender is paid goes to the homeowner or his or her survivors. If the sale of the home doesn’t result in enough money to pay off the loan, HUD will make up the shortage to the lender through an insurance program all borrows must participate in.

There are several ways you can get the cash from a Reverse Mortgage:

  • A Single Lump Sum Of Cash;
  • On A Monthly Basis For A Fixed Length of Time as Long as You Own Your Home;
  • As A Line of Credit That Lets You Decide When And How Much Of Your Available Cash Is Paid To You;
  • Or Any Combination Of The Three Payment Methods Listed Above.

No matter how this loan is paid out to you, the loan typically doesn’t have to be paid back until you die, sell your home, or permanently move out of your home.

The amount you can borrow depends on your age, the interest rate, and the value of your home. For example, at an interest rate of 9% (which is higher than most of today’s current rates) a 65-year-old person could borrow up to 26% of their home’s value, a 75 year old could borrow up to 39%, and an 85 year old up to 56% of their home’s value.

For more information on Reverse Mortgages you may wish to contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation at: 1-217-785-2900, or any of the following websites and phone numbers:

Posted in:General
Posted by Dennis ODonoghue on October 8th, 2008 2:14 PM