In my last blog, I wrote about the wise use of professional specialists. This article contains a cautionary tale which shows how bringing in the professional specialist early on can prevent considerable problems later.
The article was written by Scott Evans, CCIM, CRMS of the Family Mortgage Team, LeaderOne Financial Corporation, Marietta, Ga. I have referred many couples going through divorce to Scott. Over the years he has earned his reputation as one of the top mortgage specialist working with divorcing couples, and has been able to help them get through some rough times.
The last several years – in both the real estate and lending industry – have been challenging to say the least.
Lending rules and guidelines change on a regular basis. This adds credence to a step we have always recommended to divorce professionals:Involve a mortgage specialist early on in the interview process.
Involving someone from the lending arena early on ensures that the couple’s housing needs can be fulfilled in any agreement that gets finalized. At LeaderOne, we have a housing/mortgage checklist that we recommend utilizing in the discovery phase of the process. This gets shared with the mortgage professional so we can be called upon as you work through the process of negotiating a settlement.
By not taking these steps, you run the risk of negotiating an agreement in which one or both of the clients are supposed to live up to certain obligations that they are not capable of doing, from a real estate loan perspective.
Here is a simple example:
- The husband works and the wife does not.
- Their agreement provides that child and spousal support be paid by the husband.
- The plan is for the husband to stay in the existing marital home and refinance the loan into his name only and the wife to go buy a house for herself and the kids.
The problem is that the husband is straddled with too much spousal support to qualify – and in order for the wife to qualify she will need to receive the child and spousal support for a minimum of 6 months in order to use that income to qualify, depending on the loan program. A truly double-edged sword.
Involving a mortgage professional early on can help you avoid these pitfalls, making for more referrals, and more importantly, a happy client.
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