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RULE §20.12Loan, Lien and Mortgage Requirements for Activities

(a) The fees to be paid by the Department or Borrower upfront or through the closing must be reasonable for the service rendered, in accordance with the typical fees paid in the market place for such activities and:

  (1) Fees charged by third party Mortgage lenders are limited to the greater of 2% of the Mortgage Loan amount or $3,500, including but not limited to origination, loan application, and/or underwriting fees, and

  (2) Fees paid to other parties that are supported by an invoice and/or reflected on the Closing Disclosure will not be included in the limit in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(b) A Loan made by a third-party lender in conjunction with Mortgage Loan from a federal source must be fixed-rate and may not include pre-payment penalties, balloon payments, negative amortization, or interest-only periods.

(c) Mortgage Loan Underwriting Requirements. The requirements in this subsection shall apply to all non-forgivable amortizing Mortgage Loans.

  (1) Debt-to-Income Ratio. The Household's total Debt-to-Income Ratio shall not exceed 45% of Qualifying Income (unless otherwise allowed or dictated by a participating lender providing a fixed rate Mortgage Loan that is insured or guaranteed by the federal government or a conventional Mortgage Loan that adheres to the guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.) A potential Borrower's spouse who does not apply for the Mortgage Loan will be required to execute the information disclosure form(s) and the deed of trust as a non-purchasing spouse. The non-purchasing spouse will not be required to execute the note. For credit underwriting purposes all debts and obligations of the primary potential Borrower(s) and the non-purchasing spouse will be considered in the potential Borrower's total Debt-to-Income Ratio.

  (2) Credit Qualifications.

    (A) The Department may utilize credit reports submitted by the Administrator that are not more than 90 days old as part of the Mortgage Loan Application or may obtain tri-merge credit reports on all potential Borrowers submitted to the Department for approval at the time of Mortgage Loan Application. In addition to the initial credit report, the Department may, at its discretion, obtain one or more additional credit reports before Mortgage Loan closing to ensure the potential Borrower still meets Program requirements. Acceptable outstanding debt means that all accounts are paid as agreed and are current.

    (B) Unacceptable Credit. Applicants meeting one or more of the following criteria will not be qualified to receive a single family Mortgage Program Loan from the Department:

      (i) A credit history reflecting payments on any open consumer, retail and/or installment account (e.g., auto loans, signature loans, payday loans, credit cards or any other type of retail and/or installment loan, with the exception of a medical account) which have been delinquent for more than 30 days on two or more occasions within the last 12 months and must be current for the six months immediately preceding the date of the Mortgage Loan Application;

      (ii) A foreclosure or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure or a potential Borrower in default on a mortgage at the time of the short sale any of which had occurred or been completed within the last 24 months prior to the date of Mortgage Loan Application;

      (iii) An outstanding Internal Revenue Service tax lien or any other outstanding tax liens where the potential Borrower has not entered into a satisfactory repayment arrangement and been current for at least 12 months prior to the date of Mortgage Loan Application;

      (iv) A court-created or court-affirmed obligation or judgment caused by nonpayment that is outstanding at the date of Mortgage Loan Application or any time prior to closing of the Mortgage Loan;

      (v) Any account (with the exception of a medical account that is delinquent or has been placed for collection) that has been placed for collection, profit and loss, charged off, or repossession within the last 24 months prior to the date of Mortgage Loan Application;

      (vi) Any reported delinquency on any government debt at the date of Mortgage Loan Application;

      (vii) A bankruptcy that has been filed within the past 24 months prior to the date of the Mortgage Loan; or

      (viii) Any reported child support payments in arrears unless the potential Borrower has evidence of having met satisfactory payment arrangements for at least 12 months prior to the date of the Mortgage Loan.

    (C) Mitigation for Unacceptable Credit. The following exceptions will be considered as mitigation to the unacceptable credit criteria in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph.

      (i) The potential Borrower is a Domestic Farm Laborer and receives a substantial portion of his/her income from the production or handling of agriculture or aquacultural products, and has demonstrated the ability and willingness to meet debt obligations as determined by the Department.

      (ii) The potential Borrower provides documentation to evidence that the outstanding delinquency or unpaid account has been paid or settled or the potential Borrower has entered into a satisfactory repayment arrangement or debt management plan and been current for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the date of Mortgage Loan.

      (iii) The potential Borrower submits to the Department a written explanation of the cause for the previous delinquency, which has since been brought current and is acceptable to the Executive Director or his or her designee.

      (iv) Any and all outstanding judgments must be released prior to closing of Mortgaged Loan.

      (v) If a potential Borrower is currently participating in a debt management plan, and the trustee or assignee provides a letter to the Department stating they are aware and agree with the potential borrower applying for a Mortgage Loan. If a potential Borrower filed a bankruptcy, the bankruptcy must have been discharged or dismissed more than 12 months prior to the date of Mortgage Loan Application and the potential Borrower has re-established good credit with at least one existing or new active consumer account or credit account that is in good standing with no delinquencies for at least 12 months prior to the date of Mortgage Loan Application.

      (vi) If a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy was filed, a potential Borrower must have satisfactorily made 12 consecutive payments and obtain court trustee's written approval to enter into Mortgage Loan.

    (D) Liabilities.

      (i) The potential Borrower's liabilities include all revolving charge accounts, real estate loans, alimony, child support, installment loans, and all other debts of a continuing nature with more than 10 monthly payments remaining. Debts for which the potential borrower is a co-signer will be included in the total monthly obligations. For payments with 10 or fewer monthly payments remaining, there shall be no late payments within the past 12 months or the debt will be included into the Debt-to-Income Ratio calculation. Payments on installment debts which are paid in full prior to the date of closing are not included for qualification purposes. Payments on all revolving debts, including credit cards, payday loans, lines of credit, unsecured loans, and installment loans that have been opened within three months of closing a prior account with the same lender will be included in the Debt-to-Income Ratio calculation, even if the potential Borrower intends to pay off the accounts, unless the account is paid in full and closed. Any revolving account with an outstanding balance but no specific minimum payment reflected on the credit report and no monthly statement showing the required monthly payment will include a payment amount calculated as the greater of 5% of the outstanding balance or $10.

      (ii) if a potential Borrower provides written evidence that a debt will be deferred at least 12 months from the date of closing, the debt will not be included in the Debt-to-Income Ratio calculation. Payments on any type of loan that have been deferred or have not yet commenced, including student loans and accounts in forbearance, will be calculated using .5% of the outstanding balance or monthly payment reported on the potential Borrower's credit report, whichever is less. Other types of loans with deferred payment will be calculated using the monthly payment shown on the potential Borrower's credit report. If the credit report does not include a monthly payment for the loan, the monthly payment shown in the loan agreement or payment statement will be utilized.

    (E) Equal Credit Opportunity Act. The Department and/or the Administrator on behalf of the Department will comply with all federal and state laws and regulations relating to the extension of credit, including the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) (15 U.S.C. 1691 et seq.) and its implementing regulation at 12 CFR Part 1002 (Regulation B) when qualifying potential Borrower(s) to receive a single family Mortgage Loan from the Department.

(d) The Department reserves the right to deny assistance in the event that the senior lien conditions are not to the satisfaction of the Department, as outlined in the Program Rules.

(e) Lien Position Requirements.

  (1) A Mortgage Loan made by the Department shall be secured by a first lien on the real property if the Department's Mortgage Loan is the largest Mortgage Loan secured by the real property; or

  (2) The Department may accept a Parity Lien position if the original principal amount of the leveraged Mortgage Loan is equal to or greater than the Department's Mortgage Loan; or

  (3) The Department may accept a subordinate lien position if the original principal amount of the leveraged Mortgage Loan is at least 55% of the combined repayable or amortized loans; however, liens related to other subsidized funds provided in the form of grants and non-amortizing Mortgage Loans, such as deferred payment or Forgivable Loans, must be subordinate to the Department's payable Mortgage Loan.

(f) Loan Terms. All Mortgage Loan terms must meet all of the following criteria:

  (1) May not exceed a term of 30 years;

  (2) May not be for a term of less than five years; and

  (3) Interest rate may be as low as 0% as provided in the Program Rules.

(g) Loan Assumption. A Mortgage Loan may be assumable if the Department determines the potential Borrower assuming the Mortgage Loan is eligible according to the underwriting criteria of this section and complies with all Program requirements in effect at the time of the assumption.

(h) Cash Assets. An Applicant with unrestricted cash assets in excess of $25,000 must use such excess funds towards the acquisition of the property in lieu of loan proceeds. Unrestricted cash assets for this purpose are Net Family Assets defined in 24 CFR §5.603.

(i) Appraisals.

  (1) An appraisal is required by the Department on each property that is part of an acquisition Activity, except for down payment assistance only, prior to closing to determine the current market value.

  (2) The appraisal must conform to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) as adopted by the Appraisal Standards Board of the Appraisal Foundation.

  (3) The Appraiser must have an active and current license by the Texas Appraisal Licensing and Certification Board.

(j) Combined Loan to Value. The Combined Loan to Value ratio of the property may not exceed 100% of the cost to acquire the property. The lien amounts of Forgivable Loans shall be included when determining the Combined Loan to Value ratio. The cost to acquire the property may exceed the appraised value only for an amount not to exceed the closing costs but in no case may result in cash back to the Borrower or exceed the limits under subsection (a) of this section.

(k) Escrow Accounts.

  (1) An escrow account for real estate taxes, hazard and flood insurance premiums, and other related costs must be established if:

    (A) The Department holds a first lien Mortgage Loan which is due and payable on a monthly basis to the Department; or

    (B) The Department holds a subordinate Mortgage Loan and the first lien lender does not require an escrow account.

  (2) If an escrow account held by the Department is required under one of the provisions described in this subsection, then the following provisions described in subparagraphs (A) - (G) of this paragraph are applicable:

    (A) The Borrower must contribute monthly payments to cover the anticipated costs, as calculated by the Department, of real estate taxes, hazard and flood insurance premiums, and other related costs as applicable;

    (B) Escrow reserves shall be calculated based on land and completed improvement values;

    (C) The Department may require up to two months of payment reserves for hazard and/or flood insurance, and property taxes to be collected at the time of closing to establish the required amounts in the escrow account;

    (D) In addition, the Department may also require that the property taxes be prorated at the time of closing and those funds be deposited with the Department;

    (E) The Borrower will be required to deposit monthly funds to an escrow account managed by the Mortgage Loan servicer for payment of the taxes and insurance on the property. This will ensure that funds are available to pay for the cost of real estate taxes, insurance premiums, and other assessments when they come due;


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