Decision By Regulators May Have Big Impact On Mortgage Rates And Products

A decision by government regulators on an obscure issue next month could have a big impact on mortgage rates and home loan products available to borrowers.

Under the Dodd-Frank Act that overhauls regulation of the country’s financial system, mortgage lenders must share losses on their loans. But if their mortgages are deemed safer “qualified residential mortgages” they don’t have to have their skin in the game.

Mortgage products that don’t fall into the qualified residential mortgage category will probably have higher mortgage rates and tougher qualification standards for borrowers.

Congress, which typically doesn’t get into the details of the laws it makes, didn’t define a qualified residential mortgage. Instead, it left it up to regulators, who are now grappling with the issue.

Regulators, expected to reach a decision next month, have been getting an earful from lenders, investors and housing advocates on how to define qualified residential mortgages. Most groups agree to exclude the riskiest mortgage product like negative amortization loans, but beyond that, they disagree on what to call a safe mortgage.

Regulators have a lot to think about. Take down payment amounts, for instance. A recent article by MarketWatch says large banks want a large down payment requirement of 30 or 20 percent. Small banks want a small down payment requirement of about 5 percent, and housing advocates want to allow even smaller down payments of 3 percent.

Credit scores, income to debt ratios, length of employment, and the amount of documentation are some other factors to consider.

Depending on the regulators’ ruling, many mortgage products or just a few will be defined as qualified mortgages and be exempted from risk sharing requirement. Criteria that are too strict will risk barring many borrowers from low mortgage rates, but if guidelines are too loose lenders might be free to again make risky loans.

When the real estate market bubble was building, some mortgage lenders gave risky, exotic home loans to borrowers, then bundled the mortgages into bonds that were sold to investors who took the hit when borrowers defaulted. The theory is that lenders will be more cautious about making riskier loans if they retain part of the risk, or have skin in the game.

In addition to bank regulators, the Treasury Department, the new Financial Stability Oversight Council and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be involved in creating the rule.

Different Types Of Loans Available

There are many different types of loans. The best type is dependent on the needs, financial status and credit of the borrower.

Home Loans

Conventional loans are offered by mortgage lending institutions. This type of loan might even be backed by a government agency such as the Federal Housing Administration or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This loan is effective for an individual interested in purchasing a home.

Payday Loans

Some online cash loans are also referred to as payday loans. The borrower writes a check or authorizes a debit from their bank account, to be cashed by the lender on their next payday. The finance charge and the loan must be paid simultaneously. The borrower can have the lender cash the check, pay back the loan in cash or pay the finance charge to extend the loan until their next payday. This type of loan is intended for individuals requiring cash quickly and is not intended to be used for the long term.

Installment loans

An installment loan is repaid on a set schedule over a specific period of time. The actual number of payments will vary according to the terms of each one. The term can be for only a few months or for a period of years. These are alternatives to payday loans since the repayment is structured and not a lump sum in a relatively short time frame. You can even apply for a cash loan online, which makes the process more convenient.  The credit rating of the borrower usually impacts both the interest rate and term for this type of loan.

Secured Loans

This type of loan requires property to be used as collateral to obtain the loan. If the borrower does not pay back the loan, the lender takes possession of the collateral. The amount of the loan and the interest rate are dependent on the value of the property used for collateral or leverage. The credit history and length of the terms are also considered. This type is usually secured with a house, vehicle, property, CD or savings account. This is an excellent way to finance a new business, make home repairs, purchase expensive equipment, pay medical bills, etc.

Unsecured Loans

An unsecured loan does not require any collateral. The income and credit history of the individual determine the size of the loan and the interest rate. This type of loan is also called a signature loan or a personal loan. This is a nice option for anyone with excellent credit and a good income. The funds are used in much the same way as with a secured loan.

Open-Ended Loans

This type of loan provides the borrower with a line of credit with a fixed limit. Once the funds have been repaid, the individual can continue to borrow money from the loan. The best example of an open-ended loan is a credit card. This type of loan can be used for anything from small purchases to major home repairs.

Close-Ended Loans

Once this type of loan has been repaid, the borrower cannot continue to borrow money. A few good examples are car loans, mortgages and student loans. Every time the borrower makes a payment, the loan decreases. This loan is intended for providing a specific amount of money one time only. A new loan must be approved for the borrower to obtain any additional funds.

The Home Equity Line of Credit

This is an option for homeowners only. The equity in the home is used to provide a line of credit. Once paid, it can be used over and over. This is a popular option for home renovations.

Given the above examples, it’s easy to see that borrowing money to cover bills and purchases isn’t limited to going to the bank. Here in the 21st-century, applying for a loan is as close at the nearest computer.

Beneficiaries Of Lost Life Insurance Policies Can Really Use The Money

It is just a shame that money owed to some beneficiaries of lost insurance policies never get to them during their lifetimes. I spoke with some representatives of insurance companies, to see how many, on a daily basis, get phone calls from the public, asking them to search their database for insurance policies. I had one company say 100’s a day. I had another company tell me 1000’s a day and they even elaborated that it was a total waste of the consumer’s time as well as resources and man power of his company. He said that they will never find it if they do not know which company their loved one bought it from. Well, I took this opportunity to explain the need of a central life insurance database to him; telling him that it is a safe and a much needed service. He listened to me for around 10 minutes while I explained the many benefits a central database could have to his insurance customers. Even with him telling me that it was a waste of time for anyone calling his company, he did not want anything to do with the thought of a database. He flatly told me that he did not feel a database was a benefit to his customers, I was surprised.

Now as a insurance agent myself, I took offense to this comment. Isn’t it the responsibility of the agent (regardless of the company they work for) to do what is best for the customer? Don’t you think that registering anyone with life insurance on a central database so their beneficiaries can locate the company name is the best thing for the customer? Well I do. Not only does a database allow an individual to register the company name they have insurance with, it allows the beneficiary with certainty to find the policy you have in place. All an individual would need, to find a life insurance policy, is the company name. Since there are over 2000 life insurance companies in the United States alone, having the company name on a central database will solve a major problem that gets recognized only when it is too late; lost life insurance policies. Hopefully consumers of life insurance will also recognize the need and buy it from agents and agencies that offer to register on a free central database. It is definitely something to think about.

What Type Of Life Insurance Is Best?

Life Insurance (though it shouldn’t be) is to this day a very controversial issue. There seems to be a lot of different types of life insurance out there, but there are really only two kinds. They are Term Insurance and Whole Life (Cash Value) Insurance. Term Insurance is pure insurance. It protects you over a certain period of time. Whole Life Insurance is insurance plus a side account known as cash value. Generally speaking, consumer reports recommend term insurance as the most economical choice and they have for some time. But still, whole life insurance is the most prevalent in today’s society. Which one should we buy?

Let’s talk about the purpose of life insurance. Once we get the proper purpose of insurance down to a science, then everything else will fall into place. The purpose of life insurance is the same purpose as any other type of insurance. It is to “insure against loss of”. Car insurance is to insure your car or someone else’s car in case of an accident. So in other words, since you probably couldn’t pay for the damage yourself, insurance is in place. Home owners insurance is to insure against loss of your home or items in it. So since you probably couldn’t pay for a new house, you buy an insurance policy to cover it.

Life insurance is the same way. It is to insure against loss of your life. If you had a family, it would be impossible to support them after you died, so you buy life insurance so that if something were to happen to you, your family could replace your income. Life insurance is not to make you or your descendants rich or give them a reason to kill you. Life insurance is not to help you retire (or else it would be called retirement insurance)! Life insurance is to replace your income if you die. But the wicked ones have made us believe otherwise, so that they can overcharge us and sell all kinds of other things to us to get paid.

How Does Life Insurance Work?

Rather than make this complicated, I will give a very simple explanation on how and what goes down in an insurance policy. As a matter of fact, it will be over simplified because we would otherwise be here all day. This is an example. Let’s say that you are 31 years old. A typical term insurance policy for 20 years for $200,000 would be about $20/month. Now… if you wanted to buy a whole life insurance policy for $200,000 you might pay $100/month for it. So instead of charging you $20 (which is the true cost) you will be overcharged by $80, which will then be put into a savings account.

Now, this $80 will continue to accumulate in a separate account for you. Typically speaking, if you want to get some of YOUR money out of the account, you can then BORROW IT from the account and pay it back with interest. Now… let’s say you were to take $80 dollars a month and give it to your bank. If you went to withdraw the money from your bank account and they told you that you had to BORROW your own money from them and pay it back with interest, you would probably go clean upside somebody’s head. But somehow, when it comes to insurance, this is okay

This stems from the fact that most people don’t realize that they are borrowing their own money. The “agent” (of the insurance Matrix) rarely will explain it that way. You see, one of the ways that companies get rich, is by getting people to pay them, and then turn around and borrow their own money back and pay more interest! Home equity loans are another example of this, but that is a whole different sermon.

Deal or No Deal

Let us stick with the previous illustration. Let us say the one thousand 31 year olds ( all in good health) bought the aforementioned term policy (20 years, $200,000 dollars at $20/month). If these people were paying $20/month, that is $240 per year. If you take that and multiply it over the 20 year term then you will have $4800. So each individual will pay $4800 over the life of the term. Since one thousand individuals bought the policy, they will end up paying 4.8 million in premiums to the company. The insurance company has already calculated that around 20 people with good health (between the ages of 31 and 51) will die. So if 20 people pass away, then the company will have to pay out 20 x $200,000 or $4,000,000. So, if the company pays out $4,000,000 and takes in $4,800,000 it will then make a $800,000 profit.

This is of course OVER simplifying because a lot of people will cancel the policy (which will also bring down the number of death claims paid), and some of those premiums can be used to accumulate interest, but you can get a general idea of how things work.

On the other hand, let’s look at whole life insurance. Let us say the one thousand 31 year olds (all in good health) bought the aforementioned whole life policy ($200,000 dollars at $100/month). These people are paying $100/month. That is $1200 per year. If the average person’s lifespan (in good health people) goes to 75, then on average, the people will pay 44 years worth of premiums. If you take that and multiply it by $1200 you will get $52,800. So each individual will pay $52,800 over the life of the policy. Since one thousand individuals bought the policy, they will end up paying 52.8 million in premiums to the company. If you buy a whole life policy, the insurance company has already calculated the probability that you will die. What is that probability? 100%, because it is a whole life (till death do us part) insurance policy! This means that if everyone kept their policies, the insurance company would have to pay out 1000 x $200,000 = $2,000,000,000) That’s right, two billion dollars!

Ladies and gentleman, how can a company afford to pay out two billion dollars knowing that it will only take in 52.8 million? Now just like in the previous example, this is an oversimplification as policies will lapse. As a matter of fact, MOST whole life policies do lapse because people can’t afford them, I hope you see my point. Let’s take the individual. A 31 year old male bought a policy in which he is suppose to pay in $52,800 and get $200,000 back? There no such thing as a free lunch. The company somehow has to weasel $147,200 out of him, JUST TO BREAK EVEN on this policy! Not to mention, pay the agents (who get paid much higher commissions on whole life policies), underwriters, insurance fees, advertising fees, 30 story buildings… etc, etc.

This doesn’t even take into account these variable life and universal life policies that claim to be so good for your retirement. So you are going to pay $52,800 into a policy and this policy will make you rich, AND pay you the $200,000 death benefit, AND pay the agents, staff and fees? This has to be a rip off.

Well, how could they rip you off? Maybe for the first five years of the policy, no cash value will accumulate (you may want to check your policy). Maybe it’s misrepresenting the value of the return (this is easy if the customer is not knowledgeable on exactly how investments work). Also, if you read my article on the Rule of 72 you can clearly see that giving your money to someone else to invest can lose you millions! You see, you may pay in $52,800 but that doesn’t take into account how much money you LOSE by not investing it yourself! This is regardless of how well your agent may tell you the company will invest your money! Plain and simple, they have to get over on you somehow or they would go out of business!

How long do you need life insurance?

Let me explain what is called The Theory of Decreasing Responsibility, and maybe we can answer this question. Let’s say that you and your spouse just got married and have a child. Like most people, when they are young they are also crazy, so they go out and buy a new car and a new house. Now, here you are with a young child and debt up to the neck! In this particular case, if one of you were to pass away, the loss of income would be devastating to the other spouse and the child. This is the case for life insurance. BUT, this is what happens. You and your spouse begin to pay off that debt. Your child gets older and less dependent on you. You start to build up your assets. Keep in mind that I am talking about REAL assets, not fake or phantom assets like equity in a home (which is just a fixed interest rate credit card)

In the end, the situation is like this. The child is out of the house and no longer dependent on you. You don’t have any debt. You have enough money to live off of, and pay for your funeral (which now costs thousands of dollars because the DEATH INDUSTRY has found new ways to make money by having people spend more honor and money on a person after they die then they did while that person was alive). So… at this point, what do you need insurance for? Exactly… absolutely nothing! So why would you buy Whole Life (a.k.a. DEATH) Insurance? The idea of a 179 year old person with grown children who don’t depend on him/her still paying insurance premiums is asinine to say the least.

As a matter of fact, the need for life insurance could be greatly decreased and quickly eliminated, if one would learn not to accumulate liabilities, and quickly accumulate wealth first. But I realize that this is almost impossible for most people in this materialistic, Middle Classed matrixed society. But anyway, let’s take it a step further.

Confused Insurance Policies

This next statement is very obvious, but very profound. Living and dying are exact opposites of each other. Why do I say this? The purpose of investing is to accumulate enough money in case you live to retire. The purpose of buying insurance is to protect your family and loved ones if you die before you can retire. These are two diametrically opposed actions! So, if an “agent” waltzes into your home selling you a whole life insurance policy and telling you that it can insure your life AND it can help you retire, your Red Pill Question should be this:

“If this plan will help me retire securely, why will I always need insurance? And on the other hand, if I will be broke enough later on in life that I will still need insurance, then how is this a good retirement plan?”

Now if you ask an insurance agent those questions, she/he may become confused. This of course comes from selling confused policies that do two opposites at once.

Norman Dacey said it best in the book “What’s Wrong With Your Life Insurance”

“No one could ever quarrel with the idea of providing protection for one’s family while at the same time accumulating a fund for some such purpose as education or retirement. But if you try to do both of these jobs through the medium of one insurance policy, it is inevitable that both jobs will be done badly.”

So you see, even though there are a lot of new variations of whole life, like variable life and universal life, with various bells and whistles (claiming to be better than the original, typical whole life policies), the Red Pill Question must always be asked! If you are going to buy insurance, then buy insurance! If you are going to invest, then invest. It’s that simple. Don’t let an insurance agent trick you into buying a whole life policy based on the assumption that you are too incompetent and undisciplined to invest your own money.

If you are afraid to invest your money because you don’t know how, then educate yourself! It may take some time, but it is better than giving your money to somebody else so they can invest it for you (and get rich with it). How can a company be profitable when it takes the money from it’s customers, invests it, and turns around and gives it’s customers all of the profits?

And don’t fall for the old “What if the term runs out and you can’t get re-insured trick”. Listen, there are a lot of term policies out there that are guaranteed renewable until an old age (75-100). Yes, the price is a lot higher, but you must realize that if you buy a whole life policy, you will have been duped out of even more money by the time you get to that point (if that even happens). This is also yet another reason to be smart with your money. Don’t buy confused policies.

How much should you buy?

I normally recommend 8-10 times your yearly income as a good face amount for your insurance. Why so high? Here is the reason. Let’s say that you make $50,000 per year. If you were to pass away, your family could take $500,000 (10 times $50,000) and put it into a fund that pays 10 percent (which will give them $40,000 per year) and not touch the principle. So what you have done is replaced your income.

This is another reason why Whole Life insurance is bad. It is impossible to afford the amount of insurance you need trying to buy super high priced policies. Term insurance is much cheaper. To add to this, don’t let high face values scare you. If you have a lot of liabilities and you are worried about your family, it is much better to be underinsured than to have no insurance at all. Buy what you can manage. Don’t get sold what you can’t manage.