10-22-2019  11:55 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Washington State Ecology Director Objects to EPA’s Proposed Clean Water Act Rule

Ecology Director Maia Bellon submitted formal objections in which she calls the proposal ill-advised and illegal

Washington State to Vote on Affirmative Action Referendum

More than two decades after voters banned affirmative action, the question of whether one's minority status should be considered in state employment, contracting, colleges admissions is back on the ballot

Merkley Introduces Legislation that Protects Access to Health Care for Those Who Cannot Afford Bail

Under current law, individuals in custody who have not been convicted of a crime are denied Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits

New County Hire Aims to Build Trust, Transparency Between Community and Public Safety Officials

Leneice Rice will serve as a liaison focused on documenting and reporting feedback from a community whose faith in law enforcement has been tested

NEWS BRIEFS

GFO Offers African Americans Help in Solving Family Mysteries

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is holding an African American Special Interest Group Saturday, Oct. 19 ...

Third Annual NAMC-WA Gala Features Leader on Minority Business Development

The topic of the Washington Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors' event was 'Community and Collaboration' ...

Building Bridges Event Aims to Strengthen Trust Between Communities

The 4th Annual Building Bridges of Understanding in Our Communities: Confronting Hate will be held in Tigard on...

The Black Man Project Kicks Off National Tour in Seattle

The first in a series of interactive conversations focused on Black men and vulnerability takes place in Seattle on October 25 ...

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Henry Thomas, star of 'E.T.', arrested for DUI in Oregon

TUALATIN, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say Henry Thomas, the actor who starred as a child in "E.T. the Extra Terrestrial," has been arrested for driving under the influence in Oregon.The 48-year-old Thomas was booked into the Washington County Jail and faces the misdemeanor charge after police...

Scuba divers find truck, remains in Columbia River

UMATILLA COUNTY, Ore. (AP) — A truck and skeletal remains found in the Columbia River have been connected to a 26-year-old missing person's case from Washington state.KOMO-TV reports a couple who went scuba diving last week in Umatilla County, Oregon, reported they discovered a submerged...

AP Top 25: Ohio State jumps Clemson to 3rd; Wisconsin falls

Ohio State edged past Clemson to No. 3 in The Associated Press college football poll and Wisconsin dropped to 13th after being upset ahead of its showdown with the Buckeyes.Alabama remained No. 1 on Sunday in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank, receiving 24 first-place votes. No. 2 LSU held...

Vaughn scores twice, Vandy upsets No. 22 Missouri 21-14

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derek Mason wants it known he's the best coach for the Vanderbilt Commodores.Riley Neal came off the bench and threw a 21-yard touchdown to Cam Johnson with 8:57 left, and Vanderbilt upset No. 22 Missouri 21-14 on Saturday with a stifling defensive...

OPINION

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The Latest: McConnell calls Trump lynching tweet unfortunate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's comparison of impeachment to lynching (all times local):2:30 p.m.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is calling President Donald Trump's use of the word "lynching" to describe the House impeachment investigation "unfortunate."In a...

Charge dropped against man arrested after speaking Spanish

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Federal prosecutors dismissed a felony charge against a Guatemalan who was arrested after coming to the attention of Border Patrol agents for speaking Spanish in public in a case that raised concerns about racial profiling.The Border Patrol acknowledged in a court...

Trump likens House impeachment inquiry to 'a lynching'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump triggered outrage Tuesday by comparing the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry to a lynching, assigning the horrors of a deadly and racist chapter in U.S. history to a process laid out in the Constitution."That is one word no president ought to apply to...

ENTERTAINMENT

Brooks & Dunn, Ray Stevens join Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The bestselling country duo of all time, Brooks & Dunn, joined the Country Music Hall of Fame alongside comedian and singer Ray Stevens and record executive Jerry Bradley on Sunday evening, in a star-filled ceremony full of tributes to their lasting legacies.Reba...

Television's Weather Channel wades into climate debate

NEW YORK (AP) — The Weather Channel is moving beyond cold fronts and heat waves to wade into the politics of climate change, with a special planned for early next month that includes interviews with nine presidential candidates on the topic.The campaign's most prominent climate change...

The most dangerous celebrity online is revealed

NEW YORK (AP) — Actress Alexis Bledel has been bookish and sweet on "Gilmore Girls" and "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants." But the actress herself is now officially dangerous.Cybersecurity firm McAfee on Monday crowned Bledel the most dangerous celebrity on the internet in 2019. No other...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Chicago teachers' strike highlights support staff shortages

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Demands by striking Chicago teachers for more nurses, librarians and social workers...

AP-NORC/SAP poll: Some workers changing actions amid #MeToo

WASHINGTON (AP) — Barbara Myers started work as an apprentice electrician in 1995, and over the years she...

Autoworkers from closed plants fight new GM contract

DETROIT (AP) — If they can close our plant, they can close yours, too.That's the message from workers at...

Oslo police shoot to stop man driving on sidewalk, 3 injured

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — An armed Norwegian man stole an ambulance and drove it along a sidewalk in Oslo...

Chile protests: Death toll rises to 15 after violent clashes

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chile's government said Tuesday that 15 people have been killed in five days of...

Venezuelans buy gas with cigarettes to battle inflation

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Motorists in socialist Venezuela have long enjoyed the world's cheapest gasoline,...

McMenamins
Alex Veiga AP Real Estate Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Next to filing for bankruptcy protection, nothing wrecks your chances of qualifying for a home loan like a foreclosure.

And if you got out from under an oppressive mortgage through a short sale - when the bank agrees to accept less than what the homeowner owes - lenders can look upon you just as unfavorably.

It's a reality that the former owners of the more than 4 million homes lost to foreclosure in the six years since the housing bubble burst will have to confront if they want to own again. But the passage of time makes all the difference.

That's because mortgage-lending guidelines that most banks follow prohibit them from making loans to people with foreclosure or a short sale in their credit history, often for years. Never mind the hit that one's credit score takes.

Still, some of the homeowners who were foreclosed upon when the market first started to skid are now looking to buy and getting loans.

"They're probably going to pay a little higher interest rate, but with rates so low, a higher interest rate of 4 percent is not a big deal," said Rosa Herwick, a broker and owner of Century 21 JR Realty in Henderson, Nev.

So how likely are banks to approve your mortgage application if you have a real estate-related blemish on your record? And can you do anything to spring yourself from the mortgage penalty box?

It depends on several factors, but largely on whether you had a foreclosure or a short sale.

FORECLOSURE

Generally, borrowers who have a foreclosure in their credit history can expect to wait between two to seven years before a lender will even accept their loan application.

The waiting periods stem from guidelines most banks must follow in order to be able to sell their home loans. That's because potential purchasers, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, each have a different set of guidelines for the loans they will buy and criteria for whom they deem a qualified borrower.

The fact is, a person's credit score, employment history and other factors that make up one's creditworthiness will take a back seat to these resale guidelines.

If a buyer with a past foreclosure is seeking a government-backed mortgage, the waiting period can vary before they can qualify.

Take the Federal Housing Administration, which insures roughly 30 percent of new loans. Under its guidelines, former homeowners must wait three years from the date of their foreclosure before they can qualify for backing by the agency.

Compare the U.S. Department of Agriculture's housing program which requires three years, while the time penalty for a VA loan is two years. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which own or guarantee about half of all mortgages, require the longest stretch: seven years after a foreclosure.

In some cases, the waiting periods for a foreclosure can be reduced.

Fannie Mae, for example, allows a three-year waiting period in the event the foreclosure was due to an extenuating circumstance. The company defines this as an event that was beyond the homeowners' control and resulted in a sudden reduction in income or catastrophic increase in financial obligations. Think job layoff, medical bills or divorce.

FHA may grant an exception to its waiting period in the event a wage-earner becomes seriously ill or dies. A divorce may qualify for an exception, but only in certain cases.

SHORT SALES

The roadblocks for having a short sale in your credit history can be less severe, and in some cases, waived altogether.

FHA requires borrowers who weren't paying their mortgage when they sold their house to wait three years before they can qualify for a home loan. That time penalty may be waived in certain cases, including long-term job loss.

There is no FHA time penalty for homeowners who made their house payments in the 12 months before their short sale.

The size of a down payment can also shorten the waiting period.

A down payment of 20 percent or more will cut Fannie Mae's time penalty on a borrower with a short sale down to two years from seven. Buyers who put down 10 percent can qualify after four years.

CREDIT SCORE

It's no longer just a waiting game for homeowners caught up in the earliest stages of the foreclosure crisis in 2007 and 2008.

There's still the impact a foreclosure or short sale has on one's credit score - still very much a factor in qualifying for a loan.

Like most credit blemishes, foreclosures and short sales will remain in your credit history for seven years.

As a general rule, the higher your FICO score, the more it will drop as a result of a bad debt, said Barry Paperno, consumer affairs manager for MyFICO.com, the consumer website for FICO.

FICO credit scores range from 300 to 850. In simulations, a foreclosure sent a FICO score of about 720 down to as low as 570 and took about seven years to recover fully, assuming everything else being equal.

Still, there are steps one can take to burnish one's tarnished credit rating.

- While in the foreclosure penalty box, make sure to pay all your bills on time.

- Get more credit. This may sound counterintuitive after a foreclosure, but beefing up your track record of good credit accounts can help boost one's credit score. A car loan or a credit card will do. But if you get a credit card, pay it off every month.

- Be patient. A foreclosure's drag on your credit score will decline over time.

- Dispute any mistakes on your credit report, which can lower your score.

- Don't close your oldest credit accounts. Your score gets a boost from older credit lines.

- Scale back your lifestyle and pocket the savings toward a future down payment.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

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