What Is A Treaty Trader Visa?

A treaty trader visa can enable a foreign national to immigrate to Florida for the purpose of starting, developing and directing import/export trade between the treaty country and the United States. A trader can apply for treaty trader visa using immigration lawyers in Florida, who would have knowledge of the application process and requirements, as well as advise you of necessary or applicable Florida legal services needed.


Benefits of A Treaty Trader Visa

You can derive several benefits when using a treaty trader visa, including:

1. Ownership
A treaty trader visa ensures that the holder owns the import and export business in the United States. The ownership can be in the form of individual ownership, majority corporate shareholder or as a major partner.

2. Duration
After the visa is offered, it may remain active for a substantial time if the treaty trader’s visa holder continues with active trade in the United States. Extension is done through the Immigration and Naturalization service of the US State Department.

3. Quick processing
Because a trader treaty visa is considered a non-immigrant visa, it has required that you satisfy certain quota waiting periods. The number of the visas that are awarded depends on the set quota for a particular year or duration. Depending on your country of origin and other immigration matters, you may have to wait before your application can be approved. Your immigration attorney in Florida can assist you with the application process and provide you guidance on the waiting periods. By working with a reputable immigration lawyer in Florida, mistakes in the application process can be avoided.

4. Allows You to Be Employed in The U.S. 
The trader treaty visa grants the principal trader the power to be actively employed in the United States. However, the holder must satisfy certain requirements such as draw salary, benefits or dividends; which are similar to what workers in the United States receive.

Under recent amendments, the spouse of the main trader may also be allowed to work in the United States and receive gainful remuneration. This type of visa may also allow the principal visa holder to import key managerial staff from their countries of origin if they have the expertise to run the import/export business effectively. The number of employees that the holder may be allowed to bring depends on the size and complexity of the business that the holder is running. However, these employees should be vetted and granted permission, all of which a Florida immigration attorney should be able to assist you.

5. Allows You to Attend School
The principal treaty traders and their dependents may be able to attend schools and colleges in America. This applies to attendance of all sorts of educational establishments, from basic elementary education to university education.

6. You can own property
Treaty visa holders have the freedom to buy residential and commercial real estate properties while they remain in the United States. However, if their visa status terminates (whether by choice or required), they may not be allowed to sell these properties. A Florida immigration attorney can advise you on what you should do to keep the visa valid longer should you need to sell. 

Requirements for Treaty Trader Visas
To be eligible for a treaty trader visas, here are some specific requirements that you should meet:

• You must be a citizen and national of a treaty country.

• You must demonstrate that you can achieve set trade volumes in your import/export business.

• You must provide evidence that you have enough finances to run the import/export business.

• The trader must prove that he or she has enough business acumen.

• You must agree that you will depart the United States if your treaty visa is terminated.

Why Get Help From a Florida Immigration Attorney When Applying For Your Treaty Trader Visa?

Applying for treaty trader visa can be complex and time consuming. Documentation and regulations can be very complex, therefore making it essential that they been handled by experienced immigration lawyers in Florida. There are some finer details and a wide range of legal issues that should be taken into consideration. If any of the requirements are not met in the application, the issuance of the visa could be denied.

By working with an immigration lawyer, you can reduce the likelihood of mistakes and improve the chances of your application being accepted. An immigration lawyer can advise you on the requirements and the process of the treaty trader visa or guide you through the immigration process that may be more suitable to your circumstances.

If you have any additional questions or queries contact us at (954).944.2799 or email info@DSALegalGroup.com

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact an attorney.

by N. Apfelbaum

How A DUI Can Affect Your Immigration Status

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Individuals who are not citizens of the United States must undergo extensive background checks before they are admitted, while they are applying for adjustment of status and after they have been granted lawful presence. If they are convicted of a crime such as DUI, there can be significant consequences.


Nature of Immigration Process

A person must have a legally valid reason to immigrate to the United States. In some cases, this is based on a relationship between an immigrant and an American citizen or legal permanent resident. In other cases, a person immigrates based on employment with an employer in the United States. There are also cases in which a person is granted asylum, protected status or treatment as a refugee based on conditions in the individual’s home country. 

Criminal Behavior

For all immigrants, immigration status can be put at risk if the immigrant commits a crime while in the United States. Criminal behavior can prevent a person from being admitted into the country if he or she has not already been so. It can cause a person to be removed from the country once he or she is in the United States legally. It can also cause a person to be refused the ability to become a citizen in the United States. 

Crimes Involving DUI

The first thing for an immigrant to realize is the nature of the DUI charge against him or her.  This category usually includes alcohol or drugs, including illegal street drugs, prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs. The charge may be referred to as a DWI in some states, which stands for driving while intoxicated. 

There are often various categories of DUI, ranging from different seriousness in the eyes of the courts. Each case is unique. While one type of DUI may not have immigration consequences in a certain context, it may in another. A simple DUI may be a misdemeanor, first-time offense. This type of DUI may not have as significant an impact on a person’s immigration status as a more serious DUI. More serious DUIs may involve an accident that resulted in injury or death of another, a very high blood alcohol content, reckless driving or a longer history of DUI convictions. 

Potential Impact on Immigration Status

A DUI conviction can have an impact on a person’s immigration status in a number of ways. This includes:

Finding of Inadmissibility

If a person is seeking an immigrant visa or nonimmigrant visa, he or she can be denied admission based on a DUI conviction under limited circumstances. This includes if the DUI was a result of a crime involving a controlled substance, if the sentence for multiple DUIs was for five years or more, if it is considered a crime involving moral turpitude or if the conviction supports the contention that the defendant is a habitual drunk. 

Effect on Employment

In some cases, a DUI conviction may cause a person to lose his or her job. This may be because driving is involved in the position, court time causes too much absence from work or the conviction is contrary to the employer’s policy. If an immigrant’s status is based on employment, this can cause him or her to lose the visa. 

Deportability

In some circumstances, a DUI conviction can result in a person being deportable. Individuals who are convicted of an aggravated felony, a crime of moral turpitude, a crime of violence or crimes that have a combined sentence of a requisite period of time may be deportable. A person can be deportable if the conviction involves a controlled substance based on federal law.

Naturalization

If a person wants to adjust status from a permanent legal resident to a citizen, he or she goes through the naturalization process. This process requires the applicant to show that he or she has good moral characters for at least five years before he or she submits the application for naturalization. Additionally, if the DUI resulted in probation, the individual is not able to naturalize until after his or her probation is completed. 

Discretionary Benefits

In some cases, immigration decisions are based on a discretionary basis when there is no actual entitlement to the benefit. In these cases, any criminal convictions may be considered when making these decisions. 

Legal Assistance

An immigration lawyer can provide advice and recommendations on how to minimize the impact of a DUI charge. He or she may make suggestions on ways to prove good moral character or may suggest waiting for a certain amount of time after a conviction occurs before applying for additional benefits.

If you have any additional questions or queries contact us at (954).944.2799 or email info@DSALegalGroup.com

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact an attorney. 

Source: HG

Can Bankruptcy Actually SAVE Your Home?

Millions of underwater debtors including individuals and businesses have turned to bankruptcy for relief. While bankruptcy is a powerful way to shield debtors from further debt collection efforts, it does not solve all financial problems. Additionally, there are different things that bankruptcy can accomplish based on the type of bankruptcy that is filed.


Can Do

Bankruptcy can do a lot for debtors, including: 

Eliminate Unsecured Debt

Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy fillings can help wipe out unsecured debt, such as credit card debt. Other debts may include personal loans, medical debt and unsecured business debt. These debts are those that the creditor does not have a lien against the property and does not have the right to repossess the item purchased if the debtor does not pay off the debt. 

Although Chapter 13 bankruptcy can also eliminate unsecured debt, it does not have as great a capacity to eliminate it as Chapter 7. Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires the debtor to agree on a debt repayment plan and make continued payments for the number of years detailed in the plan. While secured debts usually have priority, most debtors have to pay back some portion of their unsecured debts. Any debts remaining after the repayment plan expires is generally discharged. 

Place an Automatic Stay

Bankruptcy provides debt relief through an automatic stay. Once bankruptcy is filed, an automatic stay prevents further collection efforts from creditors, including phone calls, letters, repossession attempts or foreclosure actions. 

Keep Certain Assets

Debtors can keep certain assets during a Chapter 7 filing, which are their exempt property. Federal and state-specific laws determine which property is considered exempt and free from liquidation during the bankruptcy process. Bankruptcy does not eliminate liens, so property can still be taken by debtors that do have a lien against certain property. 

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing can help prevent a foreclosure action and require the lender to accept a plan that allows the debtor to reimburse the lender for missed payments. A bankruptcy lawyer is often needed during this process who can help show that the debtor will have sufficient income to provide for such payments while staying current on the existing debt. 

Additionally, Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not require the sale of the debtor’s assets, so he or she can also keep non-exempt property. 

Reduce Secured Debt

In many cases, debtors find themselves underwater on their secured debts by owing more money to pay off the property than the property is actually worth. Chapter 13 bankruptcy may allow the debtor to reduce the debt of secured property and then pay off this reduced amount of debt. There are special rules that prohibit reducing secured debt of debts that were acquired within a certain time period near the bankruptcy filing. 

Cannot Do

Although bankruptcy can accomplish many things, some things that it cannot accomplish includes: 

Eliminate Tax Debt

Usually a Chapter 7 filing does not permit a debtor to discharge state or federal income tax debts. A debtor may be able to wipe out some of this debt in a Chapter 13 filing, depending on the type, amount and timing of the debt.

Eliminate Support Obligations

Generally, obligations to pay child support or spousal support survive bankruptcy. With a Chapter 13 filing, the debtor is usually required to show how back payments will be paid in full within the repayment plan period. 

Eliminate Student Loan Debt

Most student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. There are some exceptions, such as if the person is permanently disabled and can demonstrate that repaying the loan would cause undue hardship.

Eliminate All Debt

In Chapter 13, the debtor has to repay much of the debt. Under both types of bankruptcies, the debtor may not be able to eliminate all types of debt, including the debts that the debtor forgot to list in the bankruptcy filing, fines and penalties for criminal action, criminal restitution and certain other debts prohibited by law. Additionally, a creditor may be able to convince a judge not to discharge a certain debt in the interest of fairness, such as not discharging a debt off a recent purchase or one that was made due to fraud. 

Legal Assistance

Bankruptcy is a complex area of law and usually requires the assistance of a lawyer who is knowledgeable in this area of the law. A bankruptcy lawyer can explain the process of bankruptcy and provide information specific to the debtor regarding how bankruptcy can and cannot accomplish certain goals.

Will Trump Travel Ban Affect L1 Visa Applicants?

The L visa for nonimmigrant intracompany transferees allows U.S.-based employers to petition to transfer certain alien employees from related foreign entities to work in the United States.


In general, a petition for an L nonimmigrant is filed for a single beneficiary. However, certain petitioning entities may be eligible to petition for multiple foreign employees under what is called an “L blanket petition.” If a petitioner gains L blanket approval, it will become far easier to transfer large numbers of L nonimmigrants to work in the United States.

What are the Petitioner Requirements for L Blanket Approval?

The petitioner requirements for being granted L blanket approval are found in 8 C.F.R. 214.2(l)(4)(i). First, the petitioner must meet the basic requirements for being an L visa petitioner. This means l that all requirements pertaining to the U.S.-based petitioner’s relationship with the foreign entity or entities employing the L visa petition beneficiary as well as the requirement that the petitioner be “doing business” in the United States apply equally to applications for L blanket approval. The L blanket regulations then add additional requirements for a petitioner seeking blanket approval.

The L blanket approval-specific requirements are: The petitioner and each of its qualifying entities are engaged in commercial trade or services; the petitioner has had an office in the United States that has been doing business for at least one year; the petitioner has three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates; and the petitioner (or other qualifying organization) has either obtained approval for at least ten L1A or L1B managers, executives, or specialized knowledge professionals over the previous twelve months, or the petitioner has U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million or a combined U.S. work force of at least 1,000 employees.

The requirements for L blanket approval exclude “new office” L visa petitioners and non-profit petitioners. Furthermore, approved L1B petitions for non-specialized knowledge professional intracompany transferees are not counted toward meeting the requirement for L blanket approval. As we will see, the only type of L1B beneficiary who may be petitioned for under an L blanket petition is an L1B specialized knowledge professional.

Seeking L Blanket Approval and Adjudication Process

An application for L blanket approval is filed on the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. The petitioner must establish that it meets the regulatory requirements for L blanket approval. 

If the L blanket petition is approved, the petitioner will have L blanket approval for an initial period of 3 years. L blanket approval may be extended indefinitely provided that the petitioner continues to meet the applicable requirements. An L blanket petition may be approved in part and denied in part where certain organizations under the petitioner’s umbrella are found to meet the requirements while others are not. 

If there is a change in the relationships of any of the qualifying organizations with L blanket approval, the petitioner must file an amended Form I-129 explaining the changes.

Transferring Employee from Abroad Under L Blanket Petition

In order to transfer an individual L1A or L1B employee under an L blanket petition, the petitioner must file the Form I-129S, Certification of Eligibility for Intracompany Transferee under a Blanket Petition. The petition beneficiary must be provided by the petitioner with a Form I-797 reflecting the petitioner’s blanket approval. The beneficiary may then apply for a visa through consular processing within six months of the date on the Form I-129S. A Canadian beneficiary of a Form I-129S may apply for a visa with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at a qualifying port of entry in order to seek admission under the L blanket petition.

The consular office will only approve an L1A or L1B visa for a beneficiary under a blanket petition for “clearly approvable applications.” The requirements for a beneficiary are the same as for a non-blanket L1A or L1B petition except for the limitation on the L1B category to specialized knowledge professionals only. A petitioner may not seek to afford L1A or L1B status to a beneficiary through a non-blanket and blanket petition simultaneously. However, a petitioner with blanket approval may opt to file a non-blanket petition on behalf of a beneficiary in lieu of seeking approval under the blanket petition. A petitioner may file an individual L1 petition on behalf of a beneficiary who was denied a visa under the L blanket procedure.

Limitations on L Blanket Validity and Extensions of Stay

An individual may be approved for an L1 visa under an L blanket petition so long as the L blanket approval of the petitioner remains valid. The beneficiary may be approved for an initial period of stay of three years even when the validity of the L blanket petition may expire before that date. However, if the validity of the L blanket approval is slated to expire while the employee is on L1 status in the United States, the petitioner will be required to either seek an extension of the validity of the L blanket petition or to file an individual petition to support the employee’s continued employment in the United States.

In order to seek an extension of stay for an employee under an L blanket petition, the petitioner must file a new Form I-129S on behalf of the employee. This extension request may be filed concurrently with a request to extend the validity of the L blanket petition. However, the applications will be considered separately.

Transferring Employees Under L Blanket Petition

An employee may be transferred from one of the petitioner’s organizations with L blanket approval to another with L blanket approval so long as the employee will be performing virtually the same job duties. If the job duties will be different, the petitioner must complete a new Form I-129S on behalf of the beneficiary and submit it for approval with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) director who approved the blanket petition. The petitioner cannot transfer an L blanket employee to an entity that does not have L blanket approval under an L blanket petition.

Conclusion

Large petitioners that meet the L blanket requirements may benefit from seeking L blanket approval. L blanket approval makes it easier to transfer multiple L1A and L1B employees from abroad than filing individual petitions on behalf of each employee. However, it is important to note that, while the L blanket petition makes it easier to seek approval for L1A and L1B intracompany transferees, it does not alter the beneficiary’s requirements for eligibility. For this reason, petitioners may still be required to file individual petitions on behalf of beneficiaries who do not present clearly approvable cases or for L1B beneficiaries who fall outside of the scope of the L blanket procedure.

Petitioners should consult with an experienced immigration attorney for guidance in seeking L blanket approval and in handling individual cases that may present special concerns.

by A. Segal

If you have any additional questions or queries contact us at (954).944.2799 or email info@DSALegalGroup.com

 Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact an attorney.

6 Ways to Stop Foreclosure

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There are several ways that homeowners can help guard against foreclosure so that they can keep their homes and avoid the negative consequences of this action.


Reasons for Foreclosure

When a person acquires a mortgage on his or her property, the loan is secured with the mortgage. If the person gets behind on the payments or otherwise fails to meet his or her obligations under the mortgage contract, the lender can take steps to foreclose on the home. 

Consequences of Foreclosure

In addition to losing the residence the homeowner, faces many additional consequences if the property is foreclosed upon. The homeowner can be charged for the expenses related to dispossession and other charges allowed by law. In many states, the lender can still pursue a deficiency judgment for any difference between the amount owed on the loan and the sale price. Additionally, the homeowner’s credit will likely be significantly impacted by this event. 

Options

There may be several options available to avoid foreclosure depending on the circumstances, including:

Foreclosure Settlement

Rather than selling the house at auction, the bank may be willing to work out some type of settlement that will allow the homeowner with the loan. 

Loan Modification

The lender may agree to modify the loan rather than foreclosing the property. A loan modification can make an existing loan more feasible by resulting in lower monthly payments, lower interest rates, more time to pay or unpaid payments added to the back end of the loan. In some loan modifications, the amount of the loan may be reduced. The lender may be more willing to work with a homeowner who has taken additional steps to try to meet the financial obligation, such as reducing other expenses or getting an additional job. 

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure

A deed in lieu of foreclosure results when the person whose name the home is in voluntarily signs the deed to the property back over to the lender. This can help the homeowner avoid the additional expenses related to foreclosure and the public nature of the proceedings. There are some disadvantages to this approach, so it is important that a person in this situation seek legal counsel. 

Short Sale

One common way that a person can avoid foreclosure is by having a short sale of the property. Many lenders during the real estate crisis used short sales as an exit plan so that they would get more proceeds from the sale of the house than they would have received through a public auction. Once the homeowner receives a Notice of Default or otherwise suspects that he or she may have trouble meeting the obligation, he or she may consider a short sale. A short sale occurs when the homeowner sells the property for less than the current value of the property. The lender may agree to this arrangement rather than having to proceed with a foreclosure. However, the lender may still be able to seek a deficiency judgment for the unpaid portion of the loan. Some states do not permit this while others do. Individuals who are considering a short sale should be careful to negotiate an acceptance by the lender of the purchase amount and to accept it as payment in full. Even with this scenario, there may be tax implications to a short sale, so it is important

Bankruptcy

Filing bankruptcy can sometimes help avoid bankruptcy. When a person files bankruptcy, an automatic stay is issued which prevents further collection efforts. Therefore, a bankruptcy works to effectively freeze a foreclosure. However, the homeowner may still wind up losing the home in the bankruptcy proceedings if he or she cannot show that the debt can be repaid. So bankruptcy often works as a mere delay of the foreclosure. However, during bankruptcy, the debtor and the creditors may be able to work out an arrangement that will allow the debtor to repay some of the loan. The secured debt has priority over unsecured debts. Bankruptcy has many ramifications of which the debtor should be aware and seek counsel. 

Legal Assistance

Individuals who believe that they may be in fear of a foreclosure may wish to contact a lawyer. A real estate lawyer can help explain the process of foreclosure and evaluate the individual’s circumstances to determine whether there are any alternatives to foreclosure. He or she can explain the pros and cons of these potential alternatives.

If you have any additional questions or queries contact us at (954).944.2799 or email info@DSALegalGroup.com 

Source: HG

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact an attorney. 

[The Serious] Immigration Consequences of a DUI

When a person who is not a citizen is convicted of DUI, this conviction can have a serious effect on his or her ability to be admitted to the United States or remain in the United States.


Inadmissibility

If a person has not yet entered the United States, his or her primary concern will be whether a DUI can make him or her inadmissible, meaning that he or she will not be able to acquire a visa or a green card. Laws regarding inadmissibility deal with when a person is barred from entering the country with an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa. However, inadmissibility laws also deal with re-entry, such as when an immigrant is initially granted lawful status, travels to another country and then seeks to come into the United States again. There are several laws that affect whether a person is admissible or not, including:

Commission of a Crime of Moral Turpitude

One way that a person is considered inadmissible is if he or she commits a crime of moral turpitude. This type of crime is usually considered a serious offense that goes against social norms. Often, crimes of violence are considered crimes involving moral turpitude such as murder, assault or rape. On its own without any aggravating factors, one DUI does not generally fall under this umbrella. 

Committing a Crime Involving a Controlled Substance

The United States takes a hard stance against drugs and includes the commission of a crime involving a controlled substance as a ground to deny admissibility. Sometimes even if a person admits to violating a criminal substance law and has not been convicted, he or she can still be considered inadmissible. Since some DUI convictions are based on being under the influence of a drug, this provision may be implicated depending on the particular circumstances.

Crimes Involving a Sentence of Five Years

A person is also considered inadmissible if he or she has been convicted of two or more crimes that resulted in a sentence of five years or more. While a single DUI does not usually include a sentence of this term, multiple DUIs when added together may. The suspended portion of a sentence may be included in the calculation. 

Addiction Status

Another ground for inadmissibility is if the immigrant has a drug or alcohol addiction. Multiple DUI convictions may support a determination to this effect. 

Being convicted of multiple DUI offenses or when aggravating factors are present may be enough to make a person inadmissible depending on the particular circumstances involved in the case. 

Deportable Consequences

After a person receives lawful immigration status and is admitted to the United States, he or she may be deportable, or removable in immigration terms, if he or she commits certain crimes. His or her green card can be taken away or he or she can otherwise be stripped of lawful status, resulting in him or her being taken out of the country and barred from re-entry for many years. A person can be considered deportable in the following circumstances:

Conviction of an Aggravated Felony

If a person is convicted of an aggravated felony, he or she can be deportable. This type of crime is usually considered serious in nature any involve such crimes as murder, rape, trafficking, obstruction of justice, using false documents, forgery and other crimes. There is a long list of offenses that are listed in this category. The relevant determination is how the crime is classified under immigration law and not whether the crime was considered a misdemeanor or felony under state law. Additionally, some crimes must have resulted in a conviction of one year or more in order to qualify as an aggravated felony. In the determination of whether an immigrant was convicted of an aggravated felony, the immigration court can consider cases in which the immigrant’s sentence was deferred even if it would not be considered a conviction under state law. If a case was expunged, the court can still consider it as a conviction.

Commission of a Crime of Moral Turpitude

Like with admissibility, the immigration officer can consider a crime involving moral turpitude. The officer looks at any such crime committed within five years of admission and for which the sentence was one year or more. The officer can also consider whether there were two separate crimes involving moral turpitude. 

Offenses Related to a Controlled Substance

Another possibility is if the individual commits a crime involving a controlled substance.
An immigration lawyer can discuss the potential ramifications of being convicted of a DUI and how it may impact the person’s ability to enter or remain in the country.
Source: HG

 If you have any additional questions or queries contact us at (954).944.2799 or emailinfo@DSALegalGroup.com

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact an attorney.

 

Is The Zero-Down Mortgage Loan Making A Comeback?

Buyers may soon be able to bring less to closing. They were blamed for precipitating the housing crisis years ago, but major lenders are giving no- and low-downpayment loans another shot.

Several major lenders are reportedly offering loans with just 1 percent down. Navy Federal, the nation's largest credit union, offers its members zero-down mortgages in amounts up to $1 million. NASA Federal Credit Union markets zero-down mortgages as well.

Quicken Loans, the third highest volume lender, offers 1 percent downpayment options, as does United Wholesale Mortgage. And the Department of Veterans Affairs has offered zero-down loans to eligible borrowers for many years.

Also, Movement Mortgage, a large national lender, has introduced a financing option that provides eligible first-time buyers with a non-repayable grant of up to 3 percent. As such, applicants can qualify for a 97 percent loan-to-value ratio conventional mortgage, which is basically zero from the buyers and 3 percent from Movement. For example, on a $300,000 home purchase, a borrower could invest zero personal funds with Movement providing $9,000 down. The loan also allows sellers to contribute toward the buyer's closing costs.

So far, the delinquency rates on these low- to zero-down payment loans have been minimal, according to lenders. Quicken Loans says its 1 percent down loans have a delinquency rate of less than one-quarter of 1 percent. United Wholesale Mortgages told The Washington Post that it has had zero delinquencies from the borrowers on its 1-percent down loan since debuting it last summer.

For Movement's new loan product, the lender will originate the loans and then sell them to Fannie Mae, which remains under federal conservatorship. Fannie officials released the following a statement:

"(We're) committed to working with our customers to increase affordable, sustainable lending to creditworthy borrowers. We continue to work with a number of lenders to launch (test programs) that require 97 percent loan-to-value ratios for all loans we acquire." They add that there "is no commitment beyond the pilots," which are "focused on reaching more low- to-moderate income borrowers through responsible yet creative solutions."

During the housing crisis, zero-down loans were among the biggest losses for lenders, investors and borrowers. However, housing experts say the latest versions are different from years ago. Applicants must now demonstrate an ability to repay what's owed. They also must have stellar credit histories and scores, and lenders require a lot more documentation to prove borrowers are in good standing.

Also, many of the programs are charging higher interest rates. For example, Movement's rate for its zero-down payment option in mid-June was 4.5 percent to 4.625 percent, compared with 4 percent for its standard fixed-rate mortgages.

Some critics say that the borrowers who really could benefit from such options aren't able to qualify for them. Paul Skeens, president of Colonial Mortgage Corp. in Waldorf, Md., told The Washington Post that "it seems like people without excellent credit scores and three months of [bank] reserves don't qualify."

Source: "No Down Payment? No Problem, Say Lenders Eager to Finance Home Purchases," The Washington Post (June 14, 2017)

If you have any additional questions or queries contact us at (954).944.2799 or emailinfo@DSALegalGroup.com

 

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact an attorney.