What Is a Bank Statement Mortgage? Who Is It For?

What Are Bank Statement Mortgages and Who Qualifies for Them?

When you apply for a mortgage, lenders typically require proof of income via pay stubs, W-2s, and tax returns. But with a bank statement mortgage, borrowers can use their bank statements instead of tax documents to verify income.

For self-employed workers, who now number nearly 17 million, using bank statements can demonstrate their real income instead of the lower figure that might be reported on a tax return after deductions.

Read on to learn how you can leverage your bank statements to qualify for a mortgage.

What Is a Bank Statement Mortgage?

A homebuyer who is self-employed, by any name — sole proprietor, independent contractor, a member of a business partnership, freelancer, or gig worker — or anyone else may qualify for a bank statement mortgage loan, also known as a self-employed mortgage, by submitting personal or business bank statements.

A bank statement lists all transactions made in an account during a set period of time, usually a month. The sum of the transactions — deposits, charges, and withdrawals — is used to calculate the beginning and ending balances for that period. In place of tax returns, this account information is used to verify you have enough income and cash flow to cover a down payment and monthly loan payments.

Lenders offering bank statement mortgages may ask for 12 to 24 months of statements to determine the borrower’s net income — how much they earned after taxes and business write-offs. Typically, the bank statements cover the time period immediately preceding the loan application.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.

Recommended: Understanding the Different Types of Mortgage Loans

How Does a Bank Statement Mortgage Work?

So, what is a bank statement mortgage in practice? As with conventional mortgages, lenders can consider your credit score, work history, and proof of liquid assets as part of the loan application. But a bank statement mortgage differs in at least one way.

Whether you deposit income from your business directly into a personal bank account or from a separate business account affects how your income is calculated.

Lenders may apply an expense ratio to business bank statements with the understanding that part of the deposits goes toward business expenses. This means that only a percentage — usually 50% to 85% — of qualifying deposits is used to calculate income. (However, it’s possible to obtain a lower expense factor with a statement from a certified public accountant or tax preparer.)

If you deposit income to your personal account from your business account, 100% of deposits can count toward calculating the bank statement mortgage you can afford. Without a separate business account, though, deposits to a personal account also receive an expense ratio.

Note that lenders can also factor in your ownership percentage in a business when calculating gross monthly income from business bank statements.

Here’s an example of how these two scenarios would work for the same self-employed person applying for a 12-month bank statement mortgage.

Business bank statement: ($84,000 in deposits / 12 months) x 50% expense ratio = $3,500 gross monthly income

Personal bank statement: $84,000 in deposits / 12 months = $7,000 gross monthly income

With this monthly gross income figure, the lender will assess monthly debt payments to calculate the debt-to-income ratio and determine the loan amount you qualify for.

Recommended: Understanding Mortgage Basics

Who Should Get a Bank Statement Mortgage?

Prospective homebuyers who don’t have consistent cash flow or who lack proof of income from an employer like W-2s and pay stubs could benefit from a bank statement mortgage.

Self-employed workers, who represent around 11% of the U.S. workforce, often claim tax deductions for business expenses to lower their tax liability, which makes their income appear lower on tax forms. Therefore, without using bank statements, many sole proprietors, contract workers, and freelancers will qualify for a smaller mortgage amount than they can actually afford.

Bank statement mortgage loans could also be advantageous for seasonal workers. Since gross monthly income is calculated as an average during the full time period covered by the bank statements, when the deposits occur within that time frame is less important.

Recommended: Getting a Personal Loan When Self-Employed

Pros and Cons of a Bank Statement Mortgage

Bank statement mortgages represent an alternative financing option that lends itself to self-employed and seasonal workers. But it’s important to consider the pros and cons when shopping for a mortgage.

Pros of Bank Statement Mortgage Cons of Bank Statement Mortgage
Can qualify without W-2s, pay stubs, or tax returns May require a higher down payment than other types of home loans
Often eligible for second homes and investment properties Generally carries higher interest rates
Private mortgage insurance is not required with 20% down Not all lenders offer this loan product
May offer higher loan limits Can require being in business for years to qualify

How to Find a Bank Statement Mortgage

Bank statement mortgages are considered non-qualified mortgages (non-QM), which means they may lack certain features and protections, so not every lender uses them. Though less common than traditional mortgages, many lenders, including banks and credit unions, offer bank statement mortgage loans.

Since bank statement loans are non-QMs, it’s natural to have questions about mortgage terms and requirements.

For instance, it’s worth asking about mortgage points — fees paid to a lender for a lower interest rate — since the limits on points and fees for a qualified mortgage do not apply.

Recommended: Mortgage Calculator

Alternatives to a Bank Statement Mortgage

Prospective homebuyers have a range of financing options to choose from, even if they’re self-employed.

Getting prequalified and preapproved can give you an idea of how much home you can afford, and a specific amount, respectively.

A mortgage loan originator will convey the loan terms you might qualify for and available financing options.

•   Conventional loan: Accounting for more than 78% of home loans in Q1 2022, conventional loans tend to come with competitive interest rates and are originated, backed, and serviced by private mortgage lenders.

•   FHA loan: Insured by the Federal Housing Administration but administered by approved private lenders, an FHA loan allows for down payments as low as 3.5% and lower credit scores than conventional loans.

•   USDA loan: A USDA loan, backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is designed to make homeownership affordable for low-income buyers in designated rural areas.

•   VA loan: Eligible service members, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses can obtain VA loans, guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, with competitive interest rates, no down payment, and minimal closing costs.

If you’ve been self-employed for two years, or one year self-employed plus two years in a similar role with comparable income, you may still qualify for one of the above loans.

Recommended: Help Center for Home Loans

The Takeaway

Being self-employed does not prevent borrowers from getting financing for a home purchase or refinance. A bank statement loan could be a solution if your tax returns don’t fully capture what you can afford.

As you weigh your mortgage options, add SoFi to your list. It’s easy to compare SoFi’s home mortgage loans, which offer a variety of terms, low down payments, and competitive rates.

Learn what rate you qualify for in just minutes.


Are bank statement mortgages good?

Bank statement mortgages can be advantageous for self-employed homebuyers or refinancers, but they can have higher interest rates and down payment requirements. It’s worth checking to see if you’re eligible for conventional or government-backed loans first.

How much of a down payment is required for a bank statement mortgage?

Typically, bank statement loan lenders require a 20% down payment, or 10% if purchasing mortgage insurance.

Can I use a bank statement loan on a second home?

Yes, bank statement loans can be used for a second home, as well as vacation homes and investment properties.

Do bank statement mortgages work for refinancing?

Yes, homeowners can refinance with a bank statement mortgage, including applying for a cash-out refinance if they have enough home equity.

Photo credit: iStock/PeopleImages
SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.


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Mobile vs Modular vs Manufactured Homes: Key Differences

Mobile vs Modular vs Manufactured Homes: Key Differences

Mobile, manufactured, modular. These types of homes sound similar, and they’re all prefabricated, but they differ in cost, customization, ease of financing, and more.

When it comes to old mobile homes and modular vs. manufactured homes, here’s what to know if you’re considering a purchase.

What Is a Mobile Home?

Unlike a stick-built, or traditional, home built from the ground up, a mobile home was built in a factory before mid-1976 and transported on wheels to its destination. The name is a bit of a misnomer: Most are never moved.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.

What Is a Manufactured Home?

A manufactured home is built in a factory, then transported to its destination in one or more sections. Sound familiar? That’s because manufactured homes are the 2.0 version of mobile homes.

In 1976, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) changed the “mobile home” classification to “manufactured” legally and began to regulate the construction and durability of the homes.

More change and innovation have come with time. That is covered below.

What Is a Modular Home?

Modular homes start their lives in a factory, where modules of the homes are built. The pieces, usually with wiring, plumbing, insulation, flooring, windows, and doors in place, are transported to their destination and assembled like a puzzle.

Modular homes are comparable to stick-built homes in most ways other than birthplace.

Recommended: Choose a Favorite From the Different Types of Homes

How Mobile, Manufactured, and Modular Homes Differ

These homes may all share a starting point, but there are key differences to know, whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or not. For the sake of simplicity, let’s compare manufactured homes and modular homes.


Manufactured homes are built from beginning to end in a factory on a steel chassis with its own wheels. Once a manufactured home is complete, it’s driven to its destination, where the wheels and axles are usually removed and skirting added to make it look like a site-built home, or it may be attached to a permanent foundation.

Construction and installation must comply with the HUD Code (formally the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards) and local building codes.

Modular homes are built in pieces in a factory, then transported to the property. From there, a team assembles the home on a permanent foundation.

While a modular home may be built states away from its final home, it needs to comply with the state and local building codes where it ultimately resides.

Manufactured Homes

Modular Homes

Fully factory-built? Yes No (but mostly)
Permanent foundation? Not commonly Yes
Construction regulated by HUD Code State and local codes


There’s a fair share of design differences when it comes to modular vs. manufactured homes.

Manufactured homes come in three standard sizes:

•   Single-wide: roughly 500 to 1,100 square feet

•   Double-wide: about 1,200 to 2,000 square feet

•   Triple-wide: 2,000+ square feet

The most significant limiting design factor of manufactured homes is the layout. As they must be delivered fully assembled on a trailer, they only come in a rectangular shape. In the case of single- or double-wides, there’s not much space to separate rooms or interior hallways to connect them.

In terms of design, there’s much more freedom in modular homes. They can be just about any style, from log cabin to modern, and can have more than one floor.

The design options of a modular home are similar to a stick-built home. Floor plan and style are only limited by a buyer’s budget and space. A modular home may look just like a site-built home upon completion.

Manufactured Homes

Modular Homes

Size limitations Yes, single-, double-, or triple-wide No
Shape limitations Yes, rectangular only No

Customization Options

Most makers of manufactured homes allow some customization, including:

•   Custom kitchen layout and cabinetry

•   Porches

•   Custom layouts (within the confines of prefab shapes)

•   Siding

•   Built-in lighting

•   Ceiling finish

•   Fireplace

•   Tiling

Similar to stick-built homes, modular homes have nearly endless customization options. From the style of the home to its size and layout, modular homes offer more flexibility for buyers.


The expense of a modular home vs. manufactured home can vary dramatically.

A modular home — also sometimes called a kit home — may cost less than a stick-built home, but it usually costs a lot more than a manufactured home.

Both modular and manufactured homes have a separate expense: land. In the case of manufactured homes, it may be possible to rent the land the home is delivered to, but owners of modular homes will need to buy the land they want to build on.

Another cost associated with modular homes is the foundation, which needs to be in place when the modules arrive. Manufactured homes affixed to a permanent foundation on land owned by the homeowner are considered real property, not personal property.

Here are some typical expenses associated with each home:

Manufactured Home

Modular Home

Average cost $85,800 for a single-wide
$159,200 for a double-wide
$200,000 to $400,000 (2,000 square feet, including installation but not the land)
Foundation $4,000 to $13,000 $4,000 to $13,000
Land Is often rented; varies by location $55,000 median; varies by location

Another expense to keep in mind is financing. An existing modular home will qualify for a conventional mortgage or government-backed loan if the borrower meets minimum credit score, income, and down payment requirements.

Homebuyers building a new modular home often will need to obtain a construction loan.

Manufactured and mobile home financing is trickier. The key is whether the home is classified as real or personal property.

Manufactured homes classified as real property, including those used as accessory dwelling units that are at least 400 square feet, might qualify for a conventional or government-backed loan.

Financing options for mobile and manufactured homes classified as personal property include a chattel mortgage and an FHA Title I loan.

A personal loan is another option.

Recommended: Explore the Mortgage Help Center

The Takeaway

Mobile, manufactured, and modular homes have key differences. A manufactured home on leased land is not considered real property, while a modular home, always on its own foundation and land, is, and compares in most ways to a traditional stick-built home.

SoFi does not finance manufactured homes but will, if you qualify, refinance a construction-only loan to a traditional home mortgage loan or provide a mortgage for an existing modular home.

SoFi mortgages have lots of advantages, including low down payments. Find your rate with no obligation.


Is a modular home better than a manufactured home?

In terms of appreciation and resale value, a modular home has the edge over most manufactured homes. And if a manufactured home is on leased land, the owner may face lot fees that keep rising.

What’s the price difference between mobile, manufactured, and modular homes?

Generally, mobile and manufactured homes are much less expensive than modular homes. A mobile home, by its very definition, was built before mid-1976. The size of the price gaps depend on how customized the home is, where it is, and how large it is.

Between manufactured and modular homes, which is fastest to build?

Unless there are factory or supply chain delays, manufactured homes are typically faster to build than modular homes. (Of note: A modular home can often be built much faster than a stick-built home.)

Photo credit: iStock/Marje

SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.


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Family Opportunity Mortgage: What It Is and How It Works

What Is a Family Opportunity Mortgage?

A family opportunity mortgage is a loan for a residential property bought for a parent or an adult disabled child who could not qualify for financing on their own.

Under Fannie Mae guidelines, a principal residence can be purchased for a child or parent who is unable to work or who does not have sufficient income to qualify for a mortgage. The buyer will be considered the owner-occupant even though they will not live in the house.

This article will explain family opportunity mortgage guidelines and rules, how to find lenders, and more.

What Is a Family Opportunity Mortgage?

What was a formally titled program under Fannie Mae is now a conventional loan with expanded guidelines to allow owner-occupied financing under special circumstances.

A family opportunity mortgage may be used:

•   When parents or legal guardians of a disabled adult child want to provide housing for the child.

•   When children want to provide housing for parents who cannot qualify for a mortgage because they cannot work or their income is too low.

Buyers are able to obtain financing at the same interest rates and terms as a principal residence under these circumstances. They do not have to use second home or investment property requirements.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.

Recommended: How to Buy a Single-Family Home

How a Family Opportunity Mortgage Works

A family opportunity mortgage works just as a conventional mortgage for your primary residence does. Buyers must meet Fannie Mae’s eligibility and underwriting standards in order to qualify for the loan.

Lenders consider your debt-to-income ratio, monthly debts as a percentage of your gross monthly income. Fannie Mae guidelines call for a maximum 45% DTI, or 50% with certain compensating factors.

Your income, though, must be high enough to cover the home mortgage loan for your primary residence and the residence you want to buy for your parent or dependent child. A credit score of at least 620 and steady employment will be required to qualify for the new mortgage as well.

Example of a Family Opportunity Mortgage

Here’s an example where you could use the family opportunity mortgage. Let’s say you have elderly parents who need more care, and you would like for them to move near you. Their retirement income isn’t enough to qualify for a mortgage in your area.

If you have enough income and a decent credit score, you may be able to buy a house for them. This is where a family opportunity mortgage may make sense.

You’ll turn to your lender to qualify you for owner financing. The family opportunity mortgage is actually a term that is no longer in use, but the ability to qualify for an owner-occupied mortgage for a disabled adult child or elderly parent following Fannie Mae guidelines is the same.

The lender can help you explore different types of mortgages that will meet Fannie Mae’s criteria.

One basic choice is a fixed-rate loan or adjustable-rate mortgage.

After settling on a mortgage product, you’ll submit all the necessary documents through your lender to apply for the mortgage.

After the loan closes, your parents will move into the house, and you’ll make the mortgage payments in your name.

Keep in mind the mortgage and the deed will be in your name unless you add your parents to the deed. There are advantages and disadvantages to structuring it this way, so be sure to do some research or consult a lawyer.

Recommended: Home Loan Help Center

Steps to Qualify for a Family Opportunity Mortgage

If you want to qualify for a family opportunity mortgage, you’ll need to take the following steps:

•   Complete a mortgage application with your lender. You’ll need to add the amount of the additional mortgage to the one you have on your principal residence (if any) and still have enough income to qualify for financing. Take a look at this mortgage calculator tool if you want help coming up with an estimate.

•   Obtain pre-approval. By providing a specific tentative amount, mortgage pre-approval allows you to look for homes that fall within your budget.

•   Find a suitable property. The property does not have distance rules; nor do you have to reside in the property to qualify for owner-occupied financing. The types of houses may be restricted to single-family homes, but it may also be up to your lender.

•   Provide your lender with all necessary documentation. This may include proof of the adult child’s disability or proof that a parent is unable to take on a mortgage.

•   Close on the loan. Sign all the paperwork, wire your down payment and closing costs to the appropriate entity, and take care of any final details.

A family opportunity loan is usually treated like conventional financing for an owner-occupied home. Some lenders may have stricter lending standards when it comes to the definition of an owner-occupied residence.

Advantages of a Family Opportunity Mortgage

Being able to provide housing for a loved one with owner-occupied financing comes with some advantages:

•   Lower down payment requirement. With an owner-occupied house, buyers can obtain a conventional mortgage with as little as 3% down (0% if they qualify for a USDA or VA loan). If the property is bought as a second home or investment, the down payment requirement is usually 10% or more. For a family opportunity mortgage, the minimum down payment is 5%.

•   Interest rates are lower. Loan rates for second homes or investment properties run higher than owner-occupied residential mortgage rates.

•   Lower property taxes. When a property is classified as owner-occupied by your local taxing authority, you may qualify for an exemption that reduces property taxes owed.

•   Mortgage interest and property tax is tax deductible. When you file your taxes, you may be able to claim the mortgage interest and property tax dedication for both properties.

•   Borrowers are not required to occupy the property. With a family opportunity mortgage, you are not required to live on the property to qualify for owner-occupied financing.

Recommended: Shopping for a Mortgage

Which Lenders Offer Family Opportunity Mortgages?

Since the official program with the name “Family Opportunity Mortgage” has been discontinued, you won’t be looking for a lender that offers this program. Instead, you’ll be looking for a lender that allows you to use Fannie Mae’s definition of an owner-occupant when buying a house for a parent or disabled adult child. Many lenders will offer this as it is a common conventional loan.

Tax Implications of a Family Opportunity Mortgage

The tax implications of owning a home with a type of family opportunity mortgage may be complex. It’s a good idea to consult a tax attorney or tax accountant for advice.

The Takeaway

Buying a home for a disabled adult child or an aging parent is possible if you meet Fannie Mae guidelines and have sufficient income. If you’re looking for the family opportunity mortgage, ask lenders if they allow owner-occupied conventional financing if you purchase a home for parents or a disabled adult child. You’ll save money while providing housing to a vulnerable adult.

3 Home Loan Tips

  1. To see a house in person, particularly in a tight or expensive market, you may need to show proof of pre-qualification to the real estate agent. With SoFi’s online application, it can take just minutes to view your rates.
  2. Not to be confused with pre-qualification, pre-approval involves a longer application, documentation, and hard credit pulls. Ideally, you want to keep your applications for pre-approval to within the same 14- to 45-day period, since many hard credit pulls outside the given time period can adversely affect your credit score, which in turn affects the mortgage terms you’ll be offered.
  3. Generally, the lower your debt-to-income ratio, the better loan terms you’ll be offered. One way to improve your ratio is to increase your income (hello, side hustle!). Another way is to consolidate your debt and lower your monthly debt payments.

Shopping for a mortgage? Check out the advantages of SoFi home mortgage loans.


Has the Family Opportunity Mortgage program been discontinued?

The formal name “Family Opportunity Mortgage” has been discontinued, but Fannie Mae still allows conventional mortgages to be considered owner-occupied for disabled adult children and parents who cannot qualify for mortgages on their own.

Can I buy a home for someone who is not my family member?

You can buy a single-family home for someone who is not a family member, but the circumstances do not meet Fannie Mae family opportunity mortgage guidelines and will not qualify for owner-occupied financing.

Photo credit: iStock/Ridofranz

SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.


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What Is Mortgage Foreclosure? Here’s What You Need to Know

You may know someone who lost a home to foreclosure, but you might not know all the ins and outs of the process.

When the lender takes back a property when the mortgage has not been paid for a specified period of time, that’s a mortgage foreclosure. The process varies by state and by lender, but there are things you can do to avoid it.

Here’s what you need to know about foreclosure, as the numbers began rising, and moves you can make if you’re facing it.

What Does Foreclosure Mean?

When a buyer finances a home, the mortgage is secured with the property, meaning the property is used as collateral on the loan. If the homeowner fails to make the agreed-upon payments on the due dates, the lender can take the property back.

Each state has its own laws regarding foreclosure. Where you live will determine how properties are foreclosed. There are two main types of mortgage foreclosure.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.

Recommended: Help Center for Mortgages

Types of Mortgage Foreclosure

In some states, the lender is required to go through the court system to foreclose on a property. This is known as judicial foreclosure. In other states, the lender does not have to go through the court process.


With a judicial foreclosure, a lender must get a court order to foreclose on a property. The lender must file a complaint with the court, which is also sent to the homeowner and any other lienholders. Generally, the mortgage note must also be filed with the court.

Some states require loss mitigation efforts before a suit can be filed. Most of these foreclosures are not contested, resulting in a default judgment against the homeowner.

After this, the property may be scheduled for sale (usually a foreclosure sale or sheriff’s auction). The homeowner may appeal the foreclosure judgment.


In a nonjudicial foreclosure, deeds of trust can be foreclosed without going through the court system. Lenders must give special notice to the property owner and wait a specified amount of time before auctioning the property off.

Some states allow both judicial and nonjudicial foreclosure, while others may only allow one or the other. Below is a summary of states and what process they follow for mortgage foreclosure.

State Foreclosure process
Alabama Primarily nonjudicial
Alaska Primarily nonjudicial
Arizona Primarily nonjudicial
Arkansas Primarily nonjudicial
California Primarily nonjudicial
Colorado Primarily nonjudicial
Connecticut Primarily judicial
Delaware Primarily judicial
District of Columbia Primarily nonjudicial
Florida Primarily judicial
Georgia Primarily nonjudicial
Hawaii Primarily nonjudicial
Idaho Primarily nonjudicial
Illinois Primarily judicial
Indiana Primarily judicial
Iowa Primarily judicial
Maine Primarily judicial
Kansas Primarily judicial
Kentucky Primarily judicial
Louisiana Primarily judicial
Maine Primarily judicial
Maryland Primarily nonjudicial
Massachusetts Primarily nonjudicial
Michigan Primarily nonjudicial
Minnesota Primarily nonjudicial
Mississippi Primarily nonjudicial
Missouri Primarily nonjudicial
Montana Primarily nonjudicial
Nebraska Primarily nonjudicial
Nevada Primarily nonjudicial
New Hampshire Primarily nonjudicial
New Jersey Primarily judicial
New Mexico Primarily nonjudicial
New York Primarily judicial
North Carolina Primarily nonjudicial
North Dakota Primarily judicial
Ohio Primarily judicial
Oklahoma Primarily nonjudicial
Oregon Primarily nonjudicial
Pennsylvania Primarily judicial
Puerto Rico Primarily judicial
Rhode Island Primarily nonjudicial
South Carolina Primarily judicial
South Dakota Primarily nonjudicial
Tennessee Primarily nonjudicial
Texas Primarily nonjudicial
Utah Primarily nonjudicial
Vermont Primarily judicial
Virginia Primarily nonjudicial
Washington Primarily nonjudicial
West Virginia Primarily nonjudicial
Wisconsin Primarily judicial
Wyoming Primarily nonjudicial

When Does Mortgage Foreclosure Begin?

Mortgage foreclosure begins with the first missed payment, though a lender’s actions will escalate the more payments a homeowner misses. With the first missed payment, the mortgage lender won’t take the property back, or even issue a notice of default, but will reach out to the borrower to help them get payments back on track.

The lender will also report a nonpayment or late payment to the credit bureaus and issue a late fee.

Typically, lenders won’t issue a notice of default until the borrower defaults on three missed payments, or 90 days past due (this is standard practice, but lenders can issue a notice of default sooner than 90 days). Default is the precursor to foreclosure.

Foreclosure Timeline: How Long Does Mortgage Foreclosure Take?

After the notice of default arrives after 90 days past due, the time it takes to complete the foreclosure will vary by state. In some states, it can be a matter of months. In others, much longer.

In jurisdictions where each step of the process requires court approval (judicial foreclosures), court backlogs can delay the foreclosure processes for years.

Why Do Foreclosures Happen?

Foreclosure occurs in a number of situations. Some of the most common:

•   Being underwater. When a homeowner has negative equity in the home, the property is more likely to be foreclosed on. Having an underwater mortgage is the most common reason for foreclosure.

•   Rising interest rates. When a borrower’s loan has an adjustable interest rate, a sudden rise in the amount owed each month can lead down the path to foreclosure. With the 5/1 ARM, the interest rate is fixed for the first five years and then adjusts once a year.

•   Mortgage types. Sometimes even the different kinds of mortgages can contribute to default. With an interest-only mortgage, for instance, after five or 10 years of interest payments, principal and interest kick in, resulting in higher payments.

•   Personal situations. When the payment on a mortgage loan becomes too much or when a life event (hospitalization, death, divorce, layoff) prevents homeowners from making monthly payments, they can slip into default and eventually foreclosure.

If the homeowner doesn’t work with the lender to make a plan for repayment of the missed payments, the mortgage servicer can seek foreclosure.

Can You Avoid Foreclosure?

Homeowners have options if they’re facing foreclosure, and the sooner they contact their mortgage lender or servicer, the more they will have. Some of these include:

•   Reinstatement. If you’re able to pay off the past due amounts and any penalty fees, the lender will stop the foreclosure process.

•   Repayment plan. A repayment plan allows you to tack on a portion of your past-due payments to your regular payment each month. This makes sense if you’ve only missed a small number of payments and will no longer have trouble making a monthly mortgage payment.

•   Forbearance. If you qualify for mortgage forbearance, your lender might pause or lower monthly mortgage payments for a short amount of time. When you start making payments again, you’ll add portions of your missed payments to your regular payment to catch up.

•   Loan modification. With a loan modification, the lender permanently alters the terms of the mortgage contract, so the payment is more manageable. This can include a reduced interest rate, adding missed payments to the loan balance, extending the term of the mortgage, or even canceling part of the mortgage debt.

•   Filing for bankruptcy. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy may allow you to keep certain assets like a house or car. A court must approve your repayment plan. It stays on your credit report for seven years. You might want to consult with a bankruptcy attorney if you’re thinking about going this route.

•   Selling your home. If you have enough equity in your home to pay off the mortgage and pay for the cost of selling your home, you may be able to sell your home to avoid foreclosure.

•   Deed in lieu of foreclosure. A deed in lieu of foreclosure is essentially when you hand over the title of your home to the lender instead of going through a foreclosure. It is less damaging to your credit than a foreclosure.

•   Short sale. If the lender agrees to a short sale, it is agreeing to allow the home to be sold for less than what is owed. The deficit is taxable if the mortgage terms hold the borrower liable for the full amount of the loan.

Recommended: A Guide to Mortgage Relief Programs

Consequences of Foreclosure

Foreclosure has a huge impact on your credit. It will stay on your credit report for seven years after the first missed payment, and the multiple delinquent payments are a further knock against your credit scores, making it hard to go shopping for another mortgage and other loans.

After a foreclosure, it could take two to seven years to get a new conventional or government-backed mortgage.

But there are ways to deal with financial hardship.

The Takeaway

Facing mortgage foreclosure is one of the toughest things a homeowner can go through. As the financial landscape shifts, knowledge is power.

If you’re on solid financial footing, that’s a good spot to be in. Are you in that league and shopping for a mortgage? Take a look at SoFi’s menu of fixed-rate home mortgage loans.

Get started with mortgage pre-approval and find the home of your dreams sooner than you may have thought possible.


Can I stop the foreclosure process?

Possibly. The sooner you contact your mortgage servicer, the more options you will have.

How will foreclosure hurt my credit score?

The lender reports each missed payment, and the further behind a borrower gets, the more delinquent they become. The credit score lowers with each report. A foreclosure stays on a credit report for seven years, which makes it harder to apply for other credit lines and loans.

Am I supposed to pay property taxes when my house is in foreclosure?

It’s true that a missed tax payment can also lead to foreclosure proceedings, but it depends on where you are in the process. If you’re working with your lender to get your missed payments back on track to avoid foreclosure, then your escrow account will be replenished and the mortgage servicer will pay your taxes. If you’re in foreclosure and not able to get your payments back on track, paying your taxes won’t help you get your house back. You’re better off working with your lender to put that money toward missed mortgage payments.

Do I have to move out of my house when it is in foreclosure?

The Federal Trade Commission advises staying in the house as long as possible if you’re facing foreclosure. You may not qualify for certain types of assistance if you move out.

Photo credit: iStock/jhorrocks

SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.


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Mortgage Bankers: What Do They Do?

Mortgage Bankers: What Do They Do?

Mortgage bankers originate, sell, and service residential mortgages for consumers on behalf of the lender they work for. They also may provide escrow services. A mortgage banker plays a central role as people navigate the complexities of applying for a mortgage.

Mortgage bankers are often the first and last point of contact. Getting a home mortgage loan that works for your financial situation, as well as saves you money, is incredibly valuable.

What Is a Mortgage Banker?

An individual or an institution that originates, sells, or services a mortgage can be considered a mortgage banker.

Individual mortgage bankers work for a single lending institution and help applicants sort through the different mortgage types. Mortgage bankers are also called mortgage lenders or mortgage loan officers when referred to in this way.

Customers who want help understanding mortgages or who have questions about mortgages can be assisted by mortgage bankers.

Mortgage bankers can get homebuyers on the right road with mortgage preapproval. They serve as the primary point of contact for buyers’ lending needs.

A mortgage banker can also be an institution, such as a bank, credit union, or other direct mortgage lender. When talking about a mortgage banker that services a loan, for example, it’s in reference to the institution.

A mortgage loan originator employed by a credit union, bank, or a subsidiary of a bank does not have to obtain a loan originator license. Nonbank mortgage loan originators must be licensed in the states where they do business and must be registered with the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry.

The licensing requirements were put in place after the mortgage meltdown of 2008 to protect consumers from predatory lending and to prevent fraud.

Recommended: Home Loan Help Center

Services Offered by a Mortgage Banker

At their core, mortgage bankers have the ability to create or sell a new mortgage loan. They also have the ability to service it once the loan closes.

Originate Loans

Mortgage bankers originate loans, meaning they take an application and create a new mortgage for a residential home. The loan is usually sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Sell Loans

Mortgage bankers sell loans so they can engage in more lending. If it’s a conventional loan, the sale typically goes to the government-backed enterprises, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. This increases lenders’ liquidity so they can originate more loans to more customers instead of carrying the amount of the loan on their books.

Service Loans

Once the mortgage has closed, the lender needs to be paid every month. This is what mortgage servicers do: They take on the day-to-day task of making sure your payment gets to all parties that need to be paid. Servicing loans is usually in reference to the mortgage banker as an institution, not the individual mortgage loan officer.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.

How Do Mortgage Bankers Make Money?

Individual mortgage bankers may make money from a salary, commission, or a combination.

Institutional mortgage bankers make money from origination fees, mortgage points, mortgage servicing, mortgage-backed securities, and the yield spread premium. The yield spread premium is how much money they make based on what they charge a customer relative to how much it costs to obtain that financing.

Differences Between a Mortgage Banker and a Loan Officer

Mortgage banker and loan officer, or loan originator: These terms are often used interchangeably.

However, while a mortgage banker can refer to both individuals and institutions, a loan officer is always an individual.

Differences Between a Mortgage Banker and a Mortgage Broker

In your research to get the best mortgage, you may have also come across mortgage brokers. Though applying for a mortgage will have the same requirements whether you go through a mortgage broker or a mortgage banker, a mortgage banker is different from a mortgage broker in who they work for and how they obtain your mortgage.

A mortgage banker works for a single lending institution that makes loans directly to consumers. The lending decision and underwriting are typically made at the bank level, which can streamline the process.

A mortgage broker works with many different lenders. This is helpful if you want to shop around or need to find a specialty loan not offered by all lenders.

See also: Calculator for mortgage payments

When Is It Better to Have a Mortgage Banker Than a Broker?

Your best bet for finding a home loan with terms most favorable to your financial situation is to shop around for a mortgage. A mortgage banker is closer to the lending process than a mortgage broker, but a broker has access to a greater number of lenders.

Be sure you’re comparing apples to apples on the mortgages offered to you by studying the loan estimate you’re given by each lender after applying.

The Takeaway

A mortgage banker can play a major role in getting you to the closing table with the right loan. By any name — mortgage banker, loan officer, loan originator — this person is a key guide during the home-buying journey.

If you’re looking for a traditional home loan, jumbo loan, refinance, or home equity loan, see the competitive deals SoFi offers.

SoFi home loans come with appealing rates, low down payment options, and on-time closings. You may be able to lock in your rate for up to 90 days. Terms apply.

Get your personalized rate in minutes.


What does a mortgage banker do?

A mortgage banker can originate, sell, and service loans for customers.

Is a mortgage banker similar to a mortgage broker?

Not really. A mortgage banker works for a single lender and makes loans directly to you. Mortgage brokers do not lend money but instead find a lender to work with their buyer.

How do you choose a mortgage banker?

Shopping around for a mortgage banker can help you choose one that works for your budget and financial situation.

Photo credit: iStock/Lacheev
SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.


Read more
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