Mid Oregon’s Matt Mitchell Shares Perspective

Today’s home loan environment is anything but normal. In Central Oregon, our strong home sales and refinancing market has been subject to COVID-19 circumstances, economic uncertainty and job & income fluctuations. Mid Oregon Credit Union Mortgage Manager Matt Mitchell was asked about the impact on today’s lending environment. Below Matt provides answers to today’s mortgage questions.

Are Rates Going Up?

Rates continue to stay at historical lows; it is important to compare different lender’s rates. Lenders will fluctuate their rates on different products depending on their concentration and market demands for certain products. It is hard to say when rates will increase, but at some point in the future they will go up.

Is It Harder To Qualify For Home Loans?

Different Lenders and secondary market buyers have different requirements. We are seeing some approval tightening on Jumbo Loans and low member FICO credit scores paired with low down payment loans.

Are You Seeing a Lot of Forbearance Requests?

We are seeing some requests (Mortgage Payment Assistance) and as a credit union our position is aligned with helping our members. The whole industry has a much kinder and helping approach than it did during the recession. The process is much more borrower friendly and the response times are very fast. Most of the current plans do not require the borrower to become delinquent like they did during the recession.

What Advice Do You Have for Someone Not Able To Make Payments?

Contact your mortgage servicer right away and ask what programs they have available. Making the contact early gives the servicer time to assist you before the account becomes delinquent.

Remember that deferring payments does not stop the interest from adding on to the account. The deferred payments will change the whole structure of the loan and the interest will be due at payoff.

Is There a Lot of Unease In The Lending Market About Long-Term Impacts?

Uncertainty causes unease and there is plenty of uncertainty in the current economic market. Central Oregon has a couple of advantages: 1. The location is very desirable. 2. The inventory of houses on the market is limited. There may also be an increase in demand because people want to move out of big cities.

Nationally, Mortgage Applications Are Trending Up. Are You Seeing That Locally?

Yes, we have seen an increase in refinance applications. Obviously there has also been a decrease in purchase applications. Lenders are hiring additional staffing to keep up with the increased requests.

Are There Any Other Positive Or Negative Signs You Are Seeing On The Lending Side Of Things?

The increased demand & the virus have both put pressure on the appraisal industry. This has driven up appraisal prices and increased the time for delivery. On the positive side lenders have been working on their processes to become more streamlined electronically. This will have a positive impact by making things easier.