Contact Me

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please feel free to contact me and I’ll get back to you as soon as humanly possible.


If you have access to breaking mortgage news or simply have a good link you’d like to pass along, please provide the relevant information.  Same goes for all you out there with press releases.  Send me one and I’ll write about it if it’s interesting.


I’ll also try to answer questions about the mortgage process, though it’s difficult to answer each one based on the volume I receive.  Before you send a question, take a look at the mortgage help topics I have already covered, you may find your answer.  You can also use the search box to find relevant queries.


If you are a member of the media and have questions you need answered for a story, give me a shout.  I’d be happy to help so long as you cite me properly in the story you’re working on. I can provide nice blurbs to accompany any article about the housing market or the mortgage industry.


If you have specific questions about advertising on my site, please don’t hesitate to contact me for additional details.  Or simply target my site through Google Adsense if you want to do it the easy way.


If you’re looking for writers/blog developers or interested in partnering up, drop me a line.  I’m always interested in being propositioned.

Contact me by using the address below or via Twitter:


Thanks for visiting!


  1. Jill November 16, 2014 at 7:07 pm -

    Hi Colin,

    Do you have any advice on what I should look for in a mortgage broker? My goal is to find someone who wants to get me the best deal but don’t they want to make as much money off of me as possible?

    Thanks so much,


  2. Colin Robertson November 17, 2014 at 9:25 am -

    Hi Jill,

    Perhaps someone that is referred to you by a family member or a friend who actually wants repeat business from you or your friends/family in the future. Having some future reward may entice that broker to give you good pricing today with the promise of more business down the line. You may also need to compare costs/service of several to narrow it down. Good luck!

  3. Murali December 7, 2014 at 11:16 am -

    Hi Colin,

    Thank you, your website is full of good information.

    If someone is having an equity of $80,000 out of home value $290,000 / 15 years mortgage (Loan Amount $250,000 – Loan year 2011 December) with an interest rate of 3.5% is it advisable to refinance the $210,000 to reduce the monthly mortgage payments?

    Best Regards

  4. Colin Robertson December 8, 2014 at 12:11 pm -


    The going rate for a 15-year fixed today is around 3.10%, per Freddie Mac. So you could potentially save some money if your current rate is 3.50%, but the savings might not be that sizable. You’ll also have to consider the costs to refinance, assuming the lender isn’t covering the costs for you, and the fact that your mortgage will restart again.

  5. Tanya Pinedo December 17, 2014 at 9:41 am -

    Hi Collin,

    I was approved for a conventional FHA loan at 3.5%. I went through a bankruptcy and was discharged 2 years ago. I owned a home that went into bankruptcy at that time. Everything was squared away and ready until a title search showed that I still had my name on the deed to the home I had not lived in for more than 4 years. Because of that, I was no longer eligible for the standard FHA loan. The house is now in the process of being taken out of my name, but my question is this: does my name on an existing title become a factor in the HELOC or not?

    Thank you

  6. Colin Robertson December 17, 2014 at 10:15 am -

    What HELOC are you referring to? If your name is on title, it could affect any subsequent loans you apply for.

  7. Rebecca December 19, 2014 at 8:26 am -

    My brother and his wife are trying to buy a home. I just sold mine and have the money in a CD in my and my mother’s name. His mortgage company is requiring several months of reserve. He said if I add his name to my CD that that would work. I am just wondering if his mortgage wants CD in his name alone?

  8. Colin Robertson December 19, 2014 at 12:27 pm -


    For joint accounts, you typically need a letter from the others listed stating that the borrower has full use of the funds.

  9. Holly February 7, 2015 at 6:15 am -

    I will like to buy a second home. I have been turned down by four lenders for the fact I have not been at my full-time nor part-time jobs for two years. All claim “I have no income”. My credit score is 800+, my debt to income ratio is lower than required, I have never defaulted on my current mortgage nor past mortgage, I have been in the same profession for 20 years. I have plenty in a money market and in a Roth IRA. Who will look at “the big picture” and not just employment longevity? Should I try the SIVA or no documentation route? If so, would it be best to work with a mortgage broker?

    I appreciate any help.
    Thank you.

  10. Colin Robertson February 7, 2015 at 11:01 am -

    Hey Holly,

    If you’ve been in the same industry for 20 years and your new job is similar to your old job, an underwriter might be able to consider your income. But new jobs are always scrutinized because they’re not yet proven. A broker might be helpful to navigate all the potential programs/lenders at once to find a home for your loan. And if that doesn’t bear any fruit, there’s always the potential of non-QM, though rates could be steep and you might need to put a lot of money down.

  11. Raisa April 22, 2015 at 11:25 pm -

    I am from Canada and I have a mortgage with the Royal bank on Canada who made a huge mistake in my mortgage in 2010. In 2009, the mortgage was a variable mortgage at 1.50 amortization 11 years, term 5 years. They renewed the mortgage without my consent in April 2010 gave me and Rate-Capper 5.50% ( term 5 years) with 58 years and 8 month of amortization which is illegal in Canada and the result of this mistake is that they charged approximately 17,731.00 only $ 200 went into the principal . They knew this problem since 2010. They don’t even want to provide me with any written documents explaining how this happened. They simple say they don’t know !! The mortgage is up for renewal May 18 and the interest have been since 2010 at around 3% I have gone to the client center who told me to negotiate with the branch who are telling me they will give me $2,230 of interest that they own me. Since they say the don’t know how this happened I don’t know how they came up with this $. WHAT SHOULD I DO? Is it possible to calculate how much they really own me.

    Thank you in advance for your advise

  12. Colin Robertson April 23, 2015 at 9:47 am -

    Hi Raisa,

    I’m not well versed in Canadian mortgage rules so unfortunately I can’t be of any assistance. But here in the U.S. it’s always good to negotiate if you’ve been wronged to get the most compensation. Perhaps using an amortization schedule to compare your original mortgage vs. what they changed it to will yield the difference in interest. Ask them to “show their work” regarding that figure they provided.

  13. Brad June 19, 2015 at 9:29 am -

    Dear Colin –

    I am ph.d student looking at why some home lenders do not seem to enforce required flood insurance policies on their clients. Any insight you can share would be great.

    Thank you


  14. Colin Robertson June 19, 2015 at 2:45 pm -


    As far as I know flood insurance isn’t always required in non-high risk areas though some lenders may still demand it. At the end of the day it’s not really your house when you still owe the bank for the majority of the collateral.

  15. Michaela June 30, 2015 at 6:50 pm -

    If we switched lenders do we need a new purchase agreement stating who the new lender is?

  16. Colin Robertson July 1, 2015 at 2:36 pm -


    Did the old agreement state who the original lender was?

  17. Tony July 8, 2015 at 1:32 pm -

    Hi Colin,
    do you a phone number that I call you regard my home refinancing it will be easier for me to explain my situation

    thank you.


  18. Lori July 23, 2015 at 10:51 am -

    I have a lien on my property. the mortgage was paid off by my now mortgage company 10 years ago. The prior company went bankrupt and I can’t locate anyone who can help me with discharge papers I never received nor did the title search company or the county records. nI need to sell my property and found this lien. where do I begin?

    Thank you,

  19. bea August 17, 2015 at 6:36 am -

    Hi Colin my problem is I’ve been trying to refinance but by my mortgage being late in the past year I can’t find anyone to refinance with. The mortgage company I with now doesn’t refinance in my state and my credit is good can you help me

  20. Colin Robertson August 17, 2015 at 10:20 am -


    Some specialty lenders may allow a refinance in spite of a late payment but rates will be higher and eligibility perhaps more difficult. Maybe a broker can shop around with a large number of lenders on your behalf to see if anyone can help.

  21. jeff howard September 1, 2015 at 11:12 am -

    I am purchasing the house that I have been renting. The seller and myself have agreed to a purchase price that is welll below appraised value, $250,000.00 I am wanting to overstate the purchase price by $20,000.00 for remodeling. This has been agreed upon by both of us. Is this legal, and what is my best protection to make sure that he pays me the $20,000.00 upon closing? Thank you for your response.

  22. Nathaniel S, Fulford September 16, 2015 at 11:02 am -

    What Wells Fargo says is completely contradictory to what they do. I’ve had mortgages with Wells Fargo for over 25 years, and no they have changed. If you’re looking for a Mortgage Company to develop a relationship with, I suggest you look else where. This company lends on the rule book of politics. i.e. there mortgage money primarily comes from the bankrupt institution of Fannie. They’re not a lender whereby you can develop a relationship with, and to suggest they are setting policies for their customer’s benefit is completely disingenuous. They lend in accordance with Fannie, and are nothing more than a conduit for stupid lending practices implemented by bureaucratic regulations. It is sad when big government infuses with business all under the false pretense that they are there to help. If it were me, I would force these banks to keep the loans they make, and live or die with said loans. If we’re ever to return to lending as a business and not a rule book for bureaucrats to manage through the political motivations, the Wells Fargo’s will be gone, and real banks will be back in business.

  23. mike September 22, 2015 at 9:32 am -

    if im 1 month ahead on payments can the bank report me to the credit bureau for a late payment ?

  24. Colin Robertson September 22, 2015 at 11:54 am -


    Why would they report you as late if you’re ahead? Just make sure your payments are being credited properly for each month.

  25. Holly Dingle October 19, 2015 at 3:43 pm -

    I have been trying to refi my home for approximately 4 years. I purchased my home in 2005, conventional loan back by Fannie Mae, never been late or missed a payment. I’m being told that I can not refi my loan because there is LPMI attached to my loan and it’s no longer back by Fannie Mae, I was tying to refi via the HARP. When i closed on my loan there wasn’t anything in my documents that the loan required PMI, lender paid or otherwise. This has now locked me into my current lender for the life of the loan. Is this common for banks to add LPMI 5+ years after the loan has closed? I just doesn’t seem ethical to me for the bank to be able to change the terms of the contract. Thanks for any help you can provide.


  26. Colin Robertson October 20, 2015 at 3:14 pm -


    LPMI would be in the loan at the start as it’s blended into the interest rate. If HARP doesn’t work maybe a traditional refinance will instead.

  27. Mckay October 27, 2015 at 10:22 am -

    Hi Colin,

    I am shopping around for a HECM reverse mortgage and want to find the lowest margin rate among lenders. I have called 4 different brokers, and they are all quoting a 3% margin on a HECM loan. Do you know how I can negotiate that even lower?

  28. Colin Robertson October 27, 2015 at 12:20 pm -


    I guess you can keep searching – they won’t be able to adjust their margin since lenders/investors set it.

  29. Craig Nelsen November 15, 2015 at 7:28 am -

    Hi Colin

    Thanks for all the work you put into this very good site.

    There seems to be something fishy about his whole business of mortgage-holders selling each other your debt.

    When you take out a loan from your friendly neighborhood bank to buy a house, two parties have entered into a voluntary agreement with each other. One party can’t unilaterally change the terms of the agreement without the other party’s consent.

    But that’s exactly what happens when your bank “sells your debt” to another institution.

    The reverse wouldn’t work. You can’t just transfer your obligation to repay the loan to someone else.

    For example, when Susquehana Bank merged with BB&T, part of the their mortgage portfolio ended up in the hands of outfits like G8 Capital of Latera Ranch, California, one of those companies that buys up “distressed” loans–in other words, a predator.

    Now suddenly, instead of an agreement with Susquehana, the company you knew and felt comfortable enough with to enter into the loan agreement in the first place, suddenly you are forced to be in a contract with a out-of-state predatory real estate company you’ve never heard of.

    How is that even allowed? It seems to me the first time G8 Capital sends me a letter saying they now own my debt, please remit this month’s payment to: address in California, you should throw it in the trash with the rest of the junk mail, write back, and say please take me off your mailing list, whoever you are.

    Think of it this way: if you borrowed a thousand dollars from your neighbor to add a deck to your house, and agreed to repay him one hundred dollars per month for ten months, could he, if you missed your second payment, “sell your debt” to Nunzio “Leg-Breaker” Mafioso? Of course not. For one thing, you never would have borrowed the money in the first place from Nunzio.

    How are all these bundled mortgages and so on any different?

  30. Chris December 5, 2015 at 4:40 pm -

    I’m looking to downsize my house and go mortgage free. I have found a FSBO house I like listed at $175K. I have around 150K equity in my current house about 40K in cash and over 400K in my 401K account. I’d like to buy the FSBO house quick but not carry 2 mortgages. Until I sell my current house what would be the best interim mortgage vehicle for my situation?

  31. Colin Robertson December 7, 2015 at 12:46 pm -


    Some might recommend a bridge loan though the rates are typically high and if you don’t sell your old house in time to pay it off things can get murky. Could make purchase contingent on sale of old home or pull equity via a HELOC to buy the other house in cash.

  32. Jill February 12, 2016 at 4:14 pm -


    I need information on a cash-out-refinance option.
    If I give my kids money to buy a house and they plan on getting a mortgage to pay me back, can they do the cash -out refinance to pay me the money back? or would it be better for me to put the house in my name and they buy the house from me? Also, would the closing cost me more on a cash out or the same as a regular mortgage?

  33. Colin Robertson February 12, 2016 at 5:11 pm -


    It depends why you want to do it that way. If you’re saying you just want to give them a down payment for a home, you could potentially gift an amount for down payment. But they wouldn’t be able to cash out right away to pay you back and the maximum LTV they can cash out won’t be 100% of the value. If you bought the home yourself with cash, assuming you wanted to pay in cash, it’s possible to turn around and do a cash out via Fannie Mae’s Delayed Financing Exception. There’s also the co-borrower route. Lot of options to consider so do your research.

  34. Tim Dean February 23, 2016 at 7:59 pm -

    My dad needs to liquidate his assets to pay for the care of my mom who is now in a rest home. he owns his home with a value of 250,000. My wife and I would like to buy his home and have him live with us. Would a cash out loan be a good option. We would like to avoid putting 20% down. I could get added to the deed and do this in six months.
    What are the pros and cons?

  35. Demetrius Greene March 13, 2016 at 9:33 pm -

    Hi Colin,I have been pre-approved from this lender.Does the lender need to know how much I pay for my current rent? Thank you.

  36. Colin Robertson March 14, 2016 at 7:46 am -


    Yes, they should ask how much you’ve been paying in rent and likely ask for rental history documentation.

  37. bryan coss April 9, 2016 at 7:47 am -

    1. I owe the IRS for back taxes, I have setup a payment plan with them. will effect me in getting a mortgage?
    2. can I get a mortgage loan to where I can combine my debt into the mortgage payment?

  38. Colin Robertson April 18, 2016 at 11:30 am -


    You may want to reach out to some brokers to determine best approach, possibly paying off the taxes with loan proceeds.

  39. Betty May 20, 2016 at 4:46 pm -

    Thanks for all the great information!

  40. Kim June 17, 2016 at 12:02 pm -

    Hi Colin,
    I own a property I’m trying to sell with a debt of only 10k appraised at 149k. Wanting to purchase a residential home in another area for substantially less. I cannot find a bank or lender that will give me a loan without a large down payment or an equity loan. Have a credit score of 750, now searching for a bridge loan and that seems impossible to find also…..any suggestions, this seems ridiculous to me.

  41. Colin Robertson June 24, 2016 at 4:08 pm -


    My guess is either someone would sell their current home, take out a HELOC on their current home to use for down payment, or make new purchase contingent on sale of existing property.

  42. Joel Moak June 30, 2016 at 2:29 pm -

    I’ve always believed in treating people or doing business with people the way I would want them to treat me or advise me.

    That being said would you get back into the mortgage business?

    Even if I just wanted to help people in the mortgage business and would consider doing it at my leisure and steer them in the right direction, and get paid by the lender(however little that may be) – like insurance companies, the insurance company pays the agent for writing the appropriate policy for their needs and budget.

    Is there a way to partner up with you and you get some form of compensation for your knowledge and expertise or consulting fee that would maybe come from my cut from the lender?

    Where, I would just focus on building clients, marketing, advising, and sales.

    I’m not in the mortgage business. I would consider it but I don’t want to push mortgage products or fees on people that are not right for them just so the lender can profit and grow.

    I have some other ideas about the business but I don’t want to get long winded.



  43. Diane McClaran October 8, 2016 at 12:40 pm -

    Hi Colin, My current mortgage lender sent a letter saying that they could lower my interest rate from 3.625 to 3.5. It ended up at 3.45. This process has really dragged out and we are asked more than once for the same info. Our income is borderline, we are retired but we are “asset rich” and have excellent credit. We paid $500. for an appraisal. The appraisal came in at 1,875,000 but I think it is more and the loan amount is 502K. They also said that if I took 3600/mo from my IRA, that would cover the income issue. That seems like a ridiculous amount to me. If we were that far off the mark they should have declined from the get go. So my questions are: does the lender get some sort of kick back from the appraisal, do you smell a rat as I do, and who should I notify if this doesn’t pan out, e.g. FTC?


  44. Colin Robertson October 11, 2016 at 8:10 am -


    Not sure the appraisal is the problem? Sounds like it came in high enough because the LTV is very low (around 25%). Lenders will typically try to order the appraisal ASAP to avoid delays. And sadly sometimes the loan still doesn’t work out after the appraisal is already paid. I think the CFPB is the agency many people complain to now.

  45. ali farhat November 9, 2016 at 7:45 pm -

    i’ve owned my home (2 flats + full basement/garage) over 30 years. the current mortgage is a conventional 30 yr. fixed at 5 1/8%. the loan is about 6 years old. it was originally for $450k, and has a current balance of about $408k. the appraised value of the house was $1.5m when it was refinanced, and according to zillow, its current value is $2.1m. i’m retired, and have no liquid assets, and owe about $60k in credit card and personal loans. i want to refinance at a lower rate to pull out enough equity to pay off my high interest bearing debt. all of the loan companies i’ve contacted first say they can help me, but then say my debt/income ratio is too high. as a result of constantly hitting my credit score, it has lowered substantially. i’ve never been late on a mortgage payment. is there anything you can suggest?

  46. Colin Robertson November 10, 2016 at 8:52 am -


    Sounds like you need a no doc loan, though the interest rate may be steep, and it might be difficult to qualify without assets to offset your lack of income.

  47. Brandon Krenzke January 15, 2017 at 8:07 pm -

    Hi. I got loan commitment for a loan on January 8 closing day was on the 13th of January. The day before closing on the 12th of January they tell me the mortgage insurance went up $20.00. They dont know why, how, or cant explain it at all. They told me to give notice to my landlord and everything now he has people moving in and i still have to move. Now me and my family are going to be homeless just because i tried to buy a house they said i could. Is this really able to happen? I have no new debts or anything dont get. Can you answer this for me?

  48. Colin Robertson January 16, 2017 at 9:18 am -


    The deal won’t go through over an extra $20 a month? Not to trivialize that, but shouldn’t there be a buffer where you can handle an extra $20+ on your mortgage. As to why it changed, may want to ask both the lender and the PMI company to determine that. Good luck.

  49. Ron January 25, 2017 at 11:44 am -

    Colin, If a person pays extra on their home mortgage (like an extra $100/Mo.) for 2 years, does this give leverage for the homeowner in the future to miss payments if it becomes necessary? Overall, how does it help the homeowner?

  50. Colin Robertson January 25, 2017 at 12:25 pm -


    Not sure it would provide leverage to miss subsequent payments, but it would mean more equity and perhaps more options to refinance to a lower payment, etc. Of course, this is one of the drawbacks of extra payments – less money on hand to deal with potential financial issues in the future…

  51. Marc March 24, 2017 at 10:10 pm -

    Hi Colin, we are interested in purchasing a home that is > our county FHA lending limit. Credit scores are both > 690, income is > 150K, DTI ratio is really low. We don’t qualify for calHFA based on our income. Does FHA have any other supplemental loan programs so that we can possibly be approved for greater than our county lending limit? Are there any other home loan programs that may be suitable for our financial situation? Thanks.

  52. Colin Robertson March 28, 2017 at 10:47 am -


    Why do you want to go FHA? It sounds like you might qualify for conventional stuff as well, which you may want to consider.

  53. Marc March 28, 2017 at 9:39 pm -

    Thanks Colin. Do most conventional loans require a huge down payment? FHA seems the most doable for us with the 3.5% down payment requirement. We don’t have down payment assistance. Thanks.

  54. Colin Robertson March 29, 2017 at 9:42 am -


    There are now 3% down conventional loan programs, or even less in some cases if you can get a grant from the lender. May want to compare those to FHA to see what works best for your situation. Good luck!

  55. Marc March 29, 2017 at 7:11 pm -

    Thanks so much Colin! We appreciate your info. & advice.

  56. carl lukens June 7, 2017 at 10:32 pm -

    I will be receiving a large sum soon, which will comprise about 80% of what i owe as principal on a mortgage. My interest rate is 4%. I get about 5% of most of my investments. Is this large sum better to be invested or to pay off most of my mortgage?

  57. Krista vivero June 8, 2017 at 10:16 am -

    Had a mortgage with GMAC -HOMECOMINGS. HOW IS IT THAT A JC GEMINI LLC has obtained these papers & has filed Foreclosure proceedings.There seems to be very little about them. Yet they have a F rating posted on consumer reports.They have multiple divisions & have screwed contractors & homeowners. How are they avoiding investigations on their practices?It seems they are handling Billions of dollars in investments as a private firm. How is it that they obtained loans in 2012 from closed companies? Someone needs to look into them . I keep coming to a dead end using common methods.They are suing one of my family’s properties. During a concillatory conference the Judge allowed them to suggest a modification loan to be answered within 10 days. The Judge seemed to have no clue about orginal loan etc. Volusia County ,Florida. Any insight is appreciated.

  58. Colin Robertson June 11, 2017 at 9:21 am -


    Only you can answer that question…depends what you value more and what your investment goals are. If you think you can do better in the market and value liquidity, it might be better than paying off your mortgage. The opposite might also be true.

  59. steve July 14, 2017 at 6:17 am -

    I was looking at my mortgage statement and noticed something no one ever mentions.
    In a 30 year 5% mortgage for $100,000 (simplified numbers for clarity) the lender interest paid is 50% on loan while the principle reduces less then 20%, I read that the median tenure for mortgages is about 12 years so if I sell my house at 10 years, and give the bank the 80% principle balance I would have paid 50% for borrowing 20%. No wonder these lenders seem unfazed by all these swings that are ruining ordinary borrowers.

  60. Andrew September 6, 2017 at 11:44 am -

    Curious if the max DTI ratio changed with the desktop underwriter update at the end of July (August) like you mentioned it should and how that has affected loan options…

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