Neighborhood Housing Services of the Inland Empire CityLIFT Frequently Asked Questions

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1 Neighborhood Housing Services of the Inland Empire CityLIFT Frequently Asked Questions Q. What are the terms of the CityLIFT funding? A. CityLIFT funds are provided as a 5 year forgivable loan program for owner-occupied properties. As long as the borrower resides in the home the loan will be forgiven at a rate of 20% each year on the anniversary date of settlement. If the house is no longer a principle residence or the property is transferred, repayment of the balance of funds will be immediately due. Q. Are there income restrictions for eligible borrowers? A. CityLIFT funds are available for conventional and VA first mortgage loan borrowers with a HOUSEHOLD income up to 120% of the Area Medium Income (AMI). For borrowers using an FHA loan the income limit is 115% of the AMI. To view the household income chart (CLICK HERE). Q. If a person living in the home is not included on the loan to purchase the home does their income count in the calculation of household income? A. Yes. HOUSEHOLD income is calculated using all income for people ages 18 and older living in the home after the purchase. To view the household income chart (CLICK HERE). Q. Are there other financial requirements to participate in the program? A. You may be required to make an additional down payment contribution from your own funds if your remaining liquid assets at the time of settlement will exceed the greater of 6 months of your new housing PITI (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance) payment or $7,500 plus any additional payment reserve requirements that may be imposed by the first mortgage loan program. Remaining liquid assets are defined as your available funds in bank accounts such as checking, savings or money market accounts that are readily accessible without withdrawal restrictions or penalties after you have met any out-of-pocket settlement requirements from your own funds. Liquid assets do not include Retirement Accounts (such as 401(k), IRA or pension accounts), Investment Accounts (such as stock, bond or mutual funds), Certificates of Deposit (CDs), Business Checking or Savings Accounts. 1

2 Liquid asset determinations and contribution requirement estimates are made at the time of the first mortgage loan application. Liquid asset funds that are subsequently transferred to restricted accounts after first mortgage application will not be excluded from contribution calculation requirements. Q. What first mortgage lenders are eligible to participate in the CityLIFT program? A. A complete list of participating partner lenders is available on the Neighborhood Housing Services of the Inland Empire (NHSIE) website (CLICK HERE). Q. What is homebuyer education and how do I get it? A. Homebuyer education is an eight hour class that teaches about the home buying process. It includes a one hour session with a certified counselor. You may schedule a class with NHSIE or participate in the online class through NHSIE partner ehome America (CLICK HERE). You may also receive your homebuyer education from any HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency in Riverside or San Bernardino Counties. (CLICK HERE) for a list of agencies. Q. I have a homebuyer education certificate from an agency that is not HUD Approved. Will that be accepted? A. No. Only homebuyer education certificates from HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies located in Riverside and San Bernardino counties are eligible for CityLIFT funds. (CLICK HERE) for a list of agencies. Q. Can I own another home and still qualify for the CityLIFT program? A. Yes, if you currently own a home but will be selling it prior to closing on the CityLIFT property, you can still be eligible for the program. At the time of closing you may not own any additional properties including investment properties. Q. Are short sale properties eligible for CityLIFT funds? A. Short sale properties are eligible for the program if the short sale has been ratified by both parties. If it is not ratified by the lender, then the purchaser must wait to receive ratification prior to applying for funding. CityLIFT funds can be used in connection with the financing of a Wells Fargo short sale but only if Wells Fargo is not the new first mortgage lender on the short sale purchase. Another lender must originate the new first mortgage loan. 2

3 Q. What expenses can I use the CityLIFT DPA Funds to cover as part of my purchase of a home? A. CityLIFT down payment assistance funds may be used for any eligible purpose including closing costs assistance, down payment assistance, or borrower minimum out-of-pocket investment if allowed by the first mortgage loan program. CityLIFT funds may not necessarily cover the closing costs or out-of-pocket requirements of an FHA first mortgage or other type of first mortgage loan. You should consult directly with your first mortgage lender and NHSIE to determine how CityLIFT program funds may be used in connection with your home purchase. Q. Can I qualify for additional incentives along with CityLIFT funds? A. Yes. There are several programs eligible for layering incentives together with CityLIFT funding. Programs sponsored by the cities of Riverside, Corona, Moreno Valley, San Bernardino and Fontana; Riverside County; San Bernardino County; and the State of California as well as other programs, are included. A list of preapproved incentive programs is available on the NHSIE website (CLICK HERE). For other incentive programs that are not listed contact NHSIE to determine eligibility. Q. How do I know if I am eligible for additional incentive programs? A. Eligibility for each program is determined by the program administrators. Contact them directly to participate in their programs. Q. Are there any properties within Cities of Riverside, Corona and Moreno Valley in Riverside County and San Bernardino or Fontana in San Bernardino County that are not eligible for CityLIFT funds? A. Yes. Wells Fargo REO (real estate owned) properties are not eligible for CityLIFT funds. Get Ready for the CityLIFT Event! Q. What can I do now to prepare for CityLIFT? A. First, schedule an appointment to attend the event August You can register at (WELLS FARGO REGISTRATION). Second, participate in a homebuyer education class (LINK HERE TO HBE REGISTRATION). Third, meet with a participating lender (LINK TO APPROVED LENDER LIST) and obtain a pre-approval for a mortgage. Fourth, select a realtor and find a home located within Cities of Riverside, Corona and Moreno Valley in Riverside County and San Bernardino or Fontana in San Bernardino County. Note: Any of these steps can be completed prior to the CityLIFT event. 3

4 Q. What do I need to bring with me to the event? A. A list of required documents to determine CityLIFT eligibility is available (CLICK HERE). Additionally, you will either need your pre-approval letter from your participating lender (LINK HERE TO APPROVED LENDER LIST), pre-approval letter from a non-participating lender or the documents required by Wells Fargo for pre-approval. A list of documents required by Wells Fargo is available on their registration site (CLICK HERE). NOTE: The documents required for determining CityLIFT eligibility and for qualifying for a Wells Fargo pre-approval are NOT the same. Please be sure to review both lists. Q. Is there a way to participate in CityLIFT without attending the event on August 9-10? A. Maybe. If all of the CityLIFT funds are not allocated at the event on August 9-10, funds will be made available after the event on a first come, first served basis for eligible buyers. If you are unable to attend the event, please check our website after August 10 to see if funds are still available. Q. Will there be first mortgage lenders other than Wells Fargo at the August 9-10 event? A. No. Other lenders will need to provide a pre-approval letter to their clients prior to the event. Wells Fargo will be the only lender present at the event. CLICK HERE for a list of participating first mortgage lenders. What Happens After the CityLIFT Event? Q. What do I need to do following the CityLIFT event? A. Following the CityLIFT event, clients who receive an allocation of funds will have 60 days to complete homebuyer education, obtain a contract on a home, and submit the required documents to NHSIE. Clients who do not complete all of these steps will lose their CityLIFT allocation. Clients are encouraged to submit the documents following the CityLIFT event as soon as they are available. Q. Once a buyer is determined to be eligible for CityLIFT, how quickly will the process move forward? A. Once a buyer with an executed contract is determined to be eligible, a commitment letter will be issued with a copy sent to the first mortgage lender. The lender will then prepare documents for closing and provide copies of required documents to NHSIE at least seven (7) business days prior to closing. NHSIE will then have all documents prepared for the closing. 4

5 Q. What documents do my lender and I have to submit to NHSIE so that I can settle on my home using LIFT funds? A. (INSERT LENDER CHECKLIST OF DOCUMENTS) Q. Will extensions be allowed for clients who do not have a contract on a home or have not completed homebuyer education within 60 days of the event? A. No. Extensions are only available for clients who have met the program requirements and are preparing for settlement. Q. If a contract falls through can the client change to another property? A. Prior to the ending of the 60 day post-launch period, the client can resubmit a valid contract on another home and maintain their eligibility. Once the 60 day period following the CityLIFT event is complete, the funding becomes property-specific and if the deal falls through the CityLIFT funds are de-allocated. Q. What happens if I can t become pre-approved for a first mortgage at the event? A. Clients who are not able to qualify for a loan will be offered financial fitness classes and counseling following the event. The classes and counseling are designed to help prepare clients to get approved for a first mortgage. Financial fitness classes are free and provide information on how to manage income and create a budget based on that income, how to save, how to obtain a credit report, as well as how to apply for and use credit. 5

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