Policies and Procedures Effective October 1, 2014

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1 Introduction and Purpose The purpose of the (DPA) is to increase home ownership in neighborhoods, assist low and moderate income households with home purchases, and to leverage private funds for these purposes with Federal grant funds (Home Investment Partnerships Grant, Community Development Block Grant, etc.). It is the goal of the DPA program to serve the maximum number of people with the most serious needs within funding availability limitations. Participants in the City s are as follows: Housing and Human Services, City of Irving, TX Housing and Human Services Board of Irving, TX Income eligible applicants Preferred lenders Participating non profit and for profit sub recipient agencies and contractors Other entities providing/encouraging affordable housing development The policies and procedures set forth herein are subject to review by the Housing and Human Services Board, based on recommendations by City staff members responsible for administering the program. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will determine funding availability for grants and loans provided under the program, and the allocation of funds to particular programs and activities is subject to approval by the Irving City Council. Authority for Program/Administration of Program The is funded by Federal grant funds awarded to the City of Irving by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA). Down Payment Assistance is an eligible activity under the Home Investment Partnerships Grant. The Housing and Human Services Board, authorized and appointed by the Irving City Council, is responsible for funding recommendations and community relations issues. Housing and Human Services staff is responsible for oversight and implementation of policies and procedures that have been reviewed by the Housing and Human Services Board. Eligible Applicants An applicant s gross annual household income may not exceed current income limits for low to moderate income households, as established and periodically revised by HUD. Applicant income is calculated for program eligibility utilizing the standards and methods required by HUD (24 CFR, Subpart E ), and staff must collect all applicable source information, as prescribed by HUD rules. Gross annual household income may not exceed 80% of the HUD provided Area Median Income, adjusted for family size. Income that is calculated for program eligibility is separate and different from income amounts calculated for home affordability, as calculated by the Housing and Human Services staff and/or for any lender prequalification. Eligibility approval is valid for 180 days following receipt of program approval. Updated documentation must be provided for each semi annual renewal of eligibility, and such documentation is subject to review by the Housing and Human Services staff for continued program participation. 1

2 Household assets may not exceed $10,000. Any amount over $5,000 will be used toward the purchase and subtracted from the City s contribution (will be reviewed on a case by case basis). All members of an applicant household must provide documentation of assets and income, including but not limited to: Three full months of paycheck stubs for each working member of the household, age 18 or older Verification of any other sources of income for all family members (Social Security, SSI, Medicaid, Child Support (12 month history), Alimony (12 month history), retirement, etc.) Prior two year s tax returns (three years if self employed), including all addendums and W 2 forms, for every working member of the household age 18 or older Complete, most recent two months (60 days) of bank statements for savings accounts Complete, most recent six months (180 days) of bank statements for checking accounts. Documentation of retirement accounts, 401k accounts, IRAs, or other financial assets Verifiable documentation for any other sources of income and/or assets A letter of explanation, along with documentation supporting the explanation, is required to be included for all unusual deposits and large cash withdrawals reflected in bank statements. All pages of any bank statement will be required, and computer screen printouts will not meet this requirement. Upon review of income and asset documentation, staff may request additional information to be used to explain or further document income and asset eligibility. While an applicant is not required to live in the City of Irving at the time of application, any home purchased through the DPA program must be located in Irving, Texas, and all applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents. Documentation of residency and citizenship for all household members will be required as part of the application, including current government issued photo identification from the applicant and the co applicant. Prior to application, the prospective applicant must have attended a program orientation session and be pre approved by a preferred lender. Documentation of lender pre approval will be required as part of the application submittal documents. If an applicant has received written pre approval from a lender prior application, the lender must be willing to follow the processes and requirements of the preferred lender program (covered later in this document). City of Irving staff reserves the right to disallow a lender who is not a city preferred lender. An applicant who is below 50 percent of the area median income but who does not qualify for a lender pre approval will be required to complete an application for the NSP program and will be subject to the TDHCA eligibility and affordability requirements. Other eligibility requirements include: An applicant may not receive any gift funds to be used toward the down payment of a home in conjunction with the City s assistance. All applicants must use a City approved preferred lender. An applicant cannot apply for assistance after signing a sales contract. Verification of home owner s insurance, paid property taxes, and homestead is required to be submitted to the Housing and Human Services department annually for the period of affordability, as dictated by the grant agreement signed by the applicant prior to home closing. 2

3 An applicant cannot have owed real property in the past three years or cannot have purchased real property as an individual with his or her current co applicant in the past three years, unless his or her current property has been designated substandard or deemed uninhabitable by a public entity. Co applicants are defined as spouses, live in boyfriends, or live in girlfriends. An applicant must provide a minimum of $1,000 investment for the purchase of an existing home or $1,500 for the purchase of a newly constructed or Rescue and Restore Program home, which can be used to assist with closing costs and private inspection costs. The minimum investment must come from the applicant s own funds. The household must also have cash reserves of one month of mortgage payments in a checking account, savings account, or other assets after buyer contribution. Applicants meeting all application requirements will be served on a first come first served basis. The assisted home buyer will be required to sign a Grant Agreement and Deed of Trust with the City of Irving that is subordinate one to the first mortgage. In order to receive assistance through the DPA program, an applicant must purchase a home that does not exceed the affordable mortgage amount as described in the section of these policies titled Calculating Amount of Assistance. A client who receives assistance through the DPA program cannot receive Home Restoration Program assistance unless the home has been occupied by the client for more than five years, the home issues are such that health and safety are of concern, and the repairs are approved by the Housing and Human Services Board. Cases will be approved on a case by case basis. Any applicant whose application has been deemed ineligible may reapply for assistance no sooner than 90 days following denial notification. New applications will require updated documentation to reflect the most current information. Applicant/Home Buyer Responsibilities and Obligations As this assistance program is funded through a significant financial commitment of public funds, there are several requirements of applicants. An interested party must attend a program orientation and obtain pre approval from a City approved preferred lender prior to submitting an application for assistance. All eligibility information must be submitted within 30 days of application submittal; this includes all additional information requested during staff s initial review. Any changes to household income, status, location, etc. must be communicated to the Housing and Human Services staff within 10 days of the change, and all changes to eligibility and affordability must be appropriately documented and verified prior to closing. The applicant should make reasonable accommodations to the schedules of the Housing and Human Services staff for the purposes of inspections. Each applicant must attend and complete a First Time Homebuyer Education class through a HUDapproved housing counseling agency, and provide documentation of completion to the Housing and Human Services staff, before assistance approval. The applicant has the responsibility of reviewing, executing, and understanding the grant agreement, deed of trust, and associated documents to meet the Grant Agreement and Deed of Trust requirements. The applicant should notify Housing and Human 3

4 Services staff of any questions and/or concerns during the application process and home buyer education period. A person purchasing a home through the DPA program must adhere to the following policies regarding the fulfillment of his or her lien agreement: The applicant must, for a minimum of the affordability period following his or her purchase of property, continuously use the residence located on the property as the applicant s principal residence. The applicant will, on an annual basis, execute such certifications as the City of Irving may require to confirm the applicant s compliance with this requirement. The applicant must agree that if: (i) the property is sold within the affordability period and such purchaser does not meet the requirements of 24 C.F.R ; or (ii) the applicant fails to continuously use the residence located on the property as his or her principal residence for the entire affordability period; or (iii) the applicant fail to honor any of his or her other obligations to the City of Irving; collectively, Defaults ; that the applicant, at the City of Irving s option, is required to repay the Down Payment Loan Amount, either immediately or in monthly installments in an amount necessary to fully amortize the outstanding down payment loan amount. In the event of default, the down payment loan amount that is to be repaid will be the difference between the down payment loan amount and any forgiven portion of the loan. Type of Assistance The City of Irving offers assistance for the purchase of new and existing homes. The City of Irving provides down payment, closing cost, and buy down assistance to eligible home buyer assistance applicants. Assistance is provided in the form of a deferred, forgivable loan with a lien in accordance with the information below: A loan in an amount up to $10,000 requires a five year lien period. A loan in an amount above $10,000 but less than or equal to $15,000 requires a ten year lien period. A loan over $15,000 requires a 15 year lien period. Liens are forgiven proportionately on an annual basis, unless the applicant receives direct construction subsidy, in which case the full amount of the construction subsidy is forgiven at the end of the lien period. A City of Irving DPA lien must be in first or second position. Loans are subject to project delivery costs. Assistance for the purchase of an existing home will be in an amount not to exceed $15,000. If the applicant purchases an existing home through the NSP program, assistance will be provided in accordance with the program requirements of TDHCA. Purchasers of existing homes may receive assistance for down payment, closing costs up to $4,000 (subject to Housing and Human Services approval), and mortgage buy downs (approved on a case by case basis and according to client need). 4

5 Assistance for the purchase of a newly constructed home will be in an amount not to exceed $30,000. If the applicant purchases a newly constructed home through the NSP program, assistance will be provided in accordance with the program requirements of TDHCA. Purchasers of newly constructed homes may receive assistance for construction subsidy, down payment, closing costs up to $5,000 (subject to Housing and Human Services approval, lender fees capped at 3% of the loan amount), and mortgage buy downs (approved on a case by case basis and according to client need). Calculating Affordability Eligibility refers to the income and asset calculations used to determine if the applicant household meets the requirements of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for participation in a Home Investment Partnerships Grant funded assistance program. This is a different calculation from an affordability calculation. It should also be noted that affordability, as calculated by the Housing and Human Services Department and in accordance with HUD guidelines, often varies from the affordability calculations made by lenders for pre approval. In order to purchase a home through the City of Irving Down Payment Assistance program, the applicant must meet both program eligibility requirements and City of Irving affordability thresholds. The Housing and Human Services staff will calculate and provide the applicant with the affordable amount of monthly payment, including principal and interest of a mortgage loan, property taxes, home owner s insurance, and mortgage insurance. Affordability is calculated utilizing a front end ratio and a back end ratio. The front end ratio is expressed as a percentage which may not exceed 30%, per City of Irving requirements and as recommended by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The back end ratio may not exceed 41%, per City of Irving requirements and as recommended by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The front end ratio is a ratio that indicates what portion of an individual s income is used to make mortgage payments. Front end ratio is calculated as an individual s monthly housing expenses divided by his or her monthly gross income. Monthly gross income is simply annual income divided by 12 (months). Lenders use this ratio, in conjunction with the back end ratio, to approve mortgages. Front End Ratio = Monthly Housing Expense/Total Monthly Gross Income The back end ratio is a ratio that calculates what portion of a person s monthly income goes toward paying debts. Back end ratio is calculated as the applicant s total monthly debt expenses divided by the applicant s total monthly gross income and is expressed as a percentage. Total monthly debt includes expenses such as mortgage payments (made up of Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance), credit card payments, child support, and other loan payments. Lenders use this ratio, in conjunction with the front end ratio, to approve mortgages. Back End Ratio = Total Monthly Debt Expenses/Total Monthly Gross Income 5

6 The City approved preferred lender that works with a particular applicant will provide the City with the mortgage approval amount. The specified monthly payment on the Good Faith Estimate should not exceed the Maximum Monthly Payment. This amount includes Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance (PITI). In all cases, the ratios may not exceed 30/41. Applicants purchasing homes through the NSP program are subject to the ratio parameters set forth by TDHCA. Eligible Properties and Inspections Eligible properties include pre existing single family homes and city sponsored newly constructed homes. Purchase prices may not exceed HUD s 203b mortgage limits for single family homes and must be within the applicant affordability amounts. Properties deemed ineligible include mobile homes, manufactured homes, condominiums, duplexes, multiplexes, and pre sold newly constructed homes. Properties located in the 100 year floodplain or floodway are not eligible for assistance. An eligible property must meet the City of Irving s minimum standards for decent, safe, and sanitary condition, as certified by an inspection conducted by the Housing and Human Services staff prior to closing. Any property being considered for purchase is required to have a private (TREC), third party inspection conducted by a State licensed home inspection company, funded by the potential home buyer. Costs borne by the applicant for this purpose can be used toward the applicant s minimum required investment. Notifications will be given at the appropriate times to the home buyer about the prohibition of the use of lead based paint, and all legal documents will contain language prohibiting the use of lead based paint. All exposed surfaces (walls, ceilings, floors, etc.) in all homes to be potentially purchased will be inspected for the presence of previously applied lead based paint. If evidence of lead based paint is found, coverage, removal, or other corrective action shall be taken in accordance with 24 CFR, Part 35, and will be conducted in a manner that avoids further diffusion of lead particles throughout the residence. Required inspection or testing will be conducted for all potentially assisted properties built prior to Lead based paint removal and/or coverage will be the responsibility of the seller. Home Buyer Education City of Irving staff will provide applicants with a list of HUD approved housing counseling agencies and contact information. An applicant must schedule his or her First Time Home Buyer Class. Home buyer classes are normally provided at no cost; however, the applicant must make the agency aware that the applicant is a participant in the City of Irving DPA program in order to qualify for a fee waiver. Any member of the household who will be on the mortgage, i.e. the applicant and the co applicant, must attend the class, and the class must be attended by all parties prior to program approval. If an applicant is more than 15 minutes late to a class, the applicant must attend another class to make up for the late/missed class. Attendance of this class, along with the program orientation, is a key component of the number of hours of education and training required to be completed as part of a HUD funded home purchase assistance program. 6

7 Preferred Lenders Mortgage Companies, Banks, and Other Financial Institutions A Preferred Lender/Loan Officer is defined as a mortgage lender partnering with the City of Irving to promote and support the, which has been selected by an applicant from a list provided by the Housing and Human Services staff. The list of City of Irving preferred lenders will be provided to potential applicants at the program orientation meeting. An applicant must apply for and be pre approved for mortgage financing with one of the lenders from the City of Irving Preferred Lender List prior to application. The applicant must keep his or her pre approval active and in place during the DPA process. An applicant may, in some cases, select a lender that is not listed as a City of Irving Preferred Lender. However, this choice of lender must be approved by the Housing and Human Services staff (evaluated on a case by case basis), and the lender must agree to the City of Irving s commitment to minimize the client s out of pocket costs. The Housing and Human Services staff will select preferred lenders through an open application process, held annually. All loan officers are recertified annually through this application process. Lenders must comply with program rules and regulations regarding participation to be considered for recertification. The Housing and Human Services staff will host application training sessions and necessary training and technical assistance. Information related to the application process will be made available on the City of Irving website. To participate as a preferred lender, the lender must meet the following criteria: The lender agrees to waive 10% of the standard loan origination fees. Sub prime loans will not be approved. Lenders must agree to lend to low and/or moderate income families. The lender must agree to participate in the marketing of City of Irving programs. The lender must agree to pre qualify potential applicants and supply the potential applicants and the City of Irving with pre qualification letters and Good Faith Estimates. The lender must agree to schedule closing no earlier than five business days after the receipt and approval of a final HUD 1 document. The lender must agree contact the Housing and Human Services staff as soon as an applicant becomes delinquent to the extent of becoming a possible foreclosure. The City of Irving shows preference to FHA and Fannie Mae approved lenders. The lender must agree to cap the lender s fee at three percent of the loan amount. The lender must provide a copy of the appraisal report to the Housing and Human Services Department as soon as this is available. The lender must agree to behave in an ethical and professional manner at all times. Lenders are subject to the overview and guidance of the Secure and Fair Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 and the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry. 7

8 Real Estate Agents Real Estate agents educate applicants about the role of a real estate agent in a purchase transaction and act in the best interest of the applicant, but it is not necessary to utilize the services of a realtor to receive DPA assistance. Real Estate agents representing DPA program participants should explain to the applicant the Buyer Representation Agreement and send an executed copy to the City of Irving as soon as it is executed. A real estate agent representing a City of Irving DPA applicant has the responsibility to contact the Housing and Human Services Department to learn all aspects of the DPA program in order to advise applicants in terms of program guidelines and to behave in an ethical and professional manner at all times. All real estate licensees are expected to meet the membership and certification eligibility standards of the Texas Real Estate Commission. Non arms length transactions are not allowed. This means that everyone involved must act independently and have no relation to one another, with exception of real estate agents working with a community housing development organization and/or its builder. It is assumed that, with no personal interest in the relationships between parties, the transaction will be fair and equitable to all parties. This also applies to real estate agents working in the same office. The agent s fee shall be capped at a maximum of three percent in all cases, including cases where the same agent and/or office represents the buyer and the seller. Title Companies Title companies work with the lender, client, and City of Irving to provide the closing documents. The title company must provide a final, approved HUD 1 and a copy of the title commitment (including the legal description of the property) to the Housing and Human Services staff five business days prior to a scheduled closing to ensure funding. The title company will file the subordination agreement on behalf of the City of Irving and will provide the final deed, note, and amortization schedule to the City of Irving within five days of closing. Representatives of the title company are expected to behave in an ethical and professional manner at all times. The title company must meet the membership and certification eligibility standards of the Texas Department of Insurance and the Real Estate Settlement Act. Responsibilities of City of Irving and Staff The Housing and Human Services staff is responsible for administering the DPA program in a professional manner that ensures maximum effectiveness, efficiency, compliance with City and HUD guidelines, and customer satisfaction. The Housing and Human Services staff will: Communicate with the applicant, title company, realtor, and lender regarding all administrative procedures that affect completion of the purchase on behalf of the applicant Make reasonable accommodation with all parties regarding scheduling of inspections Document applicant files in compliance with all applicable HUD regulations Review or oversee the review of applicant credit and income information to determine program eligibility Provide resources to applicants and potential applicants who are in need of credit counseling Provide guidance to the applicant regarding mortgage requirements Clarify with the applicant the advisability and eligibility of certain fees and/or charges 8

9 Loan Refinancing The Housing and Human Services staff will consider and/or approve a request of the home owner for loan refinancing of a DPA assisted home through a third party lender if the home owner has resided in the home for at least three years; and The interest rate is lowered a minimum of 1.5%; or The term of the loan is reduced Housing and Human Services staff will only approve refinancing if there is no cash out to the home owner in the transaction and the home remains affordable under the new loan terms. The loan form the City of Irving is not assumable. The loan must be paid in full upon the sale or transfer of the property. Complaints It is the goal of the City of Irving to address all grievances and complaints as fairly and efficiently as possible. Any applicant who expresses a concern with the City s DPA program or personnel should request an appointment with the Housing Supervisor to present and discuss the complaint. It is the City s intent to respond to and resolve the complaint as quickly as possible and practical, and as such, the Housing Supervisor will schedule a meeting, whether in person or via telephone, within five days of the receipt of a complaint, notwithstanding vacations, travel, or other instances in which the Housing Supervisor is out of the office for longer than five days. Grievance Procedure Should any applicant for or recipient of services under the City s DPA program not be able to reach satisfaction through the actions of the Housing Supervisor, the applicant has the right to file a formal complaint, or grievance. The following procedure shall be followed to address the grievance or complaint when staff has been unable to achieve solution in the field. Should the response by the Housing Supervisor not be satisfactory to the complainant, the complainant may request a meeting with the Assistant Director. The complaint should describe the nature of the problem and provide all pertinent information necessary to complete a thorough review of the situation. The Assistant Director will provide a response to the complainant within 10 working days from date of the meeting/discussion. In some instances the response time may be extended. Should that occur, the City will notify the complainant the reason for the delay and advise the client of the new response date. If the response by the Assistant Director is not satisfactory to the complainant, a written request of an appeal may be directly sent to the Director. The appeal provided should include the complainant s name, address, and daytime telephone number. A copy of the appeal will be given to an ombudsman assigned by the City Manager s Office. The ombudsman will act as the advocate for the complainant and will accompany the complainant at all subsequent levels of appeal and review. If a complainant refuses ombudsman services, he or she must waive these services in writing. A written response to the complainant should be made by the Director within 20 working days of the meeting. If the complainant has availed himself or herself of the avenues listed above and has not been provided with a satisfactory outcome, the complainant has the right to request a formal hearing 9

10 with the Housing and Human Services Board. Hearing requests must be received by the Housing and Human Services staff and/or through the ombudsman at least 10 days prior to a monthly meeting of the Housing and Human Service Board. A request received after the 10 day prior deadline will be considered at a subsequent monthly meeting of the Board. The complainant will be accompanied by his or her designated ombudsman, unless the complainant expressly, in writing, waives ombudsman services. The determination of the Housing and Human Services Board is final and binding on all parties. The determination of the Housing and Human Services Board will be provided in writing to the complainant within 15 days of the hearing. If the Housing and Human Services Board requires further review time, the complainant will receive written notification of the delay. 10

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