Equifax Breach

Sep 15
Category | News
By now you have likely heard of the reported Equifax breach.  BankSouth is committed to doing everything we can to help our customers address concerns.  While there are still many questions, you as a consumer do have options to help protect your identity.  Below are available resources to help you protect yourself against possible identity fraud.  As always, please contact us if you have any questions.  You can visit the Equifax website to determine if you’ve potentially been impacted and sign up for the free credit monitoring services being offered: .  Check identity protection resources and checklists that are available from the Federal Trade Commission ID Theft website:


With Hurricane Irma on its way, we want to remind everyone of the potential impact that storms like this can have on the mortgage process.  BankSouth Mortgage is doing everything we can to make sure our loans close on time, but we cannot predict factors that may extend the loan process due to the storm. If you or one of your clients have an upcoming closing, please read the following carefully, and contact your Mortgage Banker for more information.  FEMA declared disaster areas (and surrounding areas) require an additional appraisal inspection to check to see if the home and its value are still intact.  This will add an additional fee of $125, paid by the borrower, and can delay the process further.  In addition, if there is significant damage in the area, it may take more time for appraisers to access certain areas and their services may be in higher demand due to this additional requirement.  Your loan officer will communicate if this requirement applies to you or your client. With the threat of potential damage to homes, many insurance providers will cease providing insurance binders until after the storm.  Loans cannot close without the insurance binder, so we are dependent on the insurance companies to remove the hold.  If you or your customer has not finalized their insurance yet, but is still able to do so, we recommend they consider binding that policy if they believe it’s beneficial. In addition to these two potential challenges, everyone must consider the logistics during and after the storm.  Realistically, the parties will need to be able to get to the ...


Last week Fannie Mae announced some big news – Purchase transactions are now included in their Property Inspection Waiver program, meaning certain purchases are eligible to have no appraisal required! This news is a huge advancement from the Property Inspection Waiver product that was announced late 2016 (see our post here )  that allowed appraisal requirement waivers on refinance transactions only.  Not having to get an appraisal will shed a significant amount of time from the mortgage process, not to mention saving borrowers money.  This program is now implemented and is available on one-unit purchases (including condos) when buyers put at least 20% down.  It’s currently available to primary residence and second home purchases but is not offered for investment properties.  Borrowers still have the option of having an appraisal done if they prefer.  So now you may ask yourself how are they doing this and what does it mean?  Through Fannie Mae’s program Collateral Underwriter (CU), they are able to look up past appraisals and see if it is associated with the current borrowers on the loan.  If the appraisal information is found, they will use that to determine if the file is eligible for a PIW.  This process will not only save borrowers a lot of money on appraisal fees, but will also help to streamline the mortgage process as a whole.  This program is evidence of the mortgage industry continuing to evolve and improve efficiencies as greater data and technological resources come available while adjusting to market conditions and homeowners’ needs.  ...

Mortgage Speak

How Homeownership Builds Wealth The 4th of July is more than just a day for celebrating the freedom we gained as a nation nearly 250 years ago. It's a day for celebrating the individual freedom and opportunity afforded to each American — freedom that lets you reach for the stars and create the life you've always dreamed of. A part of that freedom means having the financial stability you need to pursue your life goals, and the earlier you secure financial freedom in life, the more opportunity you'll have to make your dreams a reality. If there's anything history has taught us, it's that homeownership is one of the best ways to build wealth and secure your financial future. Here are five primary ways being a homeowner can help you accomplish this: Homeownership can help create a forced savings . Most people aren't very good at putting money aside each month, but every financial expert would agree that having a savings cushion is essential for financial freedom. For homeowners, a monthly mortgage payment can act as a forced savings. As you pay down your principal, you build equity, which helps to increase your net worth. Homes usually appreciate in value. While there's no guarantee that the home you buy will appreciate, there's a pretty good chance. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's House Price Index , home values have appreciated an average of 3.33% each year since 1991. Based on this information, if you ...


Planning a Move? Be Prepared

May 23
Category | News
Did you know May is National Moving Month? Between college students coming home for the summer and families packing up and heading to a new home, May is the busiest season for saying hello to new digs. While moving makes for an exciting time in people's lives, it can also be physically demanding and stressful. But not to worry. If you or someone you know is looking to move this year, we've got you covered with the below tips for a smooth move.   If you're planning to hire a moving company, make sure you do your homework. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) offers these tips for finding a legitimate mover: 1. Check that the mover is registered with FMCSA. All interstate household movers must be registered with the Federal government and have a U.S. DOT number and a proper level of insurance. Watch out for scam artists who don't have these credentials so you don't put your precious belongings in the hands of the wrong people. 2. Ensure the mover does an onsite inspection of your home before providing you with an estimate. Avoid receiving estimates over the phone, and be sure to get the estimate in writing before signing on the dotted line. 3. Review the insurance policies closely. The mover should offer you an option for Full Value Protection, which will provide you with the replacement value of lost or damaged goods. Be wary of Released Value Protection, which is typically offered at no additional cost and only covers you for no more than 60 cents per pound per article. For example, if your mover lost a 10 ­pound TV valued ...

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