Wednesday, June 29, 2011


The question posed to me most often is, "What does it take to get a mortgage today?" My response is, "I am so glad you asked!"

We are lending money everyday but the ease of putting a little information on a piece of paper and going to the closing table is gone. Basically, this is what I will need to be able to submit:


* 30 days pay-stubbs

*w-2's, 1099's and Federal Tax Returns for last 2 years all schedules

*Verification of Employment with income listed from the employer

*To be able to use two job income's, you must have worked both jobs for 2 years

*To use over-time income, must have a two year history and we would average over-time

*To use commissioned income, must have a two year history and we would average commission

*If you are a w-2 employee and have a side business where you write off income, these losses could affect your w-2 income as well.

*If you are self-employed or commissioned and you write off expenses these will also be taken off your income. In other words, if you are not paying taxes on the money, we can't use it.


*Last 2 months bank statements all pages for each account checking and savings

*Quarterly or yearly statement on 401k, IRA's, Stocks and Bonds if you have them

*Ability to source and season any irregular deposits or large sums of money

example: Mom gives you $5k for a downpayment, we have to be able to prove Mom had the money to gift you. We would need a signed gift letter and a copy of bank statement showing the money came from Mom's account.


*2 year work history

*Must have been in the same LINE of work for 2 years (not necessarily consecutive, unless it is commission or self-employed)

*If self-employed will need last 2 years business license plus the ability to verify online by phone number, website, blog etc.


*Credit is pulled at the beginning of transaction and at the end of transaction. If you have applied for credit, significantly increased your credit card balances, opened new accounts, bought a new car will show and we will have to do letter's of explanation, maybe the loan will have to go back to underwriting due to changes in debt to income ratio and last it could keep you from being able to close on your loan at all. If your debt to income ratio was already close and you added or increased a monthly payment you may no longer qualify for financing under guidelines.

*If there are errors on your credit report you will need to furnish the documentation to have these errors removed from credit report. Just providing proof it was incorrect is no longer an option.

If you have questions or would like for me to give you a free credity analysis and pre-qualify you to purchase a home or refinance your current residence, please give me a call. Valerie Springer 205-995-7283 x 305 or visit my website

I am always "Yours to Count On"!

My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at or call 205-314-4775..

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!

I have a very special person in my life. His name is James Lawrence Barnett, I call him Daddy.

From the time I first remember, I was so proud of my Daddy. He was and still is such a gentle man and he has always cared deeply for his family. Mother, Brother and myself were always his first priority.

When Brother and I were young children, we always spent Saturday morning with Daddy. Mom worked at the post office and rarely got a Saturday off. We would get up and have breakfast, make our beds, straighten the house and Daddy would give us our allowance. Then we would head to Elmore's where we would get to shop as long as it took. Daddy never rushed us, he was always patient and he let us purchase what we wanted with our money.

We always took a two week vacation in the summer. Usually we would spend a week at the beach, then go through Atlanta and enjoy Six Flags and then on to Gatlinburg. We would stop at all of the attractions along the way, Ruby Falls, The Lost Sea, etc...The Davis family usually went with us. Daddy would not allow bumper stickers on his car, so we never got to get the "Six Flags" or "See Rock City" or "Ruby Falls" stickers so everyone would know where we had been. The Davis' on the otherhand, always got the cool stickers. (This is funny looking back but it was a big deal to us and an equally big deal for Daddy) So many great memories on these vacations but I will not bore you with these. :)

My childhood was very happy. My parents didn't argue, they loved each other and us. We laughed and enjoyed each other every single day. We ate supper together at night, we said the blessing before we ate and on weekends we would have family nights. Those usually consisted of supper at a restaurant and then a fun activity such as bowling, roller skating, movies or whatever we chose to do.

Daddy was always involved in our lives. Little League Baseball, Pee Wee Football, President of the Quarterback Club, anywhere he was needed he was there and a hard worker. He helped me sale Girl Scout Cookies and I always sold a truck load. He said, "I love you" each and every day.

Daddy was a hunter but he NEVER went into the woods on Christmas Eve, we were so afraid he would shoot Rudolph. Once again, Mom worked on Christmas Eve but Daddy would take us and go visit folks and drop off little gifts until we would meet up with Mom to start the holiday festivities.

He served in the National Guard for 35 years and every summer he would have to leave us for two whole weeks. On the morning he would leave, Mother would get me and Brother up early, she would play the piano and we would sing sweet love songs to Daddy while he was getting things ready for the journey. We would sing through the tears, quite an ordeal. We would be so excited when he would call home and Mother would tell us not to cry on the phone. Of course, I always cried. Then finally after a long two weeks we would get ready for his arrival back home. He always brought great gifts and it was like Christmas in summertime. I still have a few of those items in my possession. Most of all we were just so glad to have him back home.

On my wedding day, Mother, Daddy, Brother and I all spent the entire day together. I will never forget that evening when we were standing at the back of the church, before they opened the door he said "It's not too late if you are not sure?" I said, "I'm sure" he said "then lets go and gave me that wink that always melts my heart.

The day I gave birth to Ashlee. Because there were so many people in our families and friends, they held me in recovery until time for visiting hours. She was born at 5:24 pm and visiting hours was not until 7 pm Things were very different then. When Ashlee arrived I got to see her for just a few minutes, they then gave her to Mick and he took her to the nursery for her bath. He got to tell everyone it was a girl and they all got to go watch through the glass. Not Daddy...he stood by those doors until they finally pushed me through. He said "Hey Babe" took my hand and stayed with me until they got me settled in my room. Then, he went to see Ashlee.

All of my life he made me feel like I was the most important thing to him. I knew he loved Mother and Brother, but I was his girl. I was in my thirties and Daddy had some heart problems. He called me and in a panic I said, "I am on the way Daddy." He asked me to go work at Mom's post office so she could go with him??? (I worked at the post office then too) WHAT??? Daddy, must be in bad shape cause I think he said for me to go work for Mom so she could come to him. It was a knife to the heart. I always thought Daddy would be fine as long as he had me, wrong!!! :~) Time to grow up and be a big girl but how many get to their thirties thinking they are the princess and the queen?!

Daddy and I always spent special time with each other. I loved our fishing weekends just the two of us at the river. You see we are just alike, really the good and the bad! Our best fishing time was in the afternoon and evenings. We would fish those river-banks and talk about everything under the sun and moon. He would make homemade biscuits, bacon, sausage and eggs for breakfast and wake me up in time to get up, wash my hands and sit down to a breakfast feast. For supper, he would fire up the grill and we would have the best grilled steak you can imagine with all the trimmings. I am not really a fisherman so I got hung up a lot, he never cared how many times he had to cut the line or even when I lost his best lure. You see the fishing wasn't that important, it was the time we were together that mattered. He even let me drive the boat just like when I was a kid. I could go on and on but enough for now.

Lawrence Barnett is my hero and I feel so blessed to be one of two who call him Daddy. I am thankful for him and so happy that we will start Father's Day 2011 with church, then out for lunch to celebrate the most wonderful man I know. I love you Daddy.

My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at or call 205-314-4775.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Last week Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's words were somewhat depressing. He said "the economy is still producing at levels well below it potential." Just a reminder that weak or negative economic news and comments normally hurt Stocks and help bonds. (Bonds and mortgage backed securities are a safe haven for investments and the more money going in the lower home loan rates go). Last week this is what we witnessed.

If you would like more information and to subscribe to my weekly newsletter, .

My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at or call 205-314-4775..

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I receive many calls asking if we can close a HECM Reverse Mortgage with a Power of Attorney (POA). The answer is yes but we have to establish a few things along the way.

A Power of Attorney can only be used if the homeowner is physically unable to sign the closing papers, documented by a letter from a physician or mentally incapable of signing the closing papers, documented by a letter from a physician.

The Power of Attorney has to contain specific verbiage and it must also be established that the Senior was of sound mind at the time the POA was given. Many Senior's did POA years ago and family may not be able to find the physician who was treating them at that time to get a letter of competency. If your parent has alzhiemers in 2011 AND you are trying to do a Reverse Mortgage AND POA was given in 1995 AND you cannot find the physician who was treating them at that time there is no option to do a Reverse Mortgage. In this scenario the parent is incompetent today and we cannot prove competency at the time the POA was written.

(If you having aging parents who gave you power of attorney many years ago, you may want to check into having that re-worked now, while they are of sound mind and also get a letter of competency from their physician to hold on file.)

In the past, I have referred my family and friends to Bailey & Holliman, Estate Planning Law Firm. They specialize in Elder Law, Asset Protection and Estate Planning. You may reach Steve or John at 205-663-0281, or . A couple times a month they have free seminars to explain what you need and what they can do with your specific circumstance. They also help with VA benefits for the Veteran and Spouse even if you have been told you don't qualify or have been turned down in the past.

As always, if you need a HECM Reverse Mortgage in Alabama, Valerie Springer would be honored to answer your questions and help you with your financing. 205-995-7283 x 305

My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at or call 205-314-4775..