Wintrust Advisor – Tax Season Focus – Self Employed Borrowers

Tax Season Focus — Self Employed Borrowers

Tax transcripts are required on all loan files but are especially important for documentation when a borrower is self-employed. Transcripts come directly from the IRS and demonstrate that the tax returns provided for lending purposes are the same returns filed with the IRS. This proves that no fraud has been committed on the loan application.

As April 15th approaches, there can be delays in obtaining tax transcript verification. When calculating self-employed borrower’s income, we are required to average two years of income if the current year is higher, or use the lowest of the two years if the current year’s income is lower. If you have a self-employed borrower who needs to use their 2014 income in order to qualify, we will need the 2014 transcripts in the file prior to closing. Encourage your borrowers to file their taxes as early as possible in order to avoid delay!
Warning from the IRS!

There are many different tax scams going on across the country. The scam that has been receiving the most press this year is fake IRS phone calls demanding immediate payments, with a threat of jail time if the borrower does not immediately pay the ‘amount owed’. The IRS does not call individuals at home; they will send a letter first. NEVER give out personal information over the phone or send money to an unknown caller. Read more below on this and other tax and identity theft issues to be on the alert for!

Reach out to Wintrust Mortgage to determine your mortgage pre-qualification options, to learn more about pre-qualifying for a home loan as a self-employed buyer or for any other real estate and financial information!

Amy Tierce
Regional Vice President
We’re here to help you and your buyers do more, learn more and grow more!

Wintrust Mortgage is a division of Barrington Bank & Trust Company, N.A., a Wintrust Community Bank NMLS# 449042. Copyright © 2015 Wintrust Mortgage KO15031397



Share Button

Do you know all the different programs available with little or no money down?

Conventional 97% – (That’s 3% down) Fannie Mae has reinstated their 3% down loan program. One of the borrowers must be a first time homebuyer, which means that they cannot have had ownership interest in a home in the past 3 years. All of the down payment can be a gift from a family member!

My Community Mortgage – Like the Conventional 97 program, this Fannie Mae product is for lower income buyers and offers reduced mortgage insurance costs. Borrowers must complete a homebuyer education class. Income limits are established by county that must be adhered to.

FHA Loans – Allows buyers to get into a home with a 3.5% down payment, which can be in the form of a gift from a family member. FHA makes allowances for lower credit scores and higher ratios.

VA Loans – This is a first class zero down payment loan program. Wintrust waives our processing and underwriting fees for our veterans. The seller can contribute up to 4% as a credit towards closing costs and we can offer a lender credit to minimize closing costs as well. Always be sure to ask your prospects if they have served in the military.

USDA Loans – Yes, the US Department of Agriculture has a home loan division that allows 100% financing. The property must be in a rural zone and the borrower’s income must be within the USA income limits. Give us a call if you want to learn more about USDA qualified communities in your area.

State Bond Programs – Most states offer a housing program of some type that allows for zero or low down payment and other benefits for the state’s low to moderate income residents. For example, Massachusetts offers the Mass Housing programs, which has income limitations and is available to first time buyers only (defined as not having ownership in a piece of real estate in the past three years) and requires that the buyer attend a home buying education class.

Each of these programs offers different benefits and advantages depending upon the profile of the homebuyer. Let your mortgage professionals at Wintrust Mortgage navigate this maze with your buyers. We will provide complete education as to appropriate offerings and provide written comparisons on all programs. Homebuyers will be better equipped to make an educated decision on how to structure their new home purchase in a way that meets their needs and dreams!

Amy Tierce
Regional Vice President

We’re here to help you and your buyers do more, learn more and grow more!

Share Button

Amy Tierce and Amyrates moves to Wintrust Mortgage!

Welcome back to the Amyrates Blog!

We have been busy re-building, re-branding and re-structuring our platform.  In case you haven’t heard, after 10 years of building and running the top branch at Fairway Independent Mortgage, I decided to move to Wintrust Mortgage!  I was hired to build a new region for the company and I am very excited for this opportunity. Wintrust Mortgage is part of Wintrust Financial Corporation, a nearly $20 billion asset financial services company based out of Chicago. Since we are a nationally chartered lender, I can lend in all 50 states from our Needham location. Through Wintrust Mortgage, we offer more products and programs than I have ever had access to; as well as a top flight condo department. Wintrust processes loans in a manner that is highly efficient and consumer friendly.

Please enjoy the Amyrates blog site! We will be creating new content weekly as the Wintrust Advisor which is targeted to the real estate community. In addition we will be adding posts on motivation, home buying, leadership, business development and women in business!

Stay tuned and thanks for paying attention.


With the opening of its new location in Needham, Mass, Midwest based Wintrust Mortgage has expanded into the New England region under the guidance of Regional Vice President Amy Tierce. Wintrust has the systems, compliance and security of a nationally chartered entity along with the flexibility of a correspondent lending platform and offers their clients the stability and clout of a $20 billion dollar bank. The service-focused mortgage lender has great expertise in all facets of mortgage lending, and their portfolio, condominium and jumbo offerings make them an especially good fit for the Metro-Boston market and all of New England.

Veteran lender Amy Tierce is at the forefront of the expansion and is using her vast industry knowledge to grow the New England region for Wintrust. “I am incredibly excited to introduce a new lending brand to New England. There is no one mortgage company, bank or lender who can execute every single deal that comes across their desk, but at Wintrust we can do more than most, and combined with our delivery systems we are the winning team,” says Tierce. She says New England is the perfect fit for Wintrust. Tierce adds, “This is a very challenging environment and I believe that the best originators and realtors need to be served by the strongest lending platform. How could I resist this opportunity?”

Amy isn’t just a top lender at Wintrust, she knows New England. Her knowledge comes from her experience as Regional VP for Fairway Independent Mortgage and manager of their number one Newton MA branch and region. Tierce isn’t the only New England addition to Wintrust’s new location. A strong team was crafted from Fairway, Deana Auman-Kirbach, Regional Operations Manager, Linda Erwin, Sr. Underwriter and Michele Auman, Sr. Processor. On the origination side, Brian Denton, an industry veteran and top originator formerly with Fairway and Drew Grandi former Business Development Director from Poli Mortgage are also on the team. Wintrust’s Executive Vice President of Sales Bob Shield raved, “When we met Amy, and later her team, we knew that this was a group we could build a region around. They have high standards and strong value systems around quality compliant origination, high-trust customer service, education, community engagement and charitable involvement, all hallmarks of Wintrust.”

Share Button

What is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)?

Established in the wake of the financial meltdown, the CFPB was tasked with standing up for consumers, making sure they’re treated fairly, and restoring trust in the consumer financial marketplace.  This is a huge regulatory agency which oversees the banking and lending entities in our nation.From the CFPB website:

What’s the difference between being prequalified and preapproved for a mortgage?

Updated 5/8/2013

Prequalification is a lender’s estimate of how much you could be eligible to borrow based on information you supply. Prequalification does not mean you will get the loan. Prequalifications are usually free.

Preapproval usually means that the lender is ready to make you a mortgage loan based on the information and documentation you provided at the time you requested a preapproval. The preapproval will say how long it is valid for and may contain some other conditions for you to get the loan. Your lender may not require that you pay any fees except the cost of a credit report at this time.

The Truth

The CFPB’s definition doesn’t really tell the full story — real estate professionals need to review any letter representing a buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage with great care and scrutiny, no matter what the letter is called.

Today, some banks have made the decision to NOT issue pre-approval letters due to the cumbersome regulatory environment, so they may call their letter a pre-qualification. Lenders licensed as mortgage brokers can’t issue a pre-approval letter because they aren’t licensed to approve loans. Some lenders issue letters based on a simple conversation with the borrower and call them pre-approvals; some lenders have borrowers submit information though a website that churns out pre-approval letters without any lender review; some lenders issue letters only after a thorough investigative process.

What matters is the process used to get the answer — not what the letter is called, but what it says.

When evaluating a pre-qualification or a pre-approval letter on behalf of a seller, this is what you need to look for.

Does the letter contain the following?

  • The purchase price
  • The loan amount
  • An expiration date
  • Names and addresses of all buyers
  • Percent of the down payment
  • Loan type (Conventional, Jumbo, USDA, FHA, VA, etc.)
  • Loan term (Fixed or Adjustable, 30 years or 15 years, etc.)
  • Whether or not the transaction is dependent upon the sale of another property
  • Status of the property being sold (on market, under agreement)
  • Contact information for the loan officer and their NMLS number
  • Lender name and licensing details

Next, you need to ask yourself an important question: “do I know and trust this loan officer/institution?” Do not hesitate to call the loan officer and interview them on their process.

If the letter doesn’t state what documentation has been reviewed as a part of the process, then you should ask if the loan officer has reviewed the following:

  • Two years of federal tax returns
  • Two years of W2’s
  • One month of paystubs
  • Two months of asset statements checking, savings, investments to verify the source of down payment.
  • Credit report
  • Any additional documentation needs that arise out of the client interview

Don’t take a letter from an unknown lender at face value.  A high percentage of purchase transactions fall apart due to financing issues.

It doesn’t matter what the letter is called — it matters that the lender and the buyers worked together to ensure that the transaction will close on time. It matters that the lender is thorough, detailed and transparent about their process.

We are that lender — we’re here to help your buyers through this process and to celebrate your closing success with you! Give me a call anytime you need a second opinion on a letter, no matter what it’s called.

We’re here to help you and your buyers do more, learn more and grow more!

Share Button