Foreclosure Rates Forcing Tougher Lending Policies - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Foreclosure Rates Forcing Tougher Lending Policies

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TRI-CITIES, Wash.--"We're going back to the way we did loans 15 years ago," says Banner Bank Vice President of Residential Lending, Mark Rowley.

High foreclosure rates nationwide have shut the door on many potential homeowners.

Jim Pogue, Owner of Desert Canyon Mortgage says underwriting guidelines have tightened up.

"They want beyond a shadow of a doubt now," mentions Pogue. Not only from the borrowers assets or their income, but the properties also. They're requiring the appraisers to do far more then they used to be."

Rowley, admits six months ago, applicants with average credit scores could get a great deal.

"There are a variety of programs available not too long ago where a buyer with limited and marginal credit could obtain a home buyer loan with as little as zero down," according to Rowley.

Today, zero down programs are almost non-existent. That's because lenders are catching on.

"It used to be the school of thought that the size of down payment did not influence the borrowers willingness to repay the debt, but they are finding that is not true," says Pogue.

With tougher standards, there are still options for home buyers. And you don't have to look to far.

"Richland, Kennewick in particular have excellent programs that we've worked with on a variety of occasions to help people with their down payment and closing costs," says Rowley.