As an AAFMAA Member, you already know that we provide industry-leading, always-affordable life insurance solutions for you and your whole family throughout every stage of your military life and beyond. But, you may be surprised to learn you also have access to our wholly-owned mortgage subsidiary — AAFMAA Mortgage Services LLC (AMS) — which holds licenses to finance homes in 26 states. “AAFMAA created AMS because owning a home is a critical part of achieving financial security for so many military families,” says Anthony “TJ” Powell, AMS Executive Vice President.
When you work with us, you get access to knowledgeable professionals who truly understand the needs of the military community — many are military spouses or Veterans, themselves. “When you call us to discuss your mortgage needs, an experienced and licensed Military Mortgage Advisor will ensure you get the best solution, tailored for you,” explains Robert Greenbaum, AMS Chief Sales Officer. You should also consider a pre-approval from AMS. Being pre-approved shows your real estate agent and sellers that you’re serious about buying and that AMS already acknowledges that you’re financially capable.
What Happens Next?
When you’re ready to buy, we can help. “With the help of our Military Mortgage Advisors, you can maximize the tax benefits, manage capital gains implications, and find write-offs and deductions you might otherwise have missed,” explains Kevin Holton, AMS Vice President of Sales.
Finding the right home for your family could happen in a matter of days, or it may take months. Whatever your situation, when you’ve found a home you want to buy, you’ll work with your real estate agent to structure a purchase offer.
The Application Process
Now it’s time to submit a mortgage loan application. A Military Mortgage Advisor can help you understand the types of mortgages that may fit your situation. These could be fixed or adjustable rate mortgages, conventional or government issued loans (VA, FHA, or USDA).
Use this checklist to help you gather the necessary documents needed for the application.
Once you’ve met all underwriting requirements and if AMS approves your loan, you’ll often receive a commitment letter indicating your loan program, loan amount, loan term, and interest rate. At that point, certain inspections and other activities need to happen, including a final pull of your credit report, an appraisal, and a title search. Your AMS Mortgage Processor and Military Mortgage Advisor will make sure all required services, such as a title search and an appraisal, are ordered promptly.
An escrow or settlement agent will oversee the closing of your mortgage. Under the TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule (TRID), also known as the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule, the lender must provide a Closing Disclosure (CD) at least three business days before you’re scheduled to close the loan. “Use this time to compare your final terms and closing costs to those from the lender’s Loan Estimate (LE), and ask any questions,” advises Greenbaum.
Closing Your Loan
The seller and buyer can sign documents at different times, or together. In any case, the seller signs the deed and closing affidavit. The buyer signs the new note and mortgage, and any other disclosures. The old loan is paid off, and the seller, real estate agents, attorneys and other parties involved are paid.
After the signing, the transaction documents are recorded in the county where the property is located. Title insurance policies are prepared and sent to you and to your lender.
“As part of the closing, you will be given instructions on how to pay your mortgage, including the monthly amount you’ll owe and where to send it,” notes AMS Vice President of Operations Stacey Daniels. The lender collecting your mortgage payments, called your loan servicer, will usually set up an escrow account on your behalf to ensure property taxes, insurance, and other payments (such as HOA fees) are paid automatically, she adds.
Your loan servicer may shift at some point if the lender sells your loan or uses a different company to collect payments – so be sure you check a recent statement if you need to reach your servicer. The servicer’s name and contact information should be in the top left hand corner of your monthly mortgage statement.
When to Contact Your Servicer
Contacting your servicer to set up automatic payments or to make additional payments can be helpful. Also, if you start to experience difficulty making on-time mortgage payments, be sure to contact your servicer for options, some lenders may offer deferment or forbearance.
“Forbearance does not erase what you owe. You’ll have to repay any missed or reduced payments in the future. So, if you’re able to keep up with your payments, keep making them,” Greenbaum says.
The types of forbearance available vary by loan type. If your mortgage is backed by the federal government—this includes FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans—provisions of the recently enacted CARES Act allow you to temporarily suspend payments if you are experiencing financial difficulty due to the impact of coronavirus restrictions.
Loan servicers may also have forbearance or deferment options for non-government backed or private loans, but the exact options available to you may differ.
We’re Here to Help
We want you to know that while this outbreak of Coronavirus runs its course, AAFMAA and AMS will continue operating for you and your family.
We recognize the significant challenges facing our military community, such as childcare concerns, spouse income security, travel restrictions, PCS delays, and the need to keep older Veterans safe and healthy. With these rising challenges comes the need to ensure your family’s financial security. AAFMAA continues to provide solutions for your financial future in this time of uncertainty – just as it has for over 141 years.
If you’re ready to buy or refinance a home, call us at (877) 387-6856 or contact us today for current rates and additional details. If your mortgage is owned by AMS and serviced by BSI Financial, and you have any questions or need assistance, please call 877-221-9883 or visit https://myloanweb.com/AAFMAA/.