By BOB TEDESCHI
MOST borrowers are facing a much tougher mortgage environment than a few years ago, but for those who are self-employed or own small businesses, maneuvering through a loan application can be even more arduous.
Before 2008 these borrowers, many of whom have difficulty documenting their income, often used what are known as stated-income loans. Lenders focused on credit histories and earnings estimates, circumventing the need for pay stubs or W-2s.
But during the mortgage crisis, stated-income loans became known as “liar’s loans,” because some borrowers falsely inflated their incomes, and qualified for more than they could afford.
Today, stated-income loans have nearly disappeared. Those still available through regional lenders like Hudson City Savings Bank come at a cost: interest rates around a quarter of a percentage point higher than conventional loans and down payments of at least 30 percent.
The self-employed borrower’s only choice, mortgage brokers say, is to submit two years’ tax returns and hope that they qualify for a conventional loan.