No-money-down mortgages are back – Good idea?

Hard to believe “no-money-down” mortgages are coming back but it looks like it may be true. It looks like this time around is slightly different with the home buyer being required to secure a portion of the mortgage with securities.

Funny that this is coming out around the time that the Government is sueing Standard & Poor’s for fraudulently overvaluing mortgage backed investments  in the days leading up to the housing bubble bursting in 2007.

It’s 100% financing–the same strategy that pushed many homeowners into foreclosure during the housing bust. Banks say these loans are safer: They’re almost exclusively being offered to clients with sizable assets, and they often require two forms of collateral–the house and a portion of the client’s investment portfolio in lieu of a traditional cash down payment.

In most cases, borrowers end up with one loan and one monthly payment. Depending on the lender and the borrower, roughly 60% to 80% of the loan can be pegged to the home’s value while the remaining 20% to 40% can be secured by investments. On a $2 million primary residence, for instance, the borrower could get a $2 million loan, which would require a pledge of assets in an investment portfolio to cover what could have been, say, a $500,000 down payment. The pledged assets can remain fully invested, earning returns as normal, without disrupting the client’s investment goals.

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