The following articles were authored by Fred

9/11/2001–a day to never forget!

Today marks the 12 anniversary of the most cowardly attach on America ever, including the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. I say that because the Japanese were in the process of declaring war, the war criminals that attacked us on 9-11 didn’t and don’t represent any country, just cowards.

In remembrance of that day, I have compiled some YouTube videos about the day, mostly to country songs. I hope you will watch them, it is hard, but something that we much remember and teach our children and grandchildren about. Here they are:

Retiring and leaving the mortgage business – still available for questions

I have been considering this for some time and have made my decision that it is time to do it.

I am retiring and going to spend my time with my grandchildren and fish as much as possible. I will continue to write my blog posts and hopefully keep everyone up to date on what is happening in the world of mortgage lending.

After being in the lending business for over 30 years and going through some of the toughest times I can imagine, it is time to turn it over to someone with more energy than I have now.

Thanks for your readership and I want to definitely recommend Guild Mortgage Company for your lending needs and wants. The gang in Oak Harbor are consummate professionals. They deliver on their promises. The contact information on the pages will be changing as soon as I can get them done. But, if you have questions, please drop me an e-mail at

VA Home loans available for Reserve and National Guard

Active Reserves or National Guard with ninety days active duty in wartime could be eligible for a VA Guaranteed Home Loan with no down payment.

Reservists and National Guard can qualify if they have spent more than six years in the reserves or national guard, or if they have spent 90 days or more on active duty during wartime. The current Gulf War period started on August 2, 1990 and will continue until a future date. So any Reservists and National Guard serving form 90 days or more during that period should qualify for a VA Home Loan.usa cares housing spec

There are also eligible periods for World War I, World War II, Korean conflict, and the Vietnam era. Service during those periods could also mean eligibility for a VA Home Loan.

Active Reserve and National Guard members are also eligible for the VA Home Loan with six years service without the 90 days active duty requirement.

VA Home loans have no down payment in most cases, have no private mortgage insurance, allowing all closing costs to be paid by the seller and VA may offer some assistance if the veteran/active duty/reservist/national guard borrower runs into difficulty. Interest rates on VA loans are also very comparable with similar conventional loans and in cases of somewhat lower credit scores, often better.

VA Home Loans are available for either purchase of a personal residence or refinance of your current residence to a VA Home Loan. Most lenders limit the refinance to 90% loan to value, however if you currently have a VA Home Loan, an interest rate reduction refinance loan (IRRRL) is available from most lender to 100% loan to value.

VA borrowers do not have to be first time buyers and the VA loans are assumable in the future. You can contact VA directly to determine eligibility or work with a lender to submit the proper paperwork to get a certificate of eligibility.

Home loan benefits can also be restored if it was used previously and paid off or assumed by an eligible veteran.

About the author: Fred Chamberlin was a senior loan officer with Guild Mortgage Company in Oak Harbor. He had been in the mortgage origination business for over 20 years and in the lending business for over 30 and authors a number of mortgage related blogs.

FHFA announces ARM rate index upward bounce

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released results last week for the national average contract mortgage rate for the purchase of previously occupied homes by combined lenders increased for March. This index is not used for VA loans.

The rate survey is used by some lenders as an index for some adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM). The increase was 0.11 percent from February.

The report shows that fixed-rate mortgages on conventional loans, those $417,000 or less, increased to 3.74% in March for purchase money transactions. “Typically, interest rate is determined 30-45 days before the loan is closed. Thus, the reported rates depict market conditions prevailing in mid- to late-February,” according to the report.

Of note, 23% of the loans originated in March were “no-point” mortgages, up from 20% in February. Additionally, the average loan amount was up $4,700 top $263,400 from the previous month.

About the author: Fred Chamberlin was a senior loan officer with Guild Mortgage Company in Oak Harbor. He was in the mortgage origination business for over 20 years and in the lending business for over 30 before retiring in  2013. He continues to write several mortgage related blogs.

Vietnam War Memorial Wall facts

I am not sure who originally started this, but it has made the rounds of e-mail for some time as people remember those lost during the Vietnam War. It is currently posted on the Wildwoods American Legion webpage.

I was in my teens when the war started and turned 18 in 1965, a dangerous time for someone that decided that fun was more important than study at the university and immediately lost student deferrment. I must admit, it was fun at the time. So, I decided the way for me to go was with the U.S. Air Force, they promised to make me a electronics “expert.”

What they didn’t know at the time was that I was color blind. Not especially helpful for an electronics “expert.” So, I became, surprisingly appropriate, a newspaper man. And, although I was sent to Guam three times and visited Thailand, Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines, never made it to Vietnam. I did, however, lose some close friends there and their names are on the wall.

Here are the wall facts, please remember that when our guys got back from their time overseas, they were not treated very well and still deserve our thanks for their sacrifice.vietnam_veterans_memorial_800x600

Interesting Veterans Statistics off the Vietnam Memorial Wall

There are 58,272 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010.
The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties.
The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth , Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.
There are  three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.
39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.
8,283 were just 19 years old.
The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old.
12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.
5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.
One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.
997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam.
1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam.
31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.
Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.
54 soldiers attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia.
8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.
244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 154 of them are on the Wall.
Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.
West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.
The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths.
The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 – 2,415 casualties were incurred.

I was still around when the war basically ended. I was working at Andersen AFB, Guam running the weekly newspaper when we started getting refugees in from Vietnam.

There were 121,000 refugees that came through in 10 days. It would be weeks before all of those on boats either made it to safe harbor or perished at sea. It was a huge point in our history, but it just seemed that the war died with a groan and a whimper.

Please remember those that served for their country during this trying time for our country. They deserve your respect.

About the author: Fred Chamberlin is a senior loan officer with Guild Mortgage Company in Oak Harbor. He has been in the mortgage origination business for over 20 years and in the lending business for over 30 and authors a number of mortgage related blogs.

U.S. Navy makes sequestration plans for civilian workers

Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, frankly discussed plans of implementation of sequestration if and when it takes place.

In a memo released yesterday:

Today, 186,000 Navy Civilians serve in every state and 20 countries overseas. I have seen firsthand your dedication, pride and unwavering commitment and I appreciate your steadfastness through this challenging time, wrote Admiral Greenert.

The Navy plans to furlough civilian personnel if sequestration begins March 1. If that happens, the furloughs will begin in late April. According to a powerpoint presentation from the Navy, the sequestration will impact all Navy civilian employees with rare exceptions.

Congressional (and union) notifications were sent out this week. All impacted employees will receive 30 days notification of the furlough process.

Furloughed employees my not substitute paid leave or other time off for the time they are furloughed and may not work from home or onsite as a volunteer. The presentation said they furlough will be for 20% decrease but the decision of how this was to be made would be at the discretion of the local commanders to determine hours/time dependent upon mission requirements.

Admiral Greenert’s memo ended with:

The Navy will remain on the front line of our nation’s efforts in war and in peace. Navy Civilians will continue to play a critical role in those efforts, even in the face of budget uncertainty and fiscal challenges. Thank you for the incredible work you do each and every day, and for carrying forward our more than two-century tradition of warfighting excellence and resilience.

The Seattle area, especially areas like Whidbey Island, home of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, have a very large military presence and with that, a large federal civilian workforce. This will be a huge blow to the local economy.

Unless agreement is made on the budget and funding by Congress, this sequestration will take place. I suggest that you make your feelings known on this process with your representative or senator today.

About the author: Fred Chamberlin is a senior loan officer with Guild Mortgage Company in Oak Harbor. He has been in the mortgage origination business for over 20 years and in the lending business for over 30 and authors a number of mortgage related blogs.

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