The truth about 'liar's loans'

REThink Real Estate

Q: I am a freelancer, and I want to fulfill my dream of buying my first home. Will they — that is, everyone involved in the home-buying process — take a chance on me? I don’t have much on paper.

A: Once upon a time, in a mortgage market far, far away, there was a loan called "stated income." Nowadays, people call it a "liar’s loan" because lots of folks abused it by just fabricating an income that they knew would qualify them for the lovely manse they really wanted when their real income would get them only a plain tract home. There was, however, a legitimate use for stated-income loans at the time, and one of those uses was to allow freelance and commissioned workers to qualify for a loan without having to fully document their income with paycheck stubs, the way a salaried employee would.