Question and help!

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    Dear Tim,

    Hope you are well and thank you so much in advance for your help, since i am writing out of deep frustration.

    Situation: I worked with a remote counselor and recently got NACA qualified. But the amount I qualified for was different than what I had asked for, and the first time was told this was on the qualification letter at the purchase workshop. I was curious about why that was, and if it would be possible to still get an increase. I was told to work with a new, now local counselor on this. So I spent the past two weeks just trying to figure out who I should work with, with each of my remote and local counselor telling me the other was responsible for any increase. A couple of times my remote counselor said she would look into it, that although 40% of monthly income was the maximum, she may be able to resubmit for at least slightly higher amount. But each time the next time I’d check in with her, she’d tell me that I should follow up with my local counselor. Well, my local counselor has been completely inaccessible through these two weeks, only to tell me today via email that no, i have been told the wrong information and 40% is the max. Except that I don’t think he even took a look at my file. I asked if we could have a phone conversation, a question that he ignored. I am not sure what I have done to offend him, but this “local” counselor is decidedly unhelpful and even rude.

    So my question for you is two-fold:
    1) what is the real policy on this 40% debt ratio? At NACA orientation, I believe that I heard up to 50% was allowed.
    2) Is there any way I can get assigned a new “local” counselor and if so, what do I have to do?

    Thank you again for your help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Hello skw,

    Part of the NACA Purchase Program is to help members determine what they can legitimately and safely afford. Much of the current mortgage crisis was caused by brokers and lenders who put people into more house than they could actually afford by abusing Interest-only, Negative Amortization and Adjustable rate mortgages. NACA is committed so ensuring that our members never get put into that kind of “set up to fail” situation.

    The 40% figure should be considered an absolute maximum. There have been rare exceptions that have been granted by national management that have gone to 43%, but you will have a long uphill battle to even get that. Let’s face it, 40%of your gross income is going to be about 55% of the average person’s take-home pay. Wanting to go higher than that could easily put you in a financial bind with even a minor crisis.

    As for changing counselors, you should reach out to the local Office Manager, explain your conderns and ask for a transfer to a different counselor. Please understand though that all of our counselors are overburdened, operate on incredibly tight schedules each day, and your request to have an unscheduled conversation simply couldn’t be accommodated.

    Tim Trumble
    Online Operations, NACA


    Thank you for a quick reply, Tim. While I agree that 40% is a reasonable portion of income to spend on housing, I also think that it depends on how much money you bring in every month, as well. For example, my savings pattern would show that I have been saving and paying rent on more than 40% consistently, if anyone took a look at that. Having said that, it’s just not worth the hassle to ask any further at this point, and I do appreciate your clarification on it.

    As to changing the counselor, I have made the request to the office manager so I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I understand that NACA staff are “overburdened” but I do believe that one could have responded better to a question, “when would be a good time for a phone call” than simply ignoring it. My remote MC did not treat me like that and even though she was very busy as well, I could tell, she and I had a positive relationship.

    In any case, I do appreciate your getting back to me with helpful information very quickly.

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