Q: In a recent column, a couple wrote in with a problem about how they couldn’t buy more investment properties because of their debt-to-income ratio.

They were having trouble getting financing.

I am a mortgage lender and there are plenty of loan products that don’t require the traditional debt-to-income and loan-to-value ratios. They are called “Stated asset/Stated income” loan products. The couple will probably have to pay a little more for the loan but at least they would be able to purchase more investment properties.

A: Thanks for your letter. Stated income products are okay for some people but I worry about recommending them because they’re often abused by predatory lenders. I’ve found that when you send folks out looking for stated income loans, and they don’t know how to avoid predatory lenders, it’s like asking them to post a “Scam Me!” sign on their back.

Because my columns reach a general audience, of whom many are not that educated about the loan process, I try to opt for a more conservative approach.

But you’re absolutely right. Asset/Stated Income products could help someone who wants to buy another investment property but whose debt-to-income ratios are all messed up by the depreciation.

I still feel that if someone is that highly leveraged in investment real estate properties, they would be better off developing a long-term relationship with a local lender who specializes in commercial lending.

Thanks for taking the time to write.

Published: Apr 18, 2006