The quick and easy answer is yes they are harder to qualify today than they were back when lenders and buyers shared a phone call or two and the loan was approved and we were all at the closing table. At the time there were no qualifying parameters and a good strong breath was all that it took to qualify for a mortgage, regardless of the price of the home.
Now days the banks have become suspect of anything that even looks marginally complex or out of the norm. down payments have increased and 700 credit scores are now looked at as average. USHUD compares this to when the world stopped checking credit scores at all and based the loan on if the buyer owned a pen and could sign their own name.
Even in those heady days of low expectations from the buyer we still had loan officers that took advantage of the people, the market and the mortgage craze. Writing loans for people that did not exist or using straw buyers and basically stealing money was part of some loan officers business plan. These loan officers were often read about in the local paper and many of them were incarcerated for their greed.
USHUD does not mean to make an indictment of all loan officers or the lending institution. It is just a look back at what really happened that has made all of our lives a little more difficult today as a result. We are now working in a real world scenario that requires that buyers not only meet the underwriting standards of the past but also the new regulations that have come about because of the lack of guidelines that tore the market down in the past. We should welcome these changes as they do make the market more certain and more dependable as the market continues to improve.