Viewpoints: Keith Polaski, Principal/COO, Radius Financial Group, Inc.

by Boston Agent


Keith Polaski is the principal/COO of radius financial group, inc.

Every week, we ask an Boston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top trends in Boston real estate.

This week, we talked with Keith Polaski, the COO/principal of radius financial group inc. Along with Sarah Valentini, Keith founded radius in 1999. In 2013, radius was ranked No. 16 among the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/led companies in North America, and No. 14 among BBJ’s Top 70 Pacesetters 2013. Ranked by Inc. Magazine’s “Inc. 500/5000” as one of the nation’s fastest growing companies for the past five years, radius was also voted one of the Boston Globe’s “Top 100 Places to Work” in 2013.

Boston Agent (BA): We hear different things from different agents on how tight lending standards remain for homebuyers; if an agent asked you about how lending standards were, what would you tell them?

Keith Polaski (KP): It’s in two places – first, there is credit quality. FICO scores have not been this important for quite some time, but they are drifting down somewhat; loan volumes are down, and lenders are trying to keep their own market shares up, so they’ve loosen their credit standards as a result.

Second, there is the impact of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) QM (qualified mortgage) ability-to-repay regulations, which are required under Dodd-Frank. Now, for the time being, there is some relief on the debt to income restrictions; if a mortgage is eligible to be delivered to the government-sponsored enterprise (GSE), the current rules have a temporary relief on the debt-to-income restriction of 43 percent, but those will go away in about six years. On the jumbo side, because those loans are not eligible to go to the GSEs or the FHA, that debt-to-income restriction remains; so, we have seen some challenges in getting self-employed entrepreneurs approved in the jumbo space because of those restrictions.

Overall, though, if you have a job and you’ve paid your bills, you can probably get a loan. One of the problems that happened two or three years ago, as we were at the height of the foreclosure market, is everybody in the real estate community was unaware of what the impact of short sales would be. So although a lender was willing to forgive a portion of the debt that had previously been incurred, nobody understood that for the next five, six, seven years, the short sale would be a prohibiting event for future access to mortgage credit. So we do see a hangover affect on people who underwent short sales or modifications. From a lender’s perspective, if you’ve already demonstrated that you did not want to live up to your obligations, why would we want to get into that relationship with the consumer again?

But again, it merits repeating – if you’ve got a job, you’ve paid your bills and you made it through the recession, then there are lending opportunities for you.

BA: What are the most common mistakes you see from homebuyers, when it comes to preparing documentation for a loan?

KP: One of the biggest things – and it’s always wildly surprising – is the failure to file tax returns. They present returns to us that they’re either getting ready to file or that they have yet to file, and they say to us, “I haven’t yet filed for 2012″…yet we’re in 2014. It is amazing, the amount of times that we have the failure to file, or they’re sitting on draft tax returns and are working with an extension.

The other is, many consumers still do not understand the asset requirements for government-guaranteed loans. For such loans, we need to document and source every penny in the transaction. Consumers do not understand that when we have bank statements that show, for instance, a regular stream of $1,800 deposits twice a month, but then suddenly you see a $2,800 deposit, we’re going to need an explanation for that, and it’ll have to come from an acceptable source, not that you kept a shoebox filled with birthday money under your bed.

A job is a job – your pay stub is your pay stub, so there’s nothing the consumer misunderstands on that front; on the asset side, though, we sometimes struggle with sourcing the assets. The good news is that Fannie just changed that rule a touch. It used to be that any deposit that was 25 percent of your monthly income or greater had to have a full explanation, but they’ve now moved that to 50 percent, so there’s some relief there.

BA: Finally, do you think we’re on a consistent pace with home lending, or should we expect some changes in the next year?

KP: One of the big things – and I don’t think many agents are aware of it – is that there are still another 15 CFPB mortgage lending regulations to be promulgated, and they have not yet been finalized. One of them that has been finalized, but not implemented yet, is the TILA-RESPA integration. There are two laws out there – the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) – and for many years, they were separate. Dodd-Frank, though, required those two to come together, and that will change things. Nowadays, many loans are approved the day of closing. As of August 1, 2015, there will be a three-day waiting period for the HUD-1 to be received and reviewed by the consumer. Same-day approvals and closings will cease as of next year when TILA-RESPA will be integrated.

The other big one, which is still not yet finalized, is the QRM, the Qualified Residential Mortgage, which is the risk retention piece of the new regulations. The whole idea is, the reason that loan originators made bad loans during the boom was because they had no skin in the game. Depending on the nature of those regulations, that could impact the breadth of credit; we’re getting indications from the CFPB, though, that QRM would be aligned with QM, and that would be good.

The other still unknown is GSE reform. This uncertainty does not help organizations like my own. We need clarity to be able to run and grow our business, and if you think of it now, somewhere around 95 percent of the market is being delivered to either Fannie, Freddie or Ginnie – and when you consider that those guys are supposed to be reformed and go away, that could have a dramatic impact on the marketplace, so until that’s resolved, it’s hard to know what to think; we just work with the rules that we have, but there is uncertainty, and that uncertainty will impact banks and push its way down to credit for the consumer, which of course will impact real estate and home prices.

Read More Related to This Post


  • steve says:

    good read!

  • I simply want to say I’m new to blogging and site-building and honestly loved your blog. Likely I’m planning to bookmark your site . You definitely come with awesome article content. Thanks a lot for sharing your webpage.

  • Good ¡V I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related information ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, website theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Excellent task..

  • An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I believe that you should publish more on this topic, it may not be a taboo subject but typically people don’t talk about such topics. To the next! Kind regards!!|

  • Home Rentals says:

    Wow, incredible blog structure! How lengthy have you been running a blog for? you made running a blog look easy. The entire glance of your web site is magnificent, as neatly as the content material!

  • I am always looking online for posts that can assist me. Thx!

  • Thank you for another wonderful post. The place else may anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the search for such info.

  • Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?

  • hey there and thank you for your info – I have certainly picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise several technical issues using this web site, since I experienced to reload the web site many times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and could damage your high-quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Well I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for a lot more of your respective fascinating content. Ensure that you update this again soon..

  • You completed certain fine points there. I did a search on the subject and found the majority of persons will consent with your blog.

  • It¡¦s truly a great and helpful piece of information. I¡¦m satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  • I really appreciate this post. I¡¦ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thx again

  • I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thanks , I¡¦ll try and check back more often. How frequently you update your website?

  • Website SEO says:

    Hello there, I discovered your web site via Google at the same time as looking for a similar matter, your web site came up, it looks good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  • Super-Duper website! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am taking your feeds also

  • Good write-up, I¡¦m normal visitor of one¡¦s blog, maintain up the excellent operate, and It is going to be a regular visitor for a lengthy time.

  • I needed to put you the tiny remark so as to thank you very much again for your personal amazing tips you’ve documented here. This is so shockingly generous with you to provide easily what exactly a number of people might have offered for sale as an ebook to get some dough on their own, most notably now that you might have tried it in the event you decided. These tricks as well served like a easy way to realize that the rest have similar fervor like my own to figure out more on the topic of this matter. I know there are many more pleasurable situations ahead for folks who look into your website.

  • My brother recommended I might like this website. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  • You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  • What i do not understood is in reality how you are no longer actually much more well-preferred than you might be right now. You’re very intelligent. You already know therefore significantly in the case of this subject, made me individually consider it from a lot of varied angles. Its like men and women are not interested except it is one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your individual stuffs great. Always deal with it up!

  • I am really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays..

  • Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

  • fashion tips says:

    Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you’re just too great. I actually like what you have acquired here, really like what you’re stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it smart. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is really a tremendous website.

  • I have been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts in this kind of space . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this website. Reading this information So i am glad to exhibit that I’ve a very good uncanny feeling I came upon exactly what I needed. I such a lot no doubt will make sure to do not fail to remember this website and provides it a look on a continuing basis.

  • I enjoy you because of each of your efforts on this web page. My mom takes pleasure in making time for research and it’s really easy to see why. A lot of people hear all concerning the compelling medium you give efficient guides by means of your web site and in addition welcome response from the others about this concept then our daughter is actually discovering so much. Take pleasure in the remaining portion of the year. You are always conducting a remarkable job.

  • Modern Sofa says:

    I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You’re amazing! Thanks!

  • Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this website. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched everywhere and just couldn’t come across. What an ideal web-site.

  • My wife and i got very glad when John managed to round up his analysis while using the precious recommendations he acquired through your web page. It’s not at all simplistic to simply continually be giving for free methods which often other folks may have been trying to sell. We acknowledge we have you to give thanks to because of that. Those illustrations you’ve made, the easy web site menu, the friendships you can make it easier to foster – it’s got most astounding, and it’s really facilitating our son in addition to us understand the matter is enjoyable, and that’s wonderfully vital. Thank you for all!

  • Hello my family member! I wish to say that this article is awesome, nice written and include approximately all vital infos. I would like to look more posts like this .

  • VGA Cable says:

    Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people think about worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  • Contract Law says:

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website. I’m hoping the same high-grade web site post from you in the upcoming also. In fact your creative writing skills has encouraged me to get my own site now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a great example of it.

  • I think other web site proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and fantastic user friendly style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  • I think this is among the most significant information for me. And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on some general things, The web site style is great, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

  • Hey, you used to write fantastic, but the last several posts have been kinda boring¡K I miss your great writings. Past few posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  • Thank you, I’ve recently been searching for information about this topic for ages and yours is the best I’ve came upon till now. But, what about the conclusion? Are you sure in regards to the source?

  • that’s good, thanks for sharing,.. I think this is great blog

  • that’s good, thanks for sharing,.. I think this is great blog

  • Google says:

    Although web sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not related to ours, we really feel they may be basically really worth a go via, so have a look.

  • Thanks for another magnificent article. Where else may just anybody get that type of information in such a perfect method of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m at the look for such information.

  • that’s good, thanks for sharing,.. I think this is great blog

  • that’s good, thanks for sharing,.. I think this is great blog

  • Diet program says:

    that’s good, thanks for sharing,.. I think this is great blog

  • Ward Worthey says:

    My wife and i have been so thrilled that Emmanuel managed to carry out his analysis using the ideas he grabbed when using the site. It’s not at all simplistic to simply continually be handing out ideas which usually men and women might have been trying to sell. We discover we have got the blog owner to be grateful to for this. These explanations you’ve made, the simple site menu, the friendships your site give support to instill – it’s all spectacular, and it is helping our son in addition to our family know that the content is brilliant, and that’s extraordinarily important. Thanks for all!

  • Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly return.

  • Hi, i think that i saw you visited my blog thus i came to “return the favor”.I am attempting to find things to improve my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  • Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  • Phone Cases says:

    Great awesome things here. I¡¦m very glad to peer your post. Thank you a lot and i am looking ahead to touch you. Will you please drop me a mail?

  • I will immediately take hold of your rss feed as I can’t to find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly allow me know in order that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

  • Hello there, You’ve done a great job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site.

  • I precisely had to say thanks once more. I am not sure the things that I could possibly have implemented in the absence of the actual solutions contributed by you directly on my industry. It absolutely was a scary case in my opinion, however , coming across the well-written approach you processed the issue took me to cry with delight. Now i am thankful for your service as well as expect you are aware of a great job you have been accomplishing educating people today using your webpage. I am sure you’ve never got to know any of us.

  • I simply wanted to type a simple note to appreciate you for the remarkable techniques you are giving out here. My time-consuming internet investigation has now been honored with reputable concept to go over with my contacts. I would tell you that many of us site visitors actually are very much blessed to dwell in a superb network with very many outstanding individuals with helpful things. I feel very much happy to have discovered your webpages and look forward to really more excellent times reading here. Thank you again for everything.

  • Very nice article and right to the point. I don’t know if this is actually the best place to ask but do you people have any thoughts on where to hire some professional writers? Thanks 🙂

  • Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such fantastic information being shared freely out there.

  • I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  • Well I definitely enjoyed reading it. This subject provided by you is very constructive for correct planning.

  • I like what you guys are up too. Such smart work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my web site 🙂

  • You made some clear points there. I looked on the internet for the subject matter and found most individuals will consent with your blog.

  • Electric Car says:

    It¡¦s actually a nice and useful piece of info. I am happy that you just shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Awsome site! I am loving it!! Will come back again. I am taking your feeds also

  • I think other website proprietors should take this web site as an model, very clean and fantastic user genial style and design, as well as the content. You’re an expert in this topic!

  • Health Foods says:

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  • Small Laptop says:

    I not to mention my friends were reading the best secrets and techniques on the blog while instantly came up with a horrible feeling I had not thanked the site owner for those tips. All the people were definitely totally excited to read through them and have now in actuality been enjoying those things. We appreciate you simply being very kind as well as for deciding on these kinds of quality subjects millions of individuals are really needing to discover. Our sincere regret for not expressing appreciation to sooner.

  • flu symptoms says:

    I precisely desired to thank you very much again. I do not know the things I might have followed without the methods documented by you on my industry. It had become an absolute alarming case in my view, but witnessing your specialized approach you processed that made me to leap over joy. I’m just grateful for the work and as well , trust you really know what a great job you were undertaking educating people through the use of your websites. I am certain you’ve never encountered any of us.

  • that’s good, thanks for sharing,.. I think this is great blog

  • weight loss says:

    that’s good, thanks for sharing,.. I think this is great blog

  • Health Plan says:

    Hi there, You’ve done a great job. I will certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am sure they’ll be benefited from this site.

  • I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I am quite sure I will learn plenty of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  • that’s good, thanks for sharing,.. I think this is great blog

  • that’s good, thanks for sharing,.. I think this is great blog

  • that’s good, thanks for sharing,.. I think this is great blog

  • Javahn says:

    AnnieI will give you my advice becsaue, when you put yourself out there on a blog, you’re asking for it! I would go with either the white bird cake stand or the L.E. Smith for the same two reasons:REASON #1: You won’t hate yourself when you’re serving cake from it in 40 yearsREASON #2: The designs stand out when photographed from the profile. The cherry blossom and dogwood stands won’t show their detail in your photographs.

Join the conversation

Oops! We could not locate your form.