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TX New Home Financing in Texas

Somerset Mortgage Lenders can find TX residents the perfect loan and start your home purchase off right. With hundreds of loan programs available, we’ll help TX residents match your needs with a loan you’ll love for as long as you own your home. Somerset Mortgage Lenders can find TX residents the perfect loan and start your home purchase off right. With hundreds of loan programs available, we’ll help you match your needs with a loan you’ll love for as long as you own your home.

Fixed Rate Loans

Several categories of conventional loans exist, the most common and familiar being the fixed rate mortgage. In the cases of fixed rate mortgages, the borrower will lock in an interest rate, and pay down both the principal and interest on the loan at that interest rate every month until the mortgage is paid off. The most typical term of a fixed rate loan is 30 years, though fixed rate mortgages can also be obtained for much shorter terms, the primary difference being in the size of the monthly mortgage payment.

Conforming Loans

Other conventional loans are known as conforming loans. In these cases, an arrangement is made between borrower and lender that comply with the stipulations of two federally run mortgage trading companies (or Government Sponsored Entities - GSEs) Fannie Mae (FNME) and or Freddie Mac (FHLMC).

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not directly approve or deny loans. They buy and sell home mortgages, working with lenders to make home ownership easier for people to attain. Lenders like to sign up borrowers with conforming loan, because they can then sell these loans to Fannie May or Freddie Mac in order to more quickly receive the funds coming to them, and use those funds to make other investments. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in turn, then repackage these loans to sell to investors as securities.

The current guidelines for a conventional Fannie Mae loan set a maximum purchase price for a single-family home at slightly above $415,000 (though residents of Alaska, Hawaii, or Guam may be able to qualify for an even larger loan).

The interest rate as well as the short- and long-term pricing on a conforming loan is determined primarily by the type of loan applied for. Also taken into consideration will be the amount of funds you already have to contribute to closing costs, your credit rating, credit score, and credit history, your employment history, and the type and location of the home in question.

Jumbo Loans

Other forms of conventional loans are nonconforming loan instruments that do not meet Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan qualifications, such as jumbo loans, or loans so large they fall outside the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limits (or purchase limits). Jumbo loans are provided by private investors and as such ordinarily come with much higher interest rates than conforming loans.

FHA Loans

Government entities from a local to a federal level and private entities alike have worked to develop loan programs that make home ownership a reality for many people considered under-qualified for traditional mortgages. These include loans for first-time homebuyers and people with a low-to-moderate income that are insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) via the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

HUD and the FHA do not make loans directly, rather they insure loans, meaning that the lender still gets paid back even if you default on the home loan. Often, FHA insured loans are available with down payments lower than 3% of the total loan amount. There is a limit to how high of a loan the FHA will insure, but the limit is at least high enough to allow people in qualifying circumstances to buy reasonably priced homes pretty much anywhere in the country.

Subprime Loans

A different type of loan was also created to assist people with poor credit in buying a home. These are called Subprime Loans. A subprime loan may come in various forms depending on the loan amount, loan terms, and loan-to-value ratio. Your risk is still determined by grading your credit, but in the case of a subprime loan it is to determine the type of loan and interest rate offered you rather than whether or not to give you a loan at all.

Local new home financing directory for TX :
Abbott Alice Angleton Arthur City
Abernathy Alief Anna Asherton
Abilene Allen Annona Aspermont
Ace Alleyton Anson Atascosa
Ackerly Allison Anthony Athens
Addison Alpine Anton Atlanta
Adkins Altair Apple Springs Aubrey
Adrian Alto Aquilla Austin
Afton Alvarado Aransas Pass Austwell
Agua Dulce Alvin Archer City Avalon
Aiken Alvord Argyle Avery
Alamo Amarillo Arlington Avinger
Alanreed Amherst Armstrong Avoca
Alba Anahuac Arp Axtell
Albany Anderson Art Azle
Aledo Andrews Artesia Wells

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Texas News
Illegal aliens rescued from rail car after calling 911

It is not often that illegal aliens sneak into the United States and then alert authorities to their whereabouts, but three men trapped in a sweltering rail car had little choice and used a cell phone to call 911.

Smugglers had stashed two Mexicans and a Guatemalan in a grain hopper in the Rio Grande Valley and told them they would ride further north, said Daniel Doty, a spokesman for the Border Patrol's McAllen Sector.

As the temperature climbed Tuesday, the dehydrating men feared for their lives and reached for the phone.

"It gets hot very fast in those places," Doty said."Once inside a grain hopper, you can't get out; you have to be let out."

Agents rescued the men Tuesday afternoon thanks to one of them providing a portion of the Union Pacific identification number listed in the car.

A company emergency-response team was able to use a computer to track down the car within five minutes and provide rescuers with its location, Union Pacific regional spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza said.

"These individuals are very lucky to be alive," she said. "

It remains unclear when and where the men boarded the hopper or where they were headed.

Two of them were released to the Border Patrol on Wednesday after spending the night at the Christus Spohn Hospital Kleberg in Kingsville.

A third remained hospitalized in stable condition, said shift coordinator Linda Ann Garcia.

Illegal immigrants have previously used cell phones to call for help. Earlier this summer, three Chinese men lost in the South Texas brush lands called for rescue.

"We're starting to see more and more of that, where smugglers or members of the group actually carry a cell phone just in case," Doty said.

The McAllen Sector, which includes the Rio Grande Valley and hugs the Gulf Coast, is among the deadliest slices of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Agents assigned there reported finding 67 bodies in the first nine months of this fiscal year. That compares to 61 for all of 2007.

Boy exits child care, goes to Hooters

A 5-year-old boy slipped out of the Imagination Station child care center unnoticed Tuesday afternoon, crossed two busy streets and wandered to a restaurant on the Interstate 35E service road in 100-degree heat.

Employees of Hooters found the child safe about 5:20 p.m. He left the child care center in the 2300 block of San Jacinto Boulevard, crossed the Interstate 35E northbound service road and Dallas Drive, bought a soft drink at a service station and walked to Hooters, where an employee found him in the parking lot and called police.

Deborah Pugh, who owns the child care business, said Wednesday that the boy asked to go to the bathroom and then slipped out a fire exit door, which must, by law, remain unlocked.

"It was just really fast," Pugh said. "When the parent came for him we said he was in the bathroom. But we looked and realized he wasn't, and we called police."

Denton police spokesman Jim Bryan said someone from the child care center called 911 at 5:04 p.m., saying the child was missing. Officers searched the immediate vicinity and could not find the boy.

"At 5:20 p.m., while the officer was on the scene at the child care center, the assistant manager of Hooters called police," Bryan said. "He said they had found a boy wandering in the parking lot."

The officer responded to Hooters and brought the boy back to the Imagination Station, where he was released to his father, Bryan said.

"He was unharmed and in good condition," the officer said.

According to the National Weather Service, the temperature was 100 de­grees at 5 p.m.

A spokesman at Hooters said employees were not allowed to talk to the press.

Bryan said police are investigating the incident. The child care licensing division of Child Protective Services is investigating as well, he said.

State records show that in April, Imagination Station was cited for violation of Section 746.1230(4) of the Child Care Standards and Regulations - Responsibilities of caregivers - supervision of children.

"It was determined that staff were not supervising properly. Two children were found involved in inappropriate contact while the caregivers were engaged in activities with other groups of children," according to the citation posted on the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Web site.

Report: Child used in shoplifting scheme

A woman made her 4-year-old son an accomplice in her attempt to shoplift, according to a Denton police report.

Two women were in a large discount store in the 1500 block of South Loop 288 about 7:50 p.m. Monday, according to the report. Store employees noticed them acting suspiciously and began watching them.

They took panties and stuffed them under the child's clothing. Then they picked out shoes and placed them in the boy's backpack. They left the building without paying for the merchandise.

Store employees detained the women until police arrived. An officer called Child Protective Services, which took custody of the boy while the mother and her friend were taken to jail.

The child then was released to a relative, according to the police report.

Polygamist leader, 4 others indicted on sexual-assault charges

A Texas grand jury indicted polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs and four of his followers Tuesday on charges of felony sexual assault of a child.

Another was indicted for failing to report child abuse.

Attorney General Greg Abbott said the five men were indicted on one count of sexually assaulting girls under age 17. One of them, but not Jeffs, faces an additional charge of bigamy.

A sixth member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was indicted on three counts of failure to report child abuse, Abbott said.

Jeffs, already convicted of being an accomplice to rape in Utah and awaiting trial in Arizona on other charges related to underage marriages, is accused of assaulting a girl in Texas in January 2005, according to the indictment issued Tuesday.

"Our investigation in this matter is not concluded," said Abbott, whose office is acting as the special prosecutor in the case.

The grand jury in this tiny West Texas ranching community will continue considering other criminal charges Aug. 21, according to a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity because proceedings of the panel are secret by law.

The identities of Jeffs' followers who were indicted were not released Tuesday because the indictments remain sealed until authorities can arrest the men.

"There will be an aggressive effort to apprehend them," Abbott said when asked whether he was concerned that the men may have fled Texas.

FLDS members have historically lived around the Arizona-Utah line and bought the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas, about five years ago.

Calls to FLDS spokesmen were not immediately returned Tuesday evening.

Man arrested after car breeches Lockheed gates

A man was arrested early Sunday after his vehicle breeched several gates and barriers at Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth campus, according to police.

The man, Maxamino Martinez, 23, rammed and breeched three security points at Lockheed Martin's facility before being stopped at the north end of the plant, according to a Fort Worth police report.

The call came in to White Settlement police about 4:40 a.m., according to Lt. J.P. Bevering, a White Settlement police spokesman.

Joe Stout, a Lockheed spokesman, said while the vehicle traveled a "good distance" and struck several gates and barriers, no buildings were penetrated and the damage to the barriers was minor.

"When you drive down into our main area you wouldn't notice the damage," said Joe Stout, a spokesman for Lockheed.

Martinez' father, Vincent Martinez, said Tuesday that his son, who is going to school to be a pharmacist, simply lost control of his car.

"I guess he must've been tired or something and he lost control," Vincent Martinez said. "He's a good kid."

His father said Maxamino Martinez hasn't hired an attorney yet. He was held on suspicion of criminal mischief in the amount of $100,000 to $200,000, a second-degree felony, according to jail records.

"He's pretty down about it," he said.

The FBI briefly looked into the case as well, said special agent Mark White, media coordinator for the FBI's Dallas Field Office. He said, however, that there wasn't any alleged criminal activity in the case that would warrant the involvement of the FBI.

Maxamino Martinez has been released from jail, his father said. A message on Maxamino Martinez' cell phone wasn't returned Tuesday night.

Hispanics make up 22% of new HIV, AIDS cases

Though Hispanics comprise about 14 percent of the U.S. population, they represented 22 percent of new HIV and AIDS diagnoses tallied by federal officials in 2006.

Officials do not have a precise tally of HIV infections nationwide, because many states have not reported figures to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 22 percent, a figure that has not been previously released, includes 33 states and Puerto Rico, but not California, where more than 37 percent of the population is Hispanic.

So far, the toll of AIDS in the nation's largest and fastest growing minority population has mostly been overshadowed by the epidemic among blacks and gay white men. Yet in major U.S. cities, as many as one in four gay Hispanic men has HIV, a rate on par with sub-Saharan Africa.

Language difficulties, cultural barriers and, in many cases, issues of legal status make the Hispanic community unique. For those who arrived illegally, fear of arrest and deportation presents a daunting obstacle to seeking diagnosis and treatment.

"Migrants tend to be lonely, separated from their family or partners," said CDC epidemiologist Kenneth Dominguez. "They do not have health insurance. They may turn to drugs or alcohol. All of these put a migrant at higher risk."

Flight makes emergency landing with 7 Congressmen aboard

A Continental Airlines flight carrying former presidential candidate Ron Paul and six other members of Congress to Washington, D.C., made an emergency landing in New Orleans on Tuesday after a loss in cabin pressure.

The seven congressmen, all from Texas, were trying to get back in time for a Tuesday night vote on an aviation safety bill when the flight landed without incident, a spokesman for one of the representatives said. No injuries were reported among the 128 crew and passengers.

FAA spokeswoman Lynn Tierney said Flight 458 from Houston initiated a rapid descent to bring the plane to an altitude below where adding oxygen was necessary and was given priority to land at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Trevor Kincaid, a spokesman for passenger and Rep. Nick Lampson, said his boss told him "there was absolutely no panic on the plane." Lampson told Kincaid the plane's oxygen masks dropped down.

"Continental Airline's personnel and staff were exceptional; executing what seemed to me a textbook performance in emergency procedure. I was very impressed," Lampson said in a release.

Also on the flight were Reps. Paul, Ted Poe, John Carter, Solomon P. Ortiz, Ciro Rodriguez, and Henry Cuellar, Kincaid said. The group was trying to make a vote on the Aviation Safety Enhancement Act.

The emergency landing was the third time in two days a plane was diverted over cabin pressure issues. A US Airways flight and a Northwest Airlines flight were diverted to airports in Kentucky and Wisconsin on Monday over cabin pressure issues.

Capitol Hill rips plan to burn Mexican waste in Port Arthur

The congressional committee responsible for the Environmental Protection Agency is challenging a proposal that would allow the operator of a Port Arthur incinerator to import toxic waste from Mexico for disposal.

In a letter to the EPA on Monday, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce told the federal agency's chief administrator that the proposed approval of Veolia Environmental Services' petition would "effectively create an open border" for other countries' PCBs to be disposed of in the United States.

The confrontation comes nearly 30 years after legislation that banned the manufacture of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, also prohibited bringing them into the country. Veolia has proposed importing up to 20,000 tons of the chemical compound from Mexico for incineration, and the EPA has indicated it would approve the plan.

The committee's leadership raised several issues with the proposal, including the risk to residents of the Gulf Coast refinery town and surrounding Jefferson County, the availability of alternative disposal methods and the plant's safety record.

"The people of Southeast Texas already live with a large concentration of industries, and they deserve to know why the EPA intends to exempt this facility from the federal ban on importing toxic PCBs," said Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston, a committee member.

Montenegro resigns as Arlington schools superintendent

Arlington Independent School District's superintendent resigned Monday after officials began looking into whether he had violated state laws dealing with the acceptance of honorariums from nonprofits that do business with the district.

The district's Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept Hector Montenegro's resignation after meeting behind closed doors with their lawyers Monday night.

Board President Jim Ash said Mr. Montenegro will remain on paid administrative leave through July 31.

"This board has not and will not approve a buyout of Mr. Montenegro's contract," Mr. Ash said after the meeting.

Mr. Montenegro started work as superintendent in February. In late June, trustees asked him to produce documentation of his travel and other expenses, as well as explain the extent of his relationship with groups outside the district.

Trustees had voted unanimously last week to place Mr. Montenegro on paid administrative leave during its review of the superintendent's compliance with district and state laws regarding honorariums and travel expenses.

Mr. Montenegro declined to comment. He wasn't present at Monday's meeting.

Salmonella found on jalapeno; warning issued

The Food and Drug Administration has found salmonella bacteria on a jalapeño pepper imported from Mexico and warned consumers Monday not to eat fresh jalapeños and products made with fresh jalapeños.

The bacteria was found at a distribution center in McAllen, Texas. Investigators are not yet certain where the bacteria originated.

The strain of bacteria is Salmonella Saintpaul, which has sickened more than 1,200 people since April, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At least one Texas supply company recalled jalapeño and serrano peppers and avocados after the discovery, and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services asked a distributor in that state to make the same recall.

The news comes just days after the FDA lifted its ban on consumption of certain raw tomatoes. The FDA has not ruled out tomatoes as the source of the original outbreak, but investigators have determined that tomatoes currently in fields and stores are safe, Dr. David Acheson, the FDA's associate commissioner for food protection, said Thursday.

Alleged Texas border inspection scandal put U.S. crops at risk

The shot from a .45-caliber handgun thundered through the faded house trailer in this border town, and a federal inspector fell dead.

Rafael Edmundo Melo Jr., 40, killed himself the day after appearing in federal court to face charges that he had allowed truckloads of vegetables and flowers infested with harmful pests to enter the United States from Mexico without proper fumigation.

While the death of the veteran plant inspector brought pain and sadness to his family, the conspiracy with which he and two other U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors were accused had the potential to cause further damage to the nation's agricultural industry.

The scheme, which went on at least three years and ended when the defendants were arrested in April, could have decimated dozens of Texas agricultural industries, government and industry officials say. Some experts believe the effects of the tainted shipments could still harm crops.

"It's a big deal," said Ray Prewett, president of Texas Citrus Mutual in McAllen and executive vice president of the Texas Vegetable Association.

Melo and the two other USDA inspectors were also charged with filing fraudulent overtime payments, claiming they oversaw fumigations of infested shipments that were conducted improperly or never took place. Charges were also brought against the owner of a Laredo pest control company accused of improperly billing Mexican exporters for fumigation services.

Since the charges were announced in April, two of the defendants have pleaded guilty and a third maintains his innocence. Melo was charged with 15 counts, according to the indictment, and faced a maximum of 75 years in prison.

Prewett noted that Mexico, which exports large amounts of limes and lemons, has confirmed that two insects known to introduce disease to citrus have been found in the country's groves. South Texas is the home of a thriving grapefruit and orange industry that generates $80 million annually for growers and packers.

"We find this to be disturbing, and we are concerned about what the implications are," Prewett said of the Laredo scheme. ''There are lots of other ways we can get these (pest) problems from Mexico, but it's a major concern when you have this kind of fraud in your inspection system."

Fort Worth residents stepping up pipeline fight

The turmoil over a gas pipeline down Carter Avenue continues: Residents are organizing a second meeting to discuss the pipeline. The City Council member who represents the area is still working to find an alternate route.

And preservationists are trying to fight a permit for the drill site that the pipeline will serve, saying it would put pressure on the Tandy Hills Nature Center, which is one of the few patches of original tall-grass prairie left in Fort Worth.

Chesapeake Energy has applied to drill for gas on a vacant tract at the end of Scott Avenue just west of the Tandy Hills Nature Center. The company wants to access the site with a pipeline down Carter Avenue. The pipeline would require easements through the front yards of 44 homes and vacant lots.

The company has the authority to condemn private land for the pipeline, and has sued at least two residents to get access to their homes for surveys.

Some landowners have agreed to the pipeline, but a half-dozen residents have refused to sign. They're concerned about the potential for leaks and say Chesapeake has not done enough to look for alternate routes. They've also questioned whether the company can legally condemn land, since the pipeline will only serve one company.

Chesapeake Vice President Julie Wilson said the line would be underground.

"It would not have any impact on the landscaping," she said.

Feds broaden sex misconduct investigation of Judge Kent

A Justice Department investigation into the sexual conduct of U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent has expanded to include allegations that he accepted but failed to report gifts and also sold his home in a deal arranged by a lawyer with dozens of cases in his court, Kent's own attorney and other lawyers have confirmed.

The ongoing investigation was launched last year after Kent's former case manager complained that the judge sexually molested her. Since then, several prominent attorneys have been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors to appear before a Houston grand jury involving other allegations of judicial misconduct, according to documents and interviews obtained by the Chronicle.

Months ago, investigators began asking about parties, a 2001 trip to London and meals attorneys had bought for Kent at Galveston restaurants - often on days they