Lender wants donor bank statement. Is this legal?

Husband was given a birthday check. We are in process of getting new home loan. Lender wants donor bank statement and donor is refusing. We weren't using money towards house, but instead to pay off debts. Is this legal? It is under $3000.00. Money wasn't given to be used towards house; this was coincidental.

I agree with what Ted Rood states in his comment below, any time when you have a rather large deposit show on a bank statement and you are getting financing, refinancing or modifying your loan, the lender may question where the funds came from.

- Justin R. - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:40AM
1 Answer

Lenders are required to source borrowers' funds to close. If your bank statement shows a $3000 check deposit (and particularly if you are using any of those funds for closing)lenders must verify the funds are from an acceptable source (not the seller, agent, or party involved in the purchase). The usual course is a gift letter from the donor stating their relationship with the recipient and that the funds are a true gift with no repayment required. It is not unusual (especially on FHA loans) for the donor to have to provide bank statements to show the funds that were gifted were the donors. Unfortunately, sellers and buyers have, at times in the past, conspired to conceal the true source of "down payment" money, which led to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA requiring lenders to obtain proof of deposits.