FAQ About Ijaraloans
General Questions about IJARA™
Question: Are IJARA™ programs open only to Muslims?
IJARA™: No. IJARA™ programs provide a financial advantage to any consumer. SAMAD and its partners are committed to Islamic values and Sharia’a, and believe these are beneficial to all.
IJARA™: This is important. We recommend you look to the Sharia’a scholars who have an expertise in financial and commercial transactions. For instance, does your provider of an Islamic finance service have a fatwa or relevant supporting opinions? Can your provider point you in the direction of a knowledgeable resource person or text, someone or a resource to approach in person, by mail, or online?
IJARA™: If you wish to read the primary documents individually, we will send a Non-Disclosure Agreement you can sign before we forward the files about your Islamic loan. The document is not to be given to third parties, banks, people who might wish to go into this business, competitors, or dealt with in a way that would accidentally allow these types of people to acquire our proprietary material without making the research and expense that we have, let alone share our concern for Sharia’a compliance.
IJARA™: Certain scholars are well known and their certificates or ijazas are
publicized. Others may be qualified, but less well known. Asking for their bio data, ijazas, or other information will help you have comfort in their opinions.
IJARA™: The IJARA™ mortgage alternative does not use standard PMI. Yet, no investors will support either traditional mortgages or mortgage alternatives without some form of support. Therefore, certain IJARA™ Islamic finance providers have structured an approach that complies with Sharia’a in the consumer transaction and provides the protection that investors require. In some cases, the financing shall be structured in such a manner as to avoid PMI.
IJARA™: IJARA™ providers are obliged by law to make these payments to you. The consensus of the scholars is you should pay such interest earned to charity, but it will not count as either zakat or sadaqat.
IJARA™: Each IJARA™ provider has a different approach to this issue and there is more than one way of doing it. The general Sharia’a principle is rent rates should be mutually agreed by both parties. In some cases, the provider may use a standard interest oriented benchmark. At this time, the consensus of the Sharia’a scholars is that such benchmarking is not ideal, but it does not affect the basis of the transaction.
IJARA™: You will be charged the collection cost. We currently work with a
company called Ijara Payment Processing, Inc. to manage the completed IJARA™ acquisitions. They bill $50.00 for this service. Any excess over the cost of collection will be donated to charity.
IJARA™: The minimum down payment, called the initial payment on account because of the structure of the IJARA™ program, is 5%. In some cases, 0% is possible, but in all cases where the down payment is less than 20%, the consumer will sign an agreement that cancels the sharing of any loss by the Ijara™ provider.
IJARA™: IJARA™ providers currently permit the use of various down payment
assistance programs where at least 3% of the cash to fund your initial payment on account is presented.
IJARA™: The IJARA™ process may be used to replace an existing mortgage using Islamic finance guidelines.
IJARA™: This is not correct. In the traditional mortgage, interest is the “rent” of money and is paid for a loan of money with which you buy a house or refinance an existing loan. There is no rent of the house as you own the house. In two of the Sharia’a methods, you rent a house and the lease payment represents your enjoyment of real property.
IJARA™: There are three acceptable approaches to home acquisition in Islam. One is a sale, one is rent to own (the IJARA™ method) and one is partnership (with property rental as part of the process). The rent paid is explicitly for the use of property. Or in the sales case, the profit is a mark-up on a base sales price. Riba, however, is the payment of money for the use of money over time, and this is very similar to the concept of interest in a traditional mortgage loan.
IJARA™: This too is inaccurate. The process of qualifying a consumer and disclosing costs and risks is the same as the mortgage system. This process is regulated by federal and state statutes in the United States. Hence, the paperwork is the same or very similar prior to and after making the acquisition, but not the acquisition itself.
Question: Someone told me the papers one signs to apply for and process a purchase with an Islamic finance mortgage alternative are the same as in the traditional mortgage system. Why?
IJARA™: The documents one signs, which should normally be customized to reflect the facts of an IJARA™ or other mortgage alternative, including the application, disclosures, and post closing disclosure documents are mostly governed by federal and state rules. Generally, the government wishes to assure you are fully aware of the details of a transaction and can compare it to other transactions of a similar nature. These materials do not constitute the contract that binds you, the house and the bank or other parties involved.
IJARA™: Generally, the nature of a replacement is distinct from a refinancing, and the title will transfer from a current borrower owner to a trust which will own the home for the benefit of the new investor.
IJARA™: Depending upon the investment for which you qualified, amounts, other than the 5% of the expected final purchase value may be structured into the value of the Promise to Purchase.
IJARA™: There is a trust agreement and a lease and promise to purchase. We will forward copies to you upon receiving a signed NDA.
IJARA™: In the US, ACH, or Automated Clearing House and it’s counterpart in Canada, EFT, Electronic Funds Transfer, is basically an electronic payment from your checking account.
IJARA™: Yes. Monthly payments are automatically deducted from your checking account.
IJARA™: In addition to the closing/conversion fee, there is a $20 per month Admin fee in every transaction.
IJARA™: The exact process of conversion is proprietary; we are the only company to have figured out the conversion method, so we do not share the exact process with anyone. As far as the Islamic viability, you basically end up in a Sharia Compliant Ijara transaction.
IJARA™: The exact process of conversion is proprietary; we will make all necessary contacts and make necessary arrangements. After signing conversion documents, your involvement will be minimal.
IJARA™: We will need to know the exact balance you have currently, and the account number, along with payment address etc. so that we can locate the proper account.