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Articles filed under Guttentag, Jack

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  • Forget the homeownership rate; it is the process that matters Dec 20, 2014 12:00 AM
    Because of the widespread belief that homeownership is valuable, the recent decline in the homeownership rate has generated some dismay. The rate, which had peaked at 69.1 percent in 2005, shortly before the financial crisis, has since fallen to 64.8 percent. This is the lowest it has been since 1995.

  • Can bad financial habits be unlearned? Dec 6, 2014 12:00 AM
    Some readers of last week’s column recognized themselves in my description of a “NOHO”: someone not cut out to be a homeowner. Some readers asked me how to change this pattern, and I decided to take a stab at it in this article.

  • Homeownership is not for everyone Nov 29, 2014 12:00 AM
    Some people are not cut out to be homeowners. I call them NOHOs. What distinguishes them is not their income, their mobility, or where they live – rather, it is how they live.

  • Introducing the Manageable Mortgage Nov 22, 2014 12:00 AM
    This article introduces what I will call the Manageable Mortgage which has none of these problems. It would give borrowers the leeway to integrate the management of their mortgage into their lifestyle and budgetary practices, without weakening the discipline that many borrowers require.

  • Why the standard mortgage is obsolete Nov 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    One of the things I have learned from many years of answering questions from readers is that often they try to manage their mortgage in one way or another, but without much success. The existing instrument was not designed to be managed.

  • Is the Wealth-Builder mortgage all smoke and mirrors? Nov 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Q. What do you think of the new Wealth-Builder mortgage that has gotten a lot of press?

  • Why many good mortgage loans are not being made Nov 1, 2014 2:00 AM
    Much of the system of rules and beliefs in today's tight mortgage market stem from Dodd-Frank reforms, which were formulated in an atmosphere hostile to lenders. But borrowers are the ones paying the price.

  • Girls volleyball: Huntley tops Jacobs to reach regional final Oct 28, 2014 9:13 PM
    Everything was clicking for Huntley’s girls volleyball team Tuesday night. Playing before a raucous home crowd, the top-seeded Red Raiders downed No. 4 Jacobs, 25-15, 25-9 in the semifinals of the Class 4A Huntley regional.

  • Introducing the ‘kosher’ HECM reverse mortgage Oct 25, 2014 12:00 AM
    The kosher stamp on a food means that it has been certified as fit for human consumption. We need a comparable certification process for financial instruments sold to consumers, with the need most pronounced for the more complex instruments.

  • How to eliminate third party-settlement costs Oct 18, 2014 1:00 AM
    In a recent article I proposed that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be removed from limbo and given a new mission: to create a better primary mortgage market. Among other things, this would include the elimination of third-party settlement costs.

  • Why not use Fannie and Freddie to make a better primary market? Oct 11, 2014 12:00 AM
    The phaseout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have now been in conservatorship for six years, is on indefinite hold. Terminating them without an effective replacement would devastate the market, and no effective replacement is in sight.

  • Conventional versus FHA: which should you choose? Oct 4, 2014 12:00 AM
    Don’t jump to the conclusion that the better choice is the mortgage with the lower interest rate. FHAs carry a lower interest rate but largely because of their high insurance premiums, they usually (but not always) cost the borrower more.

  • A rocky transition to double-digit mortgage rates Sep 27, 2014 12:00 AM
    For the last 24 years, mortgage interest rates have been in the single digits, supporting a widespread presumption in the industry that this is the normal state of affairs. Yet mortgage rates were 10 percent or higher during most of the 11-year period 1979-1990.

  • The easy way and the hard way to get a mortgage: the hard way is better Sep 13, 2014 12:00 AM
    Most homebuyers who need a mortgage place themselves in the hands of a loan officer or mortgage broker referred to them by their real estate agent, or by a friend, relative or business associate. This is the easy way, and I understand its appeal. But there's a better way.

  • CFPB is now a consumer complaint clearinghouse Sep 6, 2014 5:00 AM
    Financial services often don’t work well for consumers. The trial-and-error technique that consumers rely on in navigating many markets, such as food and clothing markets, does not work well when transactions are large and infrequent.

  • Don’t expect much from unregulated regulators Aug 30, 2014 12:00 AM
    The seeds of this article were planted in my brain some 30 odd years ago, when I did a consulting project for HUD, for which they contracted to pay me $2,500. Three months after delivery and acceptance of my report by HUD, I realized I had not yet been paid and I contacted the person who had retained me. This elicited what I came to realize was a stock reply of an unregulated regulator: The payment was “in process.”

  • Manage your credit score to get the best possible mortgage Aug 23, 2014 12:00 AM
    How does one manage credit cards so as to generate the highest possible credit score? Credit scores are calculated using a variety of models that have small differences between them and generate similar, but not identical, scores.

  • Housing bubble differed from buildup in subprime car loans Aug 16, 2014 12:00 AM
    In a long front-page article in the NY Times last month, Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Michael Corkery answer this question affirmatively. Their article cites numerous parallels to the conditions that led up to the crisis in the subprime mortgage market in 2007-8. The similarities include:

  • Should seniors buying a house do it with a HECM reverse mortgage? Aug 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    Many home purchasers are seniors. They may want a house that has no stairs, or one that is closer to family or friends, or in a warmer climate. In many cases, they want to downsize.

  • Yields are incredible when you invest in a larger down payment Aug 2, 2014 12:00 AM
    Anyone looking to purchase a home within the near future faces many decisions, including how large a down payment to make. Many people put down as little as possible despite having the capacity to put down more because they view the down payment as lost money. But that is a mistake.

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