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Articles filed under Guttentag, Jack

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  • New mortgage disclosure forms lack useful comparisons Jan 18, 2014 12:22 AM
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has developed two new disclosure forms designed to make the mortgage process more manageable for borrowers. This article considers whether the disclosures will help borrowers select the type of mortgage that best meets their needs.

  • Mortgage professor: If borrowers owned the appraisals they pay for, they would be able to shop for a mortgage effectively Jan 16, 2014 2:13 PM
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has developed two new disclosure forms that will replace three forms administered by HUD and the Federal Reserve. The adoption date was recently extended to August 2015, which hopefully will allow CFPB to make some needed improvements.

  • Will borrowers now be protected from unjustified price increases? Jan 4, 2014 12:41 AM
    I have received letters for many years, with the volume increasing noticeably following the financial crisis, about government-mandated disclosures people receive after they have applied for a mortgage. These disclosures are followed by a second, usually a third, and often by a fourth set of disclosures.

  • Payday loans can be an addictive vice Dec 21, 2013 12:08 AM
    Payday loans appear to be growing in importance. The Internet is a more cost-effective way of marketing payday loans than the traditional storefront. In addition, a number of banks have entered the market in recent years with “deposit advances,” which are essentially the same as payday loans.

  • What should be done with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Dec 14, 2013 12:13 AM
    There seems to be an almost universal consensus that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be phased out. The tough question is not how we phase out the agencies but how we replace the market support they now provide. Right now, there is no game plan for replacing them. We are just drifting, one more example of federal government dysfunction.

  • Can you use the good-faith estimate to shop mortgage prices? Dec 18, 2013 3:45 PM
    Under Federal law, every home mortgage borrower must be provided with a Good Faith Estimate of Settlement Costs (GFE) within three days of receipt of the borrower’s application. People often ask if the GFE can be used to shop mortgages and rates.

  • When mortgage borrowers need an ombudsman Nov 23, 2013 12:15 AM
    The ombudsman concept developed as a protection, or a source of redress, for individuals treated unjustly by governments, corporations, universities and other entities whose powers vastly exceeded theirs. Their role is to examine complaints made about the entity involved, and to find a way to resolve them.

  • What to look for in a mortgage loan officer Nov 16, 2013 12:08 AM
    My new program to certify mortgage loan officers (LOs), which will become operational early next year, will focus on two features that are critically important to borrowers: price integrity and decision support. LOs offering price integrity do not understate the prices they quote to mortgage shoppers in order to corral them as clients, and do not overstate the price when they lock it for an already committed client.

  • What to look for in a mortgage loan officer Nov 8, 2013 9:58 AM
    When a mortgage borrower selects a lender with whom to deal, the identity of the firm is much less important to the borrower than the identity of the individual loan officer.

  • The HECM reverse mortgage program gets a makeover Nov 2, 2013 12:08 AM
    Last month, FHA announced a series of sweeping changes in the HECM reverse mortgage program, most of which have already taken effect. The changes are a response to increasing losses suffered by FHA in connection with the extensive misuse of the program. As a result, the program is more complicated than ever.

  • Why will some lenders accept borrowers that other lenders reject? Oct 19, 2013 12:08 AM
    Some mortgage applicants will be accepted by every lender and others will be rejected by every lender. However, there is a group of “marginal applicants” who will be rejected by some lenders and accepted by others.

  • Is the “too big to fail” problem too big to solve? Oct 12, 2013 12:08 AM
    Previous articles in this series have described the major sources of public policy paralysis in dealing with the “too big to fail” banking problem. What is needed is a regulatory system that is more effective in controlling the risk exposure of these firms than capital requirements; and that also shifts the costs of a bailout, should one prove necessary, onto those banks.

  • Is the “too big to fail” problem too big to solve? Oct 4, 2013 10:25 AM
    Last week’s article argued that existing public policy toward the “too big to fail” problem was based on an unrealistic premise: that capital requirements can be used to eliminate the risk of failure by systemically important (SI) firms — those whose failure would threaten the stability of the world financial system. This article explains why that premise is wrong.

  • Is the “too big to fail” problem too big to solve? Sep 21, 2013 12:08 AM
    There seems to be almost universal consensus that using public funds to protect large institutions from failure, commonly called “bailout,” is bad policy. There is nothing like a consensus, however, on what should be done about it, and execution seems to be floundering. Three approaches have emerged, only one of which has much chance of being successful.

  • Who can you trust for a mortgage referral? Sep 13, 2013 10:47 AM
    Q. I don’t want to price shop for a mortgage, because I don’t feel competent enough and don’t want to take the time to educate myself on how to do it. I want to go to a lender who I have been told, by someone I trust, is competent and will treat me fairly. So who can I trust for such a referral? Are friends who have recently gone through the process my best bet?

  • Fix up a home before selling it, or not? Sep 7, 2013 12:10 AM
    Recently I put my home up for sale, and because it needed a new roof, deck, and septic system, came face to face with this question. This article is based heavily on that experience, in which I made a serious mistake that other sellers can avoid.

  • Smart mortgage shoppers understand mortgage pricing Aug 24, 2013 9:38 AM
    Mortgage pricing is a complicated process, which allows loan officers who understand it to get the better of borrowers who don't. The first step for any borrower looking to obtain the best possible price is to learn how the pricing process works.

  • Prepare to rescind your mortgage refinance before you close Aug 17, 2013 12:02 AM
    Rescinding a contractual agreement is unusual. A major purpose of contracts is to define the rights and obligations of each party, and if provision is made for a rescission, a penalty will almost always be imposed on the rescinding party. For example, when one party to a merger recently decided to rescind, it had to pay a penalty of $150 million.

  • Why it’s tough to refinance with your current lender Aug 3, 2013 12:16 AM
    A small group of borrowers might profit from refinancing with their current lenders — the firm to which they remit their monthly payment. Most borrowers, however, will do better refinancing with a new lender.

  • Can government help mortgage borrowers make better decisions? Jul 26, 2013 12:27 PM
    Government-mandated disclosures can help mortgage borrowers make decisions more wisely if properly implemented, but proper implementation cannot be taken for granted.

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