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Articles filed under Guttentag, Jack

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  • When banks compete, you win – except when you lose! Jun 22, 2013 12:54 AM
    Competition is generally viewed as a good thing, in the U.S. at least. Hence, advertisements that create an image of powerful banks having to compete among themselves for the favor of individual mortgage borrowers creates a generally favorable impression. The problem is that competition generates favorable results only under certain conditions, and those conditions are very difficult to find in the home mortgage market.

     
  • Insanity in today’s mortgage market Jun 8, 2013 4:30 AM
    In a recent article, I pointed out that mortgage lenders today can make a loan with only 3 percent down to a borrower with a steady job but a credit score of only 570, and have it insured by FHA. But lenders can’t or won’t accommodate a self-employed physician who can’t adequately document enough income, even if the physician can put 30 percent down and has a credit score of 800! Considering that the likelihood of a default is at least ten times higher on the first mortgage, this is insane.

     
  • Crackdown on mortgage reinsurance may not benefit homeowners Jun 1, 2013 5:21 AM
    Tthe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced 0n April 4 it had taken "enforcement actions to end what the Bureau believes to be improper kickbacks paid by mortgage insurers to mortgage lenders in exchange for business." - CFPB is right that mortgage reinsurance arrangements are really kickbacks for the referral of business. But it is wrong in suggesting that eliminating them will reduce costs to borrowers.

     
  • Despite new rules, borrowers still vulnerable to discrimination May 4, 2013 4:08 AM
    In an effort to eliminate discriminatory pricing of home mortgage loans, the federal government now imposes a raft of regulations on how mortgage brokers can price loans and charge for their services. The new rules have not eliminated discriminatory pricing, but they probably have raised mortgage broker fees.

     
  • Allure of financial gain blinds many to the obvious red flags Apr 27, 2013 4:59 AM
    A few weeks ago, I discovered that I was not getting all the emails sent to me by readers, which induced me to examine my spam file. I disabled the spam filter, and reconciled myself to the daily task of weeding out all the junk mail by sight.

     
  • Protect yourself against mortgage lock scams Apr 20, 2013 5:57 AM
    A price quote means nothing until it is properly locked with the lender. Too often, lenders take advantage of home mortgage borrowers because interest rates are continuously changing.

     
  • Complications arise when splitting real estate in divorce Apr 13, 2013 5:37 AM
    If a couple is not married when they purchase a house, the possibility of a future split looms large, and they should agree before the purchase on how the house will be handled if it occurs. Married homeowners sometimes split, as well.

     
  • Reverse mortgages struggle to shake stigma Apr 6, 2013 4:27 AM
    Q. It seems to me that you are writing a lot about reverse mortgages recently. Is the subject really worth the time you are spending on it?

     
  • Mortgage professor: What seniors should know if borrowing costs start to rise Mar 29, 2013 5:21 AM
    This is a great time for senior homeowners to take out a home equity conversion mortgage HECM), especially if they don't need the extra money now! Sounds crazy? It isn't, so read on.

     
  • New tool reliably compares mortgage rates, avoids overcharges Mar 23, 2013 5:15 AM
    The process of deciding whether to refinance a mortgage in order to lower costs involves four steps. What has been conspicuously missing in the marketplace has been one reliable information source supporting all four steps in the refinance process, but that is no longer the case.

     
  • Eliminate ‘profit illusion’ from mortgage lending Mar 16, 2013 4:38 AM
    The subprime debacle arose out of a housing bubble within which decision-makers assumed that house prices would rise indefinitely. The profit illusion can be eliminated by requiring that reserves be set aside on each loan based on its risk. This is "transaction-based reserving," or TBR. It is common practice in the insurance industry, including mortgage insurance, where it works very well.

     
  • Why haven’t any of the subprime ‘criminals’ been jailed? Mar 9, 2013 5:06 AM
    Q. According to a recent "Nightline" program, none of the Wall Street executives who engineered the subprime debacle have been convicted on criminal charges. Why do you think that is?

     
  • New mortgage affordability rules offer hope Mar 2, 2013 4:59 AM
    My quick reaction to the hundreds of new mortgage rules recently issued by CFPB, contained in 804 densely packed pages, is that the agency has done a creditable job in an incredibly difficult situation. The rules cover a lot of territory, but those pertaining to borrower affordability probably have attracted the most attention.

     
  • HECM’s success depends on reversing negative perceptions Feb 23, 2013 5:48 AM
    This article will look at overcoming problems that prevent HUD/FHA from attracting more of the seniors for whom the HECM program was intended. There are millions of them whose lives would be enriched with HECMs who haven't taken them. The purpose of the HECM program is to help senior homeowners finance their retirement, not to deplete all the equity in their homes at the outset of retirement.

     
  • Eliminating fixed-rate HECM loan makes no sense Feb 16, 2013 5:09 AM
    The first article in this series indicated that major changes were needed in the HECM program. The one concrete proposal directed to this objectiv is to eliminate the fixed-rate standard HECM. Viewed strictly as a way to reduce FHA deficits, elimination of the fixed-rate standard while leaving the fixed-rate Saver HECM makes no sense.

     
  • HECM reverse mortgages are attracting the wrong crowd Feb 9, 2013 5:01 AM
    The recent actuarial review of the financial status of FHA’s home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) insurance fund revealing a deficit of $2.8 billion has generated considerable attention in Congress and elsewhere. Some commentators have suggested that the deficit was a reason for curtailing the program.

     
  • Using a HECM reverse mortgage as an insurance policy Feb 2, 2013 5:38 AM
    Can seniors insure themselves against running out of money? A standard remedy for anxiety associated with hazards to life, limb or pocketbook is insurance. In the case of homeowners with equity, the insurance is provided by the federal government with the HECM reverse mortgage program. But the senior must use the program properly.

     
  • Five things to know about extra loan payments Jan 26, 2013 5:27 AM
    This is a good time to pay down your mortgage. One of the vexing features of the post-crisis financial system is the dearth of riskless investments paying a decent return. The rates on federal government securities and insured certificates of deposit (CDs) are not much greater than zero.

     
  • Getting lender’s best price on home loan often futile Jan 18, 2013 5:15 AM
    This series of articles is about opportunities available to consumers to save money on a mortgage in 2013. This article is directed at those looking to find the best possible deal on a refinance or home purchase loan.

     
  • Five refinance myths debunked Jan 12, 2013 4:18 AM
    This series of articles is about opportunities available to consumers to save money on an existing mortgage, or on a new one they plan to take in the near future. This one is about unexploited refinance opportunities.

     
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