Articles filed under Harney, Ken

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  • For vets, a housing boom is now taking place Oct 24, 2014 12:01 AM
    There may be fewer military boots on the ground overseas, but here at home there have been major campaigns in the housing market this year directed at veterans. The VA’s home-purchase financing program is now at record levels.

     
  • A flip waiver nears its end Oct 17, 2014 12:01 AM
    WASHINGTON — Can you still do a short-term house flip using federally insured, lowdown payment mortgage money? That’s an important question for buyers, sellers, investors and realty agents who’ve taken part in a nationwide wave of renovations and quick resales using Federal Housing Administration-backed loans during the past four years.

     
  • Caught up in refi quicksand Oct 10, 2014 12:01 AM
    Ed Fine’s recent rejection for a refinancing of his home loan wasn’t exactly like former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s. But there are enough similarities to raise questions about current tight mortgage market standards.

     
  • Emerging ‘non-QM’ market helps buyers get mortgages Oct 3, 2014 12:01 AM
    If you’re thinking about buying a house, you probably know the sobering realities in the mortgage market. Thanks to strict federal rule changes in the wake of the housing bust, it can be tough to qualify for a loan.

     
  • Flexible rules could extend mortgages to millions Sep 26, 2014 12:01 AM
    Are the two biggest players in the American mortgage arena — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — needlessly preventing millions of African-Americans, Latinos and young people from qualifying for a loan because they don’t have a FICO credit score?

     
  • Underwater homeowners, lenders await decision in Congress Sep 12, 2014 12:01 AM
    Congress is back from its summer vacation, so the burning financial question on thousands of homeowners’ minds right now is this: Are you guys finally going to help out consumers who are underwater on their mortgages, many of whom face crushing federal tax bills if they accept — or have already accepted — principal reductions by their lenders?

     
  • A policy switch at FHA will end unfair fee Sep 5, 2014 12:01 AM
    Hundreds of thousands of home sellers have had their pockets picked at closings during the last decade; they’ve been charged interest on their mortgages after their principal debts had been fully paid off.

     
  • No rush by lenders to use new credit score Aug 22, 2014 12:01 AM
    You may have noticed the big media splash recently when Fair Isaac, developer of the iconic FICO credit score, announced the debut of a new score version that no longer would penalize consumers who have medical debt-collection issues in their credit files.

     
  • Is lawsuit a wake-up call on title insurance? Aug 15, 2014 12:01 AM
    A new federal court suit alleging kickback violations by one of the country’s top-producing real estate sales teams raises an unsettling question for homebuyers: Could your agent or broker be pocketing under the table large chunks of what you pay for title insurance?

     
  • Finger-pointing leads to a credit score logjam Aug 1, 2014 12:01 AM
    Are mortgage lenders finally loosening up a little on their credit score requirements — opening the door to larger numbers of home purchasers this summer and fall?

     
  • The buy-down is a creative way to reach a home sale Jul 25, 2014 12:01 AM
    If I pay money to your lender to lower your mortgage rate — permanently — will you make me a better offer on my house?

     
  • Red flags bankers see when rejecting mortgages Jul 18, 2014 12:01 AM
    For large numbers of potential homebuyers, qualifying for a mortgage not only is a tough challenge, but one that ends unhappily — they get rejected.

     
  • A tracker for housing-price trends Jul 11, 2014 12:01 AM
    Homebuyers, sellers, small investors and realty agents are about to get new tools that purport to show where local property values are headed: the first “house specific” monitors for consumers that can track price trends — and forecast them up to one year into the future — on 50 million single-family homes across the country.

     
  • Fighting back on maternity discrimination Jul 4, 2014 12:01 AM
    It doesn’t get much publicity compared with other home mortgage issues, but it appears to be a persistent problem: Lenders and mortgage insurers allegedly delay or deny loan applications when a borrower is pregnant or heading for maternity leave.

     
  • Legal issue arises from racial data on realty websites Jun 20, 2014 12:01 AM
    When you shop online for a home, some websites let you specify the characteristics of the community where you want to live. Maybe you’re looking for excellent schools, low crime rates, affordable prices and low property taxes.

     
  • Equity making a strong rebound Jun 13, 2014 12:01 AM
    If you’re like most homeowners, the house is your biggest asset. You can’t track it online or check monthly statements sent to you by a bank, but it’s crucially important for your personal financial well-being and your retirement planning.

     
  • Owners caught in tax-code limbo Jun 7, 2014 1:15 AM
    Is partisan warfare on Capitol Hill over taxation of medical devices crushing thousands of homeowners’ plans to do short sales this year?

     
  • A lone calculator’s saving graces May 30, 2014 2:31 PM
    When you need a mortgage — whether to buy a house or refinance — what do you do? More than likely you jump online and check out competing quotes on sites that let you compare multiple offers, including interest rates, annual percentage rates (APRs) and monthly payments.

     
  • Condos becoming FHA no-lending zones May 23, 2014 12:01 AM
    For young first-time buyers, people with modest down payment cash, or seniors who want to tap their equity using a reverse mortgage, it’s a growing problem: They cannot use Federal Housing Administration financing in condominiums.

     
  • Appraisers’ approval ratings go up as distressed sales fall May 16, 2014 12:01 AM
    Not long ago they were the punching bags of American real estate, accused of rank incompetence, wrecking home sales and failing to pick up on signs of the housing turnaround.

     
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