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Articles filed under Harney, Ken

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  • Home-mortgage interest deduction could be in play Aug 9, 2013 12:00 AM
    Since Congress has taken off on its annual summer recess, you might assume that nothing is happening on Capitol Hill that could affect the taxes you pay on your home. Quite the reverse.

  • Broker bonuses might be tied to ‘upselling’ mortgage terms Aug 2, 2013 12:00 AM
    It’s called “upselling” — steering home mortgage applicants into higher-cost terms that increase the lender’s profits — and it was rampant during the housing boom years. New goverment allegations claim this practice has returned.

  • A lobby for homeowner interests Jul 25, 2013 12:00 AM
    A group of mortgage and real estate industry veterans, joined by leaders of national community development, fair housing and consumer groups, are set to launch an unusual effort — a national nonprofit organization modeled after AARP, the seniors lobby, solely to speak for the home-owning public.

  • A 1990s reverse mortgage is today’s nightmare Jul 19, 2013 12:00 AM
    Call it the estate-devouring, nightmare home loan you hope to never encounter: A reverse mortgage with a base interest rate of 9.95 percent, plus a 50 percent share for the lender of increases in value of the house following closing, plus another 2 percent “maturity fee” to sweeten the payout even more.

  • The nation’s housing: Routes to a lower down payment Jul 12, 2013 12:00 AM
    WASHINGTON — It’s a crucial question for many first-time and moderate-income buyers in rebounding markets across the country: Where do we find the lowest down payment, lowest monthly cost loans? The answers are changing.

  • Big-time housing rebound Jul 5, 2013 12:00 AM
    You’ve probably seen some of the reports during the past week about home sales and prices. Housing is hot. New home sales in May were almost 30 percent higher than a year ago, and average prices jumped by about 10 percent during the past 12 months to $308,000.

  • Another pitfall of student debt Jun 28, 2013 12:00 AM
    They’re not yet an endangered species, but their steadily diminishing presence has some real estate analysts worried: First-time buyers are missing in action in housing markets across the country.

  • Someone is watching home buyers Jun 21, 2013 12:00 AM
    You can call it Big Brother. You can call it high-tech snooping. But be aware: If you are applying for a mortgage in the coming weeks, you can be sure that your credit will be checked and rechecked — possibly monitored daily.

  • Growing appeal seen for 10-year mortgage loans Jun 14, 2013 12:00 AM
    The refinancing boom may be cooling down, but the move to shorter mortgages — especially 10-year loans among pre-retirees — appears to be accelerating.

  • FHA’s interest fee on retired mortgages under fire Jun 7, 2013 12:00 AM
    Pressured by consumer protection regulators, the Federal Housing Administration is expected to end one of its most controversial practices: Charging borrowers interest on their home mortgages for weeks after they’ve paid off the entire principal balance.

  • Are kickbacks making a comeback? May 30, 2013 12:00 AM
    WASHINGTON — A settlement between the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and a Texas homebuilder is drawing renewed attention to a controversial issue that was prominent during the years preceding the housing bubble: kickbacks in home real estate transactions. Is your realty broker or builder getting an extra piece of the action through side deals with lenders or title agencies — all at your expense through higher charges?

  • The nation’s housing: For seniors, a break on mortgages May 24, 2013 12:00 AM
    Here's a heads-up for the growing ranks of seniors whose post-retirement monthly incomes aren't sufficient to qualify for a mortgage under today's tough underwriting standards: Thanks to a rule change by the largest players in the home loan business, you may be able to use imputed income from your 401(k), IRA and other retirement assets to qualify for the loan you want.

  • When short sales leave sellers short May 17, 2013 12:00 AM
    Are large numbers of homeowners who have negotiated short sales with lenders at risk because of a startling omission in the American credit system? Do their credit reports and scores indicate that they were foreclosed upon, rather than having negotiated a mutually agreeable resolution with their lender?

  • The rise of ‘pocket listings’ may be costly to sellers May 10, 2013 12:00 AM
    How hot is hot when it comes to housing markets across the country right now? Crazy hot: There are growing numbers of houses that sell even before they formally hit the market — sold through a controversial technique known as "pocket listings."

  • The nation’s housing: Some zero-down successes May 3, 2013 12:00 AM
    WASHINGTON — Who says lenders need to charge you a cash down payment when you take out a mortgage in this era of hyper-strict underwriting?

  • Why lengthy listings exist in hottest of markets Apr 26, 2013 12:00 AM
    With full-fledged sellers' markets under way in dozens of metropolitan areas around the country, new research has found curious statistical patterns emerging: Even in cities where listings get multiple offers within days or hours, significant numbers of homes are sitting on the market for six months, 12 months or more with no takers.

  • Bank windows open a bit wider on equity credit lines Apr 19, 2013 12:00 AM
    Using your home as an ATM no longer is a financial option, but the tools that allowed owners to pull out massive amounts of money during the boom years — equity credit lines and second mortgages — are making a comeback.

  • A boom market reappearing Apr 12, 2013 12:00 AM
    They’re back after barely a decade: Escalation clauses in real estate contracts, “naked” contingency-free offers and lowball-priced listings designed to pull in dozens of bidders and turn routine sales transactions into auctions.

  • The mortgage complaint window is open Apr 5, 2013 12:00 AM
    Got a beef with your mortgage company or loan servicer? Lots of people do, and thousands of them have been turning to a federal complaint hotline for action — or at least a quick response from the lender.

  • The nation’s housing: Energy savers due a break Apr 5, 2013 12:00 AM
    WASHINGTON — If you buy or own an energy efficient house, does this make you less likely to default on your mortgage? Is there a connection between the monthly savings on utility costs and the probability that you'll pay your loan on time?

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