Articles filed under Harney, Ken

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  • New bureau uncovers problems with loan servicers Feb 7, 2014 12:21 AM
    Got problems with the company that services your home mortgage — the one that collects your payments, keeps track of your escrow account and lets you know when you’re late?

  • The long reach of identity theft may reach homebuyers Jan 31, 2014 1:50 AM
    The numbers of affected Americans are impossible to predict. However, mortgage credit experts warn that the recent massive data breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and other retailers could have significant side impacts on some real estate transactions in the coming months, as damaged credit files depress scores and jeopardize loan applications and home sales.

  • Some options for mortgage shoppers as standards tighten Jan 24, 2014 12:42 AM
    The verdict was nearly unanimous at a recent hearing on Capitol Hill: The new federal “ability to repay” and “qualified mortgage” regulations that took effect Jan. 10 will make obtaining credit tougher, not easier, this year, and potentially force large numbers of credit-worthy homebuyers to defer or cancel their plans.

  • Lenders to follow useful new rule on appraisals Jan 17, 2014 12:56 AM
    A new federal rule could give millions of homebuyers insights they’ve never had before about a crucial element of their mortgage application: the appraisal, including the electronic cross-checks and reviews now used by lenders to determine the amount of the loan they’ll approve.

  • A hybrid mortgage may fit in your housing future Jan 3, 2014 2:30 AM
    Higher mortgage rates for 2014? Count on it. Could this be the year to check out hybrid mortgages, which haven’t been popular lately? Maybe.

  • I am real estate, hear me roar Dec 19, 2013 10:07 AM
    WASHINGTON — The biggest story in American real estate in 2013 hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves, so let’s shout this out: Homeowners’ net equity holdings soared by $2.2 trillion between the third quarter of 2012 and the third quarter of this year, according to new data collected by the Federal Reserve.

  • An unsettling time for real estate owners and investors Dec 13, 2013 12:04 AM
    For one of the least productive congressional sessions in modern history, the final word about tax reform last week was entirely in character: Nothing’s happening.

  • Foreclosure laws greatly impact speed of housing recovery Nov 29, 2013 12:13 AM
    Why have many of the local housing markets that were hit hardest during the bust — especially in California — bounced back so vigorously and quickly, with prices close to or exceeding where they were in 2005 and 2006?

  • Seeing green over mortgages Nov 22, 2013 2:04 PM
    For the growing numbers of home purchasers who care about energy efficiency, it’s the ultimate “green” goal: Lenders should recognize the net savings that energy improvements provide to property owners and take them into account when they underwrite and set the fees for mortgages. Appraisers should also recognize the added value.

  • Tax benefits imperiled — again Nov 15, 2013 6:02 AM
    Haven’t we seen this movie before? On Capitol Hill for the second year in a row, key federal tax assistance for homeowners is heading for expiration within weeks. And there’s no sign that Congress plans — or has the minimal political will — to do anything about it.

  • Storm warnings as credit-line resets near Nov 8, 2013 12:54 AM
    Could the real estate market be heading for a new — and as yet little publicized — financial storm? Many lines of credit, which are second mortgages with floating rates and flexible withdrawal terms, carry mandatory “resets” requiring borrowers to begin paying both principal and interest on their balances after 10 years.

  • A break for housing tax breaks? Oct 25, 2013 12:48 AM
    Here’s a side effect of the 16-day federal shutdown and debt-ceiling crisis that could prove popular among tax-sensitive homeowners: The stalemate removed even the remotest possibility that Congress could undertake fundamental tax reforms curtailing housing breaks this year and renders it unlikely next year as well.

  • Will middle-class buyers get caught in a squeeze play? Oct 18, 2013 12:24 AM
    Federal agencies haven’t been functioning much this month, but six of them are looking at a proposal that could squeeze huge numbers of buyers out of the mortgage market: a mandatory 30-percent down payment for borrowers who seek the best rates and terms.

  • Why some brokers offer money toward closing costs Oct 11, 2013 12:51 AM
    The government shutdown and the debt limit have dominated the headlines, but a behind-the-scenes fight over federal mortgage policy has been brewing and it could affect your choices the next time you apply for a home loan.

  • Do schools influence home’s price? Oct 4, 2013 10:16 AM
    WASHINGTON — It’s a key question for many homebuyers who have or plan to have young children: We want a house in an area with good schools, but what sort of price premium — if any — will we have to pay?

  • The snag of part-time income Sep 27, 2013 12:54 AM
    WASHINGTON — It’s an issue that hasn’t gotten much attention, but should be a red alert for first-time buyers and others who supplement their incomes with part-time work: Though part-time earnings are playing an increasingly important role in the post-recession American economy, the income you earn part time may not count when you go to buy a house.

  • Some signs appear of an easing in credit-score requirements Sep 20, 2013 12:03 AM
    Could the end of the refinancing boom be stimulating slightly more favorable mortgage terms for homebuyers? The latest comprehensive study of activity in the market suggests the answer could be yes.

  • Reverse mortgage requirements will tighten up Sep 13, 2013 12:52 AM
    For homeowners who were looking to the federal government’s reverse mortgage program to supply lots of cash for their retirement years, here’s a heads-up: The pipeline just got narrower.

  • The nation’s housing: For short-sellers, some good news Sep 6, 2013 12:38 AM
    Policy changes by two of the biggest players in the mortgage market could open doors to home purchases this fall by thousands of people who were hard hit by the housing bust and who thought they’d have to wait for years before owning again.

  • On housing, a chill is in the air Aug 23, 2013 12:47 AM
    WASHINGTON — Do you feel that hint of a chill starting to swirl through the housing market? The cooling is slight but it’s for real. Home prices are not rising as fast in most metropolitan areas as they did earlier this year and much of 2012.

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