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Articles filed under Mortgages

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  • Interest rate breaks ending soon Jun 8, 2014 6:29 AM
    Since the housing market unraveled in 2008, lenders have slashed the interest rates on millions of mortgages belonging to struggling borrowers -- but only for a limited time. And for about 2 million of the loans, that time is up, or soon will be.

  • Your choice: Fixed or adjustable-rate mortgage? May 4, 2014 6:07 AM
    Adjustable-rate mortgages got a bad rap after the housing bust. Many homebuyers used the low initial interest rates on adjustable loans to keep payments low, but weren’t able to afford to pay their mortgage when the loans reset to a much higher rate a few years later.

  • Study: Borrowers paying mortgages ahead of cards Mar 30, 2014 6:07 AM
    When it comes to paying the bills, the mortgage is once again more of a priority for many U.S. homeowners than their credit cards. That’s the conclusion of a study released by credit reporting agency TransUnion, which examined about a decade’s worth of U.S. consumers’ payment data.

  • Monitor: Big banks satisfy mortgage settlement Mar 23, 2014 6:12 AM
    The nation’s four biggest banks slashed billions of dollars from mortgages and other debts, enough to satisfy their obligations under a national mortgage settlement that stemmed from so-called robo-signing.

  • Freddie Mac posts $8.6B profit in 4Q Feb 27, 2014 9:51 AM
    Mortgage giant Freddie Mac posted net income of $8.6 billion for the October through December period, its ninth straight profitable quarter. Earnings were boosted by the continued rise in home prices, which reduced the amounts the company had to set aside to cover losses on mortgages.

  • Subprime mortgages make a comeback as ‘nonprime’ Feb 2, 2014 9:11 PM
    Gone are the days when lenders handed out mortgages without requiring documentation and down payments. Today’s purveyors of subprime call the loans “nonprime’”and require as much as 30 percent down to safeguard their investment. And they see a big opportunity for growth as tougher federal lending standards shut out millions of Americans with poor credit from the mortgage market.

  • Breaking the logjam on HECM reverse mortgages Feb 1, 2014 12:48 AM
    With HECM reverse mortgages, a fear of being overcharged is part of a climate of distrust that strengthens senior reluctance to become involved, and retards market growth. The remedy can be independent networks that provide true price competition and protection against lock abuse on loans.

  • Breaking the logjam on HECM reverse mortgages Jan 25, 2014 12:34 AM
    People reaching retirement age are living longer than ever, and retiring with less capacity to maintain their living standards. Yet most retiring seniors own homes in which they have significant equity, which could be unlocked by taking a HECM reverse mortgage.

  • 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.

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