Articles filed under Mortgages

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  • 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.

  • Is the “too big to fail” problem too big to solve? Oct 4, 2013 10:25 AM
    Last week’s article argued that existing public policy toward the “too big to fail” problem was based on an unrealistic premise: that capital requirements can be used to eliminate the risk of failure by systemically important (SI) firms — those whose failure would threaten the stability of the world financial system. This article explains why that premise is wrong.

  • Consumers making mortgage payments priority again Sep 30, 2013 8:44 AM
    The steady rise in U.S. home values is increasingly motivating homeowners to make paying their mortgage on time a priority, according to a new study. Credit reporting agency TransUnion said it examined late-payment rates between 2009 and 2012 on mortgages, credit cards and auto loans among consumers with the three types of financial obligations.

  • Rock-bottom mortgage rates evaporating on recovery in U.K. Sep 22, 2013 6:25 AM
    Rock-bottom mortgage rates may be a thing of the past in the U.K. as banks’ borrowing costs surge amid growing evidence that an economic recovery is taking hold.

  • Is the “too big to fail” problem too big to solve? Sep 21, 2013 12:08 AM
    There seems to be almost universal consensus that using public funds to protect large institutions from failure, commonly called “bailout,” is bad policy. There is nothing like a consensus, however, on what should be done about it, and execution seems to be floundering. Three approaches have emerged, only one of which has much chance of being successful.

  • Who can you trust for a mortgage referral? Sep 13, 2013 10:47 AM
    Q. I don’t want to price shop for a mortgage, because I don’t feel competent enough and don’t want to take the time to educate myself on how to do it. I want to go to a lender who I have been told, by someone I trust, is competent and will treat me fairly. So who can I trust for such a referral? Are friends who have recently gone through the process my best bet?

  • Fix up a home before selling it, or not? Sep 7, 2013 12:10 AM
    Recently I put my home up for sale, and because it needed a new roof, deck, and septic system, came face to face with this question. This article is based heavily on that experience, in which I made a serious mistake that other sellers can avoid.

  • Average U.S. 30-year mortgage rate up to 4.57% Sep 5, 2013 11:27 AM
    Average fixed rates on U.S. long-term mortgages neared their highs for the year this week amid signs of further strength in the economy. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan was 4.57 percent this week. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage rose from 3.54 percent to 3.59 percent. That’s near the year’s high of 3.6 percent.

  • Smart mortgage shoppers understand mortgage pricing Aug 24, 2013 9:38 AM
    Mortgage pricing is a complicated process, which allows loan officers who understand it to get the better of borrowers who don't. The first step for any borrower looking to obtain the best possible price is to learn how the pricing process works.

  • Prepare to rescind your mortgage refinance before you close Aug 17, 2013 12:02 AM
    Rescinding a contractual agreement is unusual. A major purpose of contracts is to define the rights and obligations of each party, and if provision is made for a rescission, a penalty will almost always be imposed on the rescinding party. For example, when one party to a merger recently decided to rescind, it had to pay a penalty of $150 million.

  • Why it’s tough to refinance with your current lender Aug 3, 2013 12:16 AM
    A small group of borrowers might profit from refinancing with their current lenders — the firm to which they remit their monthly payment. Most borrowers, however, will do better refinancing with a new lender.

  • Ex-trader ‘Fabulous Fab’ found liable in SEC case Aug 2, 2013 6:35 AM
    A former Goldman Sachs trader who earned the nickname “Fabulous Fab” was found liable Thursday in a fraud case brought by federal regulators in response to the 2007 mortgage crisis that helped push the country into recession. A jury reached the verdict at the civil trial in Manhattan federal court of Fabrice Tourre — a French-born Stanford graduate described by Securities and Exchange Commission lawyers as the face of “Wall Street greed.” Tourre’s attorneys portrayed him as a scapegoat in a downturn caused by larger economic forces.

  • Can government help mortgage borrowers make better decisions? Jul 26, 2013 12:27 PM
    Government-mandated disclosures can help mortgage borrowers make decisions more wisely if properly implemented, but proper implementation cannot be taken for granted.

  • Mortgage are underappreciated, and often misunderstood Jul 20, 2013 12:29 AM
    The standard mortgage contract in the U.S. today calls for full repayment of the balance over the term with equal monthly payments of principal and interest. I will save space by calling a fully amortizing mortgage with equal monthly payments a FAM.

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