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Articles filed under Mortgages

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  • HECM’s success depends on reversing negative perceptions Feb 23, 2013 5:48 AM
    This article will look at overcoming problems that prevent HUD/FHA from attracting more of the seniors for whom the HECM program was intended. There are millions of them whose lives would be enriched with HECMs who haven't taken them. The purpose of the HECM program is to help senior homeowners finance their retirement, not to deplete all the equity in their homes at the outset of retirement.

     
  • Mortgage bill faces tough road in Congress Feb 18, 2013 12:52 PM
    A sharply divided Congress isn’t likely to jump at President Barack Obama’s challenge for quick passage of a mortgage refinancing bill that supporters say could help millions of homeowners save big each year and boost the economy. Obama praised the legislation in his State of the Union speech last week, saying the proposal would help more homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac take advantage of low interest rates and refinance their loans.Even with mortgage rates near a 50-year low, Obama said, too many families that have never missed a payment and want to refinance are being turned down.

     
  • Eliminating fixed-rate HECM loan makes no sense Feb 16, 2013 5:09 AM
    The first article in this series indicated that major changes were needed in the HECM program. The one concrete proposal directed to this objectiv is to eliminate the fixed-rate standard HECM. Viewed strictly as a way to reduce FHA deficits, elimination of the fixed-rate standard while leaving the fixed-rate Saver HECM makes no sense.

     
  • HECM reverse mortgages are attracting the wrong crowd Feb 9, 2013 5:01 AM
    The recent actuarial review of the financial status of FHA’s home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) insurance fund revealing a deficit of $2.8 billion has generated considerable attention in Congress and elsewhere. Some commentators have suggested that the deficit was a reason for curtailing the program.

     
  • FHA’s new mortgage fees will pack a bite Feb 8, 2013 5:23 AM
    If you want to buy a house with minimal cash by using an FHA-insured mortgage, here's some sobering news: Thanks to an ongoing series of fee increases and underwriting tweaks — the most recent of which were announced Jan. 31 — FHA is getting steadily more expensive, and may not work for you.

     
  • Using a HECM reverse mortgage as an insurance policy Feb 2, 2013 5:38 AM
    Can seniors insure themselves against running out of money? A standard remedy for anxiety associated with hazards to life, limb or pocketbook is insurance. In the case of homeowners with equity, the insurance is provided by the federal government with the HECM reverse mortgage program. But the senior must use the program properly.

     
  • Five things to know about extra loan payments Jan 26, 2013 5:27 AM
    This is a good time to pay down your mortgage. One of the vexing features of the post-crisis financial system is the dearth of riskless investments paying a decent return. The rates on federal government securities and insured certificates of deposit (CDs) are not much greater than zero.

     
  • Getting lender’s best price on home loan often futile Jan 18, 2013 5:15 AM
    This series of articles is about opportunities available to consumers to save money on a mortgage in 2013. This article is directed at those looking to find the best possible deal on a refinance or home purchase loan.

     
  • Five refinance myths debunked Jan 12, 2013 4:18 AM
    This series of articles is about opportunities available to consumers to save money on an existing mortgage, or on a new one they plan to take in the near future. This one is about unexploited refinance opportunities.

     
  • The truth about HECMs and upfront fees Jan 5, 2013 4:08 AM
    One of the bum raps against home equity conversion mortgages (HECMs) is that their upfront fees are too high. It is a dumb rap as well, because it is based on a comparison with standard mortgages, which aside from the fact that both are secured by a property, have very little in common.

     
  • Retirees must prioritize between debt-free estate and spendable funds Dec 29, 2012 5:47 AM
    Q. I will retire shortly at 65 and still owe $67,000 at 6 percent on my mortgage. My house is worth $250,000 and I have savings of $300,000. Should I pay off the mortgage, let things ride, or is there another option?

     
  • Buyers usually prefer land contracts to lease-to-own deals Dec 15, 2012 3:28 AM
    Q. You have written articles about lease-to-own contracts, but never about land contracts, which I am told may work better.

     
  • Mortgage professor: Making a lease-to-own sale worth your while Dec 8, 2012 10:30 AM
    A lease-to-own (LTO) transaction is one in which a potential homebuyer occupies the home as a tenant but has an option to purchase it within a specified period at a specified price. In exchange, the potential buyer pays a nonrefundable option fee upfront plus a monthly rent.

     
  • Not all reverse mortgage calculators are created equal Dec 1, 2012 5:14 AM
    One of the great features of the home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) program is that eligible seniors have multiple options designed to meet a variety of different needs. They can a) draw cash upfront; b) select a credit line on which to draw in the future at their own initiative; c) receive a tenure annuity for as long as they remain in their home; and d) receive a term annuity for a period the senior selects.

     
  • Inferior property appraisals have become more common Nov 24, 2012 5:16 AM
    Q. I am trying to refinance the loan on my four-family rental property. The rate was locked and the appraisal came back with a satisfactory value. However, the lender rejected the appraisal and mortgage.

     
  • In many cases, homeowners are the ones abusing reverse mortgages Nov 17, 2012 4:11 AM
    The home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) is one of the best-engineered financial tools of our generation. Yet the program elicits negative reactions from large segments of the media, whose distorted descriptions of the HECM program are scaring off millions of seniors whose lives could be enriched by it.

     
  • Borrowers often blindsided at different stages of lending process Nov 3, 2012 5:18 AM
    [No Paragraph Style]NewsShopping for the best deal on a home loan has many pitfalls, but by far the most daunting is that lenders will not commit to the prices they quote to shopping borrowers. While borrowers seldom realize it when they begin the process, the fact is that they are forced to select loan providers without knowing the exact price they will pay.

     
  • Should you use a reverse mortgage to pay off home, or wait? Oct 13, 2012 5:37 AM
    Q. I reached 62 this year and have a mortgage balance of $85,000 on my house, which is worth about $400,000. Should I pay off the balance now with a reverse mortgage?

     
  • Four strategies to stretch your HECM dollar further Oct 4, 2012 12:46 PM
    A major and potentially valuable feature of the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program is that it offers multiple options regarding how a senior can withdraw funds. However, most seniors are selecting an option to cash out the entire equity in their house at the outset, which eliminates other options (unless they later repay some of the money they withdrew), and may leave them with nothing to fall back on if they need help in later years.

     
  • Age matters when you choose a reverse mortgage credit line How, when and why to take a reverse mortgage Sep 29, 2012 4:55 AM
    One of the valuable features of the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is the multiple options for cashing out equity in the house. Borrowers can take cash, a credit line that grows in size if it is not used, a tenure annuity that pays a monthly stipend for as long as the senior lives in the house, and term annuities that pay a monthly stipend for a period selected by the senior.

     
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