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Articles filed under Mortgages

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  • Bankers buried in lawsuits say new mortgage rules fall short Oct 26, 2014 7:43 AM
    Bankers who gathered in Las Vegas to hear Melvin Watt reveal mortgage rule changes said they won’t do enough to expand credit to many Americans shut out of housing. Lenders demand relief from government lawsuits too. “The future of housing in America is on the line,” Bill Cosgrove, chief executive officer of Strongsville, Ohio-based Union Home Mortgage, told thousands of attendees of the Mortgage Bankers Association annual conference.

     
  • Navigating the wide world of mortgage overlays Oct 26, 2014 7:45 AM
    The word “overlay” in the context of home loans refers to the mortgage approval standards that lenders and their investors place above the guidelines set by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs. While many real estate professionals bemoan the tightened lending standards put in place since the housing crisis, restrictive lending practices are not solely the responsibility of the federal government.

     
  • 3 ways a regulator plans to make it easier to obtain a mortgage Oct 26, 2014 7:44 AM
    This week, the head of the agency that oversees the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac outlined in broad terms how he plans to make it easier for borrowers on both fronts. Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, did not give the exact timing on the initiatives. But most of them are designed to encourage the industry to extend mortgages to a broader swath of borrowers.

     
  • Market turmoil: A gift for mortgage refinancers? Oct 18, 2014 10:44 PM
    A sudden plunge in mortgage rates this week raised an urgent question for millions of Americans: Should I refinance my mortgage? Across the country, homeowners and would-be homeowners eager for a bargain rate fired off inquiries to lenders. The opportunity emerged from the tumult that seized financial markets and sent stock prices and bond yields tumbling. Rates on long-term mortgages tend to track the 10-year Treasury yield, which fell below 2 percent for the first time since May 2013.

     
  • Why some banks don’t want to take a chance on some borrowers Aug 17, 2014 7:22 AM
    For at least a year, the Obama administration has been pushing lenders to make mortgages more widely available to responsible people looking to buy homes. But many potential buyers are getting shut out of the market because lenders don’t want to take a chance on them because of “credit overlays.”

     
  • Bigger down payments add to first-time homebuyer blues Aug 17, 2014 7:14 AM
    The challenges facing prospective buyers of the least expensive homes in the U.S. are getting harder to overcome. Already beset by stagnant wages, growing student debt and competition from investors who are snapping up listings, those looking to purchase moderately priced houses must also provide more cash up front.

     
  • Approvals for mortgage relief take too long, watchdog says Aug 3, 2014 7:22 AM
    Troubled homeowners are facing unacceptable delays when they turn to the Obama administration’s flagship foreclosure prevention program for help, the watchdog agency that oversees the initiative reported. The analysis found that the number of borrowers awaiting approval for the Home Affordable Modification Program nearly doubled.

     
  • 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.

     
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