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Articles filed under Mortgages

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  • Insanity in today’s mortgage market Jun 8, 2013 4:30 AM
    In a recent article, I pointed out that mortgage lenders today can make a loan with only 3 percent down to a borrower with a steady job but a credit score of only 570, and have it insured by FHA. But lenders can’t or won’t accommodate a self-employed physician who can’t adequately document enough income, even if the physician can put 30 percent down and has a credit score of 800! Considering that the likelihood of a default is at least ten times higher on the first mortgage, this is insane.

  • Crackdown on mortgage reinsurance may not benefit homeowners Jun 1, 2013 5:21 AM
    Tthe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced 0n April 4 it had taken "enforcement actions to end what the Bureau believes to be improper kickbacks paid by mortgage insurers to mortgage lenders in exchange for business." - CFPB is right that mortgage reinsurance arrangements are really kickbacks for the referral of business. But it is wrong in suggesting that eliminating them will reduce costs to borrowers.

  • Mortgage-crisis funds slow in coming, analysis shows May 26, 2013 5:19 AM
    Banks have paid less than half the $5.7 billion in cash owed to troubled homeowners under nearly 30 settlements brokered by the government since 2008, delaying help to the millions of victims of discrimination and shoddy lending that epitomized the housing crisis, according to a Washington Post analysis of government data.

  • Record profit signals healthier Fannie Mae May 9, 2013 4:12 PM
    Fannie Mae said something Thursday that would have been unthinkable a few years ago: It earned a record $58.7 billion profit in the January-March quarter.

  • Despite new rules, borrowers still vulnerable to discrimination May 4, 2013 4:08 AM
    In an effort to eliminate discriminatory pricing of home mortgage loans, the federal government now imposes a raft of regulations on how mortgage brokers can price loans and charge for their services. The new rules have not eliminated discriminatory pricing, but they probably have raised mortgage broker fees.

  • Allure of financial gain blinds many to the obvious red flags Apr 27, 2013 4:59 AM
    A few weeks ago, I discovered that I was not getting all the emails sent to me by readers, which induced me to examine my spam file. I disabled the spam filter, and reconciled myself to the daily task of weeding out all the junk mail by sight.

  • American dream eludes under-40s saddled with student debt Apr 21, 2013 8:11 AM
    Two- thirds of student loans are held by people under the age of 40, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, blocking millions of them from taking advantage of the most affordable housing market on record. The number of people in that age group who own homes fell by 4.6 percent in the fourth quarter from the third, the biggest drop in records dating to 1982.

  • Protect yourself against mortgage lock scams Apr 20, 2013 5:57 AM
    A price quote means nothing until it is properly locked with the lender. Too often, lenders take advantage of home mortgage borrowers because interest rates are continuously changing.

  • 6 key considerations when applying for a mortgage Apr 14, 2013 7:42 AM
    For most would-be homebuyers, making a run at homeownership is going to mean getting approved for a home loan. It’s a process that, at best, can be stressful and confusing. Borrowers can be better prepared by taking steps to study their options and learn what to expect from a lender. “It’s surprising to me that people tend to spend more time in pre-purchase research for a car than they do for a home mortgage,” says Chris George, president of home mortgage lender CMG Financial.

  • Complications arise when splitting real estate in divorce Apr 13, 2013 5:37 AM
    If a couple is not married when they purchase a house, the possibility of a future split looms large, and they should agree before the purchase on how the house will be handled if it occurs. Married homeowners sometimes split, as well.

  • Reverse mortgages struggle to shake stigma Apr 6, 2013 4:27 AM
    Q. It seems to me that you are writing a lot about reverse mortgages recently. Is the subject really worth the time you are spending on it?

  • Mortgage professor: What seniors should know if borrowing costs start to rise Mar 29, 2013 5:21 AM
    This is a great time for senior homeowners to take out a home equity conversion mortgage HECM), especially if they don't need the extra money now! Sounds crazy? It isn't, so read on.

  • New tool reliably compares mortgage rates, avoids overcharges Mar 23, 2013 5:15 AM
    The process of deciding whether to refinance a mortgage in order to lower costs involves four steps. What has been conspicuously missing in the marketplace has been one reliable information source supporting all four steps in the refinance process, but that is no longer the case.

  • Eliminate ‘profit illusion’ from mortgage lending Mar 16, 2013 4:38 AM
    The subprime debacle arose out of a housing bubble within which decision-makers assumed that house prices would rise indefinitely. The profit illusion can be eliminated by requiring that reserves be set aside on each loan based on its risk. This is "transaction-based reserving," or TBR. It is common practice in the insurance industry, including mortgage insurance, where it works very well.

  • Why haven’t any of the subprime ‘criminals’ been jailed? Mar 9, 2013 5:06 AM
    Q. According to a recent "Nightline" program, none of the Wall Street executives who engineered the subprime debacle have been convicted on criminal charges. Why do you think that is?

  • New mortgage affordability rules offer hope Mar 2, 2013 4:59 AM
    My quick reaction to the hundreds of new mortgage rules recently issued by CFPB, contained in 804 densely packed pages, is that the agency has done a creditable job in an incredibly difficult situation. The rules cover a lot of territory, but those pertaining to borrower affordability probably have attracted the most attention.

  • 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.

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