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Articles tagged with: mortgage

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[26 May 2012 | No Comment | 4,661 views]
HARP 2.0. giving refinancing a boost

Back in November, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced new guidelines for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).
Why? The original HARP program – which was set up close to three years ago to help home owners refinance their mortgages – wasn’t as effective as hoped. Less than 1 million home owners benefitted from the original HARP and that had a lot to do with declining property values in a lot of markets. The original program required home owners wanting to refinance to owe no more …

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[13 May 2012 | No Comment | 2,609 views]
The coming fight over principal reduction

There have been a number of political spats over the past few years among lawmakers with the intention to help Americans through the housing crisis that’s been blamed for everything from falling housing prices to reduced sales.
We’ve seen the federal government bail out banks and attempt to remedy bogus foreclosure practices. We’ve watched the government put tax credits in place for home buyers and regulate the appraisal process in an attempt to make sure home values aren’t exaggerated. There have also been some attempts to help out home owners who …

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[26 Apr 2012 | One Comment | 2,348 views]
National mortgage standards coming this summer

The United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced on April 9 that it will formally propose rules this summer establishing national mortgage servicing standards.
The CFPB plans to finalize those rules in January. To get an idea of the extent of those rules and what the CFPB hopes to achieve by implementing them, point your favorite Internet browser to tinyurl.com/7dgym6p.
A mortgage servicer, of course, collects payments from a borrower on behalf of the original owner of the loan. If you took out a mortgage at a local bank but make …

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[14 Mar 2012 | One Comment | 3,006 views]
Ever considered a short sale?

It’s a tale we’ve heard far too many times – a home owner gets sick or loses a job, falls behind on his mortgage payments and is looking at the very real prospect of losing a home through foreclosure.
When a home is foreclosed upon, no one involved in the process wins. The home owner loses the house he or she had planned on staying in for years and will have to deal with a bad credit score for a few years. The lender always loses money when a home is …

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[7 Feb 2012 | One Comment | 2,360 views]
Oh, Canada…

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions of Canada (OSFI) has raised concerns over lending practices similar to those that gave rise to the crash of the subprime mortgage market in the United States.
According to documents obtained by Bloomberg News, OFSI officials are concerned about increasingly lenders’ increasing liberal practices when it comes to writing mortgages and home equity credit lines. Those practices include not requiring proof of income for those big-ticket loans.
To put that all in context, subprime lending in the U.S. went from an historical rate of …

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[29 Jan 2012 | No Comment | 1,814 views]
Is ‘certainty’ the missing ingredient in mortgage reform?

Since the subprime lending market collapsed around 2007, mortgage reform has been a popular topic in the federal government.
When it comes down to it, the real estate industry in general has become an issue of much discussion in Washington, D.C. The high number of foreclosures has been a concern and the same goes for falling home prices. Furthermore, there has been an emphasis on risk – the notion that lenders ought to write mortgages for people who are likely to live up to the obligations under the loans.
It is a …

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[22 Jan 2012 | One Comment | 2,363 views]
What’s impacting your credit score?

A good credit score has always been important for anyone wanting to take out a mortgage, but it is a critical requirement for borrowers these days.
Remember a few years ago when taking out a mortgage was easy? If a lender decided a borrower was too risky, the potential homebuyer could likely find a subprime lender or a banker offering some loan options designed to get people with less-than-stellar credit into a home.
After a few years of somewhat freewheeling lending practices, we saw a lot of defaults starting around 2007. Some …

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[16 Jan 2012 | 4 Comments | 6,226 views]
Freddie Mac rolls out program for the unemployed

Here’s a newsflash – unemployment remains a concern.
In Arkansas, the unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in November – that’s down from 9.3 percent, but is still high for Arkansas. What that number means is that 106,500 people in the Natural State want jobs but don’t have them. That’s a large number, roughly equal to the population of Saline County.
That’s a major problem for the economy for the economy for a number of reasons, but we’ll just deal with one since this column focuses on real estate issues – how can …

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[7 Jan 2012 | One Comment | 1,563 views]
Looking back on 2011

In hindsight, it’s clear that 2011 was decidedly mixed in terms of housing markets around the nation.
Freddie Mac – the government sponsored lending giant – projected that lenders would write $1.8 trillion in home loans last year. The group revised that estimate downward to $1 trillion partway through the year and lenders ultimately wrote $1.3 trillion in home loans in 2011.
That’s down 23.53 percent from $1.7 trillion in 2010 and down 60.61 percent from $3.3 trillion when housing markets peaked in 2005. Furthermore, the better-than-expected results had a lot to …

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[18 Dec 2011 | One Comment | 2,745 views]
Mortgage delinquency rates to drop next year?

TransUnion – the third largest credit bureau in the United States – predicts that mortgage delinquency rates will fall in 2012.
The delinquency rate is defined as the number of borrowers that are 60 days or more behind on their mortgages. TransUnion predicts that rate will hit 6 percent in the first quarter of 2012 and then drop to around 5 percent by the end of the year. According to TransUnion, the delinquency rate peaked in the fourth quarter of 2009 at 6.89 percent.
While a falling delinquency rate comes as good …