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Reverse Mortgage Scams, What They Are and How to Avoid Them - 01/31/12 03:02 PM
What is a reverse mortgage? A reverse mortgage is a government-insured home loan that lets homeowners turn some of the equity from their home into cash. The difference between a reverse mortgage and a standard home equity loan is that reverse mortgage consumers must be age 62 or older, must own the home outright (or have a low mortgage balance that can be paid off at closing with proceeds from the reverse loan), and must live in the home. Chances are if you qualify for a reverse mortgage then you have been approached by reverse mortgage scams. According to the (0 comments)
Is Freddie Mac Betting Against Homeowners? - 01/30/12 03:33 PM
According to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica, Freddie Mac may be profiting off homeowners' high-rate mortgages. The report suggests that at the same time the agency was profiting, it was also making it more difficult for those locked in high-rate mortgages to refinance. Freddie and its cousin, Fannie Mae, have imposed new rules and regulations, and introduced new fees, thereby narrowing the number of borrowers who qualify for a Freddie-insured mortgage. Scott Simon, managing director of the mortgage-backed securities team at bond trading investment firm PIMCO, says this puts the government-sponsored entity (GSE) "squarely on the opposite side of the (5 comments)
States and Lenders Near $25B Settlement - 01/24/12 11:49 AM
Government officials announced Monday that the nation's five biggest mortgage lenders have agreed to overhaul the industry, after robo-signing and deceptive foreclosure practices caused many consumers to lose their homes. The proposed settlement could reach $25 billion. Even so, those who lost their homes to foreclosure are unlikely to get them back. Only about half the households who might be eligible for assistance will likely receive checks, and those checks will only be $1,800 each. That's a good amount of money, but nowhere near the cost of a home. It's unlikely a settlement will be reached this week, according to a (0 comments)
FHA Tightens Lender Standards - 01/23/12 11:31 AM
On Friday, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced it would toughen standards for lenders authorized to insure mortgages on its behalf, without first submitting documents to the agency. This news comes after it was revealed the 30-day delinquency rate on FHA mortgages neared 18 percent in December. Some experts warn that FHA could soon require a bailout, something Main Street Americans certainly don't need. FHA Commissioner Carol Galante hopes the rule changes will loosen credit for borrowers and help speed up the housing recovery. Some of the key changes include: A stronger approval process Stricter monitoring of FHA-approved lenders Compensation to (4 comments)
Housing Market Poised for Turnaround in 2012? - 01/20/12 03:37 PM
This week was big for housing news, and the latest data suggests there's reason for cautious optimism about this year's real estate market. U.S. loan delinquency rates fell in year-over-year in December, down 7.7 percent from 2010. That rate is unchanged from November, but represents a significant drop from the previous year. Some more good news? Housing starts rose year-over-year in December, climbing 24.9 percent from 2010. Rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to yet another all time low, hitting 3.88 percent. Of course it's not all good news. Even with the year-over-year drop in delinquencies, there are still 6.1 (4 comments)
Five Things To Do Before You Move - 01/18/12 11:05 AM
Moving is exciting, but it's also stressful. The packing, unpacking and cleaning can get to be too much for just about anyone, but these helpful moving tips should make your new house feel like a home in no time. The full list is on my CBS MoneyWatch blog, but here are a few of my favorites: Change the locks on the doors. This one is a must-do. There's no way to know for sure how many people have copies of keys, so err on the side of caution and change your locks. This is a surefire way to make you feel (0 comments)
The Homes of the GOP Candidates - 01/16/12 11:17 AM
The GOP presidential race is in full swing and, as always, the media is tracking the candidates' every move. From what they wear to where they live, Americans want to know everything they can about the Republicans running for office. The candidates' homes are nothing short of extraordinary. Democrat, Republican or neither, politicians have long tried to appeal to Main Street Americans while living lifestyles their constituents can only dream of. The candidates hope to trade these homes for the White House. Some of the nicest on the list? Mitt Romney's beachfront home in La Jolla, California - he purchased the (1 comments)
Oddly Shaped Houses - 01/13/12 12:21 PM
Anyone who has ever been house-hunting knows that after you see enough houses, everything begins to run togther. When you've visited tons of open houses, it's hard to remember which home was a ranch and which a split-level. But there's always a place that's unforgettable, and it's likely these oddly shaped houses are in that category. From circle to square to parallelogram, these homes are certain to stick out from the rest. If you're interested, make sure you have a large price range: the houses on this list go from $185,000 to $14.5 million. In Sarasota, Florida, this five bedroom, five (6 comments)
Foreclosure Rates Fall in 2011 - 01/12/12 11:41 AM
According to a report released by RealtyTrac today, foreclosure filings fell 34 percent in 2011. That seems like good news, but it's deceiving. The reason behind the decline is not more people paying their mortgage, but the robosigning controversey that spurred lenders to perform a massive review of foreclosure proceedings. The review meant lenders stopped processing new foreclosures while they cleaned up their existing inventory. This created a huge backlog in the foreclosure pipeline. So, while it ultimately decreased the number of filings in 2011, it also means lenders will be playing catch-up this year. According to Brandon Moore, CEO of (3 comments)
Freddie Mac Gives Unemployed Homeowners a Break - 01/10/12 10:52 AM
Last Friday, Freddie Mac announced unemployed homeowners will be allowed to reduce to suspend mortgage payments for up to a year under a new policy announced by the mortgage finance firm. The new rules will take effect on February 1, 2012. According to the news release, Freddie Mac will give mortgage lenders the authority to extend forbearance without prior approval for six months, and the agency can extend approval for up to an additional six months after that. Homeowners are still responsible for paying off their full mortgage plus interest after the forbearance period ends. Previously, Freddie allowed lenders to grant (2 comments)
College Town Real Estate Trends - 01/06/12 12:38 PM
It's only January, but for many families that means college planning is in full swing. Whether your child is headed to college next fall or a junior in high school deciding on which college to attend, it's time to start planning for the future. Considering the cost of tution and housing, some parents are looking into purchasing college town real estate. One of the biggest expenses associated with college is housing. According to scholarships.com, the average cost of room and board fees at a four-year college or university runs nearly $10,000 per year. That number could be even higher, depending on (2 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.