arm: Interest-Only mortgage program, surprisingly, still available - 09/14/12 10:16 AM
The word is that the recent housing tragedy supposedly swept away from the surface of the planet all the highly creative mortgage products that were roundly blamed for some of the ensuing trouble. At least one of them has survived, though, the Interest-Only one. In it, only the interest portion is paid, with nothing going to the principal. It is drawing only scant attention nowadays, but it’s still around, offered at least by Fannie Mae. Its guidelines in this post-crash real estate era are quite restrictive which obviously makes it out of reach and unattractive to most home loan borrowers. … (0 comments)

arm: Jumbo mortgage making a meaningful comeback - 04/01/09 09:16 AM
The current home loan landscape has been largely very unkind to those who were out to purchase a house using a jumbo vehicle or to homeowners who wanted to refinance an expensive property. In simple terms, when the loan amount goes above the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming limit it becomes a jumbo because the mandate of the above two agencies bans them from buying these high-priced loans on the secondary market. Generally the limit varies between $417,000, for areas considered general, and goes all the way up to $729,750 for high-cost regions. Las Vegas cut-off point today is $417,000.

arm: New mortgage rules from HUD questionable - 11/13/08 02:00 PM
The recent mortgage and real estate troubles have sparked all sorts of efforts by the federal government to update existing rules and regulations governing housing transactions. In all honesty there certainly is some room for that, but there also were many other reasons to this ugly mess. In the spirit of doing something the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, burned the midnight oil for months and now it has released a new set of rules.  
Actually, what it did was to some degree revise RESPA, or Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, that has been the benchmark for home … (6 comments)

arm: Mortgage lender settles lawsuit that will help out many struggling homeowners - 10/07/08 10:30 AM
The media is still abuzz about the massive, controversial and headline-grabbing Wall Street bailout plan put in the books just last week and now there is another important financial development that is trying to elbow itself some room on the headlines. Bank of America just settled a lawsuit with 11 states over predatory lending practices Countrywide Financial, a mortgage lender Bank of America took over this summer, had allegedly committed.
Although only 11 states originally filed the complaint, all 50 states can take part in the loan modification program that was the result of the settlement. Homeowners who obtained mortgage loans … (2 comments)

arm: Investors to stave off potential foreclosures - 05/04/08 10:03 AM
The real estate market works in many different ways, as does any marketplace. Some of it is very predictable, and then some isn't. 
Consider this. The housing market in Las Vegas experienced dizzying heights a few years ago, fueled by several factors that included low mortgage interest rates, benevolent lending guidelines and the arrival of the investor who for the most part was only interested in making quick money doing flips while prices soared. Early on in the cycle the flipper did rake in some serious cash, but those who stumbled on the market when it had already matured or was … (9 comments)

arm: Freddie Mac to the rescue - 04/23/08 05:08 PM
Freddie Mac is one of the big players in the secondary mortgage market, buying conforming loans there to add liquidity to the vast home finance system. The current conforming loan limit is $417,000 and anything above that is called jumbo and interest rates at that altitude generally hover as much as 1.00% higher than for the conforming money. A significant disadvantage to homeowners who wish to refinance or buyers looking to bankroll a purchase. But the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 changed the loan limit and it can now go up to $729,750 in designated expensive areas. The change is good … (10 comments)

arm: The return of the ARM - 03/07/08 05:09 PM
The Adjustable Rate Mortgage, or ARM, lost much of its edge over the 30-year fixed in the last few years. Things actually got so tangled up for a couple of weeks in 2007 that the 5-year ARM, or 5/1 ARM, the most sought-after of them, demanded a higher interest rate than the standard 30-year mortgage. ARMs have traditionally offered lower rates due to their shorter maturity period and that they will adjust either up or down annually after their initial set time frame.
Even as recently as early January the 5/1 ARM and 30-year fixed displayed the same rate in's weekly … (2 comments)

arm: State of the real estate market today - 01/07/08 02:20 PM
The national mortgage and real estate market headlines last year were overwhelmingly pessimistic, implying that the roof is about to cave in. Many large and small lenders failed, some predictably and others unexpectedly, and several are still struggling to stay afloat. Growing foreclosure anxiety continues to keep the midnight oil burning in many government offices in Washington. Multiple areas that saw spectacular home value increases during the boom years are now gazing unbelievingly at the same curve heading mercilessly south.
Yet, several positive economic factors kept the market from turning outright ugly and it actually could be ready for a cautious … (16 comments)

arm: Foreclosure process tripped by a court - 12/08/07 03:15 PM
The climbing foreclosure graph has been in the news for a good while and according to industry observers more are on the way as mortgage interest rates on a host of ARMs reset higher in the coming months. The financial markets are really concerned. To try to put a halt to the rise, Washington, consumer groups, lenders and investors are desperately seeking solutions to the hardship.
Their task just became a little harder.
A judge in the U.S. District Court in Cleveland recently dismissed a lawsuit where Deutsche Bank had sued to repossess 14 homes that were foreclosed on. The reason was … (4 comments)

arm: Subprime mortgage rate freeze on thin ice - 12/05/07 02:05 PM
When the Treasury Secretary announced in a recent speech that the Hope Now coalition is working on an ambitious plan to freeze interest rates on qualified mortgages, the mood among homeowners who could be positively affected surely was upbeat. Hope Now is an alliance of community, government and industry groups in search of viable solutions to the subprime mess. The aim is to rewrite eligible adjustable rate mortgages, or ARMs, so that when they reset, borrowers won't be burdened with unaffordable payments.
After a mortgage is issued, it typically is sold to the secondary market where it could be repackaged and sold … (11 comments)

arm: Home loan applications climb for the week - 10/31/07 04:12 PM
Good news are still rather rare in this current real estate environment, so when something noteworthy takes place, you ought to jump on it and shape a report to spread the word. Here's one of them that may not yet repeat itself week after week, but at least for now the curve on the chart is moving up.
The MBA, or Mortgage Bankers Association, conducts a weekly survey on loan applications nationwide and for the week ending October 26 it shows a volume increase of 3.8%. A nice uptick indeed. Encouragingly interest rates have recently been inching down which then has definitely helped push … (10 comments)

arm: Countrywide and NACA are now dating - 10/26/07 03:53 PM
The country's largest mortgage lender has received plenty of bad press lately, most of it the result of questionable business practices. Its subprime loans are defaulting in record numbers, it has well-documented liquidity problems and then it appears to be stonewalling in helping borrowers facing foreclosure. It isn't fun being the target of that kind attention.
In the past week or so it has abruptly changed course and is clearly trying to polish its tarnished image. Just earlier this week it announced that it'd orchestrate comprehensive workouts for ARM borrowers, including refinances, rate reductions and loan restructurings. In essence, the whole … (34 comments)

arm: ARM interest rate calculation made easy - 09/10/07 11:58 AM
Many borrowers today have ARMs, or adjustable rate mortgages, and it can be a good loan program in various situations. A lot of them were taken out around two to four years ago when the housing boom ruled the landscape. Those home loans are now in the process of resetting and a large majority of homeowners have very little idea what will happen to the interest rate. Will it go up? If so, by how much? Let's look at the four factors that determine the new rate and then you can easily figure it out yourself. So, pick up your mortgage … (0 comments)

arm: From mortgage troubles to lawsuits - 08/20/07 03:14 PM
This development was entirely predictable. It'll eventually be a standard operating procedure when things like this go down. A few years ago a whole bunch of people were so excited about making money in residential real estate that they couldn't stand still. Then when the market turned sour, they froze on their feet, with lower jaw hanging to the floor in disbelief. After recovering sufficiently from that otherworldly development, they scurried to the phone and began with sweaty fingers dialing attorneys. And that signaled that the third act is on.
So far at least in one case, a couple has won a … (6 comments)

arm: Mortgage foreclosure law variations - 07/23/07 01:36 PM
It pays to know what type of a mortgage you have. What comes to mind first is the kind of home loan program you opted for. Whether it's a fixed rate product or an ARM of some sort, look up the details. If you happen to have an ARM, it's good to be aware of when it resets, like does it do it annually, every three years or when. Learn the index that's being used, and the margin.
Now that foreclosures are rising across the land, it's equally important to know what kind of a financial instrument secures the loan to the property. … (9 comments)

arm: Mortgage foreclosure risk study - 06/06/07 06:29 AM
The discussion about subprime loans and foreclosures is going to stay with us for some time to come. I guess it makes good headline material. A research firm has just concluded a comprehensive study that estimates how many subprime loans are going to end up in foreclosure in the next several years. Let's look at some of their findings.
If you signed up for an ARM, an adjustable rate mortgage, between 2004 and 2006 that came with an initial teaser rate of under 4%, you have a 1-in-3 probability of going into foreclosure. On the other hand, if your interest rate was above … (0 comments)

arm: Subprime help on the way? - 04/17/07 10:26 AM
Looks like it. That's what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac say they'll do. Help. These two large government-sponsored buyers of mortgage loans in the secondary market made that promise today in Congress. They are the ones that can be charmed a little easier than private financial institutions to make a difference. So, to start with them makes sense.
Freddie Mac is "working on a major effort to develop more consumer-friendly subprime products that will provide stable financing alternatives going froward". New programs will consist of 30-year and maybe 40-year fixed-rate loans and also ARMs with longer fixed-rate periods. Fannie Mae is moving pretty much along … (4 comments)

arm: Subprime meltdown overblown? - 03/30/07 03:19 PM
How serious is it? It might actually be less of a problem than previously believed. A Federal Reserve Governor estimates that ARMs, in the eye of the storm, make up only about 8% of the entire home loan market. Relatively small number. Here's a bigger number. In some calculations the lenders could suffer $300 billion or more in losses. But, that's minor when we remember that the recent tech bust ate up around $9 trillion in corporate equity. So, is it more hype than anything else?
It could possibly still get uglier, yes, but nevertheless I'm beginning to consider it merely a correction. As … (4 comments)

arm: Affordable housing in Vegas. - 03/24/07 07:17 AM
Although home price increases nowadays are leveling off, the unbelievable surge in the recent past has left many homeowner candidates out of the picture. Valley incomes have a way to go before catching up to that real estate escalation. With the median household income less than $50,000 and employing the NAR Housing Affordability Index, southern Nevadafares rather poorly using this criteria, according to Keith Schwer from UNLV's Center for Business and Economic Research.
It appears that resale houses are offered at a lower cost when compared with new homes, but upon looking at the price difference closer, builder incentives, which often are attractive … (0 comments)

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