borrower: National Mortgage Database in the works to help monitor market trends - 11/21/12 08:04 AM
Many changes have been introduced to the mortgage marketplace over the past few years in the wake of the legendary housing crash. Existing government regulations have been massaged and in many cases completely new ones were legislated and the private home loan industry has with a heavy hand recalibrated its approach to underwriting mortgages. The recent real estate troubles made these adjustments necessary. More of the same – or even close to the same - was just unworkable and unacceptable.
Along these lines, a new program to help government policy making and better monitoring of the ebbs and flows … (1 comments)

borrower: 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)

borrower: Freddie Mac loan program for today's housing market - 08/16/12 07:53 AM
The residential real estate sector is painstakingly working its way out of the darkness where it was unceremoniously  shoved by the recent marketplace excesses. There is little doubt that things right now are looking up but the road to a solid, sustainable housing recovery is still in the early stages of gathering steam, traveling a bumpy road. Many who have dreamed of owning a home, and qualifying for a mortgage, have been slowed down for various reasons on that quest by the economic downturn.
Freddie Mac, the government sponsored enterprise or GSE, may just have the right mortgage loan … (2 comments)

borrower: Refinancing through HARP on a roll - 06/04/12 01:22 PM
FHFA – Federal Housing Finance Agency – reported the other day that during the first quarter of 2012 HARP refinances came in at 180,185 closed deals, signifying a healthy jump from the 93,190 HARP refis that were done in the 4th quarter of 2011. If this trend continues it will in its small way help stabilize the entire housing market.  
HARP – Home Affordable Refinance Program – was launched in 2009 to help mortgage borrowers who are unable to refinance because their property values had recently absorbed some serious damage. As the real estate market collapsed they found … (4 comments)

borrower: Homeownership ratio drops, apartment demand grows - 05/05/12 05:51 AM
It’s hardly a surprise that the homeownership number continues to backpedal in today’s wobbly real estate market and tight mortgage milieu.
Foreclosures mercilessly push borrowers from their homes and this trend seemingly will continue for several more years as another 5-6 million homeowners could face the same fate. The recent $25 billion controversial settlement with mortgage loan servicers over alleged shady practices will predictably lead to home loan lenders accelerating court filings on delinquent borrowers. Mortgage money is very affordable but helps little when strict underwriting standards erode borrower approval chances. Inventory levels in many housing markets – like … (8 comments)

borrower: FHFA nudges Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into action on short sales - 04/23/12 02:01 AM
If there ever was a nightmare for Realtors in the last few years in the housing market it was the short sale. The psychology profession is still compiling data on how many man hours of sleep per night they lose during each short sale adventure but when the official figure comes out sometime soon it must be several. It has been that bad. The current real estate recession made the short sale famous, the talk of the micro brew pub crowd. It can take months for a real estate agent to navigate one of them through all the different-size hoops the nation’s mortgage … (14 comments)

borrower: Mortgage foreclosure errors could cloud titles for a long time - 10/02/10 08:25 AM
The wounded mortgage industry has been working as best it can to pick itself up from the canvas, with massive support and guidance from the government. It has instituted many internal policy changes, on one hand, to correct the grave underwriting, mortgage-backed security and other mistakes made in the not too distant past. On the other, Washington has come up with its own legislative cures to prevent another spectacular mortgage and real estate collapse from creeping up on the country again. Despite the continuing uncertainty and weakness in housing, cautious optimism is also entering into the mix. Maybe the worst is … (10 comments)

borrower: Mortgage walk-aways poised to accelerate - 09/16/10 03:33 PM
It appears relative calm has descended on the long-suffering housing market, especially when it comes to price movement. For months now home values have shown signs of stability, and even moderate increases in some areas. Real estate observers of course like to see that but are generally unconvinced that a sustainable real estate recovery is imminent. Too many hazards remain in its way, among them the still notable oversupply, a weak job market and the potential of many more mortgage walk-aways.
Yes, that walk-away - a term that has finessed its way into today's popular real estate vocabulary - where a … (12 comments)

borrower: Fannie Mae's new strategic default rule could amount to very little - 07/30/10 09:05 AM
Fannie Mae recently took an assertive step, in its own mind at least, to stem the growing tendency of mortgage borrowers pulling off strategic defaults. In that homeowners who could afford their payments choose to walk away from the obligation anyway. The GSE went ahead and added another category to the new policy. Home loan recipients who fail to do a workout in good faith also fall under the spell of its new guidelines. What this all means is that property owners fitting these parameters would be ineligible for mortgages backed by Fannie Mae for seven long years from the recorded … (46 comments)

borrower: Mortgage fraud on the rise despite new HVCC rules - Nevada way down sin list - 05/04/10 02:51 PM
When the real estate chaos engulfed the nation one of the alleged causes to it was how mortgage brokers were pushing appraisers around to "hit the number." Home loan professionals were smooth-talking them - in some cases supposedly being even rather loud about it - to value a property at what their contract said it should be. In those go-go years it commonly meant many appraisals came in high. This practice, in some shape or form fraud, had to be put under a large microscope the big mortgage banks were telling everybody who would listen and eventually were able to convince … (10 comments)

borrower: Private mortgage market showing signs of thawing - 04/25/10 11:11 AM
When the real estate market succumbed a few years ago into a deep recession it took the home loan sector with it. While many mortgage lenders failed spectacularly, others were kept from falling off the map by costly government bailouts or found a hopeful merger partner. This sudden inferno quickly chased the private - domestic and foreign - investor almost completely away from the secondary mortgage market where they had been buying securities to support the U.S. housing industry. Mortgage financing lately has been almost exclusively provided by government-affiliated agencies Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA. The behind the scenes mover … (4 comments)

borrower: Fannie Mae adjusts eligibility rules following pre-foreclosure action - 04/18/10 01:44 PM
The sometimes shell-shocked players in the mortgage industry are continuously scrambling to meet the exceptional challenges they face almost daily. Seemingly, not a week goes by without one of the major home loan organizations - government or private - announcing a new policy it deems necessary to better handle the real estate market's peaks and valleys. Lately it has been more valleys - the ones that ruin weekends - than the other kind.
Fannie Mae is now updating its rules on borrower eligibility after he has undergone a pre-foreclosure process, usually meaning a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, a pre-foreclosure sale or then … (4 comments)

borrower: HUD steps up mortgage modification scam enforcement - Las Vegas homeowners embrace initiative - 03/03/10 05:28 AM
Home loan scams are really part of the real estate landscape in any market, but generally speaking affecting only a small percentage of consumers. Now, however, things are very different. This housing and mortgage meltdown ranks right up there among the worst ever to sweep across from coast to coast. It brings with it some juicy opportunities for the con men among us and are they ever trying to take advantage of it.
Many have zeroed in on the mortgage loan modification programs heavily promoted by the government, but only tepidly adopted by the private sector. That has left a huge … (6 comments)

borrower: Lender offering extra carrot to struggling homeowners - Las Vegas mortgage borrowers hoping to join in soon - 02/12/10 08:40 AM
The government has burned the midnight oil for months in an effort to help distressed homeowners deal with mortgage payments they can't afford and possibly find a way for them to stay in their homes. HAMP, or Home Affordable Modification Program, and other similar programs haven't really produced the results they were designed for, though. It is also almost single-handedly running the massive mortgage market today, pumping sufficient liquidity into it that in turn has kept interest rates record low. Despite its pro-active programs it can't do it alone. It needs the private home loan industry to play ball, which it simply … (6 comments)

borrower: Principal cutbacks gaining ground - Las Vegas mortgage borrowers sure could use them - 01/29/10 07:15 AM
Mortgage lenders and servicers have been reluctantly doing loan modifications mainly by paring back interest rates and stretching terms, thereby managing to reduce borrowers' monthly payments to some degree. But obviously that strategy is not working as well as many had hoped for. Restructured home loans keep defaulting at an alarming rate.
DBRS, a debt rating agency, now figures that more than half of them are two or more months behind or sink into foreclosure inside six months from the mortgage modification. Clearly, that's hardly the way to resolve the home loan mess. To get to the core of the problem … (4 comments)

borrower: Las Vegas real estate report mixed for November - 12/10/09 07:17 AM
Southern Nevada - with communities like Mountains Edge, Rhodes Ranch, Summerlin, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Anthem and Green Valley - housing market has now assumed kind of a wait and see attitude. Las Vegas mortgage borrowers are still enjoying low interest rates that keep them at least tuned in while waiting for the right property to come along. Considering that normally the winter months are a little slower the vital statistics weren't too bad. Let's get right to them, then.
There were 3,117 existing single-family home sales in November, amounting to an almost 12% drop from October, reports GLVAR, or Greater … (4 comments)

borrower: International real estate buyers shying away from U.S. - 09/17/09 03:09 PM
When mortgage financing was still widely available here a few years ago and housing prices kept on racking up steady gains year after year, the foreign purchaser often thought he'd found the ultimate in property ownership. Heck, many Americans thought so, too. Then things on Wall Street and in Washington got out of control and the word meltdown was fast becoming a popular way to describe what happened. Not only to the real estate market but the entire economy. It got ugly.
International real estate buyers learned their lesson pretty quick and have scaled back their enthusiasm toward our product - … (10 comments)

borrower: Mortgage securities gaining acceptance again? - 08/17/09 12:50 PM
Mortgage-backed securities were some of the most-sought-after paper on Wall Street not so long ago, when the residential real estate market was still cruising along smoothly. The yields were solid and risk was seemingly minimal. Everybody and his nephew wanted at least some of them in their portfolios.
Then the mortgage securities business rolled right over the cliff, shoved there by the rapidly-deteriorating housing market. And the deep hurt was on, felt all across the industry. Now even well-qualified borrowers find it challenging to obtain a home loan, for refinance or purchase, as requirements have tightened considerably. The government had to … (36 comments)

borrower: First-time home buyer tax credit usage monitored by IRS - 08/14/09 12:49 PM
The real estate market has been pumped up nicely with the up to $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit, Las Vegas definitely being one of the beneficiaries. Many renters go for it here and acquire good homes that have become very affordable during the prolonged housing and mortgage slump. The program runs through November, 2009, so those thinking about it should get their ducks in a row pretty soon.
To claim the credit is relatively simple, basically requiring the filling-out of form 5405, sending it in and the qualified money should be coming within a couple of months. That and as it … (6 comments)

borrower: FICO score can take a hit following Home Affordable Modification Program - 07/17/09 12:16 PM
This outcome hasn't been discussed much before but now it's out there for everyone to see. Namely that if a homeowner in distress is successful in using the Home Affordable Modification Program, kicked off in March, to lower his mortgage payments, his FICO score is likely to take a hit. FICO is the commonly-used barometer to assess a consumer's credit standing.
That's because many mortgage lenders report the modification to FICO as such. This means that the original terms of the loan were changed, often for less than the full amount, and any time that happens FICO's existing formula regards that … (20 comments)

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