home loan: Homeowners battling foreclosure face another unneeded challenge - 03/30/13 04:29 AM
Over the past few years the housing fiasco has elbowed millions of property owners and mortgage holders to mental regions they have never been to before. Plummeting home values have introduced them to the dark side of life that is totally new to them. Unable to make mortgage payments on time has tested their patience with the system many believe is working against them. Foreclosure is the word on their taut lips. A short sale could avoid that but then the horror stories associated with it – according to real estate aficionados - isn’t often a viable option.
It … (26 comments)

home loan: More foreclosures in store for some metros in 2013 - 01/30/13 10:33 AM
The real estate market as a whole is making progress according to many recent statistics. What keeps housing experts on their toes is the uneven nature of the improvement. Take the Washington, D.C. metro region as an example. There are pockets in D.C. itself, in Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland where buyers waving mortgage approval letters are conducting bidding wars for choice single family homes, townhouses and condominiums, driving prices up and up. Like in the good old days. Yet, in the same region the reverse of that scenario often plays out in many other neighborhoods. There real estate values … (2 comments)

home loan: Mortgage delinquency rate drifting down, but ... . - 12/26/12 11:43 AM
The national housing news are getting better, one step at a time. The direction is cautious to be frank but so long as it is going down the right path home loan and real estate industry participants can continue making strategic plans for the future. In fact, the entire economy needs a stable housing market to be able to emerge in full force from the funk it is desperately trying to escape from now.
TransUnion, one of the big three credit information boutiques around that also provides data for the FICO score, publishes a quarterly report on mortgage … (10 comments)

home loan: 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)

home loan: Risk of mortgage default on new loans much lower today - 09/29/12 05:26 AM
As expected, the curve on home loans at risk of default in the gathering storm toward the now infamous housing meltdown was literally shooting through the roof. The rise was nearly as steep as that of a fireworks projectile zooming to the sky during a July 4th mayhem. Mortgage lenders those days issued loans on soft underwriting guidelines to begin with and when the incredible run-up of real estate values abruptly reversed course some time later, the stage was set for something many still cannot comprehend nor endure.
University Financial Associates – UFA – is a research boutique that … (2 comments)

home loan: 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)

home loan: 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)

home loan: Foreclosures turn up after steady decline - 07/28/12 04:46 AM

The besieged real estate market has recently displayed encouraging signs that it might be just about to turn the corner for a new and brighter day. In a meaningful way, too. Home sales are increasing in some areas, prices are firming, and even inching up a bit, consumer confidence in housing is improving and then of course mortgage rates continue sliding to new lows – week after week it seems - to everyone’s delight.
And then RealtyTrac published its Midyear 2012 Foreclosure Market Report to pour cold water on the incipient party. It isn’t over till the fat … (5 comments)

home loan: Housing market trending up, say consumers in Fannie Mae survey - 07/11/12 07:01 AM
June 2012 National Housing Survey run by Fannie Mae brings a decent dose of good news to the otherwise embattled real estate market. High levels of mortgage foreclosures are still in the headlines a lot, as are short sales, both of which continue to dominate housing market reports from a host of cities across the country, depicting the overall weakness. Throw in the bumpy economic ride and the persistently alarming behavior of some large banks after their near demise just a few years ago and the reasons to feel uncomfortable about it all is real.
Yet, the 1,001 consumers polled in the … (4 comments)

home loan: 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)

home loan: Mortgage financing within reach for many based on median income - 05/16/12 09:18 AM
NAR – the National Association of Realtors – recently put together a report that should spread some cheer on faces of everyone who is planning on purchasing a home. Actually, it also should quicken the heartbeat in the mortgage loan industry and among real estate agents. And the home building sector, too. And, for that matter, help stabilize the entire economy.
According to NAR, the national median income in the first quarter stood at $61,000, fair enough. So, if a mortgage applicant wanted to buy a property mirroring the national median price, the income to get the home loan approved … (0 comments)

home loan: 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)

home loan: 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)

home loan: MERS in middle of new mortgage foreclosure mess - 10/18/10 11:28 AM
MERS is hardly a household name to many homeowners but the company now finds itself tossed right in the middle of the latest and rapidly-heating home loan challenge. It stands for Mortgage Electronic Registration System and the name pretty much says what it does. It records electronically, in proprietary software, mortgages that have been originated throughout the country, having currently over 65 million of them in its books, or better said in its servers.
The standard practice still is that local clerks record all mortgages and when ownership changes a new paper-based entry is created and notarized. Of course, all this … (10 comments)

home loan: 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)

home loan: Mortgage lenders about to face 45-day short sale approval deadline - 09/27/10 08:14 AM
The current real estate meltdown has been a true testing ground for anyone involved in its devastating turbulence. Homeowners have watched helplessly as their property values have headed south with little resistance. Home loan providers have worked under pressure for years to stay afloat in choppy waters full of creepy icebergs and many other deadly maritime hazards. Real estate agents are fighting to secure deals in a marketplace shrunk to a flat pie on life support from a full-blown strawberry cheesecake. The support industries are in it as deep as anyone else.
Something intriguing that could be rather meaningful for many … (12 comments)

home loan: 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)

home loan: Excess supply an uninvited drag on housing recovery for years - 09/04/10 02:17 PM
The prevailing housing mess was for the most part caused by too many homes chasing too few buyers. That's a classic case - Economy 101 stuff on college campuses - of real estate supply and demand going their separate ways. A not just a tad, but by a mile, to put it mildly. Of course, easy mortgage money egged on the housing market to ever further heights that ultimately began defying gravity. Even that precarious stage lasted longer, despite a host of red flags being hoisted, than many real estate observers foresaw.
Moody's Investor Service recently reported that at the end … (8 comments)

home loan: Private transfer fees experience the ire of FHFA - 08/23/10 03:25 PM
It looks like the Federal Housing Finance Agency - or FHFA - is getting ready to introduce new regulations later this year that would prevent Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks - FHLBanks - from investing in mortgage loans tagged with these now notorious private transfer fees. This would then effectively bring major government-controlled home loan players in agreement about them, because FHA already is, according to HUD's regulations, banned from insuring mortgages on homes with private transfer fees. They are considered "legal restrictions on conveyance" in FHA talk.
These private transfer fees are brought to life … (11 comments)

home loan: 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)

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