mortgage: Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates Fall For Third Straight Week - 03/03/11 07:14 AM
Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey came out this morning, and they found that mortgage rates declined for the third consecutive week as rising oil prices and unrest in the Middle East continues to roil the markets.
The average rate on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage fell from 4.95 percent to 4.87 percent last week, while the rate on a 15 year fixed rate mortgage declined from 4.22 percent to 4.15 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages also continued to fall, as 5/1 ARMs dropped 8 basis points to 3.72 percent, and 1 year ARMs fell 17 basis points to 3.23 percent.
The … (1 comments)

mortgage: New Hampshire, California Uphold MERS Property Transfers, Foreclosures - 02/28/11 06:55 AM
It seems increasingly likely that at some point the Supreme Court is going to have to make a ruling on the validity of real estate transfers and foreclosures through the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS).
MERS is a system that was created in order to allow mortgage originators to more easily securitize mortgages and bundle them into mortgage backed securities.  It enabled MERS users to avoid many of the transfer and recording fees that were typically charged by towns and counties under the paper system of transferring property.  MERS is the subject of many ongoing lawsuits that seek to establish the … (1 comments)

mortgage: U.S. Gov’t Owned 360,000 Foreclosed Properties at the End of 2010 - 02/24/11 07:32 AM
Quick update here: FHA REO inventory continues to skyrocket.
According to a report from Jon Prior of HousingWire this morning, the FHA had nearly 61,00 repossessed homes on its books at the end of 2010, a 47% increase from 2009.  This is not really shocking, as REO inventory has been increasing across the board for the last few years.  An additional 600,000 FHA mortgages are seriously delinquent, so look to see this number increase in the next couple of years.
Combined with the REO portfolios of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the U.S. government (and by proxy, you and I, the taxpayers) … (0 comments)

mortgage: Arizona Bill Would Make it More Difficult To Foreclose - 02/24/11 07:29 AM
We are through the looking glass people: according to a Bloomberg article, the Arizona legislature is about to pass a law that would require lenders to prove they have the right to foreclose on a home before they do it.  Incredibly, they would be the first state in the nation to pass such a law.
The bill, S.B. 1259, would void foreclosures and foreclosure sales if lenders cannot produce the full chain of title for the property.  Similar legislation has been proposed in New York, Oregon, and Virginia. Under the new law, lenders would be required to provide a list of … (0 comments)

mortgage: Are Adjustable Rate Mortgages Making a Comeback? - 02/17/11 09:00 AM
They are according to an article on CNNMoney.com today.
According to the article, adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) comprised nearly 70 percent of all mortgages during the bubble years.  After the housing collapse their market share plummeted, dropping to only 3% of all mortgages in 2009.  Now that number appears to be rising, ARMs make up 5% of all loans originated currently, and Freddie Mac predicts that number will rise to 10% by the end of the year.
The reason ARMs are making a comeback is simple: mortgage rates are on the rise.  Rates on fixed rate loans have increased substantially, rising … (2 comments)

mortgage: FHA Mortgage Fees to Rise in April - 02/15/11 07:16 AM
FHA mortgages are about to become more expensive.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced yesterday in a press release that the FHA will increase its annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) by a quarter point on all 15 and 30 year loans.  Upfront MIP charges will remain at 1.0 percent.  The increase in premiums is part of the Obama Administration’s new budget.  The changes will take effect as of April 18, 2011.
FHA Commissioner David Stevens commented:
“After careful consideration and analysis, we determined it was necessary to increase the annual mortgage insurance premium at this time in order to bolster the FHA’s … (2 comments)

mortgage: How to Get a Low Interest Rate Mortgage Loan? - 02/11/11 04:59 AM
Mortgage rates have steadily climbed up for the past four weeks. With rates on the rise, mortgage applications have declined, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s  Weekly Survey. Also, since the housing market crisis started, many mortgage lenders have tightened their loan requirement criteria making it more difficult for potential borrowers to qualify for home loans.
If you are a borrower looking to get a low interest rate mortgage loan in today’s tight market, it is important to prepare yourself and have the best possible profile to make sure you get one of the best mortgage rates available.
The first step … (0 comments)

mortgage: HAMP, FHA Short Refi, Numerous Other Housing Programs Could be Eliminated - 02/10/11 06:39 AM
Financial austerity, eliminating the defici, and eliminating the federal debt has suddenly become very popular in Washington, D.C.  The House Financial Services Committee is going to meet later today to discuss upcoming proposals for the Federal Budget.  Among other areas up for review, a large number of public housing programs would be reviewed for inefficiencies and redundancies and potentially eliminated.
Among the programs to be reviewed or eliminated:
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be reviewed and the committee will entertain proposals to “modify or eliminate” Fannie and Freddie’s statutory charters. The committee will consider what role, if any, the government … (0 comments)

mortgage: Jumbo Mortgage Rates Could Rise With Withdrawal of Government Support - 02/07/11 06:39 AM
The Obama Administration is currently working on a plan for the future of housing finance in the United States.  The report was supposed to be delivered last week, but the deadline was missed.  A rumored part of the plan would be to allow the high balance conforming loan limit to fall to $625,000 in September.  This could cause mortgage rates to rise for prospective homeowners in high cost areas such as California and New York.
There is a legal limit on the maximum size mortgage loan that government sponsored entities (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can purchase.  This is known … (1 comments)

mortgage: Obama Administration to Propose Reductions in Support for Housing Market, Lower Loan Limits - 02/07/11 06:38 AM
According to an article in this morning’s Washington Post by Zachary Goldfarb and Brady Dennis, the Obama Administration is set to release a report detailing its vision for the future of the housing finance system in the United States.  The report will likely recommend slowly weaning the housing market off of government support.  One part of the proposal involves reducing the size of mortgage loans eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:
“The administration is now likely to suggest that Congress allow the policy to lapse as scheduled in September, lowering the loan limit to $625,000.”
There is a statutory limit … (0 comments)

mortgage: Obama Administration to Propose Reductions in Support for Housing Market, Lower Loan Limits - 02/04/11 07:54 AM
According to an article in this morning’s Washington Post by Zachary Goldfarb and Brady Dennis, the Obama Administration is set to release a report detailing its vision for the future of the housing finance system in the United States.  The report will likely recommend slowly weaning the housing market off of government support.  One part of the proposal involves reducing the size of mortgage loans eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:
“The administration is now likely to suggest that Congress allow the policy to lapse as scheduled in September, lowering the loan limit to $625,000.”
There is a statutory limit … (0 comments)

mortgage: What Will The Housing Market Be In 2011? - 01/14/11 02:39 AM
2011 looks to be a harsh year for the housing market, depending on unpredictable changes to the nation's economic fortunes.  Currently, there is a very large number of unsold homes throughout the nation.  There is little demand for these pieces of real estate.  Simple economics can be used to conclude that real estate values will most likely go down unless there is a random immigration of wealthy immigrants or we demolish a lot of the current homes for sale (needless to say, this would be a enormously stupid waste of time, effort and resources).
The S&P reported that, by the end … (3 comments)

mortgage: 2011: Year Of Foreclosure? - 01/06/11 07:17 AM
2011 is not likely to end well for the housing market.  This is due to multiple factors.  In a post yesterday I wrote about my prediction of an guaranteed decrease in home values in the coming year.  This post, I would like to talk about what appears to be another 2011 inevitability:  an increase in the number of foreclosures.
Data provider, Reality Trac, reported that foreclosure activity went down in the month of November.  There were 262,000 foreclosure notices issued, which is down 21 percent from October and also down 14 percent from November 2009.  As a matter of fact, this … (1 comments)

mortgage: NJ Chief Justice Threatens to Suspend Foreclosures as Lenders Summoned to Court - 12/21/10 05:39 AM
Well this is kind of interesting:
According to a Washington Post article by Zachary Goldfarb, Stuart Rabner, the chief justice of the New Jersey State Supreme Court announced that he would stop all foreclosures by major banks unless they can definitively show that they are complying with state law when foreclosing. On the one hand that statement is ridiculous, compliance with the law is not and should not be considered exceptional behavior from anyone. However, there is ample evidence that many laws are/have been skirted or ignored during the foreclosure process, so I see this development as a positive step.
Judge … (0 comments)

mortgage: im Geithner Weighs In On HAMP, Foreclosures - 12/17/10 07:37 AM
Earlier this week the Congressional Oversight Committee lambasted the Treasury Department and its foreclosure prevention programs, specifically the Home Affordable Modification Program.
Among other things, the report said:
“Treasury’s reluctance to acknowledge HAMP’s shortcomings has had real consequences.  Absent a dramatic and unexpected increase in HAMP enrollment, many billions of dollars set aside for foreclousre mitigation may well be left unused.  As a result, and untold number of borrowers may go without help – all because Treasury failed to acknowledge HAMP’s shortcomings in time”.
and
“Treasury has refused to specify meaningful goals to measure HAMP’s progress.  Treasury has also failed to … (0 comments)

mortgage: Rising Mortgage Rates Cause Mortgage Applications to Drop - 12/15/10 07:20 AM
As with every Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers Association released their Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey this morning.  Steadily increasing mortgage rates appear to be sucking what life there was out of the anemic housing market.
Total mortgage applications dropped 2.3 percent from the week prior, with refinance applications dropping by 0.7 percent, and with purchase applications falling by 5 percent.
Michael Fratantoni, the MBA’s VP of research and economics commented:
“Not surprisingly, with rates up more than half a percentage point over the past month, refinance activity has declined sharply.  Home purchase applications dropped this week following three weeks of increases, but … (0 comments)

mortgage: How Will Federal Reserve React to Increased Political Pressure? - 12/14/10 08:35 AM
Later this afternoon the Federal Reserve is going to release its FOMC statement.  Most Fed observers expect that nothing will change from the last statement, and that the Fed will maintain its commitment to low rates.  I touched on this topic briefly yesterday.  Within that article I mentioned that I thought a far more interesting storyline is how the Fed will react to increased political scrutiny resulting from the Republican takeover of the House and the continuing recession.
Today there is an article on Bloomberg today by Caroline Salas that discusses this same topic.  From the article:
“Politics matter,” Reinhart, who … (0 comments)

mortgage: Foreclosures on Prime Mortgages Hit Record High - 11/19/10 05:31 AM
The housing market set an ignominious record in the third quarter.  According to a study from the Mortgage Bankers Association, foreclosures on prime mortgages hit a new record high in the third quarter of 2010 as the U.S. economy continues to decelerate and housing prices continue to drop.  The percentage of prime mortgages in foreclosure rose to 2.45 percent, up from 2.36 percent the prior quarter according to a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Michael Fratantoni, VP of Research and Economics for the Mortgage Bankers Association commented:
“Most often, homeowners fall behind on their mortgages because their income has dropped … (0 comments)

mortgage: HUD Program Offers Half Off Homes For Police, Firefighters, Teachers, EMTsHUD Program Offers Half Off Homes For Police, Firefighters, Teachers, EMTs - 11/19/10 04:44 AM
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has introduced a new housing program that is designed to “make American communities stronger and to build a safer nation”.  The name of the program is The Good Neighbor Next Door Program (click link for details from HUD’s website), and it offers HUD-owned homes at a substantial discount to law enforcement officers, teachers, firefighters, and emergency personnel in revitalization areas.
The discount is for 50 percent off the appraised HUD value.
Some further details of the program:
The home being purchased must be owner-occupied and the primary residence. The buyer may finance the … (0 comments)

mortgage: Mortgage Rates Up, Mortgage Applications Plummet - 11/17/10 06:33 AM
Today is Wednesday, and you know what that means: MBA Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey day!  Don’t act like you’re not excited.
Mortgage rates increased last week, and total mortgage applications fell off a cliff last week, dropping 14.4 percent (seasonally adjusted) from the week prior.  Refinance applications dropped 16.5 percent, hitting their lowest levels since the summer.  Purchase applications were down 5.0 percent .  According to the press release, these numbers do not include any adjustment for Veteran’s Day.  It is unclear to me how much of an effect the holiday had on the results of the survey.
Michael Fratantoni, the … (1 comments)

 
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