Mortgage Applications Steady as Average Rates Reach Historic Lows

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September 19, 2012, 6:45 AM PST

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Mortgage Applications Steady as Average Rates Reach Historic Lows by Jann Swanson
Applications for mortgages during the week ended September 14 were virtually unchanged from the previous week according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.  The Market Composite Index, a measure of loan application volume, increased 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week which was shortened by the Labor Day holiday.  On an unadjusted basis it rose 24 percent. >>Mortgage News Daily
Fannie Mae moving REO management in-house  By Jacob Gaffney
The use of third parties to help Fannie Mae sell its REO properties is coming to an end.
Fannie Mae notified remaining vendors that the government-sponsored enterprise will transition all REO sales work completely to Fannie Mae's in-house teams over the course of the next several months. >>Housingwire
New Fannie Mae Guidelines Allow Verification of Assets in Lieu of Income
by Jann Swanson Late Friday Fannie Mae gave borrowers and lenders an alternative to documenting income for Refi Plus loans where payment increases will be under 20 percent.  Rather than requiring that at least one of the borrowers has a documented source of income, Fannie Mae will now accept verification of liquid financial reserves equal to at least 12 months of the new mortgage payment (PITIA). >> Mortgage News Daily
Congress Gets Bill Prohibiting Eminent Domain Mortgage Seizures
Congress just stepped into the dispute over the right of Chicago and two communities in California to use eminent domain on behalf of local homeowners.  Representative John Campbell (R-CA) today introduced a bill titled The Defending American Taxpayers from Abusive Government Takings Act which would prohibit the four major government sponsored mortgage providers from buying loans in any community who do what is proposed in Chicago, Berkeley and San Bernardino County, California.>> Mortgage News Daily


Voters, Clueless about Fiscal Cliff, In for a Shock By Eric Pianin
The nation may be barreling towards a fiscal cliff that has policymakers in Washington gnashing their teeth and wringing their hands, but lawmakers just returning from a five-week congressional recess say the crisis hasn't quite penetrated the consciousness of many of their constituents >> The Fiscal Times


Mortgage Rates Flat To Slightly Higher Ahead Of Week's Major Events
by Matthew Graham
Mortgage rates are somewhat higher again today after news out of Europe created market momentum overnight in favor of higher stock prices and higher bond yields.  When bond yields move higher, mortgage rates are generally moving higher as well although today's rates did a fairly good job of holding steady at the prevailing best execution rate of 3.5% for 30yr Fixed Convention>> Mortgage News Daily


Rethinking Adjustable-Rate Mortgages By:Kirk Haverkamp
     You don't hear a lot about adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) these days. That's too bad, because they're still a good choice for many homebuyers, believe it or not.
    ARMs can be a very smart choice for homebuyers who are not planning to stay in the home more than a few years. Think about it - if you're planning to sell the home within seven years, as many homeowners do, what difference does it make if you have a seven-year ARM? Why not take advantage of the lower rate and pocket the difference? >>


Mortgage debt relief may bring new pain: a tax bill
By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Struggling homeowners who obtain reductions in their mortgage debt face a new obstacle starting next year -- a bill for taxes on that aid.
A special exemption of as much as $2 million per household in principal reduction and other aid from banks, in place since 2007, is set to expire at year's end.>>Mercury


Mortgage Application Volume Down for 5th Straight Week by Jann Swanson
Mortgage applications declined again during the week ended August 31, down 2.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from a week earlier.  The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, was down 3 percent on an unadjusted basis from the week ended August 24.>>Mortgage News Daily


The Day Ahead: After Weeks of Waiting, Things Get Serious

by Matthew Graham
In case you missed it, the ECB has been doing everything it can to telegraph today's policy changes.  This began as early as late July's "London speech" from ECB President Mario Draghi in which he promised to do whatever was necessary "to preserve the euro," further adding, "and believe me, it will be enough!"  >>Mortgage News Daily


Mortgage Rates Move Lower, Closer To Historic Lows
 Fixed mortgage rates were down this week for both the 30 year and 15 year home loan products, reports mortgage rate research website, Rate and fee combinations posted in the rate tables on the website reflected the decrease in the cost of home financing>> Yahoo News


Distressed Sales Continued to Decline in Market Share
 by Jed Smith, According to the July REALTORS® Confidence Index report (RCI), twenty-four percent of respondents reported selling distressed property (foreclosed and short sales), lower than last year's figure of 31 percent. Cash sales accounted for 39 percent of distressed sales. Respondents reported multi-bidding on foreclosed and short sale properties and also experiencing a frustrating lending and appraisal process



Five Questions: Will I Owe Taxes on Forgiven Mortgage Debt?. 
 By Nick Timiraos
    A key tax provision set to expire at the end of the year could trip up the Obama administration's push to have banks forgive mortgage debt more often for borrowers who are underwater.
    ive years ago, Congress passed a law, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, that would prevent households from having to treating certain types of forgiven mortgage debt as taxable income.
    If the provision expires as scheduled on Dec. 31, it could throw a wrench not only into efforts to trim loan balances for underwater borrowers, but also for short sales. >> Wall Street Journal




Why you shouldn't pay down your mortgage faster
 The impulse to pay off your mortgage more quickly than you need to is understandable, especially these days.
    Interest rates are near historic lows, so it's possible to replace a 30-year mortgage with a 15-year loan and still afford the monthly payments. Or, if you've already refinanced at a dirt cheap rate, you can take those savings and pay down your principal faster.
    But the allure is more emotional than financial. Mortgage debt provides great financial flexibility, and paying it down fast probably isn't the best way to grow your nest egg. >>CBS News


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