Housing Market Is Affordable – But Not Recovering Yet

Mortgage rates have risen fairly consistently in 2011, with the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan now up to 5.0 percent, according to a survey from Freddie Mac last week. And that rising pattern is likely to continue, most analysts say. We may not see lows like the 4.17 percent rate in November for some time to come. But higher rates may not have much impact on the housing market anyway, as home prices remain historically very affordable. As of December 2010, the national median home Read more [...]

New Foreclosure Rulings Could Slow Market Healing

The Massachusetts Supreme Court upheld a ruling Friday that nullified the foreclosures on two homes because the banks, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bancorp did not have the necessary paperwork on file at the time of the filing. Because of this ruling there is the real possibility that tens of thousands more lawsuits could be filed, painfully prolonging the inevitable foreclosures. Regardless of their intentions, it seems like big banks keep hurting our economy. First they played a central a role in the Read more [...]

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on January 10th 2011 in Mortgage News

Prime Foreclosures Rise as HAMP Falters

The number of prime mortgages in foreclosure is on the rise, and unfortunately the government's Home Affordable Modification Program is not going to be able to save many of those. A recent study from the Mortgage Bankers Association, 2.45 percent of all prime mortgage were in foreclosure during the third quarter of 2010, up from 2.36 percent the previous quarter and also a new record high. "Most often, homeowners fall behind on their mortgages because their income has dropped due to unemployment Read more [...]

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on November 20th 2010 in Mortgage News

Refi after One Year?

Typically people don't refinance a mortgage for several years after receiving the original one. It's usually just too expensive. Yet a recent article on the Wall Street Journal website said that since rates have dropped so dramatically low in the past 12 months even those who bought homes or refinanced their mortgages in the past year should consider refinancing again. The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage loan has averaged below 4.25 percent for almost a month now - a rate Read more [...]

Home Sales Continue To Gain Speed

Good news out of the housing market: Sales of existing U.S. homes rose for the second month, showing strong gains in what the National Association of Realtors is calling a true "housing recovery." Existing-home sales rose 10.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.53 million during Septmber, up from a downwardly revised 4.12 million in August. That new number is still down 19.1 percent, however, over September 2009 sales. The national median price which is now $171,700, was also down Read more [...]

Is Loan Recasting Right for You?

A piece in the Wall Street Journal's website today exposed the well-kept banking secret known as loan "recasting" or "re-amortizing," a strategy that can help mortgage borrowers lower their monthly payments and save on interest. And I can see why its not talked about that much - it's just not that useful to most homeowners. This is the rundown: A borrower petitions his lender and/or mortgage servicer to allow him to make a sizeable contribution to the principal of the loan after which the lender Read more [...]

The Second Wave of Mortgage Pain Begins

This was not a good week for the U.S. economy. Reports came piling in that both existing and new home sales dropped by double-digits in July. The GDP grew by a meager 1.6 percent in the second quarter, roughly half the growth expected by many economists. Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke is now saying that the Fed will start buying up more debt if needed to stabilize the investor confidence climate. And now the Mortgage Bankers Association is reporting that mortgage delinquencies of those 30 days Read more [...]

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on August 27th 2010 in Mortgage News

Permanent Modifications Drop Off in April

April was a sad month for troubled homeowners looking for relief with permanent mortgage modifications. More than 122,000 borrowers participating in trial modifications through the Obama administration's Home Affordable Mortgage Program were rejected for permanent mortgage changes. To date, about 277,640 borrowers have had their mortgage modifications canceled in the past year. There were roughly 68,000 homeowners who did receive permanent status, but there are currently about 637,350 borrowers Read more [...]

Mortgages Delinquencies Decline – Is the Foreclosure Rate Next?

Credit reporting agency TransUnion released an exciting piece of news recently: the mortgage delinquency rate fell during the first quarter for the first time in 4 years. The rate of mortgage payments delinquent by 60 days eased to 6.77 percent, down from 6.89 percent in 2009's last quarter. What makes this news exciting is that the late payment rate has generally been an indicator of the direction of foreclosures. "To see it turn down is a very, very strong sign," said FJ Guarrera, vice president Read more [...]

Will Short Sales Turn into Short-and-Sweet Sales?

The latest new mortgage program from the Obama administration is aimed at making short sales an easier and more appealing process, for both homeowners and lenders. Often known to be long and cumbersome deals, short sales consist of a struggling homeowner essentially giving up his or her house to the bank lender in order to avoid foreclosure. The bank then sells the property for less than the previous mortgage was worth and generally forgives the rest of the borrowers’ debt. "It's very traumatic Read more [...]