Only 13 Percent of Homeowners Still Underwater

Dramatic price increases in 2013 helped lift 4 million American homeowners out of negative equity last year, according to property information firm CoreLogic, a positive sign for the recovering housing market. There are now 6.5 million homes, or 13.3 percent of all residential, mortgaged properties that are underwater – when a borrower owes more on the mortgage than the home is worth – down from the peak of December 2009 peak when 12 million homeowners were in negative equity territory. “Stability Read more [...]

Home Prices Moderate, Increasing Market Stability

U.S. home prices rose in the latest quarter, but they are not rising as quickly, according to new data from the S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, but that might be more helpful to the housing recovery. The S&P index, a measure of U.S. home prices based on 20 of the major metropolitan areas, rose 2.2 percent in June, but not quite as fast as the 2.5 percent increase in May. Only six cities - Charlotte, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, New York and Tampa - saw their prices rise Read more [...]

Rising Home Prices Help 850,000 Homeowners Out of Negative Equity

As low interest rates combined with limited inventory, home prices jumped allowing hundreds of thousands of underwater homeowners to climb out of their negative equity in the first quarter of this year, according to data from real estate information firm CoreLogic. “The negative equity burden continues to recede across the country thanks largely to rising home prices,” Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic said in a press release. “We are still far below peak home price levels, Read more [...]

Principal Reductions May Not Save Enough Underwater Homeowners

Since the beginning of the mortgage meltdown millions of homeowners have defaulted on their loans and millions more remain underwater, owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Government programs have encouraged lenders to modify home loans for struggling homeowners, yet only a small percentage have taken advantage of these programs. Many lawmakers have been clamoring for a new tactic to be used by government-controlled mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which guarantee Read more [...]

Fannie and Freddie Sign Off on ‘Mortgage Releases’

In an effort to prevent further foreclosure, mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will now allow underwater homeowners who have kept up on their payments the chance to turn over their deed and walk away free and clear. "There are lots of families who are trapped in their homes," Julia Gordon, director of housing finance and policy at the Center for American Progress in Washington in a Bloomberg article. "They need a way to get out." Government-controlled Fannie and Freddie have Read more [...]

Existing Home Sales Continue to Fall As Prices Gain

The dynamics of the housing market are shifting, hopefully in a direction toward recovery, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors. Sales of existing U.S. homes fell 5.4 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 4.37 million units down from a rate of 4.62 million in May. Compared with the same time last year, however, sales are up 4.5 percent. Housing inventory is also falling, with the total number of homes for sales dropping to 2.39 million, down Read more [...]

Bank of America to Slash Principal for Mortgage Borrowers

Bank of America, under the terms of the recent robo-signing settlement, will soon be reducing home loan balances for 200,000 of its underwater customers. The $26 billion settlement penalized the nation's five largest banks - Bank of American, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Ally Financial - for their role in the foreclosure processing scandal uncovered in the fall of 2010, where it was revealed that lenders were knowingly pushing through thousands of foreclosures without all the proper Read more [...]

Percentage of Underwater Homeowners Grows in Latest Quarter

More and more homeowners are finding themselves underwater on their mortgage loans. According to mortgage data firm CoreLogic, during the fourth quarter of 2011, 11.1 million homeowners owed more on their loans than their homes were worth, up 22.1 percent from 10.7 million in the third quarter. That is the highest level since the company started tracking in the third quarter of 2009. The current figure represents 22.8 percent of all mortgages across the country, almost one of out every four homes. Read more [...]

Principal Write-downs Too Expensive for Fannie, Freddie

As lawmakers put pressure on mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make principal write-downs on underwater loans, the regulator for the two firms sent a letter to Washington on Friday making clear how expensive that plan would be. More than 20 percent of all U.S. homes have negative equity at this point, according to mortgage data company CoreLogic, for a combined equity deficit of $750 billion. Borrowers in this situation often choose to default, even when they could keep Read more [...]

Foreclosures Pick Up in October

Lenders are starting to get their foreclosure machines moving again, according to the latest data from foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. Total foreclosure filings rose 7 percent last month from September, to 230,678 filings in October. However, that number is still down almost 31 percent from the year before. Initial default notices were up significantly as well, rising 10 percent from the previous month to 77,733 properties. All foreclosure activity, including default notices, auctions, Read more [...]