New Fannie Mae Rules Allow for ‘Non-Traditional’ Credit Histories

Mortgage guarantor Fannie Mae is easing its credit requirements for homebuyers, in the hopes of expanding the benefits of homeownership to qualified borrowers who may not have a traditional credit history. FannieMae, a company which backs mortgages made by private lenders and sells those loans in bundles as securities, announced Monday that it will allow lenders to use alternate forms of credit information to qualify applicants. Up to this point, lenders would input borrower data into Fannie Read more [...]

Revamped Mortgage Program to Help 1 Million Underwater Borrowers

The Obama Administration estimates that its mortgage refinance program will help as many as 1 million homeowners across the nation avoid foreclosure. The terms of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) have eased thus allowing mortgage finance giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to help borrowers owing over 125 percent of the value of their homes. Previous, borrowers owing more than 125 percent were shut out of this program. Other program terms are now relaxed as well. Background checks Read more [...]

Banks Could Face Stiff New Foreclosure Rules

State attorneys general handed a new set of rules to the nation's big banks Thursday that would require them to write down loan balances on troubled mortgages. The only question is whether or not this 27-page proposal comes attached with any teeth. The document is partly a response to the "robo-signing" foreclosure mess from last fall. According the the Wall Street Journal: "The proposal represents the clearest indication that the 50 state attorneys general are working hand-in-hand with the Obama Read more [...]

Wealthy Trade In Mortgages For Rent

A recent article on CNBC's website claimed that because of the uncertainty of the housing market, even wealthy Americans are giving up their mortgages in favor of renting. Apparently the risks of owning during this economy have now outweighed the costs of pricey luxury rentals for many of the country's richest citizens. The article gave the example from Aaron Galvin, of Luxury Living Chicago, who had rented 30 percent more luxury apartments this year over the last. "The cachet that came with Read more [...]

HAMP Outperforms Private Lender Modifications

There has been plenty of news coverage about the short comings of the government's mortgage modification program, but a recent report has found that the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is actually doing better than private bank modification efforts, by a ratio of 2-to-1. According to the report from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision (as documented on the CNN website), only about 11 percent of mortgages modified by the HAMP plan during Read more [...]

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on September 24th 2010 in Mortgage News

Fannie Has New Rules for Exotic Loans

Because of all the abuses during the housing boom, government-sponsored mortgage financier Fannie Mae is rolling out some new rules for interest-only and ARM loans. These rules should have always been the common sense standards that lenders stuck to, but the frenzied pace and profits of the rising housing market from 2003 to 2007 helped them forget common sense. Well, in response to that lack of judgment, Fannie Mae is tightening its restrictions on certain loans. In order to now get an interest-only Read more [...]

Will New HAMP Rules Work This Time?

The Obama Administration added new help for struggling homeowners Friday who are either unemployed, or owe more than their home is worth. Here’s what’s new: For the Unemployed Borrowers can have their mortgage payment reduced to a maximum of 31 percent of their unemployment benefits for as long as six months. In order to qualify, borrowers must: use the home as their primary residence. be currently receiving unemployment benefits. not have a loan greater than $729,000. not be Read more [...]

One in Six American Homeowners in Upside Down Mortgage

The number of U.S. homeowners that are “upside down” in their mortgages has quadrupled in the past two years, according to a recent report from Moody's Of the 75.5 million homeowners across the nation, about 12 million of them now owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, a situation that is also known as negative amortization. That means that roughly 12 percent, or one in six, of all homeowners have a mortgage balance greater than the value of their property. By Read more [...]