Foreclosure Starts Fall to 8-Year Low

Foreclosure activity continued to wane in August on a yearly basis, according to market data tracker RealtyTrac, with the number of properties starting the process dropping to an almost eight year low. The total number of foreclosure filings in the U.S., including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, fell 2 percent in August from July bring the foreclosure rate to one out of every 1.019 households receiving some notice. Compared with last year, total foreclosure activity Read more [...]

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on September 12th 2013 in Mortgage Loan News

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 [...]

Getting a Normal Mortgage in a Not-Yet Normal Market

The U.S. housing market is recovering, but is a ways off yet from returning to “normal” levels. In fact, the market is now 64 percent back to normal, according to real estate data company Trulia. While that is certainly more than half way there, it means there are still some challenges when it comes to mortgages. Home loan lenders are only recently starting to ease up on their credit standards. Since the housing bubble popped several years ago, lenders have been reeling from the aftermath Read more [...]

ARMs May Have Saved Millions From Foreclosure

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) became a dirty word after the collapse of the housing market and the ensuing onslaught of foreclosures several years ago. Buyers and banks got greedy. Borrowers were allowed to take out loans that were way too big for their incomes, but they were able to qualify because the initial teaser rate on ARMs allowed them to afford the first payments. Millions of Americans then lost their homes when their rates adjusted and they could no longer afford their mortgages. Yet Read more [...]

Report: Fannie and Freddie’s Accounting Masks Major Losses

Mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac posted profits in the latest quarter, a notable change from their consistent losses during the Great Recession. Yet now that they seem to have turned a financial corner, it looks like there might be some lingering problems, according to the agencies' regulator. The Federal Housing Finance Agency released details Monday that show Fannie and Freddie's profits may be misleading as they are not yet reporting all their losses due to loan write-offs. Read more [...]

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on August 19th 2013 in Mortgage News

Is The Time Right Again for a Refinance?

Now that the rock-bottom mortgage interest rates from the Great Recession are likely gone for good, refinance requests have tapered off dramatically. Is there still room in the market for refinance loans? Absolutely. The latest Freddie Mac refinance report predicted that although refinance activity will likely continue to decline over the next few years, they will still make up a substantial percentage of all mortgage activity. “We estimate that refinances will make up approximately two -thirds Read more [...]

Foreclosures Near Pre-Recession Levels

Another sign that the housing market is recovering: seriously delinquent mortgages fell to a five-year low during the second quarter of this year and overall foreclosures also continued to decline. The latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows that seriously delinquent home loans -those late by more than 90 days or already in the foreclosure process – dropped to 5.88 percent of all mortgages in the second quarter, down dramatically from 7.31 percent the previous year. The last Read more [...]

Getting a Mortgage That Will Put You At Ease, Not On Edge

One of the most common questions for homebuyers is 'how much can I afford?' While it is important to know the ultimate limits of your financial resources, there may be a better question to be asking. 'How much mortgage am I comfortable with?' is a much more useful query. The problem with asking 'how much can I afford?' was made abundantly clear during the mortgage meltdown. A few years earlier, lenders and borrowers had been willing to stretch to the farthest edge in order to make and qualify, Read more [...]

Home Prices Post Double-Digit Gains in First Quarter

For the first time since the peak of the housing bubble, home prices jumped by double-digits in the first three months of this year, according to data from CoreLogic, a sign that inventory is limited and in high demand again. During the first quarter of 2013, home prices rose 10.2 percent from the year before with more than three-fourths of the metro areas tracked posting yearly price increases. And CoreLogic experts believe the coming months will bring more growth. "Record levels of affordability, Read more [...]

Down Payment Help: Gift v. Loan

Many first time homebuyers receive financial help from their parents to qualify for a mortgage. That’s definitely understandable in the wake of the mortgage meltdown as lenders require more money down. In fact, a recent National Association of Realtors survey found that between the years 2009 and 2012, roughly 25 percent of all rookie homebuyers used gifts from family or friends to finance their down payments. Another roughly seven percent of first-timers received loans from relatives to cover Read more [...]