Is HAMP Just Delaying the Inevitable?

The number of foreclosures fell slightly in February to about 308,000, a two percent decrease from January, according to information from RealtyTrac released Thursday. That's roughly one out of every 418 U.S. homes. RealtyTrac says two things were responsible for the slowing in February. The first is the government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) that is helping some home buyers temporarily and permanently lower their payments or interest rates. The other factor was the record-breaking Read more [...]

Emergency Loans Can Bridge Mortgage Gaps

The new buzz program of the near future may be ‘emergency mortgage assistance,’ or loans from the state government to cover mortgage payments and fees while homeowners are down on their luck. This could be a very useful program for the many struggling borrowers who just a need a little help for a short period of time. It’s been going on in Pennsylvania since 1983, and now several states are seeking to copy its success. The PA program provides for loans up to $60,000 for a maximum of three Read more [...]

Early Delinquency Rates Down, But Total Numbers Still High

Mortgage delinquency rates fell in the last quarter of 2009, according to the latest info from the Mortgage Bankers Association, with just 3.6 percent of all homeowners falling 30 days behind on their loans, a decrease from 3.8 percent in the third quarter. That is the first quarterly decline of that market segment since 2004. “We normally see a large spike in short-term mortgage delinquencies at the end of the year due to heating bills, Christmas expenditures and other seasonal factors,” said Read more [...]

Mortgage Modification Program is Like ‘Fighting a Forest Fire with a Squirt Gun’

Incredibly high rates of foreclosure across the nation have been crippling the U.S. housing market for the past year, and both the current and previous Administrations have tried to stem the tide of these defaulting mortgages without much success. Under President Obama, the Home Affordable Modification Program has asked mortgage servicers to pretty please modify the loans of struggling homeowners so they can keep their houses. So far, though, the initiative has been largely ineffective. As of Read more [...]

‘Serious’ Trouble for Mortgage Delinquencies

The number of seriously delinquent mortgages in the U.S. rose by 20 percent in the third quarter of 2009 from the previous quarter, a seriously troubling figure for the housing market. According to the Office of Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision, which surveyed about two-thirds of the nation’s mortgages, 3.6 percent of all prime home loans, those with the best credit, were classified as seriously delinquent.  That means those loans are 60 days or more past due, Read more [...]

Retirement No Longer Means Mortgage Freedom for Many

A recent study from the Boston College Center for Retirement Research shows that today more Americans than ever are carrying a mortgage into their retirement years. The research found that among those in the age 60 to 69 age group, 41 percent were still making mortgage payments. Interestingly, one out of two of those retired mortgage borrowers has enough in investments and savings to pay off the mortgage in full right now. So why would they hold on to those monthly payments? The study suggests Read more [...]

Obama To Tackle Mortgage Crisis This Week

Aides to U.S. President Barack Obama have announced that his new plan to stem mortgage foreclosures will be unveiled Wednesday in Phoenix. The Obama administration plan is expected to include $50 billion of funding for use in reducing mortgage payments for qualified homeowners, with the ultimate goal of lowering mortgage costs to 31 percent of borrowers' incomes. "We're faced with an economic emergency here, and we're going to have to move forward quickly on a number of things," said senior Read more [...]