Gov’t partnership to lower mortgages of military (8/29/2014)
Five big big banks agreed to help active-duty troops understand a 2003 law’s rules that allow them to have mortgage rates and some other debt fees capped at 6%.
FHA to eliminate “post payment” interest charges (8/27/2014)
Rule effective for FHA mortgages closed on or after Jan. 15, 2015. Agency will also ensure that borrowers with ARMs receive earlier notice of rate changes.
Boomerang buyers head back into the market (8/26/2014)
About 10% of this year’s buyers will be owners that had a foreclosure or short sale between 2007 and 2013 – a percentage that could rise over the next few years.
Is a home equity line of credit a good idea? (8/21/2014)
Equity lines, or HELOCs, were big before the recession and now making a comeback. They give homeowners financial flexibility but come with a few risks.
USDA/rural housing maps change Oct. 1 (8/19/2014)
The size of qualified rural areas will generally get smaller. Buyers can check a home’s future status online and take action soon if a home will lose eligibility.
Amerisave on the hook for alleged mortgage scheme (8/18/2014)
A mortgage company with offices in Fla. was ordered to pay $19.3M for allegedly running a bait-and-switch lending scheme that advertised low interest rates.
Banks lend record number of million-dollar mortgages (8/14/2014)
Upscale homebuyers – those seeking mortgages greater than $1 million – are getting loans, but that easing of credit hasn’t trickled down to first-time buyers.
Cash home sales hit four-year low (8/14/2014)
CoreLogic: 34.4% of May home sales were cash transactions – the lowest pace in four years. Cash sales were 37.4% one year earlier and 36.9% in April.
Rule change allows surviving spouse to keep home (8/12/2014)
Under some reverse mortgages, an owner may face foreclosure if the mortgage holder died. New rules ban that, providing the survivor pays taxes and insurance.
It’s easier to get a loan (8/5/2014)
The home mortgage market improved last quarter. Demand increased and many banks eased lending standards for the most creditworthy borrowers, the Fed said Monday.
Realtor.com adds instant pre-approval tool (7/30/2014)
Buyers on realtor.com can now check a box on a property listing page to request loan pre-approval from a lender. A self-estimated FICO score starts the process.
As FHA fees go up, the number of deals goes down (7/29/2014)
NAR: Up to 250,000 home sales failed to close due to higher FHA fees, and most lenders said it’s even higher, since some people don’t even bother to apply.
‘Seller-assisted financing’ makes a comeback (7/28/2014)
As home sales slow in some markets, some sellers may again consider hooking potential buyers by offering to lower their mortgage rate.
Buyers may have more luck with a large lender (7/28/2014)
Mortgage executives say that some lenders are tightening standards more than others. Only the nation’s larger lenders say they’re easing access to credit.
Housing buoyed by 20-year high for vets’ loans (7/23/2014)
Seeking a new market niche? U.S. troops’ withdrawal from war zones means many are coming home and ready to buy. VA home loans rose 19% in 2013.
JPMorgan threatens to stop FHA loans (7/23/2014)
The bank’s CEO wants clearer rules for underwriting requirements since it paid over $600M in federal fines for originating FHA loans later found to be flawed.
More Dodd-Frank financial rules coming soon (7/21/2014)
Only about 44% of the rules are finalized or close to it as the SEC loses some court battles. In a survey, most Americans say they welcome more rules.
Fed agency eases rules for inherited homes (7/17/2014)
The ability-to-repay rule for mortgage decisions no longer applies to some sales that involve family members, such as a death, divorce or living trust sales.
New PMI requirements could burden homebuyers (7/15/2014)
A tighter post-recession rule proposed by the FHFA to make private mortgage insurance safer could also make PMI more expensive or harder to secure.
First-time buyers: Take a class, save on your loan (7/7/2014)
An FHA program coming soon will give mortgage credit to first-time buyers willing to take a homeownership class.
Rental payment histories may count in credit scores (7/2/2014)
Two of three big credit agencies, Experian and TransUnion, may soon include on-time rent payments in their credit scores. But renters have other options too.
FHA’s HAWK program a good start but not enough (7/1/2014)
NAR: Homeowners Armed with Knowledge (HAWK) helps first-time buyers who willingly attend classes, but FHA’s fees and mortgage insurance are still too high.
Mortgage preapprovals make comeback in hot markets (6/23/2014)
A preapproval, which includes a credit check, carries more weight than a pre-qualification, and some smaller lenders now offer them to get a competitive edge.
The one expense homebuyers underestimate (6/11/2014)
TD Bank: 65% of homeowners with private mortgage insurance say the added cost of PMI meant a higher monthly mortgage payment than they initially expected.
E-mortgages will speed closings, cut costs (6/3/2014)
Fannie Mae: Electronic closings will do more than help the environment – they’ll cut about $1,100 in transaction costs and shorten the process from 52 to 30 days.
PMI isn’t just an inconvenience – it can harm buyers (6/2/2014)
Survey: 65% of buyers ended up paying more than planned when forced to take out private mortgage insurance (PMI); 40% had to cut back elsewhere.
Realtors to condo boards: Get FHA certification (5/27/2014)
Many buyers discover that they cannot get FHA financing in about 90% of U.S. complexes because the condo board has not taken steps to be certified.
HUD awards $40 million in housing counseling grants (5/23/2014)
A number of mortgage programs offer better terms to buyers willing to undergo counseling, and HUD says 31 Fla.-based agencies will receive funding.
Hopes fade for bill to end Fannie, Freddie (5/16/2014)
A bill to make Fannie and Freddie private rather than 100% government-owned appears stalled. The initiatives’ future is unclear after November elections.
FTC charges online lender website for deceptive ads (5/9/2014)
Subject to court approval, GoLoansOnline.com will pay a $225,000 civil penalty for alleging that ARMs were really FRMs and other deceptive tactics.
FHA may nix ‘antiquated’ mortgage prepayment penalty (5/8/2014)
If an FHA-mortgaged home seller closes on May 1, he still pays interest on the loan through May 31. However, that should change by early 2015.
Americans shut out of housing as FHA fees jump (5/7/2014)
FHA has more than doubled its mortgage insurance fees since 2010. Some critics, including NAR, say that has hurt homeownership, and fees should be lower.
Is that home’s commute a mortgage killer? (5/5/2014)
The distance from a listing to work can concern more than just potential homebuyers. In some cases, lenders now consider it before approving a mortgage.
Rule tweak could allow more down payment help (5/1/2014)
The U.S. tightened mortgage requirements, but a proposal could ease those rules a bit for nonprofit lenders serving lower-income homebuyers.
A top reason buyers aren’t buying? Fear of rejection (4/22/2014)
Survey: 46% of potential buyers think they won’t qualify for a mortgage, so they don’t try; and 43% incorrectly believe it’s harder now than it was a year ago.
Mortgage availability hits 3-year high (4/14/2014)
Six months ago, pundits said it would be harder to qualify for a mortgage after Jan.’s qualified mortgage (QM) rule kicked in – but maybe they were wrong.
Foreclosed owners could buy home again in 12 months (4/11/2014)
If a major event led to foreclosure, FHA’s “Back to Work” program could help buyers who can afford a mortgage payment and are willing to accept counseling.
Could that 3.5% down payment loan be overpriced? (4/9/2014)
Critics say hidden Fannie/Freddie fees are federal homebuyer surtaxes – and they’re not needed since risk is mitigated through higher mortgage insurance rates.
First look: New TILA-RESPA compliance guide (4/8/2014)
On Aug. 1, 2015, mortgage loans become easier for consumers to understand but not easier for lenders to create. U.S. consumer agency issues rules for new forms.
Realtors to FHA: Your insurance rates drive buyers away (4/3/2014)
NAR President Steve Brown reached out to the FHA in a letter. He hopes to persuade the agency to lower its annual mortgage insurance premiums.
Ellie Mae outage temporarily stalls some closings (4/3/2014)
The mortgage technology developer faced a series of outages and service disruptions that delayed loan closings on Monday and Tuesday.
More banks lower FICO score requirements (3/31/2014)
In a push to generate business, lenders are lowering credit score requirements to qualify more buyers. In Feb., Wells Fargo dropped its minimum from 640 to 600.
A new weapon for bidding wars (3/24/2014)
In some metro areas, mortgage buyers level the competition with cash buyers by getting “pre-vetted” for a loan and avoiding some contingency clauses.
With some home loans, it’s a matter of degree (3/18/2014)
More banks are again offering specialty-profession mortgages, which are earmarked for lawyers, doctors and other types of borrowers in high-paid careers.
Justice Dept. faulted in mortgage fraud probes (3/17/2014)
A report from the U.S. inspector general finds DoJ did not adequately track down and prosecute mortgage fraud, even though it said it would be a priority.
What do buyers want in a lender? Simplicity (3/12/2014)
Survey: Two out of three U.S. buyers had a positive mortgage loan experience, but only 56% of Fla. buyers gave the process a similarly positive rating.
Mortgage credit a bit easier to get in Feb. (3/12/2014)
Monthly Mortgage Bankers Assoc. survey finds that it’s gotten slightly easier to qualify for a mortgage in each of the past three months.
The list: 2013’s biggest mortgage lenders (3/11/2014)
Wells Fargo maintained a stranglehold on the No. 1 spot, closing 19 percent of all U.S. home loans last year. At No. 2, JPMorgan Chase did half that much.
Want an interest-only mortgage? Go to a credit union (3/10/2014)
A credit union focuses on members’ needs, and some of have started creating unique low-risk products, such as an ARM that adjusts only once after 15 years.
U.S. mortgage insurers launch new trade association (3/10/2014)
The goal of U.S. Mortgage Insurers (USMI): To make it easier for buyers to qualify for a home loan by boosting the role of private mortgage insurance.
5 mortgage tips for homebuyers (3/5/2014)
Finding and securing a mortgage can turn into a short-term, part-time job – but it’s easier if buyers properly prepare for the task at hand.
Energy-efficient mortgages gain popularity (3/4/2014)
Homeowners can roll the cost of “green” improvements – solar panels, geothermal heating, tank-less water heaters, etc. – into their mortgage financing.