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.
NAR: FHA’s insurance premiums sidelining buyers (4/4/2014)
NAR Pres. Steve Brown wrote a letter urging FHA to lower its annual mortgage insurance premiums, saying FHA fees make up nearly 25% of a monthly loan payment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Subprime lending making a comeback? (2/25/2014)
Toxic subprime loans led, in part, to the housing meltdown, and these types of loans for riskier buyers are making a comeback – but it’s not easy to qualify.
Mortgage casualties fall on fewer bank failures (2/24/2014)
Another positive sign of the U.S. economic rebound: Fewer bank failures. In 2013, 62 failed; in 2012, it was 83; in 2009, 235 banks ceased operations.
Has the stricter QM mortgage rule slowed lending? (2/19/2014)
Some experts predicted tighter mortgage rules would slow the rebound, but others remained optimistic. NAR lender survey attempts to uncover the truth.
Jumbo loans loom large in luxury housing (2/17/2014)
The largest loans have interest rates on par with conventional loans and come with fewer rules under the recent qualified-mortgage laws.
CFPB debuts new online mortgage tool (2/11/2014)
Wonder how many mortgages lenders reject? And why they do so? The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau now offers customizable data online.
Farm bill extends rural housing loans (2/5/2014)
Pres. Obama is expected to sign a farm bill passed by Congress that extends a low-downpayment, low interest loan program used by many rural Fla. buyers.
Wealthy buyers are in it for the short term (2/4/2014)
They increasingly shun 30-year mortgages, taking advantage of the lower rates offered by short-term loans to save thousands of dollars in interest.
Subprime loans are out – ‘nonprime’ loans are in (2/3/2014)
Nonprime loans that appeal to high-risk buyers are making a comeback, but lenders retain some stricter rules – like a 30 percent downpayment, perhaps.
Fixed-rate mortgages losing popularity? (1/31/2014)
Most buyers went with an FRM when rates flirted with historic lows; but after they weigh their options today, more are opting for an adjustable-rate mortgage.
FHA to accept more docs with electronic signatures (1/31/2014)
New policy allows e-signatures on origination, servicing and loss mitigation documents; and FHA insurance claims, REO sales contracts and related addenda.
Lenders must follow new appraisal disclosure rules (1/17/2014)
Starting tomorrow, lenders must offer more info about their decision. Buyers must receive the appraisal earlier, giving them more time to review underlying data.
Storm brewing over new mortgage rules? (1/16/2014)
Will new qualified mortgage rules make it harder to qualify? No one knows. Feds plan to monitor lenders’ decisions because it’s unclear how they’ll react.
Adjustable-rate mortgages regain popularity (1/15/2014)
The ARM almost disappeared during the recession, but it could make a full comeback as mortgage rates rise in 2014.
Small lenders hesitate over new rules (1/14/2014)
Under tighter mortgage rules issued last Friday, small lenders have more to lose. As a result, some local banks may approve fewer mortgages from now on.
Tighter QM lending standards start today (1/10/2014)
New rules also dictate lender response times. Letter templates posted online can be used to request info or changes; free info brochures can be given to clients.
Mortgage loan fee increases delayed (1/9/2014)
In Dec., FHFA announced that it would raise mortgage fees, but the agency’s new director now says he’ll postpone those increases – a move praised by NAR.
Will it be easier or harder to get a mortgage? (1/8/2014)
The qualified mortgage ruled kicks in on Friday, but a handful of experts say many banks with tighter standards could ease up. NAR plans to monitor the changes.
U.S.: How do we make mortgage closing less painful? (1/7/2014)
The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants a “more streamlined, efficient” closing process, and it’s accepting suggestions on how to do it.
Buyers get extended offer period on REOs (1/6/2014)
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s “first look” programs give buyers 20 days – up from 15 days – to submit an offer on a REO property before investors.
More buyers would need jumbo loan under proposal (12/18/2013)
Mortgage rates tend to be lower if Fannie or Freddie can purchase the mortgage; but proposal seeking public comment would lower cap from $417K to $400K.
FHA finances improve (12/16/2013)
Annual audit finds a more stable FHA. While agency added some rules and changed fees for buyers seeking a mortgage, audit finds a light at tunnel’s end.
HUD releases its qualified mortgage (QM) definition (12/12/2013)
Its rule mirrors other agencies’ versions of the qualified mortgage (QM) rule and covers all loans insured, guaranteed or administered by HUD.
FHFA takes more steps to minimize Fannie, Freddie (12/10/2013)
Fed agency over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac says it will charge lenders more, which could make it a bit more challenging for buyers to secure a loan.
HUD: New FHA loan limits take effect Jan. 1 (12/9/2013)
Current cap in areas with relatively low housing costs remains unchanged at $271,050; but the high-cost area cap drops from $729,750 to $625,500.
New mortgage rules have some wiggle room (12/3/2013)
A handful of larger banks will probably make home loans that don’t conform to new qualified-mortgage (QM) rules.
Conforming loan limits unchanged in 2014 (11/27/2013)
FHFA announced yesterday that Fannie and Freddie’s $417,000 conforming loan limit in most Fla. areas would remain the same through next year.
‘I bought a house – what can I deduct on my taxes?’ (11/25/2013)
Many buyers know homeownership comes with a tax advantage, but they get lost in the details. Here’s a primer.
‘Know Before You Owe’ loan forms simplify details (11/20/2013)
It’s official: All lenders must start to use the new easy-to-understand “Loan Estimate” and “Closing Disclosure” form – but not until Aug. 1, 2015.
Clients’ cash deposits can delay closing (11/20/2013)
Cash isn’t the problem – it’s where it came from. By law, lenders must investigate suspicious deposits that aren’t documented or can’t be explained.
Jumbo mortgages cheaper than other mortgages (11/14/2013)
Lenders now offer jumbo mortgages at lower rates – more than a quarter of a percentage point – than conforming loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
More banks offering loans for 5% down? (11/7/2013)
As banks compete to lend money, homeowners are finding it slightly easier to qualify. One loan, for example, is only 5% down, but up to 2% can be a gift.
Do tighter loan standards pressure buyers to lie? (10/31/2013)
Total mortgage fraud dropped, but more buyers now fudge their income – possibly because new laws require proof they can repay. Two Fla. cities rank high.
White paper: New mortgage rules are reasonable (10/25/2013)
Proposed qualified mortgage rules “limit the risk of default without excluding large numbers of creditworthy borrowers,” says advocacy group that includes NAR.
Are post-crisis policies holding down homeownership? (10/22/2013)
The U.S. tightened mortgage rules to avoid another meltdown; but if young buyers and minorities can’t afford a home now, the cure may be worse than the disease.
Fannie Mae changes mortgage loan restrictions (10/17/2013)
On Nov. 16, Fannie Mae’s minimum loan downpayment goes from 3% to 5% and loans top out at 30 years – but, unlike FHA, it doesn’t require upfront costs.