Credit unions filling the mortgage void (11/21/2014)
Credit unions originated 10% more mortgages through June than they did a year earlier. In 2000, 25% of all credit union loans were mortgages – now it’s 41%.
Mortgage applications take surprising turn (11/20/2014)
The Mortgage Bankers Association reported a 5% application increase last week, but homebuyers submitted most of them – not owners trying to refinance.
Most lenders say mortgage approval still a challenge (11/20/2014)
Mortgage survey: 71% of lenders said they don’t plan to make mortgage approval any easier because “It’s not worth the risk.”
Report: Shaky FHA finances move onto solid ground (11/18/2014)
Annual report shows FHA’s insurance fund grew $21B and out of negative equity. NAR then renewed its push for lower premiums and no life-long mortgage insurance.
Homeowners don’t know they can avoid some PMI fees (11/14/2014)
Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is tacked on some loans to protect the lender from default. It can be cancelled as equity rises, but many owners don’t do it.
Why are VA loans ignored by many U.S. veterans? (11/12/2014)
Some industry watchers say lenders avoid VA loans because their other products make more money, plus some vets don’t even know the VA mortgage program exists.
Alternative mortgages making a comeback (11/12/2014)
Adjustable-rate, jumbo, piggyback and interest-only mortgages disappeared during the real estate slowdown – but about 10% of recent U.S. mortgages were ARMs.
Fannie, Freddie post profits in 3Q; pay dividends (11/7/2014)
The mortgage-buying giants already paid back their recession-era debt. Now their excess profits help taxpayers by flowing back into the U.S. treasury.
Is refinancing a mortgage worth it? (11/3/2014)
Homeowners considering a refi should fully research all fees, understand how long they must live in the home to break even, and shop around for the best deal.
Lenders step up efforts to help vets buy homes (10/28/2014)
The popularity of VA loans has surged, in part because some of the nation’s biggest lenders started aggressively marketing the program to U.S. military troops.
Risk of mortgage fraud high in 5 Fla. cities (10/28/2014)
CoreLogic reports a national increase in mortgage fraud, and many of Fla.’s cities rank at the top, including Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota and Jacksonville.
Homebuyers aren’t budging for low rates (10/23/2014)
Buyers once rushed to lock in a lower mortgage rate, but a tight credit market makes it impossible for many buyers to move, even as rates hit 18-month lows.
Fed’s final QRM mortgage rule should help sales (10/22/2014)
That’s good news: At one time, Realtors feared that new rules for qualified residential mortgages (QRM) would hurt buyers by mandating 20% or higher downpayments.
Top mortgage firm accused of abuses (10/22/2014)
New York State’s financial regulator alleges Ocwen, a mortgage servicer, knowingly harmed homeowners trying to fix loan problems or going through foreclosure.
Small lenders bend more for risky borrowers (10/16/2014)
Buyers turned down for a big bank’s mortgage can try Plan B: Apply with smaller lenders. More now seem willing to take on risk at slightly higher rates.
Feds consider money-saving Fannie, Freddie change (10/16/2014)
A fed agency wants to make Fannie and Freddie docs signed at closing the same – a small change that may “save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars per year.”
Could 15-year mortgage product change lending? (10/13/2014)
An experimental 15-year mortgage for low-income borrowers offers lower interest rates based on downpayment, and a focus on income rather than credit scores.
Changes impact mini-correspondent lenders (10/10/2014)
Small brokers can issue loans in their own names as “mini-correspondents,” but CFPB is changing that business model’s rules. NAR has officially weighed in.
Survey: Builders say lending standards too tight (10/9/2014)
NAHB: A majority of single-family builders say mortgage standards are tight or very tight; 83% say they’ve led to at least one lost sale over the past six months.
Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) increase 27% (10/6/2014)
More homeowners are borrowing against their home’s equity, thanks to rising home prices and a spreading belief that the U.S. economy is improving.
Jumbo mortgages are cheaper, easier to get (9/23/2014)
For the last several months, interest rates on jumbo loans – mortgages of $417,000 or higher – have been lower than the rate average borrowers pay.
Lending giants shy away from FHA loans (9/23/2014)
Some large lenders say they’re wary of FHA loan requirements – the penalties for underwriting errors and loan defaults – so they’re pulling back.
Mortgage approval should get easier, lenders say (9/19/2014)
Big lender survey: Fewer borrowers want a mortgage, and banks will probably ease their underwriting standards soon if they want to add new business.
New lending disclosures need work, groups say (9/18/2014)
NAR and other groups sent a letter to a fed agency noting some problems with the scheduled 2015 update to the Truth in Lending/RESPA disclosure.
Fannie: Minimum wait times shorter after foreclosure (9/11/2014)
Fannie Mae nixed loan-to-value (LTV) requirements. All applications will soon have a four-year waiting period – two years with extenuating circumstances.
Are the banks causing a housing slowdown? (9/10/2014)
It’s hard for someone without pristine credit to get a mortgage these days. Banks say they’re afraid to fund lower-score loans because of tighter federal laws.
FHA to eliminate ‘post-payment’ interest charges (9/3/2014)
A FHA-borrowers’ push to close near the end of the month may end because FHA will stop charging them a full-month’s interest when they close earlier.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.