Buyers may find mortgages easier to get (2/25/2015)
Note to buyers: If a mortgage lender turned you down last year, try again. MBA survey finds looser requirements for credit scores, downpayments and other terms.
FHA defends decision to lower fees for buyers (2/13/2015)
HUD head: FHA’s finances aren’t at risk; and it “isn’t right to unduly burden” present borrowers in the present because of others’ past misbehavior.
FHFA hints at aid for underwater owners (2/10/2015)
In the past, the agency has refused to consider reducing the principal on underwater properties. Nationwide, about 5.1M homeowners had negative equity in 3Q 2014.
Last-minute closing changes to get difficult (2/6/2015)
Realtors who tie up loose ends the day before closing will have a new timetable starting Aug. 1. After that, little can be changed within three days of closing.
‘Ability to Repay’ rule reduces mortgage fraud (2/5/2015)
Interthinx: In 3Q 2014, the overall U.S. risk of mortgage fraud declined 2%, but two Fla. cities were in the top 10: Port St. Lucie (No. 3) and Miami (No. 8).
Shopping for a mortgage: Urged but not often done (2/5/2015)
Two studies found that about half of all buyers take the first mortgage offered. According to fed agency, many people find the application process intimidating.
87% of buyers qualify for some downpayment help (2/4/2015)
RealtyTrac: Every Fla. county has at least 10 downpayment assistance programs, and some have more than 20. In most Fla. counties, 84% to 97% of buyers qualify.
S&P paying $1.38B to settle charges over crisis-era ratings (2/3/2015)
S&P allegedly gave positive ratings to junk mortgages, though it didn’t admit guilt. The agreement could lead to others – Fitch and Moody’s are also accused.
FHFA defends lower downpayments (1/29/2015)
The agency approved 3% downpayments on conforming mortgages, but critics say it could lead to another real estate meltdown. FHFA explains why it won’t.
The return of the 3% downpayment (1/26/2015)
An increased number of lenders have reduced downpayment requirements and/or mortgage fees; as a result, more buyers may now qualify for a home loan.
Buyers turning to credit unions for mortgages (1/19/2015)
Credit unions have quadrupled market share since 2006. Navy Federal Credit Union, which serves military families, had generated almost $20M as of Sept.
No further FHA fee reductions under consideration (1/19/2015)
According to HUD Secretary Julian Castro, buyers shouldn’t wait to see if FHA mortgages get cheaper – there won’t be additional reductions anytime soon.
Many buyers don’t comparison shop for a mortgage (1/13/2015)
CFPB study: While buyers spend a lot of time home shopping, almost half spend little time comparing mortgage products to find the best loan deal.
Interest-only loans return: Is that good or bad? (1/9/2015)
Mortgages that allow buyers to avoid principal payments for a while work only if home values rise. But new rules have eased fears over the meltdown-related loans.
Lower FHA rates should be available later this month (1/9/2015)
FHA says it will first issue a mortgagee letter that explains the new rules to lenders, and the lower-cost loans should be offered to buyers by late January.
3% down mortgages roll out at breakneck speed (1/5/2015)
A number of 3%-down mortgages have already hit the market. With fewer gray areas, the new Fed rules make it easier for lenders to make underwriting decisions.
Mortgage fraud: Fla. still No. 1 but things improved (12/17/2014)
LexisNexis study: Fla. led the nation in mortgage fraud in latest report, but with 24% fewer confirmed cases of mortgage fraud in a year-to-year comparison.
New lending guidelines target first-time homebuyers (12/16/2014)
The new guidelines should add more low-end buyers and, as a result, more move up buyers by lowering minimum credit scores (620) and forgiving one-time problems.
70% don’t know about downpayment assistance (12/15/2014)
Many potential mid-income homebuyers don’t think they qualify for downpayment assistance. Often, however, they do – and would become buyers if they knew.
Do buyers with pre-purchase counseling fare better? (12/15/2014)
A pilot FHA program sparked a debate: Buyers with pre-counseling perform better, but are they more prepared, or is it the result of an extensive background check?
Second job? It may not help qualify for a mortgage (12/8/2014)
New federal ability-to-repay mortgage rules require buyers to have had the part-time job for at least two years with a few other limited exceptions.
FHA announces 2014 loan limits: No change (12/8/2014)
FHA’s 2015 maximum loan limits in high cost metropolitan areas of the country will still top out at $625,500; in lower cost areas it will remain at $271,050.
Mortgage lenders set to relax standards (12/2/2014)
New federal guidelines clarify banks’ rules for selling mortgages to Fannie and Freddie. Lenders are now expected to relax a bit and approve more applications.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.