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?
Will 3% downpayments boost millennial homeownership? (12/10/2014)
It’s too soon to know which lenders will offer just-announced lower downpayment rates, but one analyst expects it to help a significant number of Fla. buyers.
Coming soon: The return of the 3% downpayment (12/9/2014)
Buyers must currently put at least 5% down for gov’t to consider a loan acceptable, but some banks could start offering 3%-down mortgages by the end of the year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.