Archives for October 2011

Underwater Mortgage Holders Get Help

By Jeanne Roberts There is good news on the homefront for underwater homeowners whose mortgages amount to more than their home’s value, and it’s called the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP. But questions are being raised regarding the real number of homeowners who will receive help through the program. Underwater mortgages occurred when rapidly rising home values during the first half of the decade – or “housing bubble” – reached … [Read more...]

States Investigate Banks Criminal Acts in Foreclosure Crisis

By Mike Colpitts New York's Attorney General was one of the first to pull out of the 50 state negotiations with big Wall Street banks in the robo-signing scandal, and now the same state’s Attorney General is investigating criminal acts by the same firms tied to the foreclosure crisis. “This was a man made crisis,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is also working with Delaware AG Beau Biden looking into allegations of … [Read more...]

Growing Numbers Find Housing Unaffordable

Housing has become less affordable for many older adults who pay more than they can stand to for a place to live, according to a study by the Association of Retired Persons (AARP). The recession has taken a major toll on millions of Americans, especially older citizens. The study expands on findings determined in 2007 research at the peak of the nation’s worst economy in decades. The foreclosure crisis has taken 7.6 million homes through … [Read more...]

Mortgage Rates Dip a Little

By Kevin Chiu Mortgage rates dropped a single basis point to remain near their all-time record lows, with mixed consumer confidence and housing data, according to Freddie Mac. The average rate on the fixed 30-year loan was 4.10%, which is close to their 60-year low. The rate on the shorter fixed 15-year mortgage stayed the same as a week ago. Shorter 15-year mortgages are gaining in popularity with homeowners refinancing their homes as … [Read more...]

First Time Homeownership Slips

By Mike Colpitts Despite first time home purchases increasing due to record low mortgage rates and lower home prices, the actual rate of first time homeownership is slipping for the largest homebuyer age group, according to a survey released by a real estate research firm. The latest trends report from CoreLogic shows homeownership rates for the 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 year-old age groups composing the largest number of first time home … [Read more...]

Mortgage Originations Pick-Up as Rates Level Off

By Mike Colpitts Mortgage originations picked-up last week as home purchases rose, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Purchase applications jumped 6.4% from the previous week. Homeowners shopping for refinancing also applied for lower rate mortgages in rising numbers. Refinances rose 4.4% as mortgage rates remained about the same compared to the prior week. The jump in mortgage activity is a positive sign for the housing … [Read more...]

Miami May Set Real Estate Sales Record

By Kevin Chiu As one of the most battered real estate markets in the U.S. few would think Miami was in any position to be setting records. But the sale of homes, townhouses and condominiums is on pace to set a new record for the year in the Florida market, according to the Miami Realtors Association. Driven by discount priced foreclosures, short sales and a bevy of cash buyers existing single family home sales soared 46% in September, but … [Read more...]

Underwater Refinancing Program Closer

By Mike Colpitts A federal program intended to help underwater homeowners should assist more than 1-million U.S. mortgage borrowers refinance their homes, according to an analysis of the Home Affordable Refinance Program expanded by the Obama administration Monday. The program’s expansion is being developed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency with mortgage lenders and the nation’s giant mortgage lenders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The … [Read more...]

Nevada Makes Illegal Foreclosures Felony

By Mike Colpitts Responding to homeowner complaints, Nevada has become the first state in the nation to make illegally repossessing a home a felony, and may send bankers to jail for doing such. The new law was enacted after tens of thousands of homeowners complained to lawmakers about their homes being foreclosed without proof of ownership. The outcry of consumer complaints over illegal robo-signing tactics has produced a series of … [Read more...]

Defining U.S. Socialism Hurts With Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

By Jeanne Roberts Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are the U.S. two largest mortgage holders. Between them, they own 75% of all the home loans issued in the nation. Thanks to the bursting of the housing bubble and the resulting fallout, the American taxpayer – under the umbrella of the U.S. government, also owns 80% of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. This is, to put it plainly, socialism. Socialism is commonly defined as an economic system … [Read more...]