Interest Rate Roundup for Jan. 13, 2011

Interest Rate Roundup
Mortgage rate graph


  • 4.94% (30-year fixed)
  • 0.38 (average points)

Here's a look at the state of mortgage rates from's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted Jan. 12, 2011.

Mortgage rates generally fell in Bankrate's latest weekly survey, but the bellwether 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was unchanged at 4.94 percent.

Other home loans declined, however. The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage fell 11 basis points, to 3.88 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point.

Meanwhile, 15-year fixed-rate mortgages declined as well, dropping 3 basis points to 4.29 percent.

With jumbo mortgages, the decline on 30-year loans was 2 basis points, sinking to 5.57 percent.

Although the mortgage market was relatively stable, last week saw renewed legal chaos over the ongoing foreclosure crisis.

Last week, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled against U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo, saying they erred when they seized two properties in 2007. The court's action means that the two foreclosures were voided.

The court, the Bay State's highest, found that neither institution had proved it had the right to evict the homeowners. It concurred with a lower court ruling that the lenders didn't have clear title to the mortgages before they foreclosed, as required by law. The banks got the mortgages after foreclosure proceedings had commenced, according to The New York Times.

Although it isn't certain how the ruling will apply to other states, it was yet another gaffe for the mortgage lending industry, which has been accused of sloppy paperwork and other legal errors in cases around the country.

Wells Fargo and U.S. Bancorp each issued statements that they were simply acting as trustees for investors in mortgage-backed securities.

Find out what your monthly mortgage payment could be using Bankrate's mortgage calculator.

-- Gregg Fields




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