Mortgages Blog

Friday, February 3, 2012 10:08 am
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

The economy added 243,000 jobs in January. That’s the biggest gain since April and more than analysts had expected. The unemployment rate also fell slightly to 8.3 percent. Great news! But not good enough to cheer up the 12.8 million people who remain out of work. An additional 11 million are working part-time jobs because

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Thursday, February 2, 2012 3:09 pm
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

Banks can’t say no to borrowers who want to refinance their mortgages. In short, that’s what Shaun Donovan, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said when asked by a reporter if he believed lenders were going to embrace the Federal Housing Administration refinance plan that President Barack Obama proposed Wednesday. The program

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Thursday, February 2, 2012 5:26 am
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

Part of the fallout of the housing crisis means that rental demand is up – and so are prices. As home prices have been dropping and supply increasing, it’s a cruel twist for renters who are blocked from getting a mortgage because of bad credit to see their monthly payments go up. It’s also frustrating

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012 1:15 pm
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

President Barack Obama has proposed allowing underwater homeowners to refinance their mortgages with FHA-insured loans. The proposed program would extend today’s low rates to homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth. The plan would be similar to the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, but it would apply to private mortgages that are

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012 5:11 pm
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

Have you ever wondered why, despite numerous government programs made to help struggling homeowners, there are still so many obstacles that prevent borrowers from refinancing their loans? Here is one of many disturbing reasons: Freddie Mac, which owns or guarantees many U.S. mortgages, makes a ton of money by betting on homeowners who are stuck

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Monday, January 30, 2012 5:21 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

The fact that it’s still a buyer’s real-estate market is no surprise. Despite small fluctuations, mortgage rates are low and so are home prices. The problem is that few are buying. A survey by the mortgage company Fannie Mae shows that while 71 percent of Americans think it’s a good time to buy a home,

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Monday, January 30, 2012 10:00 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

Bank of America’s cash-for-short-sales pilot program to help Florida homeowners stave off foreclosure has been something of a good news/bad news scenario since its debut last October. Under the program, Bank of America offered $5,000 to $20,000 to homeowners who agree to sell their distressed property in a short sale rather than let it slip

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Friday, January 27, 2012 4:15 pm
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

You’ll have more time to seek a mortgage modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP. And maybe your lender will be more likely to write down principal. HAMP’s expiration date has been extended one year, to the last day of 2013, the Treasury Department announced this afternoon. Treasury announced other changes, too: •

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Tags: HAMP, Mortgages
Friday, January 27, 2012 2:51 pm
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

More than three years after the U.S. housing market nearly collapsed as a result of reckless lending practices, the Justice Department says it plans to create a new Financial Crimes Unit to investigate mortgage abuses. Great timing, no? President Barack Obama announced the plans for the new unit this week, as regulators worked on the

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Thursday, January 26, 2012 8:06 am
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

The housing crisis and resulting drop in home prices has cost $7 trillion in household wealth, according to a statement this month by the Federal Reserve. Despite recent upticks in sales, it’s only projected to get worse unless the increasing supply of foreclosed properties is removed from the market and more homeowners are prevented from

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