Mortgages Blog

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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Wednesday, January 25, 2012 1:43 pm
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

A $25 billion settlement agreement between regulators and five major banks could bring some — but not enough — relief to struggling borrowers. A draft of the settlement was completed this week but has not been approved yet. According to an Associated Press report, this is what the settlement could look like: The settlement would

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012 10:40 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

We need interpreters to explain what our politicians really mean, like the Kremlinologists used to do whenever a Soviet leader delivered a speech (with or without shoe-pounding). In last night’s State of the Union speech, the president said: (R)esponsible homeowners shouldn’t have to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get

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Tags: Mortgages
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 11:55 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Was Newt Gingrich “working as an influence peddler” on behalf of mortgage titan Freddie Mac, as Mitt Romney charges? Yesterday, The Gingrich Group released its 2006 contract with Freddie Mac. Here is the contract’s complete description of The Gingrich Group’s “scope of services:” “Consultant will provide consulting and related services as requested by Freddie Mac’s

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Tags: Mortgages
Monday, January 23, 2012 5:35 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

Consumer spending on home remodeling projects rose slightly last year, for the first time since 2006. The long, slow housing recovery is partly to blame. Experts say many homeowners who want to trade up or who are unable to relocate for a job are realizing they can’t sell in this market and have decided to

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Friday, January 20, 2012 3:14 pm
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

Federal and state regulators are close to reaching a settlement with some of the nation’s largest lenders over their shady foreclosure practices. What’s in it for borrowers? About one million borrowers could receive mortgage relief in the form of loan principal reductions, according to reports citing U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan. Donovan

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012 6:32 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

Applications for mortgages jumped 23 percent last week, largely due to homeowners taking advantage of record-low rates to refinance, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The refinance portion of total mortgage activity was 82 percent. But as a Bankrate article points out, although rates are low, mortgage fees are about to rise. Congress is set

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012 10:52 am
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

The Federal Reserve may decide at its meeting next week to give another boost to the housing market with a third round of quantitative easing. Back in 2008, the Fed announced QE1 to keep interest rates low, which involved buying mortgage-backed securities and mortgage debt. In 2009, the program was expanded to include government debt. Then

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