Mortgages Blog

Monday, November 21, 2011 4:42 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

In 2009, when the government bought mortgage-backed securities, or MBS, to help stop the decline in home prices, the tactic worked to some degree. But although there’s some talk of repeating the tactic, Christopher Waller, research director of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, doesn’t think it will work this time around. “Now, we don’t see

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Monday, November 21, 2011 10:00 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

Two studies just released confirm what we already know: we’re less than halfway out of the foreclosure mess. But one of them drills down deeper to expose a racial subtext to the story. According to new data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, the rate of borrowers who have fallen three or more months behind in

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Saturday, November 19, 2011 9:00 am
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

When Standard and Poor’s downgraded the United States’ credit rating on Aug. 5, many analysts expected Uncle Sam’s borrowing costs to rise sharply. That hasn’t happened in the short term, though it’s still a possibility in the longer term. The yield on the 10-year Treasury recently fell below 2 percent (as a point of reference, it was

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Friday, November 18, 2011 2:15 pm
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Both houses of Congress have approved an increase in the maximum size of a  mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration, or FHA. The measure now goes to President Barack Obama’s desk. Neither the Obama administration nor congressional Republicans think it’s a good idea to re-raise FHA loan limits. But increased limits are likely to be signed

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Tags: Mortgages
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 4:45 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

One promising piece of news in the housing crisis for developers and investors is rental property, which has seen a surge as homeownership rates have fallen off. As builders seek ways to tailor rental units to the needs of renters, the Wall Street Journal reports that they are increasingly looking at single mothers. Census data

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 10:46 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

For underwater homeowners who want to refinance their mortgages, the details of HARP 2 are coming into focus. HARP 2 is a liberalized revision of the Home Affordable Refinance Program. (See Bankrate’s HARP page.) HARP’s goal was to allow homeowners to refinance their loans, even if they owed more than their homes were currently worth.

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Monday, November 14, 2011 5:05 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

The purpose of the Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, is being debated as Congress wrangles over whether to restore higher mortgage limits for federally insured loans. In 2008, limits were raised from $417,000 to as high as $729,750 in expensive areas of the country in order to reflect higher home values. That limit dropped to

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Thursday, November 10, 2011 5:00 pm
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

Three national mortgage companies have agreed to play by the rules when foreclosing on people’s homes. They’ve promised to not lie when they sign foreclosure documents, not to foreclose when a borrower is obtaining a mortgage modification and not to charge improper fees to borrowers. Isn’t that nice of them? The companies — Morgan Stanley,

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011 5:09 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

How about a little good news on the housing front, for a change? Signs of economic improvement were reported in 30 housing markets, up from 23 markets a month ago, as tracked by the National Association of Home Builders, NAHB, and First American Financial Corp. Texas, in particular, fared well with eight of its cities

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011 3:56 pm
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

After occupying streets and parks in various parts of the country, Occupy Wall Street activists plan their next move: occupying foreclosures. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Occupy Oakland activists met this week to discuss not whether to occupy empty homes, but when and how to do it. One strategy the group is considering is

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