Mortgages Blog

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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Monday, November 7, 2011 5:08 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

Here’s another factor working against the housing market recovery : appraisals. Real-estate professionals say that the results of home appraisals are increasingly stalling or preventing sales. Fewer than 10 percent of realtors blamed appraisals for killing or delaying a deal prior to 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors. But in 2010, 29 percent

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Monday, November 7, 2011 10:00 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

It has been the elephant in the living room of our national debate since the housing bubble burst five years ago: Why not simply bail out homeowners who are upside down in their homes and facing foreclosure? As Harvard economist Martin S. Feldstein points out in a recent op-ed in The New York Times, nearly

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Friday, November 4, 2011 10:08 am
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

Bad news: The Labor Department says the economy added only 80,000 jobs in October. That’s short of the 95,000 jobs that economists had expected. Good news: The unemployment rate dipped to 9 percent after it had been stuck at 9.1 percent since April. And the August and September job figures were revised to show 102,000

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