Mortgages Blog

Friday, October 21, 2011 11:36 am
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

How bad is the housing market in the United States? So bad, that two senators — a Republican and a Democrat — have joined forces to push a bill that would offer visas to foreigners who spend $500,000 buying homes in the States. The bill was co-authored by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Mike

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011 3:40 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

Remember back in 2009, when President Barack Obama introduced the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, by touting its goal of helping 3 million to 4 million borrowers keep their homes? The program has actually provided mortgage relief to fewer than a million to date. The Wall Street Journal reported that Treasury Department statistics show the

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Monday, October 17, 2011 3:43 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

During times of economic instability and employment uncertainty, many people wonder if they should pay off their mortgage, especially as they get closer to retirement. One rule of thumb used to be (all rules of thumb seem to be under scrutiny these days) that if you could get a better real rate of return in

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Thursday, October 13, 2011 1:30 pm
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

After numerous unsuccessful attempts to help jump-start the economy, some Fed members still seem to think that pumping more money into the bond market will help solve our problems. Twice, the Fed has decided to print money and go on a bond-buying spree to help save the economy. Twice, the programs — QE1 and QE2

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011 3:24 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

As the housing crisis drags on, the government is seeking to ease out of the mortgage business and let the private sector take control. That worries some analysts who don’t want to see any more potential setbacks in a recovery. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest mortgage companies, have had their troubles since

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011 10:45 am
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

The mortgage banking industry wants to win your trust back. Lenders and servicers realize their reputation is tainted but they say they are determined to reverse that. That was a common theme among lenders who spoke during the first day of the Mortgage Bankers Association, or MBA, annual meeting in Chicago. Many in the crowd of

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Monday, October 10, 2011 4:59 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

Mortgage rates hit a new record low in last week’s Bankrate survey, but homeowners still aren’t biting, as proven by a drop in applications for new mortgages and refinance loans. Homebuyers are holding back, for sure, as home prices keep falling and lenders continue their reluctance to extend a mortgage to anyone without stellar credit

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Monday, October 10, 2011 9:00 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

A federal program to help unemployed homeowners avoid foreclosure has come to a disappointing end with less than half of its $1 billion spent and two-thirds of its anticipated recipients receiving nothing. The Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program, which grew out of Wall Street reform legislation, was to provide forgivable HUD loans for an estimated 30,000

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Friday, October 7, 2011 10:28 am
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

The U.S. labor market has shown signs of improvement. Employers added 103,000 jobs in September. That’s substantially better than the 60,000 jobs many economists had predicted. Good for the economy. Not so good for mortgage rates. Revised figures for August and July also were welcome news. Instead of  the zero new jobs that had been

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011 4:03 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

Last month I wrote about European villas for sale at reduced prices in popular vacation spots. Here in the U.S., it’s much the same story, as brokers report an uptick in interest from homebuyers in luxury enclaves like Palm Beach, Fla. And Vail, Colo. According to the Wall Street Journal, sales in Palm Beach were

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