Mortgages Blog

Monday, August 29, 2011 9:00 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

To cap off a nightmarish week on the housing front, everybody’s favorite ratings service Standard & Poor’s says the “shadow market” of foreclosures and distressed homes will haunt our neighborhoods for at least four more years. S&P says that although the shadow market peaked in the first quarter of 2008, it’s taking increasingly longer to

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Friday, August 26, 2011 3:22 pm
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

The Obama administration is discussing a massive refinance plan to help millions of homeowners refinance at today’s historically low rates and avoid foreclosures, The New York Times reported this week. Wait, wasn’t that what HARP was supposed to have done when the government launched it in 2009? HARP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, was designed

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Tags: HARP, Mortgages
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 10:14 am
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

Bad news for the housing market just keeps coming. This morning, the Commerce Department reported that new home sales slipped 0.7 percent in July, a bigger-than-anticipated decline. The seasonally adjusted 298,000-unit annual rate is less than the 310,000 units forecast by economists and a five-month low. The supply of new homes on the market in

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Monday, August 22, 2011 3:25 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

Mortgage rates across the board plummeted to the lowest level in the history of Freddie Mac’s weekly rate survey, to 4.15 percent for a 30-year fixed. But the low rates, coupled with low home prices, are unlikely to kick-start a housing market still stuck in the doldrums. Borrowers with good credit and a large down

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Monday, August 22, 2011 11:05 am
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

The delinquency rate for residential mortgage loans increased in the second quarter. About 8.44 percent of the more than 43 million outstanding mortgages in the United States are past due, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Delinquency Survey. That’s an increase of 12 basis points compared to the last quarter and it does not

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Friday, August 19, 2011 9:00 am
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

More than a year has passed since the government launched the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program, or HAFA, a short-sale program that provides incentives to lenders and homeowners in an effort to avoid foreclosures. But few have benefited from the program. With so many homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages, you would think  millions of borrowers would

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Thursday, August 18, 2011 1:10 pm
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

If you plan to refinance or take out a big mortgage but have not applied yet, you might have to work a little harder to get the lowest rate. Three of the nation’s biggest lenders have stopped taking applications under the current higher loan limits. The new loan limits won’t take effect until Oct. 1.,

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011 3:39 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

Home prices and mortgage rates are low, the number of potential renters is increasing and the stock market is in the midst of bear-market gyrations. So is this a good time to invest in rental real estate? Investors seeking ways to diversify their stock portfolios are eyeing real estate-buying opportunities ahead of potentially higher borrowing

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011 10:16 am
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

The latest housing starts depict a market that remains gridlocked by a glut of unsold homes and a weak economy. According to the Commerce Department, permits to build new homes in July fell 3.2 percent and the number of new homes being built slipped 1.5 percent. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the

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Monday, August 15, 2011 9:00 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

While the government explores new ways to rent foreclosures and jump-start loan modifications to solve the housing bust, a little-known and underused Federal Housing Administration program is quietly helping buyers purchase foreclosures by wrapping the cost of repairs into their mortgage loan. The FHA’s stealth program, known officially as the 203(k) Rehabilitation Home Mortgage Insurance

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