Mortgages Blog

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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Wednesday, August 10, 2011 3:43 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

Have a few ideas about how to solve the housing crisis you’re just dying to share with the people in charge? Step right up: The Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA, is seeking input on creative solutions to get foreclosed homes off the market and has joined with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or

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Monday, August 8, 2011 4:36 pm
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

If the United States loses its triple-A credit rating, mortgage rates will spike — or so you were told. Economists repeatedly warned Congress of a supposed catastrophe for interest rates in the event of a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating. But guess what? After Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S. debt rating late Friday,

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Tags: Mortgages
Monday, August 8, 2011 3:45 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

There’s a new type of landlord in town. Instead of the typical mom or pop next-door who will come over to fix the leaking toilet at a moment’s notice, your rent collector could be someone you never meet: a faceless investment company in a town far, far away. There are a number of players snapping up

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Friday, August 5, 2011 9:40 am
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

The situation isn’t as bad as you thought. That’s the message today’s jobs report sends to investors who had braced for more bad news this morning. The employment report turned out better than economists expected. The U.S. economy added about 117,000 new jobs in July, well above the 46,000 jobs added in June. Economists had

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Thursday, August 4, 2011 1:13 pm
By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com

Mortgage brokers say since rates plummeted this week, they have been swamped with calls from borrowers who want to refinance. But many of these calls don’t have a happy ending. Why? Because millions of borrowers can’t refinance. Nearly one in four homeowners is underwater, meaning the borrower owes more on the mortgage than what the

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