Mortgages Blog

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 12:19 pm
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

The sharp rise in mortgage interest rates has presented a challenge for borrowers who want to buy a home or refinance an existing mortgage, but don’t like the slightly higher payment they now face. One popular solution is a hybrid mortgage, which has a lower fixed rate for three, five, seven or 10 years, after which

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Monday, February 14, 2011 10:00 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

When the banking bigs and the feds decided to turn the page and sweep “robogate” under the rug last December, it left me wanting. Not for anything as corny as justice or compassion, though both would go a long way in this foreclosure quagmire in which we’ll likely spend the 20-teens. What I was missing

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Friday, February 11, 2011 4:35 pm
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

The Obama administration wants to make mortgages more expensive and harder to get. In exchange, taxpayers would be less likely to bail out mortgage companies or delinquent homeowners. That’s the essence of the Treasury Department’s memo to Congress titled “Reforming America’s Housing Finance Market.” I’ll deconstruct the key paragraph from the introduction, sentence by sentence.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011 12:46 pm
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

The debate over the success or failure of the federal government’s Home Affordable Mortgage Program, or HAMP, entered a new phase two weeks ago, when Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, introduced a bill that would all but eliminate the entire program. The bill, H.R. 430, HAMP Repeal and Deficit Reduction Act of 2011, would end any

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Friday, February 4, 2011 9:05 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

A brutal employment report today bodes well for mortgage rates. Borrowers, rejoice in the bad news! The economy added 36,000 jobs in January, according to the Labor Department. Private nonfarm employers added by 50,000 jobs, while government jobs shrank by 14,000. This is worse than expected: the consensus prediction had been an increase of around

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Thursday, February 3, 2011 3:37 pm
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

The nonfarm payroll report for January will be released at 8:30 a.m. eastern time Friday, and you should consider locking a mortgage rate before then. According to Briefing.com, the consensus prediction is that the economy grew by a net 148,000 jobs in January. If the nonfarm payrolls number is higher than that, then mortgage rates

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Monday, January 31, 2011 10:00 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

Here in the Sunshine State, we like to punctuate life’s more absurd moments with the phrase, “Only in Florida!” My recent quest to answer a reader’s mortgage question led me to Bill Sanchez, who quite by accident provided me with one of those “Only in Florida” moments. Sanchez is the vice president of Tampa Bay’s

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Tags: Mortgages
Friday, January 28, 2011 10:24 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

“We conclude this financial crisis was avoidable.” That’s the key sentence in the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission’s final report, issued yesterday. It’s the most controversial sentence, too. That’s why the commission issued  three final reports: a majority report written by the Democratic-appointed members, and two dissenting reports written by Republican-appointed members. The majority report concludes:

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Tags: Mortgages
Wednesday, January 26, 2011 10:01 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

The president’s State of the Union speech didn’t mention housing policy or mortgages. Nor did the two Republican responses (which is one more than Democrats get when a Republican is president). But there were some notable comments about regulation. I was disappointed by President Barack Obama’s know-nothing laughter-and-applause line about salmon: “The Interior Department is

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Tags: Mortgages
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 4:54 pm
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Two — actually, three — home price indicators delivered the news today that house values continue to fall. In the S&P/Case-Shiller composite of 20 large metro areas, house prices fell 1.6 percent in November 2010, compared to prices in November 2009. In nine of those 20 markets — Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami,

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