Mortgages Blog

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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Friday, January 21, 2011 11:05 am
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

Homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments naturally may wonder what’s going to happen when and how they can help themselves remedy their situation. In most cases, there are three basic suggestions that make good common sense, almost without regard to the specific circumstances. 1. Don’t ignore the problem. 2. Be realistic about

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Monday, January 17, 2011 10:00 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

Would you be willing to pay your foreclosure lawyer by taking out a second mortgage on your home? A recent New York Times article explored this new wrinkle being practiced by some Florida law firms that are desperately searching for ways to get paid for challenging bungled foreclosures. While foreclosure lawyers collect some money from

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Tags: Mortgages
Monday, January 10, 2011 5:17 pm
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

Borrowers who can’t make their mortgage payments may wonder why lenders are loathe to accept less in lieu of foreclosure. The reasons can be found in a recent Congressional oversight panel report about the Treasury’s Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP. The report focuses on HAMP, but much of the information is equally applicable to non-HAMP

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