Mortgages Blog

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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Monday, January 3, 2011 10:00 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

It hardly requires a crystal ball to foretell that this sparkling New Year will soon be sullied by the ongoing mortgage mess. Joining last year’s headline-grabbing robosigners and rocket dockets will be this year’s new players: the title insurance companies. As New York Times columnist Ron Lieber recently wrote, title insurance companies will likely be

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Tags: Mortgages
Monday, December 27, 2010 11:05 am
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

It’s a common complaint of struggling homeowners that mortgage loan servicers sometimes initiate a foreclosure while they are trying to get a loan modification. Lenders defend this two-track system as a necessary way to begin the long foreclosures process in case a loan modification isn’t appropriate or viable for that homeowner. Consumer groups and consumer

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Monday, December 20, 2010 10:00 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

Like a rollicking round of Whack-a-Mole, problematic participants in our national foreclosure mess just keep popping up. We’ve been wailing on subprime lenders for two or three years now, followed by foreclosure mills and robosigners and robojudges and rocket dockets. Comes now a new mortgage mole that at least one expert claims deserves a whack:

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Thursday, December 16, 2010 3:12 pm
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

“Failure” may be too harsh a word to describe the shortcomings of the U.S. Treasury’s Home Affordable Modification Program, but HAMP hasn’t exactly been an unqualified success either, judging by the Executive Summary of a 192-page report issued Dec. 14 by a Congressional oversight panel. Here are three snippets, quoting directly from the report: •

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