Mortgages Blog

Thursday, November 11, 2010 10:00 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

A couple of Washington insiders want to get rid of the mortgage interest tax deduction. Normally that’s not big news, because thousands of Washington insiders would like to raise your taxes (especially if they can call it “reform”) while pocketing your money. But this pair of Washington insiders is more influential than your run-of-the-mill corporate

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Monday, November 8, 2010 10:00 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

As a longtime consultant and partner in his own South Florida mortgage firm, Jason Biro watched in horror as the pin of reality slowly approached the nation’s real estate bubble. Unlike most, he and his wife Carolyn didn’t just hold their breath and hope for the best; they started knitting a safety net called SavingYourAmericanDream.org, a nonprofit

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Friday, November 5, 2010 10:49 am
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

Few things in life are really fair. But one of the most overlooked stories in the U.S. foreclosure crisis may be the strikingly large, and at times grossly unfair, disparities in how homeowners are treated depending on where they live. Consider: Some states handle foreclosures mainly though the courts. Others use a nonjudicial process. Still

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Thursday, November 4, 2010 10:43 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

In trying to stimulate the housing market, two parts of the federal government are working at cross purposes. The Federal Reserve keeps flushing in an effort to get liquidity flowing through the pipes of the economy, while an agency called FHFA keeps clogging them. Yesterday the Fed announced another round of measures designed to depress

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 9:27 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

The Federal Reserve’s rate-setting committee meets today and tomorrow. Around 2:15 p.m. eastern time tomorrow, the Fed will issue its latest rate policy statement, and it will move markets. The prudent thing to do is lock your mortgage rate before tomorrow afternoon. It is quite possible that long-term interest rates will go down after the

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Monday, November 1, 2010 8:29 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

A week ago, I was attending the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual conference, in Atlanta. The dominant issue was regulation. Two years after we, the taxpayers, bailed them out with billions of dollars, the mortgage bankers want to be left alone to do as they please. As we continue to dig out of the mortgage-led real

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Monday, October 25, 2010 10:00 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

This Halloween, the scariest haunted house on my block is the foreclosure. Actually, I have two of them down the street here in Florida. Nice homes, now shuttered, pools dry, slowly in decay. And yes, it scares me to ponder how these foreclosed homes might affect my home’s value. Add the recent foreclosure freeze to

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010 4:40 pm
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

Properties in some stage of foreclosure (loan default, scheduled for action or lender-owned), accounted for 24 percent of all U.S. home sales in the second quarter of 2010, according to the RealtyTrac online foreclosure information service. And that percentage might well have been higher had the homebuyer tax credit not goosed the sales volume. The

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010 10:32 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Q: What do you call someone who completes one semester of college, works for six years as a customer service representative for a company that sells window shades, and then shuffles papers for two years in a bank’s document execution department? A: You call her vice president of loan documentation for Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010 8:45 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Nowadays, it takes six or more weeks for a consumer to get a mortgage, from application to closing. The lender takes more than a month to go through each borrower’s paperwork, making sure that all the documents are genuine and true. It took Bank of America two and a half weeks to confirm that the

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