Mortgages Blog

Friday, September 10, 2010 1:18 pm
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

The Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, has opened its doors for the “short refinance” program that’s supposed to help homeowners who owe more than their home is worth. But skeptics — including my colleague Holden Lewis, who is on vacation this week — have already taken a dim view of the short refi program as

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Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:27 pm
By Kay Bell · Bankrate.com

That headline isn’t anything new. There’s been a ton of confusion about the first-time homebuyer tax credit, which has been revised what seems like a million times since it was created back in 2008. OK, it’s only been four times, but who’s really counting? The tax break is supposed to come to an end this

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Tags: IRS, tax, Taxes
Thursday, September 2, 2010 9:15 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

The benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell again this week to a modern-day record low. Rates haven’t been this low in more than 50 years. Many borrowers will discover that Fannie and Freddie add fees that make a mortgage more costly. The generic term is risk-based pricing. As I explain in the mortgage analysis in

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Thursday, August 19, 2010 3:50 pm
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Hoisted from the comments to this post about a three-day shopping period for mortgages, reader Debra James explains why she reluctantly decided not to refinance into a 15-year mortgage, even though she will forfeit the application fee. Instead, she will keep the current mortgage and make extra payments that would pay off the loan in

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010 10:05 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Mortgage maven Christopher Cruise summarizes yesterday’s housing conference in D.C.: My overall impression of the conference is that there will be changes and that maybe, maybe sometime in the next decade or so, Fannie and Freddie will cease to exist, or their functions will be split and half-retained in government and the other half fully

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Tags: Mortgages
Wednesday, August 18, 2010 9:00 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

I didn’t make it to yesterday’s housing finance conference in Washington, but I had eyes and ears there: Christopher Cruise, a mortgage loan officer trainer, erstwhile loan officer, and part-time journalist. After the conference, Cruise caught up with Bill Gross, co-chief investment officer of PIMCO, the giant bond fund. In opening remarks, Gross had said

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010 2:32 pm
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Mortgage bond yields have been rising today, maybe enough to spur some lenders to hike mortgage rates by one-eighth of a percentage point. Pin it on rising stock prices, which compel investors to take money out of bonds so they can buy stocks. The result is rising bond yields and rising mortgage rates. Today there

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010 8:39 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Regulators want to give you the right to cancel a mortgage application within three days and get a refund of the fees you paid. The little-noticed proposal was included in a 930-page document that the Federal Reserve published Monday in the Federal Register. Here’s the proposal; it’s a 6.9-megabyte PDF file. The Fed’s Proustian tome

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Monday, August 16, 2010 10:45 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

New York, as it often does, occupies the most expensive spot in Bankrate’s annual closing costs survey. Arkansas had the lowest closing costs in this year’s survey. Texas is the second-most expensive state for closing costs. It often is. New York and Texas usually find themselves in the top two, for a number of reasons.

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Tags: Mortgages
Monday, August 16, 2010 9:56 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

The economic calendar is rather light this week. In the mortgage world, this week’s economic calendar highlights come at 8:30 a.m. eastern time on Tuesday, when the feds come out with reports on housing, as well as wholesale prices. The Census will issue its report on housing starts, building permits and housing completions in July.

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