Mortgages Blog

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 3:58 pm
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

A lot of homeowners face foreclosure. The overwhelming majority of them haven’t been making their house payments. This simple truth has been obscured by the foreclosure paperwork scandal. In 23 states, foreclosures must be accomplished through the court system. (In the other states, lenders handle foreclosures administratively, although homeowners can choose to defend themselves in

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Tags: Mortgages
Thursday, September 30, 2010 10:28 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

The 30-year fixed was unchanged this week, tying last week’s record low of 4.5 percent in Bankrate’s weekly survey. When I say “record low,” I mean the record in the 25-year history of Bankrate’s survey. Mortgage rates were lower back when Elvis Presley was trying to get a record deal. As I point out in

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Tags: Mortgages
Thursday, September 23, 2010 10:41 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Bankrate’s weekly mortgage rate survey is a snapshot. For the weekly survey, our researchers query the same 100 lenders every week — 10 lenders in 10 large markets. It takes just a few hours, and most of the work is done in the morning. The result is a snapshot of a brief moment. Maybe a

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 9:12 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Mortgage rates have hovered near 4.5 percent for weeks. If mortgage rates dropped even lower, would that compel you to buy a house? Probably not, right? If you’re looking for a house now, then mortgage rates are low enough. If you’re not shopping for a house right now, high mortgage rates aren’t the reason. Maybe

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010 8:03 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

The Federal Reserve’s rate-setting committee meets today. The Fed will keep short-term interest rates near zero percent. If there’s any suspense in today’s meeting, it involves whether the central bank will promise to shower more cash upon the economy to stimulate buying and, therefore, employment. Consumers aren’t spending. The result is joblessness. The federal government

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Monday, September 20, 2010 2:42 pm
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

Holden Lewis is on vacation.   States such as Michigan, Arizona and Florida that have been hard hit by unemployment and foreclosures are introducing new programs to help homeowners who can’t manage their mortgage payments. The federally funded programs offer new help to homeowners who may have been disappointed by other federal government assistance programs.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010 4:00 pm
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

Holden Lewis is on vacation for the week. Marcie Geffner will be writing guest posts while he is out. Yet another new mortgage assistance program will offer some California homeowners subsidies and grants to help them make their mortgage payments, reinstate a mortgage that’s in arrears or pay off part of the principal on their

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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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