Mortgages Blog

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 9:11 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Mortgage rates continue to fall, ever lower. Today is the day of Bankrate’s weekly mortgage rate survey. For the third week in a row*, we’ll hit a record low for the 30-year fixed.** In the survey conducted today, the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage should fall to around 4.7 percent, down from last week’s record 4.81

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010 1:23 pm
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Plain vanilla is back, in stealth mode. A year ago, the Obama administration set out its goals for financial reform. One goal was to require mortgage lenders to offer “plain vanilla” loans. The definition of “plain vanilla” wasn’t as narrow as you might expect: It included not only 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, but also hybrid ARMs.

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Monday, June 28, 2010 11:34 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

The June employment report comes out Friday. It would be prudent to lock a mortgage rate before then, but I wouldn’t blame you for taking a gamble. According to Briefing.com, the consensus prediction is that nonfarm payroll jobs decreased by 100,000 this month, and the unemployment rate edged down to 9.8 percent. If Friday’s jobs

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Friday, June 25, 2010 2:21 pm
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

The House and Senate have agreed on a financial regulation overhaul, which will impose some changes on the mortgage industry. Will it help consumers who get home loans? Lenders don’t seem particularly happy about the compromise bill, and consumer advocates seem pleased. I’m not so sure the financial regulation overhaul will help mortgage borrowers. As

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Tags: fed, Mortgages
Friday, June 25, 2010 9:26 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

The economy grew more slowly than expected in the first three months of the year, but prices rose more quickly than expected. This is a mixed report. On balance, I think it points toward higher mortgage rates, but I wouldn’t bet my next paycheck on that prediction. In the first quarter, gross domestic product grew

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Thursday, June 24, 2010 11:02 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Fannie Mae says it won’t let you get a Fannie-backed mortgage for seven years if you strategically default. I doubt this policy will prevent many strategic defaults. (A strategic default happens when you can afford your mortgage payments, but you stop paying and let the house go in foreclosure.) I doubt the effectiveness of this

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Thursday, June 24, 2010 10:51 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

A busy day yesterday, hence the lack of blog posts. The biggest news of the day (well, the biggest news from Bankrate’s perspective) came from the weekly mortgage rate survey. Mortgage rates fell to a modern-day low again. Yet mortgage applications were down. I explained that getting a mortgage might not be as hard as

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010 10:54 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Yesterday I wrote that the lender won’t refinance the mortgage if you owe more than the house is worth. Carol, a loan officer, gently reminded us of the existence of the Home Affordable Refinance Program. HARP is designed to let people refinance even though they are upside-down on their houses. I had forgotten about HARP,

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Monday, June 21, 2010 4:02 pm
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Today I highlight three ways to mess up your mortgage closing. I just finished writing a sequel: five ways to mess up your refi. That should be published next Monday. Not to steal my thunder, but I’ll tell you the No. 1 way that homeowners doom their refinances: They overestimate their homes’ values. We are

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Monday, June 21, 2010 10:43 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

We have an eventful economic calendar this week. One highlight is Wednesday’s interest rate announcement from the Fed’s rate-setting committee. And there are reports on home sales and prices, as well as economic output and inflation. If any of these spring a surprise, there could be a modest effect on mortgage rates. Wednesday’s decision on

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