March 27, 2008 |
U.S. mortgage applications jumped by nearly 50% last week as home loan rates fell after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates and took steps to restore bond-market confidence, an industry trade group said Wednesday. An 82% surge in refinancing applications overshadowed a 10.6% rise in home-purchase loan requests, lifting total applications from the previous week, when home-loan demand sank to its lowest since late December. The Mortgage Bankers Assn.'
February 24, 2008 |
For military families with loved ones in the Middle East, the stress of making ends meet when one spouse is away is difficult enough without the extra burden of payment shock brought on by adjustable-rate-mortgage resets. But there could be some relief for these households if they ask for it. All military personnel on active duty are eligible for help with their mortgages and other debts under the 1940 Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act.
February 9, 2008 |
Darren Hendon worked in the mortgage business for years. He sold many home buyers on adjustable-rate loans with low-interest "teaser" rates that rocket higher, typically after two years. He was laid off last April as the housing slump and credit crisis pinched demand for loans. Now, wearing a crisp-collared shirt emblazoned with the words "Financial predators beware!" Hendon is helping borrowers get out of the kinds of loans he once sold. And, once again, he has plenty of clients.
January 23, 2008 |
For many Americans, the effects of the Federal Reserve's aggressive rate cut will be swift and striking. The average borrower could save hundreds of dollars within a few months -- and the average saver could lose just as much. Fortunately, as far as the strength of the consumer-driven economy is concerned, there are fewer people relying on the income earned by their investments than there are people heavily in debt. With $2.
January 14, 2008 |
The no-worries lending that inflated the housing bubble is resulting in a flood of soured option-ARM loans, adjustable-rate mortgages that allow borrowers to pay so little every month that their loan balances rise rather than fall, sometimes sharply.
January 8, 2008 |
Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. raised the possibility that some sort of "systematic approach" may need to be developed to help homeowners with good credit whose mortgages are resetting to higher monthly payments. Paulson last month brokered an agreement reached by mortgage lenders, servicers and investors that is designed to help sub-prime homeowners avoid foreclosure. Prime borrowers -- people with good credit histories -- aren't eligible for that program, which will freeze interest rates on some mortgages for five years.
January 6, 2008 |
The route to negotiating an adjustable-rate-mortgage reset is an obstacle course, according to nonprofit counseling groups trying to help homeowners. And half the people navigating it don't stop to ask for directions. "The statistic is that 50% of the families experiencing foreclosure never ask for help," said Lori Gay, president and chief executive of Los Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services -- a part of NeighborWorks, a national network of nonprofits that deals with homeownership issues.
December 28, 2007 |
Thought the mortgage meltdown was just a sub-prime affair? Think again. There's another time bomb waiting to explode, experts say: risky loans made to people with good credit. So-called pay-option adjustable-rate mortgages, or option ARMs, were the easiest and most profitable home loans for lenders and brokers to make for much of this decade. Last year, they accounted for about 9% of the volume of all mortgages made in the U.S.
December 21, 2007 |
Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages averaged 6.14% this week, up from 6.11% last week and the highest since the week of Nov. 21, when rates averaged 6.20%, mortgage company Freddie Mac said. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, a popular choice for refinancing, rose to 5.79% from 5.78% last week. For five-year adjustable-rate mortgages, rates increased to 5.90%, compared with 5.89% last week. Rates on one-year adjustable-rate mortgages moved to 5.51% from 5.50% last week.
December 18, 2007 |
The Bush administration's plan to slow the mortgage meltdown gave a lift to Wall Street. But on Hoss Ghitkammanee's street, the signs of hope are harder to find. When he steps out the front door of his Palmdale home, Ghitkammanee sees a four-bedroom house much like his own. Instead of festive holiday reindeer on the lawn, however, the place across the street is decorated with a big, red sign spiked into the dead grass, declaring that the property can be bought at an upcoming foreclosure auction.