November 15, 2012 |
Lenders were offering fixed-rate 30-year home loans to solid borrowers at an average of 3.34% this week, the latest in a series of record low mortgage rates, according to home finance giant Freddie Mac. The borrowers would have paid 0.7% of the loan amount to the lender in upfront fees and discount points to obtain the rate, Freddie said Thursday in its weekly report . The previous record low, set the first week of October, was 3.36% with 0.6%...
October 28, 2012
A new lawsuit against Bank of America illuminates the warped incentives that helped inflate the housing bubble and contributed to its calamitous collapse. Filed last week by the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, it focuses on allegations that Countrywide Financial Corp. (which Bank of America bought in 2008) pumped up the volume of loans it issued and then sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, regardless of their suspect quality. Manhattan U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara contends that Countrywide and Bank of America "cast aside underwriters, eliminated quality controls, incentivized unqualified personnel to cut corners and concealed the resulting defects" when they peddled the loans to Fannie and Freddie.
October 25, 2012 |
Mortgage rates edged higher early this week from their recent record lows, with the average interest on a 30-year fixed-rate loan rising from 3.37% last week to 3.41%, Freddie Mac's latest survey showed. Rates on 15-year fixed home loans averaged 2.72%, up from 2.66%, according to the survey released Thursday morning. It is based on what mortgage lenders say they are offering to solid borrowers with 20% down payments. Rock-bottom rates are supporting the recovering housing market and a big wave of refinance mortgages.
October 25, 2012 |
Bank of America thought it was laying claim to a crown jewel of American mortgage lending when it scooped up Countrywide Financial Corp. at the depths of the housing crisis in 2008. With a name reflecting its ambition, Countrywide transformed itself from a regional lender in Calabasas to a burgeoning powerhouse. It seemed to have perfected the elusive art of making home loans to borrowers with scuffed credit. But the deal quickly became a millstone for Bank of America, U.S. taxpayers and the American economy when Countrywide dissolved in a heap of bad loans and shoddy bookkeeping.
October 24, 2012 |
The federal government has filed another mortgage-fraud lawsuit against Bank of America, contending that defective loans generated by the bank's Countrywide Financial Corp. subsidiary caused mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lose more than $1 billion. A statement Wednesday from the office of U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara in New York said that after the subprime mortgage market collapsed in 2007, Calabasas-based Countrywide devised a loan-processing system called "Hustle" to "process loans at high speed and without quality checkpoints.
October 21, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - No one wants to take the blame for the housing bust in this political season, but scammers and rip-off artists in the hundreds are working overtime to siphon dollars out of the wreckage of the crash and its still-vulnerable victims. You've probably heard about the loan-modification predators who promise financially ailing homeowners that they'll prevent or forestall foreclosures - but are really after thousands of dollars in fees, for which they do nothing. Now the second-largest source of mortgage money in the country - Freddie Mac - is warning about a troubling wave of post-crash fraud: scammers who illegally rent out foreclosed and for-sale homes to unsuspecting consumers.
October 4, 2012 |
Fixed mortgage rates fell to new lows for the second straight week thanks to a Federal Reserve stimulus program, with the interest rate for a 30-year mortgage averaging 3.36%, down from 3.4% a week ago, according to the latest Freddie Mac survey of lenders . Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft said that in addition to the Fed's actions, weak economic reports also were driving rates lower. He cited recent downward revisions to the gross domestic product, scant growth in personal incomes and pending home sales numbers for August that came in below expectations.
September 16, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Call it the political elephant in the room: 1.2 million families across the country are at some stage of foreclosure, 3.8 million homeowners have been foreclosed upon since September 2008, 11.4 million are underwater on their mortgages and $6.5 trillion in home equity has been lost by owners since 2005. Moreover, home building and sales are intimately linked with job creation. Yet the subject of housing policy was virtually a no-show at the Democratic and Republican conventions and in the party platforms.