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BUSINESS
February 11, 2011 | By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
The average rate on a 30-year mortgage zoomed past 5% this week, reaching the highest level in nine months. Home-loan rates have been surging since November, tracking yields on Treasury bonds, as the economy has shown increasing signs of strength. This week, lenders have been offering 30-year fixed-rate home loans at an average of 5.05% to low-risk borrowers willing to pay an upfront fee equal to 0.7% of the loan balance, Freddie Mac said Thursday. The rate was up from a record low 4.17% in November ?
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BUSINESS
June 17, 2011 | By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
Mortgage rates leveled off this week after falling for eight weeks in a row, according to a Freddie Mac survey of lenders. The average interest rate on 30-year home loans edged up to 4.5% from 4.49% last week, Freddie Mac said Thursday. The rate is down from 4.91% in mid-April. The average for a 15-year fixed loan fell a notch to 3.67% from 3.68%. For both term lengths, upfront fees averaged 0.7% of the amount being borrowed. Freddie Mac's survey asks lenders the rates they are offering to people with good credit and a down payment of at least 20%, or at least that much home equity for a loan refinancing.
BUSINESS
August 16, 2013 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - You may have seen two sets of news reports recently that didn't quite add up: First, President Obama called for the liquidation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the country's largest providers of funds for home mortgages. Then, Fannie Mae announced its sixth straight quarterly profit and said it was sending $10.2 billion in dividends to the Treasury. Freddie Mac also reported a hefty profit - $5 billion over the previous three months - and said it is providing $4.4 billion in dividends to the government.
BUSINESS
December 4, 2012 | By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
Sales of government-backed mortgage securities rose in November to the highest level in more than three years, stoked by a refinance boom and a rush by banks to avoid a fee increase from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Nearly $176 billion in bonds backed by fixed-rate home loans were issued in November, up from $132 billion in October and the most since $229 billion in June 2009, MortgageDaily.com reported Monday, citing the data firm eMBS Inc. ...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2012 | By Abby Sewell and Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times
Four years after Countrywide Financial became a symbol of the mortgage meltdown, the company and its questionable dealings have become a potent political issue in the Santa Clarita congressional district held by Republican Howard "Buck" McKeon. Congressional investigators allege that McKeon and Rep. Elton Gallegly, a Republican colleague whose neighboring district includes much of Ventura County, got cut-rate home loans under a Countrywide VIP program known as "Friends of Angelo," named for the now-defunct Calabasas lender's former chief executive, Angelo Mozilo.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 19, 2002 | David Rosenzweig, Times Staff Writer
A Studio City man who had been a fugitive for nine years has pleaded guilty to orchestrating a scheme to obtain more than $20 million in fraudulent home loans, the U.S. attorney's office said Friday. William Lee Cranston, 34, had been on the run since 1993, living under assumed names in Mexico, Florida and Las Vegas. Apparently confident that he had successfully eluded investigators, Cranston returned to Los Angeles about two years ago.
BUSINESS
August 27, 2010 | By E. Scott Reckard and Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times
Adding to worries about the economy's direction, the number of newly delinquent home loans has risen for two straight quarters in what could foreshadow another surge in unemployment-related foreclosures. The consequences of the increase in fresh delinquencies are uncertain. But the rise presents a troubling counterpoint to positive trends in severely delinquent loans and foreclosures, which, although still at very high levels, have begun to decline, the Mortgage Bankers Assn. said Thursday.
BUSINESS
April 25, 2014 | By Tim Logan
Fewer home sales and rising interest rates have led to the nation's lowest level of mortgage lending in 14 years. Just $235 billion in home loans were started in the first three months of the year, the lowest figure recorded in a quarter since 2000, according to data from trade publication Inside Mortgage Finance. That's down nearly a quarter from the end of 2013 and more than half from the same period last year, when the housing market was heating up, especially in Southern California.
BUSINESS
October 21, 2010 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
Major banks and mortgage lenders are coming down with another legal headache in their efforts to seize properties from homeowners in default. A little-known electronic database formed by them 15 years ago to track ownership changes on millions of mortgages is being challenged in court by desperate borrowers alleging it wrongly filed foreclosure actions against them. The cases against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., known in the industry as MERS, highlight the shortcuts taken by the financial industry during the housing bubble.
BUSINESS
May 3, 2012 | By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
Wells Fargo & Co. has become so dominant in the mortgage business that major investors and federal regulators are worried that a financial hiccup at the giant bank could roil the already beleaguered real estate market. Wells originates 34% of all home loans - more than the combined total of the next seven biggest mortgage lenders. That's why regulators are closely watching the San Francisco bank, Paul J. Miller, a former Federal Reserve bank examiner, said Thursday. "The problem is there's a lot of systemic risk when one company has that much of the market," said Miller, an analyst specializing in mortgages at FBR Capital Markets & Co. Wells Fargo's balance sheet is viewed by analysts as being among the strongest of the nation's banks, and a major distress in its mortgage business is seen as unlikely.
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