May 16, 2013 |
Mortgage rates rose this week, with a widely watched survey reporting that lenders were offering 30-year fixed-rate loans at an average of 3.51%, up from a near-record low of 3.35% two weeks ago. The survey, released Thursday by mortgage financier Freddie Mac, show rates following U.S. Treasury bond yields higher on signs of a stronger economy. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note has risen about a quarter of a percentage point over the last two weeks as investors optimistic about the economy have poured money into stocks and out of bonds.
April 29, 2013 |
A growing number of Indian tribes are getting into the payday loan business, saying they just want to raise revenue for their reservations while helping cash-strapped consumers nationwide. But federal officials suspect that, at least in some cases, tribes are being paid to offer their sovereign immunity to non-Indian payday lenders that are trying to dodge state regulations. So far, the tribes have prevailed over California and other states that have tried to assert authority over tribal lending operations.
April 27, 2013 |
Michele and Russell Poland's credit was shot, but they managed to buy their suburban dream home anyway. After a business bankruptcy and a home foreclosure, they turned to a rare option in this era of tightfisted banking - a subprime loan. The Polands paid nearly $10,000 in upfront fees for the privilege of securing a mortgage at 10.9% interest. And they had to raid their retirement account for a 35% down payment. Most borrowers would balk at such stiff terms. But with prices rising, the Polands wanted to snag a four-bedroom home in Temecula near top-rated schools for their 5-year-old son. By later this year, they figure, they'll be able to refinance into a standard loan.
April 23, 2013 |
The number of California homes entering foreclosure plunged in the first quarter, the result of an improving economy, rising home prices and strict new state regulations on lenders. During the year's first three months, new foreclosure actions in the Golden State dropped 51% from the previous quarter and 67% from a year ago, the real estate firm DataQuick reported Tuesday. The quarter's 18,567 default notices were the fewest in more than seven years. The sharp decline coincides with state regulations on banks, meant to curb foreclosure abuses, that took effect Jan. 1. But economic factors also played a big role in the declines, experts say. "If you were going to lose your job, you would have lost your job a long time ago," said Richard Green, director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
April 23, 2013 |
New California foreclosure actions posted a sharp plunge in the first quarter to levels not seen since the last housing boom. Lenders filed 18,567 mortgage default notices on California houses and condominiums during the first three months of the year. That was a 51.4% drop from the previous quarter and a 67.0% drop from the first quarter of 2012, according to real estate firm DataQuick. The filing of a notice of default is the first step in California's formal foreclosure process.
April 19, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Using your home as an ATM no longer is a financial option, but the tools that allowed owners to pull out massive amounts of money during the boom years - equity credit lines and second mortgages - are making a comeback. Banking and credit analysts say the dollar volumes of new originations of home equity loans are rising again, significantly so in areas of the country that are experiencing post-recession rebounds in property values. These include California, Arizona, New Mexico, most of the Atlantic coastal states, the Pacific Northwest, Texas and parts of the Midwest.
April 18, 2013 |
A bill to limit payday lending that The Times' editorial board championed Monday died in a state Senate committee Wednesday, after several lawmakers said they feared the bill would cut off hard-pressed consumers from a ready source of cash. To which I say, really? The measure, SB 515, sought to do three things. First, it would have barred lenders from giving more than six payday loans to any individual in a year. To enforce that restriction, it would have required the state to set up a database (at the lenders' expense)
April 17, 2013 |
A bill before the California Legislature would restrict the number of payday loans to any one borrower - an attempt to break the "debt cycle" that ensnares some of the state's poorest residents. Senate Bill 515 would bar the high-cost, short-term lenders from making more than six loans a year to any borrower. The bill, set to go before the Senate Banking and Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, also extends the minimum term of a payday loan to 30 days from 15. "We need to recognize that these low-income families are desperate to get by, and they are particularly vulnerable to this type of debt trap," said state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara)
April 9, 2013 |
As part of a settlement with federal regulators, 13 lenders this week are starting to pay out $3.6 billion to more than 4 million troubled borrowers whose homes were in foreclosure proceedings in 2009 and 2010. A chart released Tuesday by the regulators showed that most of the borrowers would receive $300, the minimum allowed under the settlement terms. The maximum of $125,000 would go to 1,135 borrowers whose homes were seized while they were serving in the military or who were current on their payments.
April 8, 2013 |
ATHENS - Greek bank stocks plunged 30% on Monday, the maximum allowed in a day, after plans to merge the country's two biggest lenders were suddenly frozen. The surprise freeze came amid testy talks between the government and international lenders, and renewed fears about Greece's efforts to fix its faltering economy. The European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund are keeping Greece afloat with a multibillion-dollar rescue package in exchange for strict fiscal reforms.