March 30, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Can you be charged interest on your mortgage even after you've fully paid it off? Can the meter keep running when you owe the bank nothing - your principal balance is zero? Surprise! Much to the chagrin of large numbers of home sellers and refinancers, the answer for years has been yes. If your loan was insured by the Federal Housing Administration and you paid it off before maturity, at closing you'd be expected to cough up a full month's interest, no matter what day of the month you actually settled.
March 26, 2014 |
Putting to rest one of its biggest remaining headaches, Bank of America Corp. has agreed to pay $9.5 billion to settle claims by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The government-sponsored mortgage finance giants had demanded compensation from the Charlotte, N.C., bank for losses on securities backed by faulty loans issued during the housing boom. The bank said the settlement, announced Wednesday, resolves all claims against BofA by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the agency that regulates Fannie and Freddie.
March 23, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Here's some good news for homeowners worried that Congress will fail again to renew popular tax benefits for use in 2014 - especially those allowing for mortgage debt forgiveness, write-offs for energy-saving improvements and mortgage insurance premiums. Though there has been no formal announcement, the Senate Finance Committee under its new chairman, Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), expects to take up a so-called "extenders" package sometime this spring. "This is high on [Wyden's]
March 17, 2014 |
California victims of alleged foreclosure abuses will get $268 million in relief from a $2.1-billion national settlement with Ocwen Financial Corp., the nation's largest non-bank provider of mortgage customer service. Ocwen broke state law by improperly denying loan modifications, failing to honor modifications granted by prior servicers and charging unauthorized fees, according to the California Department of Business Oversight. "Californians should not lose their homes because of deceptive and poorly executed mortgage servicing practices," Commissioner of Business Oversight Jan Lynn Owen said Monday in a news release.
March 16, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The economy may be growing at a frustratingly slow pace, but one piece of it is booming: American homeowners' equity holdings - the market value of their houses minus their mortgage debts - soared by nearly $2.1 trillion last year to $10 trillion. Big numbers, you say, and hard to grasp. But look at it this way: Thanks to rising prices and equity levels, about 4 million owners around the country last year were able to climb out of the financial tar pit of the housing bust - negative equity.
March 14, 2014 |
Three community groups sued Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, demanding he restore more than $350 million in mortgage settlement funds that were used to plug state budget holes two years ago. The money - from California's slice of the $25 billion national mortgage settlement with banks in 2012 - was supposed to fund housing counseling and foreclosure relief programs. But with the state facing a $16-billion budget deficit that spring, Brown diverted it to the state's general fund and to pay down interest on housing bonds.