April 24, 2014 |
Fixed mortgage rates edged higher this week, with Freddie Mac reporting that lenders were offering 30-year loans to solid borrowers at an average of 4.33%, up from 4.27% a week ago. The average for a 15-year fixed loan rose from 3.33% to 3.39%, the McLean, Va.-based home finance company said Thursday . Start rates for variable-rate loans were unchanged. Helped by stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve, the 30-year rate dropped below 3.5% in late 2012, but as recovery set in it rose back above 4.5% by the middle of last year.
April 23, 2014 |
Even though the recent financial crisis is barely in the rearview mirror, risk is starting to build once again in both the U.S. mortgage and housing markets. Contrary to the prevailing view that only borrowers with pristine credit records can get a mortgage these days, many risky loans are still being made. A new index published by the International Center on Housing Risk at the American Enterprise Institute measures this risk month by month, based on about three-quarters of all home-purchase loans extended across the country.
April 16, 2014 |
Socked by mortgage-related legal expenses, Bank of America Corp. lost $276 million during the first quarter, sending its stock down sharply. The quarterly loss, its first in 2½ years, came despite lower loan losses and better than expected results in fixed-income trading, a slowing business that hurt rival JPMorgan Chase & Co. during the quarter. The results included $6 billion in litigation expense, much of it related to toxic bonds backed by housing-boom mortgages from Countrywide Financial Corp., the aggressive Calabasas lender that nearly collapsed before being acquired by Bank of America in 2008.
April 15, 2014 |
With lawmakers showing little enthusiasm for an ambitious proposal by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) to overhaul the byzantine U.S. tax code, Congress has to decide what to do about dozens of temporary tax breaks that expired Dec. 31. Among them is an exemption for forgiven mortgage debt that's an essential part of a broader federal effort to solve a nagging problem, namely the spate of defaults caused by the recession....
April 13, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Renewal of important expired federal tax benefits for homeowners took a major step forward recently, but the route to final congressional approval is beginning to look longer - and potentially bumpier - than previously expected. Here's why. The Senate Finance Committee overwhelmingly approved a package of tax code goodies that includes a two-year reauthorization of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, plus similar extensions for deductions of mortgage insurance premiums and energy-saving improvements to homes.
April 11, 2014 |
Weakness in the mortgage and bond-trading businesses socked JPMorgan Chase & Co. with disappointing first-quarter earnings, a signal that the start of this year was a tough time for the banking industry. JPMorgan, the nation's largest bank, is trying to regain momentum after making record legal settlements in late 2013. It reported Friday that it earned $5.27 billion, or $1.28 per share, down 19% compared with $6.53 billion, $1.59 per share, in the first quarter of last year. Revenue fell 8% to $23.9 billion.