Read the latest news about mortgages, foreclosures, servicers, loan modifications, HAMP, Dodd-Frank, Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM), mortgage brokers and more.
- Foreclosures Hit 6-Year Low in 2013
Associated Press 16 Jan 2014
According to RealtyTrac, lenders initiated foreclosure proceedings against 747,728 homes in 2013 -- the lowest yearly amount since 2006, before the housing meltdown.
- Housing Bust Hurt Minority Home Values Most
USA Today 16 Jan 2014
The housing bubble hit home values in Hispanic communities the hardest, according to a new report from market researcher Zillow.
- Mortgage Relief Firms Agree to Pay $3.6 Million for Alleged Scam
Los Angeles Times 14 Jan 2014
To resolve allegations that they scammed homeowners nationwide, a cabal of Florida-based firms and their operators have agreed to pay almost $3.6 million.
- Foster Introduces Legislation to Reduce Burden for Underwater Homeowners
Chicago Tribune 14 Jan 2014
U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.) has introduced legislation that would extend tax relief to underwater homeowners who have received loan workouts.
- Richmond Seeks Partners for Plan to Seize Mortgages Using Eminent Domain
Modesto Bee (California) 13 Jan 2014
In California, Richmond City Council members have failed to garner the supermajority of votes needed to enact a controversial plan that would use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages and reduce the amounts borrowers owe. Now, Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and council members who support the plan are trying a different tactic.
- In 15 States, Deeply Underwater Foreclosures Still Reign
Washington Post 13 Jan 2014
Although the residential real estate market is slowly improving, weak spots continue to linger. In 15 states, RealtyTrac reports that the share of "deeply underwater" foreclosures was greater than ...
- Mortgage Delinquencies Reach 6-Year Low, Near Normal Levels
U.S. Finance Post 13 Jan 2014
CoreLogic reports that all of the typical measures of mortgage distress -- serious delinquencies, foreclosures in process, and completed foreclosures -- declined in November. The U.S.
- New Mortgage Rules Aim to Protect Home Buyers, Owners
Washington Post 10 Jan 2014
New rules take effect on Jan. 10 to protect U.S. borrowers from the kind of abusive lending that helped cripple the housing market six years ago. Despite industry concern that the changes will shut lower-income and other Americans out of the opportunity to buy a home, experts say the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's mandates will cultivate sustainable homeownership by lending only to consumers who have the ability to repay their mortgage.
- Wall Street Predicts $50 Billion Bill to Settle U.S. Mortgage Suits
New York Times 10 Jan 2014
Wall Street banks anticipate that they will have to pay almost $50 billion to ease the scrutiny of federal authorities investigating their role in the mortgage meltdown, according to a confidential analysis of the industry's potential legal exposure.
- CFPB May Revisit Small Bank QM Exemptions
American Banker 08 Jan 2014
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may look at widening exemptions for small lenders from its qualified mortgage rule taking effect on Jan. 10, said agency head Richard Cordray. During a discussion hosted by the National Association of Realtors on Jan. 7, Cordray said the CFPB tried to design the exemption to avoid burdening smaller lenders but was willing to tweak the requirements once the agency determines the rule's impact.
- CFPB Releases New Consumer Resources to Better Handle Rule Changes
National Mortgage Professional 07 Jan 2014
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has made more resources available to consumers related to the new protections afforded by its mortgage rules. The educational materials include sample letters that consumers can send to their mortgage servicers to request information or to correct an error.
- Foreclosures to Increase as US Housing Recovers
Live Trading News 07 Jan 2014
RealtyTrac predicts that foreclosures will increase as the housing market recovers, mainly because lenders will accelerate the foreclosure process to take advantage of higher prices and more willing and able buyers.
- Regulator Signals Direction Change in Housing Policy
Wall Street Journal 06 Jan 2014
The new regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac likely will focus more on ensuring access to mortgage credit than on curtailing the role of the government-sponsored enterprises or other policy goals.
- Will It Be Easier to Get a Mortgage in 2014?
The Street 03 Jan 2014
Tighter controls on mortgage lending take effect this year, and the prospect has stoked fears of a drastic reduction in credit as banks adjust to the new reality.
- Adjustable-Rate Mortgages Regain Popularity as Prices, Rates Rise
Los Angeles Times 01 Jan 2014
Adjustable-rate mortgages fell out of favor with borrowers when the housing market came crashing down but last year started what could turn into a full-fledged comeback. With property prices and mortgage rates creeping up in 2012, more consumers saw ARMs as a way to keep their monthly payments in a workable range.
- Mortgage Tax Break Expires Despite Bipartisan Support in Congress
Los Angeles Times 31 Dec 2013
To the dismay of housing advocates, industry groups, and U.S. legislators, a tax break for distressed homeowners who mortgages were written down expired on Dec. 31. The 2007 measure exempted borrowers from federal taxes they normally would owe on assistance received from banks, primarily in the form of short sales and forgiven home loan debt. Although the residential property market is in recovery, housing advocates contend that the tax break put in place after the market crash is still needed.
- Mortgage Program Pans Out
Wall Street Journal 31 Dec 2013
The federal Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), launched not long after President Obama took office in 2009, is proving to be one of the administration's more successful efforts in addressing the country's foreclosure epidemic. Nearly 3 million homeowners -- nearly a third of whom were upside down on their mortgages -- have been able to refinance under the initiative
- New Maryland Bill Could Shorten Debt Collection After Foreclosure
Washington Post 31 Dec 2013
Maryland legislators are looking at drastically reducing the time that debt collectors have to pursue a deficiency judgment -- that is, to take borrowers to court for leftover debt on foreclosed homes. Collectors there currently have up to 12 years to sue for outstanding mortgage debt after a foreclosure, but the proposed bill would narrow the window to just 180 days.
- CFPB Increases Asset-Size Exemption Threshold for Lenders
MortgageOrb.com 31 Dec 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has made an annual adjustment regarding which mortgage lenders may be excused from reporting Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data to the federal government.
- Mortgage-Assistance Events Not a Cure-All for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure
Washington Post 30 Dec 2013
A study by the Richmond Fed suggests that mortgage-aid events often failed to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.