Read the latest news about mortgages, foreclosures, servicers, loan modifications, HAMP, Dodd-Frank, Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM), mortgage brokers and more.
- 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 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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-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.
- Foreclosure Bills Aim to Remedy Damage to Wisconsin Cities
Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel 29 Dec 2013
Wisconsin Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) is sponsoring a package of five foreclosure-related bills to address the state's ongoing housing issues.
- New Mortgage Rules Won't Knock Out Many Borrowers
BusinessWeek 27 Dec 2013
Contrary to some concerns, prospective home buyers who truly can afford to make a purchase are not likely to encounter barriers to financing as a result of the new qualified mortgage (QM) standard.
- Charges Brought Against Ten in Boca-Based Loan Modification Scam
Palm Beach Post 26 Dec 2013
FHA All Day -- a loan modification operation based in Boca Raton, Fla. -- is facing federal charges for allegedly scamming thousands of distressed homeowners out of millions of dollars.
- Quinn Signs Illinois Foreclosure Protection Law
Associated Press 26 Dec 2013
Declaring that families in the state "must have access to the tools they need to protect their home," Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn barred lenders from selling a residence if the owner is seeking federal home-loan aid.
- Underwater Homeowners Could Face Extra Tax Burden in 2014
Washington Post 26 Dec 2013
Congress has yet to act on the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, the expiration of which at the end of this year could leave distressed borrowers with an additional financial burden in 2014.
- Mortgage Performance Strengthened in Third Quarter: OCC
American Banker 24 Dec 2013
New data from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency reflects improvement in the mortgage sector. According to OCC, the share of home loans current and performing in the third quarter hit 91 percent -- up from 88.6 percent a year earlier.
- PNC to Atone for Loan Bias by National City
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 23 Dec 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's two-year investigation into lending practices at National City Bank has ended with charges of loan discrimination against African-American and Hispanic borrowers. According to the probe, the bank charged about 75,000 minority customers roughly 1 percentage point more in interest and fees on home loans between 2002 and 2008.
- State's Foreclosure Mediation Lacks Teeth, Advocates Say
Baltimore Sun 20 Dec 2013
Although a 2010 law in Maryland granted homeowners in foreclosure the right to mediation, legal advocates say that it has not been very helpful and that some of the practices that the law was meant to stop are still going on. "They're more of a status conference than an actual negotiation or substantive discussion about ways in which a home can be saved," said Owen Jarvis, a staff attorney for the St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center.
- Report: Banks Confuse Borrowers Seeking Help
Orange County Register (CA) 19 Dec 2013
Banks should improve their communications with homeowners seeking mortgage relief, according to UC Irvine law professor Katherine Porter, who is the California monitor for the $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement. The 2012 deal compels the largest U.S. lenders to address mortgage and foreclosure abuses; but in a recent report, Porter said homeowners often are confused by letters from lenders. She cites ongoing problems for homeowners that include vague requests by banks for missing paperwork and poorly worded explanations of why loan modification applications were declined.
- Miami Sues Big Banks Over Discriminatory Mortgage Lending
Reuters 19 Dec 2013
The city of Miami, Fla., is suing Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citibank in U.S. federal court in Florida, accusing the lenders of mortgage discrimination against minority residents that led to a local foreclosure epidemic.
- AGs: Congress Should Extend Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act
Legal Newsline 19 Dec 2013
Attorneys general representing 42 states have dispatched a letter petitioning congressional leaders to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act for at least one more year. The law, which was renewed last year, is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2013. "If this deadline is not extended, financially strapped homeowners, even those who lose their home to foreclosure, will be forced to pay taxes as income on any mortgage debt that is forgiven by the holder of the mortgage," the National Association of Attorneys General wrote.
- U.S. Officials Order Ocwen to Give $2 Bln in Relief to Borrowers
Reuters 19 Dec 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and state officials on Dec. 19 ordered Ocwen Financial to provide $2 billion in aid to underwater borrowers to settle allegations mortgage servicing improprieties.
- New Mortgages to Get Pricier
Wall Street Journal 18 Dec 2013
The Federal Housing Finance Agency has ordered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to raise the fees they charge for loans to borrowers who do not contribute at least 20 percent to the down payment or who do not have credit scores in the range of 680 to 760. These fees normally are passed down to the borrowers, who end up paying higher mortgage rates.