Tough lending standards have cut the risk of mortgage defaults lower than they have been in nearly a decade, but high unemployment is making it premature to declare victory in the mortgage crisis.
Investors desperate for foreclosures to buy got a break in May as banks cracked down on overdue defaulters, increasing starts and repossessing homes occupied by defaulters.
Foreclosure inventories fell 24 percent from last year at this time and completed foreclosures fell 16 percent year over year, according to the CoreLogic April National Foreclosure Report.
The supply of foreclosed homes and REOs has been shrinking by 20 percent or more for the past few years and now a noted columnist covering mortgages reports foreclosures have probably already peaked and now are in decline.
Homeowners with positive equity in their homes have fewer problem loans and are outperforming the national average for defaults. Their default rates are close to pre-crisis norms.
Expectations among bank risk professionals for the relaxation of lending standards increased sharply in the first quarter, rising from 12.1 to 19.9 percent, according to the quarterly FICO/PRMIA) survey.
Six years of crisis have changed forever the way Americans think about housing. It's good news for rental housing and not so good news for the home ownership industry, according to a massive new study conducted by Hart Research for the MacArthur Foundation.
Are zombie houses where the monsters live in the latest Resident Evil sequel? Or are they fraternities decked out for Halloween? Neither.
The inventory of properties in the foreclosure process expanded by nearly 10 percent in the first quarter, casting a pall over the housing recovery as local markets prepare for more foreclosures than expected. However, a high level of demand driving by investor activity may mitigate their impact.
While the rest of the nation's housing markets experience various levels of recovery, most markets in Florida seem to be relapsing to the heyday of the Foreclosure Era after a brief period of improvement.
How real estate has changed in just a few months! For six years, real estate professionals have struggled to get buyers back into the market with advertising campaigns, incentives, and the willingness to suffer social abuse for proclaiming the housing depression to be a great time to buy a home.
The 23 states that require court orders to foreclose and other states that have enacted legislation that delays foreclosure processing will take twice as long as the rest of the nation to clear backlogged foreclosure inventories at their current rate.
The low prices that make foreclosures attractive to investors also make foreclosures toxic to communities and homeowners. The discount between "normal" priced homes and the prices paid for properties than have been through the foreclosure process can spell the difference between profit and loss to an investor at the same time that they drive real estate values into the ground.
Facing a financial crisis, FHA is asking first-time buyers to pay for the sins of borrowers who came before them. Increases in FHA mortgage insurance premiums and new, tougher underwriting standards that take effect April 1 will cost new borrowers significantly more than refinancing borrowers who have had an FHA loan four years or longer.
It's deja vu all over again in Florida. In a virtual re-run of Florida's housing economy, its foreclosure starts lead the nation, prices are falling and inventories are too big, especially on the coasts.
Hot foreclosure markets have come and gone over the past seven years but one thing seems to stay the same. The markets with the most and the cheapest foreclosures are still located in Florida.
Spending on home improvements and repairs totaled $275 billion in 2011, down 4 percent from 2009 levels and some 16 percent below the market peak in 2007. Loss of home equity with the onset of the housing crash contributed to the decline in home repairs, according to a new study by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.
Some 10.7 million homeowners, or 22 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage, were in negative equity at the end of the third quarter of 2012, down by 100,000 from the second quarter. But the "sand states", the states that dominated foreclosures for years, still account for a lion's share of underwater borrowers.
Despite falling delinquency rates among lenders as a whole, delinquencies increased for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers, especially in Florida. Coincidentally, CoreLogic announced today Florida leads the nation in the size of its foreclosure inventory.
Completed foreclosures fell 23 percent in November compared to a year ago and the national foreclosure inventory declined 18 percent from November 2011, from 1.5 to 1.2 million properties as demand from investors kept local inventories low.
The current residential shadow inventory as of October 2012 fell to 2.3 million units, representing a supply of seven months. The October 2012 inventory level fell 12.3 percent from a year earlier, when the shadow inventory stood at 2.6 million units.
While California and Texas markets dominate the top tier of the latest Home Value Forecast ranking, the bottom of the list includes metros that could miss the housing recovery in the months to come.
In the third quarter, homeowners' equity rose nearly 18 percent over the level of a year ago to reach the highest level recorded since the second quarter of 2008.
For the first time ever, sales of properties in some stage of foreclosure (largely short sales) outnumbered sales of bank-owned properties (REO) in the third quarter, as short sales continue to gain market share at the expense of REO and sales of completed foreclosures at auction.
As the nation's real estate economy has evolved and slowly improved over the past two and a half years, the geography of almost every leading metric measuring the health of local housing markets has changed to reflect local economic trends and conditions except the one that many economists and policy makers consider to be critical to the national economic recovery.
October 1, 2011 was a dark day in the nation's most expensive housing markets. That's the day higher loan limits expired and the sky was expected to fall.
Over the past few months, the number of markets experiencing year-over-year price declines has steadily increased, while the number experiencing list price increases has steadily declined. Compared to one year ago, a higher number of markets are ending the year with a year-over-year price decline (44 in 2012 vs. 36 in 2011) and a lower number of markets have a year-over-year price increase (71 in 2012 vs.84 in 2011).
The results of FHA's annual audit sent a shock wave through the nation's housing community Friday afternoon as even agency officials could not confirm that the higher borrowing costs it will charge borrowers will enough to cover losses.
Contrary to popular belief, loss of equity in their homes since 2007 has hurt adults in their late thirties more than their Baby Boomer parents, contributing to fears that they will not have enough income and assets for their retirement, according to a new Pew Research survey released today.
September's foreclosure data showed America has become bipolar over foreclosures, with dramatic decreases in most states but increases nearly as great in judicial states where lenders are speeding up processing of defaults.
The long-feared backlog of foreclosures that accumulated during the Robogate processing slowdown in 2010 and 2011 has declined further as the number of new foreclosures dwindled in August and completed foreclosures are being quickly absorbed in markets hungry for discount priced distress sales.
In three months, short sales may screech to a halt unless legislation is extended that allows sellers to avoid paying taxes on the amount of their mortgages that lenders forgive when then sell their homes.
In homogenous markets today, market uncertainty creates a range of prices for homes as great as plus or minus 5 percent and in less stable neighborhoods, appraisals can range from as much as plus or minus 10 percent unless appraisers apply risk management techniques to come up with values that improve pull through ratios and better protect homeowners and investors, a leading valuation firm said last week.
CoreLogic today released a new analysis showing that 10.8 million, or 22.3 percent, of all residential properties with a mortgage were in negative equity at the end of the second quarter of 2012. This is down from 11.4 million properties, or 23.7 percent, at the end of the first quarter of 2012. An additional 2.3 million borrowers possessed less than 5 percent equity in their home, referred to as near-negative equity, at the end of the second quarter.
Foreclosure activity patterns are varying significantly from state to state, often hinging on the level of dysfunction that exists in each state's foreclosure process, reported RealtyTrac yesterday. Recent legislation and court rulings could lengthen the foreclosure process in some of the states with the shorter timelines, however, resulting in a temporary foreclosure lull and subsequent rebound in those states as well, said Daren Blomquist, Vice President of RealtyTrac.
Despite rising home values that are freeing homeowners from negative equity, nearly half of all homeowners under 45, many of whom have young, growing families in need of more space, are still frozen in place because they are underwater on their mortgages.
Nearly half of all seriously delinquent borrowers have stayed in their homes more than a year in judicial states, which have developed a serious backlog of pre-foreclosures, according to June data from LPS Analytics.
Despite a shortage of lower priced homes in markets across the country, the huge foreclosure inventory refused to decline in June, raising renewed fears that the overhang of discounted properties will put downward pressure on home prices.
Negative equity, lack of consumer confidence, frozen foreclosures and a shaky economy all have received their share of blame for the dearth of sellers and buyers that keeps the housing recovery in low gear and vulnerable. No factor, however, has been as devastating to the housing economy and as difficult to improve as the inability of buyers, especially credit worthy buyers, to get financing
Not only are short sales nearly as prevalent as foreclosures in many markets today, they also are selling at discounts almost as great as foreclosures. Both forms of distress sales are selling at discounts greater than six months ago.
Negative equity, which is the result of homeowners owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, has always been viewed as a detriment to the housing economy because it freezes owners in their homes and makes them liable to foreclosure
Lending standards for purchase mortgages have eased slightly since January but not nearly enough to stop renewed criticism that high standards are impairing demand.
The doubling of interest on student loans set to take effect July 1 could make it more difficult or impossible for large numbers of young first-time home buyers to qualify for mortgages.
Negative equity, which occurs when homeowners owe more on their mortgages than the equity in their homes, isn't always a bad thing. Lately it's been playing an important role in the lower end marketplace by restricting supply.
Despite the dramatic price increases registered by Miami, Fort Myers and other Florida resort communities over the past 12 months, the state's foreclosure nightmare is far from over.
Fitch Ratings" outlook for U.S. residential real estate prices has improved slightly in recent months, but the authoritative ratings service still sees no bottom to declining housing prices until late 2013.
FHA foreclosures rose 73 percent in April, driven primarily by defaults of loans made in 2008 and 2009 vintage loans, raising new questions about the solvency of the popular government program, which accounts for about a third of all new mortgages.
More than half of all Americans are concerned that a huge wave of backlogged foreclosures to be released by major lenders in the wake of the Robo-signing scandal will lower home values in their markets.
Eleven of the nation's 20 largest metro areas based on population documented annual increases in foreclosure activity, led by the Florida cities of Tampa (59 percent) and Miami (38 percent). Other cities with increases included St. Louis (29 percent), Chicago (26 percent), Philadelphia (24 percent), and Atlanta (21 percent).
In April lenders loosened up slightly on the loan-to-value ratio used to make approval decisions on mortgage refinance applications. However, but the lid is still screwed down tightly on purchase mortgages used to buy homes, according to the Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report.
Short sales, once a rare event in local real estate market, today are nearly as prevalent as foreclosures as lenders seek to avoid adding to their foreclosure inventories and troubled homeowners opt for a faster way out of default. (See Banks and Investors Learn to Love Short Sales).
For years, the Washington metro area has ranked high on every list of the nation's hottest markets. Now, however, the region's multiple listing service, MRIS, is holding its breath and closely monitoring the situation as a wave of backlogged foreclosures freed by the resolution of the Robogate processing scandal prepares to wash over local markets and threaten vulnerable jurisdictions.
Two national market reports released today carried a singular message. The nation's heartland is now the focus for price declines, no longer the South or West. From Milwaukee to Columbus, REO foreclosures are increasing and prices are falling.
Atlanta had the only double-digit negative annual price decline falling 17.3 percent below February 2010 in the latest S&P/ Caser-Shiller Home Price Index.
What's wrong with this picture? Attracted by super affordable prices, buyer walk-in traffic is up and tons of prospective homebuyers are kicking tires across the nation during this spring sales season. Inventories are at record lows, which should strengthen prices if you believe in supply and demand. So why are sales plummeting and prices not rising as hoped?
The rates that foreclosures and short sales are discounted from full-price properties have declined significantly in 2012, especially discounts for higher priced properties and in some of the markets hit hardest by foreclosures in the past.
Even though foreclosure activity over past three months hit the lowest level in five years, don't break out the bubbly. We're enjoying the calm before the storm.
Nearly half of lenders participating in a recent FICO survey expect more homeowners to elect to default on their mortgages this year than last.
Median home prices have continued to fall in the Midwest, now 2.4 percent below January levels, while every other region has shown improvement over the past three months.
Last month both foreclosure starts and sales suddenly retreated, declining quickly on a month-over-month basis after a sharp increase in January.
S&P/Case-Shiller's two price indices fell to levels 3.9 percent and 3.8 percent below those of year ago and both composites saw price declines of 0.8 percent in the month of January. Eight MSAs posted new all-time lows.
In another sign that the nexus of national foreclosure activity is shifting to the Midwest, Illinois led the nation in price declines in January with an 8.7 percent plunge in median sale price from a year ago. Next biggest losers were Nevada (-8.0 percent), Delaware (-7.9 percent), Alabama (-7.7 percent) and Georgia (-7.5) percent.
Moderate income to low income homeowners are twice as likely to be underwater on their mortgages, owing more than their homes are worth, making them much more vulnerable to default than those who bring home a bigger paycheck.
The average price of a foreclosure-related sale was only 29 percent below the average price of a non-foreclosure sale during the fourth quarter of 2011, down from a 34 percent foreclosure discount in the third quarter and a 35 percent foreclosure discount in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to RealtyTrac's Q4 and Year End 2011 U.S. Foreclosure Sales Report.
All three Case-Shiller price indices ended 2011 at new lows since the housing crisis began in mid-2006, wiping out all price gains achieved since 2002.
After ticking upwards last fall, the mortgage delinquency rate (over 30 days due) resumed its decline in January falling 2.2 percent from December's low. Defaults also fell from 2.24 percent in December to 2.16 percent last month.
Local markets will probably not be swamped by waves of foreclosures following the multi-state mortgage settlement announced yesterday. Rather, the huge inventory of one to two million foreclosures will enter markets gradually.
Americans in their thirties have seen their homeownership rates decline more over the past decade than either younger or older owners.
Foreclosure activity and the national foreclosure rate last year both fell to their lowest annual level since 2007 and a new state law has brought foreclosure starts and sales to a virtual standstill in the state of Nevada, which has led the nation in foreclosures for the past five years.
John Walsh, CEO of Total Mortgage Services in Milford CT, is an entrepreneur who has built his mortgage company into a 25-state powerhouse that is continuing to expand. He is a forward thinker, and maybe a bit of a contrarian, who entered wholesale banking last year, with his wholesale channel TMS Funding, when the too-big-to-fail banks like Bank of America pulled out. But he must be onto something, as Total Mortgage has never had to repurchase one of its loans. In addition Walsh is an outspoken advocate for mortgage finance at a time when many lenders are putting their money elsewhere.
Home prices in Atlanta plummeted during the fourth quarter as a flood of foreclosures saturated the market, leaving economists across the nation scratching their heads and local homeowners hoping for a turnaround.
Five years of sinking prices and anemic sales have taken their toll on the entire residential real estate business, including the number of agents and brokers serving consumers.
The largest banks and federal savings associations created a 21.1 percent increase in new foreclosures during the third quarter when they lifted voluntary moratoria implemented in late 2010.
In the five years since the market peaked in 2006, homes in the bottom quarter of the market have lost more value proportionately than those in the top tier.
The Housing Crisis, which kicked off with the melt down of the Miami condo market in 2006, is changing Florida into a state where new properties are being exclusively marketed for foreign ownership and snow-state retirees who once were the lifeblood of the state's huge second home market now rent instead of buying.
Despite solid demand for home purchases overall, a glut of distressed properties is continuing to put downward pressure on home prices, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey.
As the year winds down, a growing number of homeowners are 30 days or more behind in their mortgage payments. Delinquency rates, which have been in decline for months, are creeping up again.
The UFA Default Risk Index for the fourth quarter of 2011 edged lower to 131 from last quarter's revised 133, which has suggests that residential mortgage default and prepayment risks are continuing their return to normalcy.
After rising slightly to a rate of 6.02 percent in the first quarter, 60-day mortgage delinquencies will resume their decline, falling to about 5 percent of all performing mortgages by the end of next year
Home prices have declined steadily over the past three months and now trail last year by 3.9 percent, according to the latest CoreLogic Home Price Index.
A surge in sales contracts signed in October announced by NAR yesterday that inspired hopes of a fall boomlet actually will problem have no impact at all on closed sales.
In a time of 4 percent mortgages and programs like HARP designed to help homeowners refinance at lower rates, more than 15 million homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages are paying rates higher than 5 percent.
This year sales of existing homes could exceed five million, a barrier broken only once since the housing markets crashed in 2007.
A higher than normal rate of contract failures is stifling a recovery in home sales as home sellers and buyers are losing deals at an extraordinary rate.
The national delinquency rate for residential home loans fell to 7.99 percent in the third quarter, the lowest reading since the fourth quarter of 2008, and it represents a decline of 45 basis points from the second quarter of this year and a drop of 114 basis points from the third quarter of last year
A lower rate of foreclosure repossessions coupled with relatively flat home values caused negative equity to rise in the third quarter with 28.6 percent of single-family homeowners with mortgages underwater compared to 26.8 percent in the second quarter, according to Zillow's third quarter Real Estate Market Reports.
Last September a HomeGain survey of real estate professionals and homeowners detected a grass roots souring on the price outlook for the coming six months, even though many experts predicted a quicker recovery from the post-tax credit hangover.
Nearly half of all foreclosures listed for sale are so seriously damaged they need major repair before they are habitable, a percentage that has remained virtually unchanged over the past two years.
Backlogs in approving mortgages are causing significant delays in home purchase closings, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse monthly tracking survey of real estate market conditions.
The unimaginable is now a possibility. According to the latest forecast by one of the nation's leading housing data providers, by the end of the first quarter next year, the nation's average home prices could sink below the lowest levels reached earlier this last year, when prices set a new record low.
Government guaranteed mortgages that require no down payments are becoming increasingly expensive top borrowers due to fees that are designed to make the program revenue-neutral in the federal budget.
Of the approximately 4 million mortgages that are either 90 or more days delinquent or in foreclosure, the number that are delinquent 90 days or more days has shrunk to levels not seen since 2008.
FICO's latest quarterly survey of bank risk professionals found that growing optimism of late 2010 and early 2011 has been replaced with a markedly pessimistic outlook for defaults and home prices.
Mortgage-related failures among lenders are down 42 percent this year from this point in 2010. The improvement is entirely due to fewer failures among federally chartered banks; mortgage-related losses contributed to the same number of nonbank mortgage lenders and credit union failures this year as last
For the first time in three years, the upper limits on single family home mortgages in high-cost areas qualifying for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's government guarantee will decline at midnight tonight.
Mortgage lenders take almost 7 days on average to respond to consumer inquiries via phone and over one day to respond to inquiries received via email, resulting in a poor return on their marketing investment, bottom line under-performance and a disappointing or even damaging customer experience.
Through July, home prices registered a fourth consecutive month of increases up 0.9 percent in July over June.
The so-called shadow inventory of foreclosures-properties that are seriously delinquent by not yet listed on multiple listing services for resale-is shrinking faster than a Weight Watchers spokesperson.
After two months of increases during and following the Congressional debate over the federal deficit last June, mortgage delinquencies may have resumed their decline.
Sales in July and August broke the seasonal summer sales pattern, which normally declines with the end of the traditional home buying season in June. Instead, the hottest month this also produced sales hotter than 2010.
Seventy five percent of all homeowners who owe more on their homes than they are worth are paying mortgage interest rates nearly a point higher than today's average rate for a thirty year fixed mortgage.
The percentage of mortgages in default more than 60 days in Fannie Mae's portfolio have fallen to the lowest level in two years, another sign that defaults are slowly but steadily declining as more homeowners pay their mortgages on time.
Home prices rose in the second quarter almost as much as they fell in the first, but prices at the end of June still trailed June 2010 levels-which still reflected demand generated by the tax credit boomlet.
Short sales of pre-foreclosure properties jumped 19 percent in the second quarter even as sales of bank-owned foreclosures declined and overall distressed sales were flat.
It's official! With the nation on the brink of a double dip recession, mortgage delinquency rates, especially 30-day delinquencies-- have shifted course and they are trending up again.
Lenders will write fewer mortgages for home buyers this year than in any year since 1991.
Anemic demand from owner-occupant homebuyers has forced investors to rent out about half of the homes they purchase -- as opposed to renovating and flipping the properties.
By writing down all underwater mortgages to market value, the nation's banks could pump $71 billion per year into the economy, create more than one million jobs annually, save families $6,500 per year on mortgage payments.
Though the national delinquency rate is about percent below the level of a year ago, the inventory of foreclosures yet to be sold is about 10 percent higher.
First and second mortgage default rates in July fell to levels lower than three years at the onset of the recession three years ago despite continued high unemployment levels.
Will the latest stock market crash, the debt ceiling fiasco, the shaky economy, the mess in Europe, and soft housing markets result in a triple dip in home prices across the nation this year?
Residential originations by U.S. lenders fell nearly 20 percent in the second quarter, according to the Mortgage Lender Ranking from MortgageDaily.com. The biggest-three lenders fueled the decline, while business was less concentrated at the top.
The "Gang of Six" compromise on the federal deficit that has been endorsed by President Obama mandates the most significant reductions in the mortgage interest deduction in the 98 years it has been in effect.
Freddie Mac's economists are sticking with a prediction of positive sales growth this year despite the abysmal June jobs report.
Inventories in 53 markets surveyed last month by RE/MAX are down nearly fifteen percent from a year ago, when the tax credit boom was winding down, another indication that housing markets have recovered from the tax credit-induced sales boom and the bust that followed it.
Homeowners living in houses worth over $417,000 can live in their homes mortgage-free without fear of foreclosure for more than a year, but those in the less valuable homes are getting thrown out in 300 days or less.
Economic consulting firm Clear Capital reported prices nationally have decreased by 3.2 percent in the first six months of 2011 and are forecast to drop another 2.4 percent in the second half of 2011
Half of agents and 42 percent of homeowners in a second quarter survey expect home values to decrease or stay the same through the end of the year, according a second quarter survey.
The percentage of seriously delinquent mortgages-those that are 90 past due or in foreclosure-held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have fallen more than a point in the last year.
There are significantly fewer foreclosure sales today than there were before foreclosure moratoria were put into place during the Robogate scandal last fall and foreclosure sales are declining.
S&P/Case-Shiller's 10 and 20 city composites rose less than one percent in April over March, the first price increase the indices have measured in eight months.
A significant majority of the 108 economists and experts participating in MacroMarkets' June Price Home Expectations panelists believe that the bottom for home prices arrived in the first quarter or will arrive sometime before year-end.
Year to year prices in May are still 7.2 percent below those of a year ago, but they've virtually the same as April's on a year to year basis. However, the number of closed transactions and price also increased from April to May.
New mortgage delinquencies reported by Radian Guaranty Inc., the mortgage insurance subsidiary of Radian Group Inc., rose 8.6 percent in May and the major mortgage insurer reported a slower pace of the decline in its delinquency inventory.
A third consecutive spring market report has May home prices rising in the wake of the double dip reported by S&P/Case-Shiller in the first quarter.
Home sales prices continued a downward trend in May, but only half as far and half as fast as in April.
Despite double dipping to their lowest levels since 2009, housing prices in the first quarter failed to drive up the percentage of homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages.
After more than 3.5 million families have lost their homes to foreclosure over the past five years, Fannie Mae has issued new standards requiring servicers to take a consistent approach for handling delinquent mortgages.
New listing prices, which lead transactions by three to six months, are already up 8.7 percentage points over the March trough, an indication that sellers are pricing more confidently, said Scott Sambucci, vice president of market analytics for Altos Research in a Webcast for customers yesterday.
The real estate recession has been tougher on real estate agents and brokers than it has property owners over the past two years.
Home prices increased on a national basis by 0.7 percent between March and April 2011 for the first time since the home-buyer tax credit expired in mid-2010.
Only one market among the 20 tracked by the S&P/Case-Shiller index released today reported positive price growth in the first quarter.
For renters, the national recovery could be very bad news. That warning came from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies' latest report on America's rental housing.
One out of ten Realtors (11 percent) report that low appraisals are killing home sales contracts and an addition 10 percent say they are delaying closings, according to an April NAR practitioners survey of Realtors. Some 14 percent report that appraisals coming in under the purchase price are sending purchase deals back to the negotiating table.
Nationally median home prices rose 2.2 percent in April over March, rising in 34 of 55 markets surveyed, but are still 7.9 percent below a year ago during the height of the tax credit frenzy.
First-time buyer market share fell 18 percent below the level of a year ago, reducing absorption of distressed properties, which accounted for nearly half of all sales during the month.
Negative equity, which remains "stubbornly high" as the economy slowly improves, is concentrated among lower valued properties in foreclosure and in properties valued between $100,000 and $200,000 reported CoreLogic in its monthly US Housing and Mortgage Trends Report.
A survey of 1500 Century 21 professionals released this week confirmed what many real estate agents and buyers have been saying for months: The lending environment is too constraining for potential homebuyers, slowing the rebound of the housing market and the economy in general.
First quarter home values fell dramatically, roughly echoing the significant prices drops in the first quarter reported by Clear Capital and others who have confirmed the long feared double dip.
Not only did April data confirm the double dip in home prices nationally, real estate markets now have entered "uncharted territory" with the absence of a tax credit incentive for the first time in three years and are still falling.
While slashing funds for disability, elderly, homelessness and Native American housing programs, Congress has doubled the funding for a USDA housing program that may cost the government $4 billion in defaulting loans because over a third of the government-guaranteed rural home loans in its portfolio may be ineligible for the program.
House prices fell 1.6 percent in January, retreating to levels of seven years ago, before the housing boom began.
Nearly half of all homeowners whose properties lost value during the housing recession expect it to will six years or more for their homes to return to pre-recession levels and nine out of ten expect it to take at least three years, according to a survey released yesterday by Pew Research.
The federal government spent about $244 billion on housing-related grants and tax expenditures in fiscal year 2009, or roughly $2,085 per household, according to a new study by Pew's Subsidyscope project. By contrast, the government devoted a per household average of $212 to the energy sector (FY 2009), $400 to the transportation sector (FY 2008) and $429 to the nonprofit sector (FY 2008).
A new Harris Poll released yesterday found that the percentage of homeowners having difficulty paying off their mortgages has fallen from 29 to 22 percent over the past year, a 24 percent decline.
Lenders, home builders and real estate agents fighting a new regulation that could significantly raise down payments and loan-to-value ratios are gaining support from an unlikely quarter.
Outrage over legislation that would require appraisers to ignore distress sales in selecting comparable properties for appraised houses forced Maryland legislators to back down from the idea, though three other states are still considering the idea., including Nevada which is holding a hearing on the bill today.
The inventory of unlisted properties that are in the foreclosure pipeline shrank slightly over the past year but remains at a nine months' supply.
Home prices officially reached the long feared double dip in January as prices of single-family homes in 20 major cities fell for a sixth straight month, according to the authoritative S&P/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday by Standard & Poor's.
A panel of 111 leading housing economists, real estate experts, investment and market strategists have lowered their expectations of the housing markets and now see only a weak recovery taking place two years from now.
The potential default risk on nonprime mortgages that were closed in the first quarter rose to the same level as loans closed last spring and fall after a drop in the fourth quarter, according to the UFA Default Risk Index, which measures the risk of default on newly originated nonprime mortgages.
It's official. The Fed's Open Market Committee yesterday affirmed that the housing sector still depressed even though the economic recovery is on a firmer footing and spending and investment continue to expand.
All-cash home sales are setting records in market after market around the country as investors account for a growing share of home purchases and individual buyers, especially first-time buyers, fade as mortgage rates rise and home buyer demand softens further.
In January the number of searches for homes by buyers on the Internet's largest homes-for-sale site, a potential an indicator of future demand, rose 10 percent over a year ago, a time when large numbers of buyers were getting ready to take advantage of the homebuyer tax credits.
Almost half of the homes sold in January were foreclosures or short sales, the highest level of distressed sales in nearly a year, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey.
Delinquency rates (on mortgages 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure) have been the brightest light in the gloomy foreclosure picture over the past year. Two new reports confirm that delinquencies are falling to pre-recession levels, a sign that the economy is steadily improving and the end of the foreclosure plague may be in sight.
The "most popular measure" of existing home sales, the National Association of Realtors' Existing Home Sales, has increasingly overstated home sales for ten years as measured by five other sources, and reached a level in 2010 that is 15 to 20 percent higher than actual sales, according to data provider CoreLogic, which made the charges in its US Housing and Market Trends Report.
A report by Lender Processing Services today confirms Fitch Ratings' analysis yesterday that the volume of defaulted loans moving to REO status has fallen to a trickle as a consequence of the Robo-gate scandal, contributing to a backlog of foreclosures that threatens to reverse the overall decrease in foreclosure inventory caused by the steady decline in new delinquencies last year.
A smaller percentage of American households own their own homes today than at any time since 1998, a dramatic decline from the all-time high in homeownership just six years ago
Institutional mortgage investors and distressed homeowners are strange bedfellows. Last week the Massachusetts Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling voiding two foreclosures, asserting U.S. Bankcorp and Wells Fargo did not prove they owned the mortgages. Legal challenges point to serious front end problems in the actual securitization of the mort
Look for fewer new home starts in 2011 as fears of a double dip in prices mount and builders lick their wounds from last year, which was the "worst year ever" for new home sales, according to the chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders.
A 20-city composite of home prices through October as measured by the S&P/Case-Shiller Indices is teetering on the brink of falling below recent lows in 2009 to create a price new low and achieve the "double dip" in prices long feared by the real estate industry.
The government finds itself in the throes of a major housing crisis and asks, “What works? What doesn’t work?” Recent studies prove homebuyers working with housing counseling agencies are less likely to suffer foreclosure than buyers who go it alone. Homeowners working with housing counseling agencies are more likely to win a loan modification than borrowers making other choices. The government responds with a record 22% increase over last year’s federal funding in 2011.
All loss mitigators are not created equal. The odds of curing a foreclosure and avoiding redefault are 1.7 times better for homeowners enrolled in the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) Program than for homeowners who do not receiving such counseling, according to the Urban Institute. The group released a report yesterday analyzing the NFMC program [...]
In November inventories in 54 metropolitan areas rose to a year-high of 10 months' supply as sales fell 25.9 percent and prices sagged 1.7 percent from a year ago according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report released today.
Allegations of legal misconduct and fraud mount as attorneys general and bank regulators investigate lenders and servicers. Charges of unauthorized practice of law by low level employees in a Philadelphia foreclosure mill that represented lenders and servicers in thousands of foreclosures is the latest wrinkle in the ongoing saga of the U.S. housing crisis. Goldbeck [...]
Is the homeownership rate really ten percent lower than the Census Bureau says it is?
Interest rates below 5 percent and prices bottoming out in the first half of the year will drive two of the three main ingredients for buyer affordability to cyclic lows next year, Freddie Mac's chief economist said yesterday.
You've heard of the Shadow Inventory? The Heartland's foreclosure inventory isn't in a shadow. It's totally hidden.
When it comes to getting a mortgage, building a new home or buying an existing one, there's a good reason consumers don't experience the same level of service that existed at the height of the housing boom five years ago. The ranks of real estate professionals have been devastated
Even as demand for mortgages declined with the expiration of homebuyer tax credit in the third quarter, a small number of banks tightened standards on both prime and nontraditional mortgage loans, reversing a slight net easing reported in the second quarter.
Homeowners are staying put as long as they possibly can and house flipping is almost nonexistent today as consumers weather the longest housing depression in modern times.
Not until March 1, 2014 will the last of the seven million properties that are currently delinquent, in foreclosure, or bank-owned finally return to life as homes or investments.
Despite 19.1 percent fewer home sales in September than a year ago, private mortgage insurance applications received by leading mortgage insurers are up 32 percent in the past 12 months.
Predictions by housing bears that the fourth quarter will kick off a slump in housing prices that will last long into next year seem to be coming true a couple of months early, according to price reports released yesterday.
Farm loan delinquencies have hit a 17-year high, and 2.3 percent of all agricultural production loans made by commercial banks were past due, up from 1.3 percent a year ago, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
As investigations and multi-month delays in the foreclosure process begin, those who will suffer most are JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, according to a new survey of foreclosure exposure, and foreclosure suspensions are coming at a bad time, just as foreclosue sales are down and REO inventories are rising.
Almost hourly the nightmare facing the housing industry worsens as the ramifications of what is being called ForeclosureGate become clearer.
Real estate sales in America's largest state will decline 10 percent this year with hopes for a lackluster 2 percent rise in 2011.
In its second quarter report, Fannie Mae confirmed what others have previously reported: since the first of the year, serious mortgage delinquency rates have slowly but steadily declined.
Though the Administration's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is falling far short of its goal of helping three to four million homeowners, the program is succeeding at helping those who do make through the program are stay current on their payments and avoid re-default.
Despite the repeal of a rule unpopular with appraisers and agents alike, low appraisals are still killing deals across the nation, slowing sales at a critical time in the housing markets.
The flood of bad news on home sales took a breather in August as sales, inventories and prices all moved in the right direction, though all three metrics have a very long way to go to return to normal levels.
Home sales tumbled in August but prices held steady, at least for now, despite falling demand and rising inventories in most markets according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance Monthly Survey of Real Estate Market Conditions.
Preliminary reports indicate that more existing homeowners than expected took advantage of the homebuyer tax credit to help buy a new home this year.
On October 4, buyers use FHA financing will encounter an unusual surprise. Their mortgages will cost more over time, but it will cost them less than it does today to close on their loan.
The consensus among the experts that home prices will fall farther before they hit bottom may become a self-fulfilling prophecy as the very buyers so desperately needed to buy up the excess inventory and stop the price slide will wait until they are absolutely sure that prices have reached their lowest point.
A new FHA program launching next Tuesday allows homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages to refinance at today's record low rates, take at least 10 percent off their principal, and get a new FHA loan that will leave them with positive equity in their home.
Just when it seemed that only one more negative housing report would be enough to rev up the bandwagon for a new federal homebuyer tax credit, today's pending home sales index for August baffled prognosticators and restored hope the no more government stimulus would be needed to stabilize housing markets.
Rising numbers of real-estate owned properties (REOs) and delinquencies are creating excess supply in housing markets across the country.
Inventories of existing homes for sale as measured by months supply broke an all-time record in July.
He also announced the Administration will not support returning Fannie and Freddie to the role they played before they entered conservatorship in 2008, "where they fought to take market share from private competitors while enjoying the privilege of government support."
However, RealtyTrac;s news wasn't all bad. In fact, it confirmed a trend of declining default, suggesting foreclosures will decline as well in the months to come
Another foreclosure listing site reported today that foreclosures are declining at an accelerating rate as subprime resets abate and unemployment, though high, remains relatively unchanged.
A new study by the Pennsylvania of Realtors provides new evidence that job losses and unexpected medical bills, not subprime mortgages, are the two leading causes of foreclosure in that state.
The BP DeepWater Horizon oil spill will cost homeowners n in the coastal counties along the Gulf Coast communities from $648 million over one year and to as much as $3 billion over five years, according to a report today from CoreLogic.
Recent gains in home values are temporary and markets are poised for a 5 percent dip during the balance of 2010.
Virtually every other indicator from Pending Sales to Mortgage Purchase Applications is showing home sales headed south with the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit ended April 30.
Translated into hard numbers, the poll suggests that 6.75 million homeowners are unhappy and two million feel trapped in their homes because they cannot sell them in the current real estate markets.
Home purchase contracts signed in May dropped to their lowest level in the history of the Pending Home Sales Index. Contracts fell to a level of 77.6\, 30 percent below April and 15.9 percent below May 2009.
Despite the recent publicity and current debate about homeowners who walk away from their mortgages even thought hey have the ability to pay; the phenomenon of "strategic default" may have peaked before it was identified.
Legislation containing a three month extension of the popular homebuyer tax credits to allow buyers to close by September 30th died in the Senate last night and the opportunity to extend the credits past the current deadline of June 30th may have passed.
So many families are now paying half or more of their income to pay housing costs that they have little left to support their children, according to the latest State of the Nation's Housing Report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.
Despite the extensive and lengthy process required to modify mortgages in default so that borrowers could afford their payments, most will default again in a year or less, according to Fitch Ratings.
Price cutting of listed properties apparently has eased as real estate markets recover from the boom and bust of the tax credit. On an annual basis, price cutting declined slightly.
Banks using real estate brokers and agents to value short sales are increasingly becoming the victims of fraudulent schemes that have occurred in more than 1 percent of short sales this year and have already cost lenders at least $50 million in lost revenue, according to CoreLogic.
Of the 12,000 readers of the Home Buying Institute website last month, some 87 percent of those who responded to the survey said they were planning to use an FHA loan to finance their home purchase.
Hard times have come to real estate agents as well as to their customers. With fewer houses to sell and commissions shrinking due to lower prices, more and more agents are looking for work in other fields or settling for less money.
Yesterday the Treasury Department released a seven question public poll whose results will provide input on the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
A web site popular with real estate agents yesterday released its choices for the ten residential real estate markets in greatest decline based on falling property values in 2009 and other economic factors.
Unpleasant surprises in January home sales and home starts have convinced Fannie Mae's economists to lower significantly their projection of real residential investment in the first quarter released yesterday.
The February 2010 Mortgage Monitor report, released by Lender Processing Services, Inc. shows that while delinquency rates in the U.S. have risen to historic highs, the pace of deterioration has slowed. However, the nation's housing market remains far from a full recovery.
Lenders and investors can expect defaults on loans currently being originated today to be 58 percent higher than the average of the 1990, according to the latest University Financial Associates (UFA) Mortgage Report.
More than 11.3 million, or 24 percent, of all residential properties with mortgages, were in negative equity at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009.
With healthy inventories, 3 million foreclosures, more and more short sales, falling values, rising vacancy rates, shrinking rents and one third of all homeowners underwater, could we possibly be heading for a national housing shortage this year?
Homeownership, thought by many to be a certain victim of the foreclosure crisis, weathered a record year of foreclosures without losing a beat...statistically speaking.
Though most economists believe the nation's housing crisis shares the stage with unemployment as the two fronts where we are failing in America's war to revive its economy, housing barely received a mention in President Obama's first State of the Union message last night.
Local governments across the country are responding to the threat to their bottom line by raising taxes.
The report is yet another sign that the housing crisis and the negative equity it has caused is climbing upscale to some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in America.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman told Bloomberg News yesterday that he sees about a one-third chance the U.S. economy will slide into a recession during the second half of the year.
More than 200 mortgage-related firms ended operations or failed last year.
The official homeownership rate "will experience significant downward pressure" in the coming years, according to the staff report as dramatic increases in negative equity reduce incentives to own rather than rent.
The percentage of seriously delinquent loans in Fannie Mae's portfolio jumped in October, rising 26 basis points to 4.98 percent.
New Federal guidelines on short sales are likely to have a beneficial impact on the metropolitan Chicago real estate market.
Nearly one out of ten homeowners, 9.2 percent or 7.4 million homeowners, say they would likely walk away from their homes, default on their mortgages and suffer the consequences to their credit if they felt financially vulnerable and owed more on their homes than they are worth, according to a new national survey released today.
Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray charged a Washington D.C. area home appraisal company with improperly influencing Ohio appraisals.
Fourteen percent of all American mortgages are either delinquent or in the process of foreclosure.
Mortgage delinquencies hit an all-time high of 6.25 percent in the third quarter.
While the Federal government will be paying out nearly $17 billion in tax credits over the next five months to stimulate home buying, the nation's system of mortgage finance is undermining their ability to get financing.
An amendment to extend the $8000 first-time homebuyer tax through June and expand it to include all homebuyers is expected to pass the Senate this week despite recent headlines reporting extensive abuse of the program following an investigation by the Treasury Department.
Freddie Mac's mortgage delinquency rate for its single family mortgages rose for the 29th straight month in September, reaching a record 3.33 percent of its portfolio.
A mortgage lender known for its television infomercials touting FHA-backed loans is the target of a Federal civil suit and an ongoing investigation for mortgage fraud.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shares each fell more than 21 percent yesterday after analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods said their common stock was worthless.
Rising unemployment and negative home equity are causing an increasing number of mortgage borrowers whose mortgages have been converted to prime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) to fall behind on their monthly payments, according to Fitch Ratings.
The outlook for new housing starts in the coming years is "relatively subdued" due to an oversupply of vacant homes and the likelihood that foreclsures will remain elevated, the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve said yesterday.
Negative home equity is preventing sustained improvement in U.S. mortgage performance, according to the new monthly report from Fitch Ratings released today
Just released mortgage data for 2008 confirm that the federal government effectively took over the housing credit markets last year.
Senior households may become the next group of consumers harmed by irresponsible marketing and selling practices according to a report released by a major consumer organization released yesterday.
One out of ten American homeowners with a mortgage were seriously delinquent in the second quarter and more than half the homeowners whose mortgages have been modified to reduce monthly payments are re-defaulting within a year, according to a new study released today by two Federal financial regulatory agencies.
Nearly one out of twenty mortgages guaranteed by Fannie Mae was seriously delinquent in July, according to the latest data released today from the Congressionally-chartered company.
Nearly two-thirds of the nation's single-family home builders are putting single-family construction projects on hold due to a severe lack of acquisition, development and construction financing, according to a new builder survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
KB Home (NYSE:KBH), the nation's fifth largest home builder, said orders increased 62 percent and 27 percent fewer consumers cancelled contracts during the third quarter, compared with 51 percent a year ago.
Freddie Mac's mortgage delinquency rate for its single family mortgages rose for the 28th straight month in August, reaching a record 3.13 percent of its portfolio 1.11 percent in August 2008.
The Federal Housing Administration took the right steps last week to bring the agency's lending standards in line with private industry practices, but with the loss of its excess reserves, FHA is now essentially running on empty and the jury is out on whether the agency has adequate capital reserves to weather projected losses from defaults and foreclosures, said a noted housing economist who first raised concerns about FHA's financial condition in an article in Real Estate Economy Watch last June (Can FHA Dodge the Bullet?).
The assumption of states' powers to enforce consumer protection laws by the Federal government over the past 13 years is a significant cause of irresponsible lending and the housing crisis, according to a new white paper issued by the National Consumer Law Center.
Home prices will continue to fall over the next five years, though the greatest declines have already occurred this year and property value reductions will gradually decrease until 2014, according to a national price forecast released Tuesday at a conference on Challenges in Residential and Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities hosted by Fitch Ratings.
The national economic crisis was triggered by the red ink of millions of American homeowners who refinanced their homes, not the trading pits of Wall Street or the boiler rooms of fraudulent lenders, according to a new study released nearly one year after the stock market plummeted worldwide recession began.
After excoriating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for a history of undermining market discipline, missing goals to help underprivileged groups and failing to support housing finance markets during times of financial need, the Government Accountability Office yesterday urged Congress to consider only three options for the future structure of the two government-sponsored housing enterprises.
Even if the disappointingly slow Federal foreclosure program achieves the goals for which it was designed, the foreclosure crisis could be as bad in three years as it is today. A flood of new foreclosures generated by the double whammy of unemployment and resetting exotic loans will overwhelm the government efforts and impede recovery.
Reverse mortgages, the kind of loans sold by aging celebrities to seniors interested in converting the equity in their homes into cash, aren't the safe haven they are portrayed by marketers, according to a General Accounting Office report released in July.
Foreclosure filings for July rose 32 percent over a year ago and seven percent over June, according to RealtyTrac. One in every 355 US homes received a default notice, was scheduled for auction or was repossessed by a bank last month
Two analysts at Deutsche Bank issued a residential market forecast last week that shook the housing industry and cooled the sound bites about "signs of stabilization."
Perhaps you've heard of the pending demand for real estate-prospective buyers who have postponed taking action until they perceive conditions have optimized. There's also a pending supply of real estate and it's large enough to have a serious impact on the housing markets if a recent study is correct.
With the raging recession killing jobs, falling prices driving even more homeowners underwater, and thousands of loans that should never have been made resetting, reports of record foreclosures have become the norm.
Listening to the policy makers who will decide the fates of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac brings home the reality of how far these once mighty pillars of residential real estate finance have fallen-and that they will never rise again to their former glory.
With barely a whisper, HUD ushered in its most celebrated month of the year, National Homeownership Month, so quietly most of the nation didn't even take notice.
If there is any slight comfort to be taken from today's record-breaking mortgage delinquency numbers from the Mortgage Bankers Association, it's that there are early signs that the option ARM nightmare may not be as bad as many feared.
There's an old construction industry adage that goes something like this: when home builders prosper, remodelers have hard times and when remodelers are doing well, it's a bad market for builders.
One fifth (21.9 percent) of all American homeowners have negative equity in their homes, a 4.3 percent increase over the fourth quarter of last year, as property values continued to fall nationally at an alarming rate.
Looks like last year's first-time homebuyer tax credit-the one the housing industry pooh-poohed because it required buyers to pay it back over 15 years-is doing a lot better than most people expected.
Four months ago they were just about the only part of the new Administration's foreclosure policy that seemed to be going anywhere.
Second lien servicers and investors are the big winners in changes to the Administration's loan modification program announced April 28.
Many observers of the housing crisis lay at least some blame at the feet of housing affordability targets for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mandated by Congress and administered by the executive branch—first the Department of Housing and Urban Development and now the Treasury Department.
Last week Bank of America became the first of the mega-lenders to invite homeowners to apply for refinancing applications under the "Making Home Affordable" program.
With its back against the goal line and the fourth quarter clock ticking down, the housing industry broke off a big touchdown run, but missed the field goal that would have given it the lead in the struggle for stimulus funds. However, the titanic and critical contest over how to jump start the housing markets is still up in the air, and will end in the next week or two as pressure to act becomes overwhelming.
For real estate market watchers anxious to see the end of the foreclosure plague that has poisoned property values across the nation...
Barely a month old, the Administration’s Home Affordability Program is going back to the drawing board to resolve an issue that has tied up the modification of billions of dollars of worth of secondary mortgages and home equity lines of credit and threatens the future of the $75 billion program to keep 3 to 4 million families from foreclosure...
Friday the National Credit Union Administration sent a shock wave through the credit union industry when it seized control of two of the 28 large corporate credit unions that provide financing and investment services to the nation’s 7,800 federally insured credit unions.
Last year the gap between sales prices of REO properties and non-foreclosed homes grew dramatically in a number of the nation’s leading residential markets, suggesting that REO properties are increasingly discounting their prices and driving down home values at a faster rate.
California new home buyers now have an $18,000 reason to get off the fence. That’s how big a tax credit they will receive from both the Federal ($8,000) and a new state tax credit ($10,000) when they buy a newly built home in the Golden State after March 1.
An intense lobbying campaign by the financial services industry has slowed and possibly killed legislation that would give bankruptcy courts the power to write down mortgages
Many observers of the housing crisis lay at least some blame at the feet of housing affordability targets for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mandated by Congress and administered by the executive branch—first the Department of Housing and Urban Development and now the Treasury Department.
Banned since Congress reformed the bankruptcy laws in 2006, cram downs are making a come back and may reappear in thousands of bankruptcy courts. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing depends on who you ask, because every side has its own studies and experts to prove its case.
In the fourth quarter of last year, more homeowners—nearly 8 percent—were delinquent on their mortgages than 1972, when records were first kept. Jay Brinkmann, MBA’s chief economist and senior vice president for research and economics attributed the increase in delinquencies to factors that had nothing to do with the economy.
The U.S. banking system is ailing and further deterioration could have serious negative implications for the economy and housing sector. To date, the Treasury has injected $196 billion into the nation's top banks by purchasing preferred bank stock. In addition, the Federal Reserve has increased its lending facilities, including the Term Auction Facility, which offers $150 billion in secured loans to banks per auction. And now the government has increased its ownership of Citigroup.
Nearly half of Fannie's loss occurred in the fourth quarter, after it was "placed under conservatorship" by the Treasury Department in September. Immediately, Treasury began to use Fannie and Freddie to buy up mortgage backed securities at a loss in an effort to restore faith in the MBS market. Now it is clear that Fannie and Freddie will be the Obama Administration's primary conduits for refinancing and modifying mortgages held by foreclosure prospects-and the costs will be borne by the taxpayers.
Investors have punished the shares of Citigroup and other banks in recent weeks out of concern the government could nationalize troubled banks, which would involve replacing management and wiping out shareholders.
Last week President Barack Obama proposed $634 billion in new taxes on upper-income Americans and cuts in government spending over the next decade to pay for his promised health care expansion. The new taxes included a limitation on the amount taxpayers earning over $250,000 can deduct for mortgage interest payments and other deductions.
Until very recently, credit unions have gloated over the woes besetting their competitors in financial services. Unshackled by mark-to-market accounting requirements, largely untaxed, non-profit and free of the pressures of Wall Street, and only minimally exposed to the risk of subprime defaults, credit unions as a whole survived 2008 like islands of soundness in a sea of chaos.
It was fourth and goal and time was running out in the conference committee between the House and Senate on the stimulus package. The quarterback stepped back to pass but…there was no one to catch the ball.
Did the 1975 tax credit really work as its advocates claim? Are tax credits what the housing market needs today?
Loan guarantees provided through the US Department of Agriculture’s Housing and Community Facilities Programs are the latest victims of the financial crisis. The program is virtually on hold, but don’t fret. Help is on the way.
Underwater homeowners could soon have a powerful new weapon in their negotiations with lenders to modify their mortgages. New legislation on a fast track in the Senate would give judges the power to set new repayment terms for borrowers in bankruptcy court, including dramatically reducing the loan principal—known as a “cramdown.”