In the wake of the devastating crash of the housing market, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development was forced to increase mortgage insurance premiums for borrowers with loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration, effectively stopping hundreds of thousands of potential homeowners from climbing the property ladder. With the market stabilizing, HUD is rolling back most of that rate increase for new homeowners in the hope that it will spur more borrowing. [More]
In October, the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that the regulator had reached a deal that would allow bailed-out mortgage-backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to sign off on loans with down payments of less than 5%. Today, Fannie and Freddie revealed more details on what it would take for home buyers to be eligible for the reduced requirement, and getting one of these loans won’t be as easy as filling out a form. [More]
Five years on from the nadir of the housing crisis and the lawsuits against the few remaining big banks continue to be filed. This time, it’s Wells Fargo being sued by prosecutors in Cook County, IL (home to Chicago), alleging that the bank deliberately issued “predatory” high-interest, subprime loans to borrowers — primarily minority — who may not have been able to pay back those loans. [More]
While it’s still settling multibillion-dollar tabs tied to the mortgage meltdown, Bank of America continues to face new legal and regulatory pressure. Yesterday, the bank revealed that it is being investigated by federal authorities to see whether it has complied with a program aimed to ease the mortgage-lending process. [More]
As the real estate market still continues to creep up out of the sinkhole that opened beneath our feet five years ago, home buyers have still been able to rely on loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration. But if lawmakers in Washington can’t figure out a way to keep spending money in the very near future, the federal government would effectively shut down, putting pending FHA mortgages at risk of falling through. [More]
The same day that trial began in the Justice Dept.’s lawsuit against Bank of America, the DOJ had another victory in a similar suit filed last year against Wells Fargo, as the bank failed this morning in its attempt to have the suit dismissed. [More]
On Tuesday, President Obama will visit Arizona, one of the states that took the biggest butt-whooping from the housing boot, and one of five states (along with Nevada, Florida, Michigan, and Georgia) that still account for a full 1/3 of the negative equity in the U.S. In a speech in Phoenix, the President will outline what his administration believes are steps that will help give more middle-class Americans a chance at securing a foothold in the housing market. [More]
The Federal Housing Administration insures mortgages, which makes it easier and more affordable for people to buy homes. That’s good. Quicken Loans happens to be an FHA lender, which is also good. What’s kind of confusing, though, is how the web page where you start your FHA loan application explicitly exempts FHA loans. Sort of. [More]
United States prosecutors leveled charges against Wells Fargo yesterday, claiming the bank lied about the quality of mortgages it was working with under a federal housing program. Prosecutors say Wells Fargo defrauded the government for more than a decade, issued mortgages willy nilly and then lied about their condition to the Federal Housing Administration. [More]
If you’re unemployed and worried about losing your home, here’s some news that might make your day a little brighter. The White House announced earlier today that all FHA-approved mortgage servicers must extend the forbearance period for unemployed homeowners, currently four months, to one year. [More]
Earlier today a former Fannie Mae exec and the current head of the FHA gave conflicting testimonies to Congress about the health of the mortgage insurer—particularly about whether or not it’s going to require a taxpayer bailout in the next couple of years.
BusinessWeek has an interesting article about a little known program that will allow first-time home buyers (technically, those who have not owned a home in three years) to use the 8k tax credit to offset down payments or closing costs.
Looking for a mortgage? You might want to consider an FHA loan. The New York Times says, “The Federal Housing Administration used to be known as a place for low-income borrowers with tarnished credit histories. But now, it has become a destination for borrowers whose credentials are respectable, but not stellar.” [NYT]
Reader Brian says he saw the above pictured infomercial on CNBC this Sunday, and is wondering how they get away with such a “blatant attempt to take advantage of those same mortgage consumers who where hoodwinked in the first place.”
A new bill that will help 1-2 million homeowners escape their unaffordable mortgages by refinancing into new low-cost fixed-rate loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has passed the House and will now move on to the Senate. If it is eventually passed by the Senate and signed by the President (who is no longer threatening to veto it), will it help you?
“The housing market is bad and is going to stay bad for some time,” said Zach Pandl, an economist at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in New York, who predicted a 3 percent drop. “This number does not look good for existing home sales for August.”