First-Time Homebuyers May Only Need 3% Down Payment, But It Won’t Be A Cakewalk

First-Time Homebuyers May Only Need 3% Down Payment, But It Won’t Be A Cakewalk

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]

(Robert Fairchild)

You May Soon Need Less Of A Down-Payment To Buy A Home

One of the biggest hurdle’s to buying a home is coming up with a down-payment. In order to get a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you generally need to come up with at least 5% of the total cost. But the federal regulator overseeing Fannie and Freddie says it has reached a deal that would lower that minimum back down to 3% for some borrowers. [More]

Russia’s Biggest Bank Offering Loaner Cats To Entice Mortgage Borrowers

Just some of the cats available for a 2-hour visit to qualified borrowers' new homes.

Because it’s apparently good luck in Russia to let a cat stroll through your new home before you move your stuff in, and because mortgage interest rates have skyrocketed in the country, some employees at the nation’s largest bank are offering to lend out their feline friends to a handful of mortgage borrowers in the coming months. [More]

3 Things That Won’t (Or At Least Shouldn’t) Affect Your Mortgage Pre-Approval

3 Things That Won’t (Or At Least Shouldn’t) Affect Your Mortgage Pre-Approval

Anyone who has ever filled out a mortgage application with a bank or broker knows that there are a lot of questions you have to answer about your current assets, income, etc. There are a few things that seem like they might factor in — negatively or positively — to the approval process, but which can’t be used in determining whether or not you’re eligible for a loan. [More]

Citi To Pay $7B To Settle Mortgage Investigation; Includes $2.5B In Consumer Relief

Citi To Pay $7B To Settle Mortgage Investigation; Includes $2.5B In Consumer Relief

Nearly a week after it was first reported that Citigroup and the U.S. Justice Dept. had reached a deal to close the government’s investigation into toxic mortgage-backed securities sold by the bank in the years leading up to the crash of the housing market, Citi has now confirmed a settlement valued at a total of $7 billion. [More]

L.A. Sues JPMorgan Chase For Pushing Minorities Into Cruddy Mortgages

L.A. Sues JPMorgan Chase For Pushing Minorities Into Cruddy Mortgages

After filing similar suits against Well Fargo, Citi, and Bank of America, the city of Los Angeles is now going after JPMorgan Chase for allegedly pushing minority loan applicants into riskier and less-affordable mortgages than they were eligible for. [More]

(frankieleon)

Prosecutors May Seek Larger Penalty For Countrywide Exec Behind “Hustle” Scam

Last fall, Bank of America and former Countrywide executive Rebecca Mairone were found liable in federal court over a Countrywide scam that had bilked bailed-out mortgage-backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of piles of cash by selling them worthless mortgages. Mairone was originally expected to face a $1.1 million penalty, but that was before she got a big bonus from her new gig. [More]

Bank Of America’s Compliance With Federal Mortgage Program Being Investigated

Bank Of America’s Compliance With Federal Mortgage Program Being Investigated

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]

Justice Dept. Sued Over Validity Of $13 Billion Chase Mortgage Settlement

Justice Dept. Sued Over Validity Of $13 Billion Chase Mortgage Settlement

Remember back in November when JPMorgan reached the massive $13 billion settlement with the Justice Dept. over allegations tied to toxic mortgage-backed securities sold to investors before the housing market went kerflumpp? A non-profit group filed suit today against the DOJ, challenging the validity of the deal and asking for a court to review it. [More]

New Rule Requiring Banks To Make Sure Borrowers Can Actually Repay Mortgages Goes Into Effect This Week

New Rule Requiring Banks To Make Sure Borrowers Can Actually Repay Mortgages Goes Into Effect This Week

Want a mortgage? Go for it! But thanks to new rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the banks are going to need some proof first that you can actually, you know, pay it back. [More]

Feds Try To Make Forced-Place Insurance Less Of A Cash Cow For Banks

Feds Try To Make Forced-Place Insurance Less Of A Cash Cow For Banks

If you have a mortgage but fail to keep current on your homeowners’ insurance, the bank will just go out and get a “forced-place” policy for you. Problem is, you’ll often pay top dollar for insurance that provides minimal coverage while the bank makes money on commissions from the insurer and fees charged to the homeowner. Now the Federal Housing Finance Agency is looking to make forced-place policies slightly less lucrative for lenders. [More]

(Spidra Webster)

Wells Fargo Settles With Freddie Mac For $869 Million

Because a few days can’t go by without one of the few remaining big banks agreeing to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars (without ever admitting any wrongdoing), Wells Fargo has agreed to settle with Freddie Mac for $869 million over — you guessed it — toxic mortgages from the Bubble Era. [More]

(RAWRS)

Government Shutdown Could Completely Screw Up Your FHA Mortgage Application

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]

(TheTruthAbout)

Wells Fargo Fails At Getting Federal Mortgage Lawsuit Dismissed

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]

Clearer Mortgage Rules, No-Fee Refinances Key To President’s Plan For Middle-Class Housing Market

(Mark Turnauckas)

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]

(Nick Bastian)

Banks Received $814 Million In Federal Incentives For Mortgages That Ended Up In Redefault

According to the latest report from the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (or the much-cooler SIGTARP), the nation’s mortgage servicers have received more than $800 million in incentives for making modifications on mortgages that have ultimately resulted in the homeowner redefaulting on the loan. [More]

(amyadoyzie)

Drop In Number Of First-Time Home Buyers Is Cause For Concern

The notion of buying your first home, building equity, and eventually moving up the property ladder is still something many young Americans aspire to, but between more stringent underwriting procedures, lingering student loan debt, competition from real estate speculators and higher interest rates, first-time buyers are being squeezed out of the market. [More]

(taberandrew)

Bank Of America Attempts To Discredit Statements Of Former Employees

Last month, it was revealed that six former Bank of America employees and one ex-contractor for the bank, had given sworn statements in a lawsuit filed against BofA, and that these statements painted a picture of a system that deliberately lost mortgage modification paperwork and rewarded staffers for pushing employees into foreclosure. Now BofA has issued a detailed rebuttal of those allegations and why it believes that these statements misrepresent the truth. [More]