Happy Holidays from HSBC?

HSBC To Customers: Merry Christmas, Pay Your Mortgage Or We’ll Take Your House

Holiday greetings generally contain salutations of thanks and wishes for a happy season. A note from HSBC hits all of those points, but then tacks on a quick threat you’d expect from Scrooge: pay us, or we’ll take your home. [More]

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]

(Great Beyond)

CFPB: Mortgage Lender Must Refund Consumers $730,000 for Steering Them Into Costlier Mortgages

Taking out an expensive loan is often the only option when it comes to financing a new home. And while most prospective home buyers might expect their mortgage lender to find them the best deal, that isn’t always the case. Take for example a California-based mortgage lender being ordered to provide $730,000 in consumer redress for an illegal compensation system that offered bonuses to employees for steering borrowers into higher interest loans. [More]

(jenni waterloo)

Indiana Woman Lived In A House For Eight Years Without Ever Having To Pay For It

The luxury of not having to pay rent or a mortgage payment every month might seem like some kind of fever dream, obtainable only by those scant few who make the rest of us uncomfortably jealous, but one woman in Indiana managed to pull it off not just for a few months or even a year — but for eight years. [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]

1-In-3 Americans Still Feeling The Sting Of Recession

1-In-3 Americans Still Feeling The Sting Of Recession

While many Americans are now doing better than they were during the Great Recession, those dark days took such a toll on many consumers’ savings that some people who are currently doing well enough to pay the bills and enjoy a decent living aren’t able to make necessary longterm investments, like buying a new home or saving for retirement. [More]

Feds File 9 Lawsuits Against Alleged Mortgage Relief Scammers That Took Millions From Consumers

Feds File 9 Lawsuits Against Alleged Mortgage Relief Scammers That Took Millions From Consumers

If the thought of losing one’s home wasn’t bad enough, finding out that you’ve been ripped off by the companies promising to help must be even worse. Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, along with the Federal Trade Commission and 15 states announced a string of lawsuits and other actions against such deceptive companies. [More]

Ohio Woman Sues Chase For Alleged Mortgage Law Violation

Ohio Woman Sues Chase For Alleged Mortgage Law Violation

When you don’t follow the rules, you’re likely to get into a bit of trouble. In this case, JPMorgan Chase found itself party to a lawsuit alleging the company violated a law aimed to protect homeowners. [More]

(Red~Star)

The CFPB Has Only Just Begun Tackling Financial Services In Its First Four Years

Four years ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created – and three years ago it opened its doors – as a safeguard to ensure the financial industry followed the rules when selling products and services to consumers – and a lot has happened since that time. [More]

CFPB Clarifies Rule That Could Cause Heirs To Lose Their Homes

CFPB Clarifies Rule That Could Cause Heirs To Lose Their Homes

When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau implemented rules to protect consumers from getting caught in mortgage “debt traps” earlier this year, the regulators may have missed one section of not-so-typical borrowers: consumers who inherit a family member’s home – mortgage and all. [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]

(Kerry Lannert)

New Policies Aim To Make It Easier For First-Time Home Buyers To Get Mortgages

Some first-time home buyers face an uphill battle when it comes to obtaining a mortgage following the housing crisis. But new policies created by federal regulators aim to make it easier for consumers to buy the home of their dreams. [More]

Could Consumers’ Frustration With  Mortgage Closings Be Solved By eClosing System?

Could Consumers’ Frustration With Mortgage Closings Be Solved By eClosing System?

After months of searching for a home, going through the process of applying for a mortgage, providing support for every speck of dust in your piggy bank (often multiple times), you finally get to closing day, where you’re often rushed through hundreds of papers of documents you’ve never seen before, hoping that you’re not inadvertently signing away your firstborn. Isn’t there something that can be done to make the closing process less daunting and more transparent? [More]

CFPB Receives Double The Consumer Complaints In 2013, But Sought Fewer Explanations

CFPB Receives Double The Consumer Complaints In 2013, But Sought Fewer Explanations

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau heard a lot from consumers in 2013. The agency received the most complaints in its history, including those from three new areas – payday loans, money transfers and debt collections. But it appears that fewer complaints were sent to offending companies for review and response. [More]

Complaints Surging, Modifications Decreasing As Loan Servicers Snap Up Mortgages From Banks

Complaints Surging, Modifications Decreasing As Loan Servicers Snap Up Mortgages From Banks

It’s been a rough few years for homeowners. Since the collapse of a housing bubble in 2008, mortgage-holders have been yanked around every which way by the banks that own their loans. Mega-banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America have earned their reputations for being impenetrable, hostile bureaucracies to their customers. The industry has done everything from issuing loans that borrowers had no chance of repaying, to “losing” paperwork that distressed borrowers endlessly resend, to foreclosing on borrowers who have actually paid, and even discriminating based on race and gender. [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]

CFPB Tackles Mortgage Protections For Borrowers In The Armed Forces

CFPB Tackles Mortgage Protections For Borrowers In The Armed Forces

The CFPB last week unveiled a set of rules (PDF) to protect mortgage borrowers, especially those who are military servicemembers. [More]

CFPB Fines Lender For Hiding Mortgage Kickbacks As Rent Payments

CFPB Fines Lender For Hiding Mortgage Kickbacks As Rent Payments

The CFPB has ordered a Missouri mortgage lender to pay over $81,000 related to an illegal kickback scheme. [More]