finance - Articles

Fannie and Freddie's Mortgage Size Limits Won't Drop in 2014

Alamy By Margaret Chadbourn WASHINGTON -- The maximum size of U.S. home loans that taxpayer-owned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy will hold steady next year, their regulator said on Tuesday, deferring a decision on when to pull back government support for the housing market. The mortgage financiers will continue to... Continue Reading »

Fewer U.S. Homes Headed Into Foreclosure in August

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images By ALEX VEIGA LOS ANGELES -- Lenders initiated foreclosure action in August against the fewest U.S. homes for any month in nearly eight years, a trend that should help reduce the number of homes lost to foreclosure in the months ahead. Some 55,775 homes entered the foreclosure process last... Continue Reading »

How to Save $20,000 for a Down Payment in Just 2 Years

Getty Images, Tetra images Making the move from renter to homeowner is challenging for nearly everyone, and the highest hurdle for most first-time buyers is saving enough money for a down payment. If your No. 1 priority in the next few years is to become a homeowner, financial experts say you'll likely need to make some... Continue Reading »

Calif. City Looks to Seize Loans to Ease Mortgages

Mark Elias/Bloomberg via Getty Images By PAUL ELIAS SAN FRANCISCO -- When the mayor of Richmond, Calif., and a gaggle of activists and homeowners showed up at the Wells Fargo Bank headquarters in downtown San Francisco this month, they were on a mission to speak with the bank's chief executive. They wanted the bank to... Continue Reading »

Scam Alert: Beware of 'Change My Address' Sites

Alamy By Herb Weisbaum It's one of the million little things you need to do when you move -- contact the postal service to change your mailing address. Here's where the problem can occur: Many people do a random search for "address change" and wind up on one of a number of sites run by private businesses. These companies... Continue Reading »

Risky Adjustable-Rate Mortgages Are Starting to Make a Big Comeback

Getty Images The dramatic rise in interest rates that has occurred over the past two months has had a big impact on the mortgage-loan market. Rates on standard 30-year mortgages have gone from below 3.5 percent as recently as late April to well above 4.5 percent currently, according to Bankrate, significantly increasing... Continue Reading »

Financial Nightmare Doesn't End With Foreclosure: There's the IRS

By Christopher Maag Christine, a reader, thought that after losing her home to foreclosure, there would be no new financial shocks for a while. Then she received a letter from the IRS. "I filed my taxes in 2010 and thought everything was fine," Christine wrote in a comment to a story, "then... Continue Reading »

30-Year Mortgage Rate Falls to Another Record Low: 3.66%

By Marcy Gordon WASHINGTON -- The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell this week to a record low for the seventh time in eight weeks. Cheap mortgages have helped drive a modest recovery in the weak housing market this year. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average on the 30-year loan... Continue Reading »

Seller Financing: Buying a House Without the Bank

By Neal Frankle As you probably already know, it can be almost impossible to obtain a bank mortgage with bad credit. If you otherwise can't get a loan because you have a troubled credit history, one alternative to a traditional bank mortgage is to obtain one from the seller. Seller financing has its benefits, as well as... Continue Reading »

Sales Contracts for U.S. Homes Dropped in April

By Martin Crutsinger WASHINGTON -- A gauge of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes fell in April from nearly a two-year high in the previous month. The decline was the biggest in a year. Still, sales are well ahead of last year's level for the same month, suggesting the housing market is improving slowly. The... Continue Reading »

Cities With The Most Homes in Foreclosure

By Michael B. Sauter According to data released last week, the worst effects of the housing crisis are beginning to wind down. RealtyTrac's latest report shows the number of foreclosures in the U.S. in April is down 13 percent, to 188,780 from 219,258 a year ago. However, some of the largest cities in the U.S.... Continue Reading »

Consumer Bureau Targets Predatory Lending

By James O'Toole The federal government is considering a new set of rules on mortgage origination that it says would make the process simpler and more transparent for borrowers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, said Wednesday that the new rules will focus... Continue Reading »

BofA Mailing Principal Reduction Offers to 200,000 Borrowers

LOS ANGELES -- Homeowners with a Bank of America mortgage have good reason to check their mailbox. The lender said Tuesday that it has begun mailing out letters to customers who may qualify to have their home loans reduced as part of a multistate settlement over alleged foreclosure abuses. The Charlotte, N.C.,-based... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Delinquencies Hit 3-Year Low

By The rate at which consumers are behind on their mortgage payments by 30 days or more slipped in March to the lowest levels seen in more than three years. The total value of all mortgage payments that were at least 30 days delinquent slipped to less than $500 billion in March, a level not seen since January... Continue Reading »

2011 in Real Estate: The Top 11 News Stories

It seemed like a race to the bottom this year: Along with continued declines in property values, every season seemed to see another record low in interest rates -- though fewer-than-expected buyers were inclined to take advantage. Also on the way down or stuck in the cellar: the number of Americans who expected to... Continue Reading »

Countrywide's Lending Practices Cost BofA $335 Million

Attorney General Eric Holder announced one of the biggest fair-lending settlements in U.S. history with Bank of America agreeing to pay $335 million to settle complaints levied against Countrywide Financial Corp. by the Department of Justice. During a press conference Wednesday, Holder said that his office investigated... Continue Reading »

The 11 Markets Where Homes Sell Fastest

California metros dominated a list of 11 fast-moving real estate markets in July, reported property search site released a list of metros with the lowest median age of inventory at the site -- a measurement of how long a property from a given metro area typically spends on the site. Denver, which... Continue Reading »

10 Tips for Renters Thinking of Buying a New Home

Ready to make the move from Renterdom to Home-ownership? Buying a home is one of the most important and expensive decisions you're likely to make. A little preparation can go long way to making the process run smoothly and minimize surprises that could undermine the transaction. Read on for our tips. Continue Reading »

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