housing crisis - Articles

Foreclosure Activity Drops to Lowest Level Since 2005

By Alex Veiga LOS ANGELES -- While foreclosures remain a concern in select states, the number of U.S. homes entering the path to foreclosure or winding up repossessed by lenders has fallen to levels not seen in more than six years. The trend is the latest sign foreclosures are becoming less of a national factor on... Continue Reading »

What the Chase Settlement Could Mean for Consumers

AP The Justice Department and JPMorgan Chase & Co. reportedly could sign a $13 billion agreement today that would be the largest ever reached between the U.S. government and a corporation, several news sources are reporting. The final issue in the settlement was said by persons familiar with the talks (but not... Continue Reading »

Housing Prices Lift 2.5 Million Homes Out of Negative Equity

Shutterstock Rising home prices drove down the number of U.S. homeowners struggling with underwater mortgages in the second quarter, leaving 14.5 percent of residential properties with a mortgage in negative equity, a report from CoreLogic showed on Tuesday. The rate was down from 19.7 percent in the first quarter, 22.3... 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 »

Obama to Propose Shuttering Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae

John Raoux/AP By JULIE PACE WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is proposing to overhaul the nation's mortgage finance system, including shutting down government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And he has some bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. Obama was to outline his proposals Tuesday at a construction company in... Continue Reading »

About Half of HAMP Mortgages Are Back in Default, Report Says

By Margaret Chadbourn Nearly half of the mortgages modified in 2009 under the Obama administration's signature homeowner rescue effort are in default again, according to a report on Wednesday that raised concerns about the program's effectiveness. The report from the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset... Continue Reading »

Senators Move to Abolish Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday introduced a bill to abolish Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and replace them with a government reinsurer of mortgage securities that would backstop private capital in a crisis. The U.S. government seized the mortgage finance firms in 2008 to rescue them from insolvency,... Continue Reading »

Behind the Foreclosure Surge in New York, New Jersey

By Nin-Hai Tseng Just as many of us believe we've seen the worst of the housing market's collapse, two unlikely states are only now getting hit with a wave of foreclosures: New York and New Jersey. The region was largely spared when home prices disastrously tumbled in 2007. New York and New Jersey, with some of the... Continue Reading »

1 in 3 Foreclosures Have Bank Errors to Blame

A shocking number of U.S. homeowners who had foreclosure proceedings brought against them by the biggest mortgage companies during the housing bust nearly lost their homes because of a potential banking error, The Huffington Post reported. Nearly a third of foreclosed borrowers, or 1.2 million, in 2009 and 2010... Continue Reading »

Do Banks or Homeowners Win in Mortgage Settlement?

Hundreds of thousands of Americans stand to benefit from the latest mortgage-abuse settlement, but consumer advocates say U.S. banks may be getting the best of the deal. Banks have agreed to pay $8.5 billion to settle charges that they wrongfully foreclosed on millions of homeowners in the wake of the 2008 financial... Continue Reading »

Thankful: Readers Give Their Reasons for Feeling Up in a Down Housing Market

It's no secret that the housing crisis and still-struggling economy have made life that much more difficult for Americans. But with an improving real estate market, low interest rates and largely affordable home prices, to name a few things, we can still find reasons to be thankful. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, AOL... Continue Reading »

FHA Bailout May Be Needed, Report Says

For the first time in its 78-year history, the Federal Housing Administration may need a government bailout to stay in operation, The Wall Street Journal reports. The FHA, which insures mortgage lenders against losses, is expected to report this week that it's close to exhausting its reserves and may need to turn to... Continue Reading »

Occupy Our Homes, Occupy Wall Street Offshoot, Builds a Reputation in Battling Foreclosures

Though Occupy Wall Street is fading from the public eye, one of its offshoots continues to garner attention, carrying the torch as perhaps the most potent legacy of a movement that's largely cooled. Ten months ago, Occupy Our Homes officially launched in more than 20 cities, staging sit-ins at properties in danger of... Continue Reading »

Lifelong Renters Dodged the Housing Bust but Not Buying a Home Could Cost Them

Isra Hashmi is one of the lucky ones. And even so, she's watched her mother sink under a $700,000 mortgage for a home in California that she never could afford to begin with on a physician's income. Hashmi's mother eventually had to walk away from the house. She's seen her brother have to abandon his home, too, after... Continue Reading »

Obama's Housing Scorecard

By Les Christie The housing market is gaining strength thanks in part to government programs aimed at helping struggling homeowners, the latest Obama Administration Housing Scorecard released Thursday found. "The Obama Administration's efforts to speed housing recovery are showing clear signs of traction," said Erika... Continue Reading »

Foreclosures Are Taking Over These 20 Regions

By Mamta Badkar Foreclosure filings across the country were down 15 percent year-over-year, according to RealtyTrac's latest foreclosure report. But foreclosures were up 1 percent from last month. For the first time since the report was created, Illinois, a judicial state, took over as the state with the highest... Continue Reading »

Housing Crisis Turns Some Ex-Homeowners Into Lifelong Renters

You couldn't pay Mark Williams to own a home again. "Give me the money for it," he said. "I'm still not buying a house." It's not that he always felt this way. Williams (pictured at left) did profit handsomely from the housing market's boom years, selling a Sacramento home in 2005 for more than twice as much as he... Continue Reading »

Underwater Homes: Top 10 States With the Most Negative-Equity Mortgages

Underwater mortgages have plagued the housing market since the housing bubble burst in 2006. Rapidly declining prices meant that homeowners started to owe more on their mortgages than their homes were worth. This can lead to short sales, foreclosures, and a serious blow to a households' net worth. CoreLogic released... Continue Reading »

Single-Family Rental Houses Draw Millions Impacted by Foreclosure Crisis

After splitting from her husband, Tami Wingfield couldn't afford to keep up with the mortgage on the home that they had shared. The monthly $1,600 bill was too much for her to bear alone, and in 2008, she lost the house to foreclosure. Like many people who lost their homes in the housing collapse, Wingfield decided the... Continue Reading »

5 Red Flags of the Next Mortgage Crisis

By Christopher Maag What will the next mortgage meltdown look like? For years, some financial analysts have worried that the 2008 financial crisis wasn't unique. Rather, what if the mortgage crash merely exposed a beehive of fundamental problems in our economy that still exist today? Here are some of the competing... Continue Reading »

Former Housing Boomtown Hangs by a Thread

STOCKTON, Calif. -- A red, white and blue sign declaring Stockton an "All-America City" still adorns City Hall, but the building's crumbling facade tells the real story of the community's recent fortunes. Since the sign went up nearly a decade ago, Stockton has twice topped Forbes magazine's list of "America's most... Continue Reading »

Fannie Mae, Facing Deficit, Asks Fed for Another $4.5 Billion

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage giant Fannie Mae said Wednesday that it lost money in its fourth quarter and is asking the federal government for $4.57 billion in aid to cover its deficit. Washington-based Fannie said it lost $2.41 billion in the October-December quarter, stung by declining home prices. Revenue was $4.53... Continue Reading »

Bernanke: Housing Still Hurting Consumer Spending

WASHINGTON -- Ben Bernanke says declines in home prices have forced many Americans to cut back sharply on spending and warns that the trend could continue to weigh on the economy for years. The Federal Reserve chairman drew the connection between home values and consumer spending, which fuels 70 percent of economic... Continue Reading »

National Mortgage Settlement Finally Reached

WASHINGTON -- Forty-nine U.S. states have reached a $25 billion deal with the nation's biggest mortgage lenders over foreclosure abuses that occurred after the housing bubble burst. Federal and state officials announced the deal Thursday. It is the biggest settlement involving a single industry since a 1998 multistate... Continue Reading »

WATCH: 'Need to Know' Explores the Mortgage Mod Maze

On the eve of the Nevada primary, in which housing policy will weigh heavily on residents of the foreclosure-ridden state, PBS' "Need to Know" takes a closer look at what the housing crisis looks and feels like for locals. In the video special below, which airs in full at 8:30 p.m. EST tonight, the "Need to Know" team... Continue Reading »

HUD Renegs on Letting Evicted 101-Year-Old Return Home

You may recall the story of Texana Hollis, the 101-year-old Detroit woman who lost her home due to her son's ill-advised borrowing, but was set to reoccupy the property after a groundswell of public support. Now Hollis (pictured above) faces yet another obstacle in returning to her family home of nearly 60 years: The... Continue Reading »

Homebuilder Sentiment Rises to Highest Level Since 2007

WASHINGTON -- U.S. homebuilders are growing a little less pessimistic about the depressed housing market after seeing more people say they might be open to buying a home this year. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose four points to 25 in January. That's the highest level... Continue Reading »

Fannie Mae CEO Michael Williams to Resign

WASHINGTON -- The executive who was appointed to lead mortgage giant Fannie Mae in 2009 after the federal government seized the company plans to step down as its CEO. Michael J. Williams announced Tuesday that he will continue as CEO and as a director until a successor is found. "I decided the time is right to turn... Continue Reading »

Homes Lose $700 Billion in Value in 2011, Report Says

By Sheryl Nance-Nash The year-end housing news is sobering -- U.S. homes are expected to lose more than $681 billion in value in 2011. But there's an upside -- that's 35 percent less than the $1.1 trillion lost in 2010, according to new research from Zillow, a real estate information marketplace. What else did the... Continue Reading »

State AG Sues Fannie and Freddie for Answers

SAN FRANCISCO -- California's attorney general filed lawsuits against mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Tuesday, demanding that the companies that own some 60 percent of the state's mortgages respond to questions in a state investigation. Attorney General Kamala Harris, whose office filed the lawsuits in San... Continue Reading »

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