Paul Ryan Favors Dissolving Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

By Jon Prior A Mitt Romney administration plan for a future housing finance system likely shuns any form of a government guarantee, based on the Republican presidential candidate's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as a running mate. The Republican congressman from Wisconsin, who heads the House Budget Committee, released a... Continue Reading »

Chase Bank Offering No Doc Refis, Principal Reduction

By Jon Prior JPMorgan Chase went from fast-tracking foreclosures to rubber stamping and pre-approving some borrowers for refinances and even principal reduction. The five largest mortgage servicers signed a $25 billion deal with federal prosecutors and 49 state attorneys general in March to settle foreclosure abuses... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Refinancing Activity Reaches 3-Year High

By Kerri Ann Panchuk The number of mortgage applications filed in the U.S. edged up a slight 0.9 percent for the week ending July 20 as refinance activity hit a three-year high, an industry trade group said. The Mortgage Bankers Association noted its refinance index grew 2 percent from the previous week, its highest... Continue Reading »

Homebuilder Confidence Posts Largest 1-Month Jump in a Decade

By Kerri Ann Panchuk Homebuilder confidence rose six points in July, its steepest one-month increase in over a decade, according to a new report from the National Association of Home Builders. The NAHB released the Housing Market Index that it compiled in tandem with Wells Fargo on Tuesday. The report shows the Home... Continue Reading »

Probe: FHLBanks Violated Unsecured Credit Limits

By Justin T. Hilley Several Federal Home Loan Banks violated regulatory credit limits in 2010 and 2011, even as the risks associated with doing so intensified, according to a recent federal investigation. The Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General found that FHLBanks substantially increased... Continue Reading »

HARP Now Expected to Reach Twice as Many Homeowners

By Jon Prior The expanded Home Affordable Refinance Program will likely reach more underwater borrowers than its architects originally thought. "We said we would double the number from what we've already done under HARP, which would mean we'd do another 900,000 under the expanded program. I think we're actually... Continue Reading »

FHA Lifts Ban on Homebuyers Who Have Credit Disputes

By Jon Prior The Federal Housing Administration rescinded a rule that would have denied financing to potential homebuyers with ongoing credit disputes of more than $1,000, according to an alert sent to lenders Friday. The FHA quietly drafted the rule in March to mitigate risks to its emergency fund. The rule went into... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Applications Soar to Highest Level Since Spring 2009

By Kerri Panchuk With interest rates well below 4 percent for the week ending June 8, total mortgage applications soared 18 percent from the previous week, an industry trade group said Tuesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association noted that the refinance index increased more than 19 percent from the previous week,... Continue Reading »

Home Prices Up Quarterly and Yearly, Report Says

By Kerri Panchuk Home prices grew from the previous rolling quarter and year-over-year in May, making it the first time in two years that both indicators have risen in the same period, asset valuation firm Clear Capital said. The firm published its home data index market report, showing that the West, South and... Continue Reading »

3 Bills Could Bring More Mortgage Relief

Three bills intended to increase homeowner refinancing were introduced this week by Democratic senators -- bills that HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said are "a win, win, win and something that we think can gain real bipartisan support very quickly and get passed." The bills, if passed, would complete President Barack... Continue Reading »

Foreclosures Put 8 Million Children At Risk, Study Says

By Kerri Panchuk The foreclosure crisis impacted the lives of 8 million American children, and has left them and their parents at increased risk of homelessness and poverty, a Brookings Institution report says. A study by Brookings scholar Julia Isaacs said 2.3 million children lost homes during the first wave of... Continue Reading »

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Prod Banks on Short-Sale Reviews

By Jon Prior Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will require mortgage servicers to make decisions on short sales under new timelines beginning this June. Servicers must review and respond to a borrower within 30 days of receiving all documentation. According to guidance released Tuesday, the servicer can take up to 60 days on... Continue Reading »

Loan Thaw? Average Mortgage Up by $20,000, Study Says

By Kerri Panchuk The average loan size that lenders issued to borrowers in the past three months grew by $20,000, suggesting a thawing in mortgage lending, Capital Economics said Wednesday. While the report, which was released by Capital Economics analysts Paul Dales, Paul Diggle and Amna Asaf, stopped short of... Continue Reading »

Fannie Mae Poll: More Say Buying a Home Now Is Smart

By Kerri Panchuk A new Fannie Mae study suggests Americans are beginning to consider 2012 a good year to acquire a home. The government sponsored enterprise released its March National Housing Survey of just over 1,000 Americans and found more citizens expect rents and home prices to increase in the coming months,... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Principal Reduction on Freddie Mac Loans?

By Jon Prior Freddie Mac CEO Charles "Ed" Haldeman gave a strong signal Friday that new incentives from the Treasury Department may be enough to start principal reduction on mortgages backed by the government-sponsored enterprises. In January, the Treasury said it would triple incentive payments to mortgage investors... Continue Reading »

Buying Cheaper Than Renting in Nearly 100 Major U.S. Markets

By Justin T. Hilley Buying is more affordable than renting in 98 out of the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas -- even in New York, Los Angeles and Boston, according to real estate company Trulia's rent vs. buy index. The index is based on asking prices for rental units and homes for sale on the company's... Continue Reading »

Only 5% of Underwater Homes May Qualify for Write-Downs

Only about 1 in 20 underwater homeowners may qualify for principal reduction under states' recent settlement with five big banks, a new study says. A calculation by a Brookings Institution economist narrowed down the pool of underwater homeowners to 500,000 who could qualify for principal reduction from the $25 billion... Continue Reading »

FHA Loan Costs to Rise in April

By Jon Prior The Federal Housing Administration will raise mortgage insurance premiums this April in order to repair the health of its emergency fund. The FHA upfront mortgage insurance premium will increase to 1.75 percent from 1 percent of the base home loan amount. This will apply regardless of the term or... Continue Reading »

Bank of America Slams the Door on Fannie Mae

By Jacob Gaffney Bank of America is faced with numerous reps and warrants challenges on the mortgage front, and as a result of growing uncertainty, it will no longer sell certain mortgage refinances into Fannie Mae mortgage-backed securities. "The issue is tied to ongoing disagreements between Bank of America and... Continue Reading »

Chase and Nonprofit to Give Homes to Military Members, Vets

By Kerri Panchuk Mortgage lender Chase and nonprofit Operation Homefront will partner to place 100 wounded warriors, military members and veterans into Chase-owned homes. Operation Homefront is a nonprofit that provides aid to active military, wounded warriors and veterans. The new program -- Homes on the... Continue Reading »

AOL RealEstate on Facebook