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Archive for August, 2009

Real Estate: Why Do We License Brokers & Agents?

Real Estate: Why Do We License Brokers & Agents?

Across the country we license many professions, everyone from barbers to lawyers. There are several basic reasons for such licensure: To protect the public against unethical and incompetent practitioners. To assure that practitioners have certain minimum levels of education and experience. To assure that consumers receive certain minimum levels of service. To define what is […]

Posted in: Library
Real Estate: How To Re-Power US Home Sales

Real Estate: How To Re-Power US Home Sales

Long ago I was a part owner of a company that produced dual-fuel vehicles — they could run on either gasoline or propane with the flip of a switch. We did a lot of fleet conversions and we even supplied fuel for a number of apartment buildings. I also used to write about energy and […]

Posted in: Library
Real Estate: Imported Drywall Not Radioactive

Real Estate: Imported Drywall Not Radioactive

It never ends — there’s always some bizarre rumor regarding houses and radioactivity. The latest one concerns the idea that drywall is somehow emitting dangerous levels of radiation. Although skeptics and conspiracy theorists will not be comforted, the government says that such rumors are mush. Indeed, the government has now built a Drywall Information Center. […]

Posted in: Library
Real Estate: What Really Happened To Home Prices

Real Estate: What Really Happened To Home Prices

We’re not going to restore the housing market without solid factual evidence to suggest that home prices have started to turn around. A good source for such evidence is the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the government body that now oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In figures release yesterday, FHFA tells us that in […]

Posted in: News
Mortgages: Less Hope For Delinquent Borrowers

Mortgages: Less Hope For Delinquent Borrowers

For all the talk regarding mortgage modifications, the open secret has been fairly clear: Most modifications are failing. Once behind most people do not catch up. According to Fitch Ratings, so-called cure rates for delinquent prime loans — the highest quality loans — have declined from an average of 45% during 2000-2006 to the currently […]

Posted in: Mortgages
Mortgages: Lender Cut-Off Goes To Court

Mortgages: Lender Cut-Off Goes To Court

A suit has been filed in Illinois against JPMortgage Chase alleging that the bank has cut off home equity lines of credit “in an attempt to limit their exposure to the risk of collapse in the United States housing market and rid themselves of less-profitable loans, Defendants have broken contractual promises to their HELOC account […]

Posted in: Mortgages
Mortgages: Interest Rates Retreat

Mortgages: Interest Rates Retreat

During the past week mortgage interest rates moved visibly lower. Freddie Mac says the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.12 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending August 20, 2009, down from last week when it averaged 5.29 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.47 percent. Today’s interest […]

Posted in: News
Mortgages: Foreclosure Rates Continue To Soar

Mortgages: Foreclosure Rates Continue To Soar

Mortgage delinquencies for the second quarter were at the highest level since it first began keeping records in 1972, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Glum news on the foreclosure front continues. The latest MBA statistics offer the following highlights. The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties rose to a seasonally adjusted […]

Posted in: Foreclosures
Mortgage News: Investors Have Rights Too

Mortgage News: Investors Have Rights Too

What rights do mortgage investors have when loan servicers want to change loan terms? That is the essential issue in this case which pits Greenwich Financial Services Distressed Mortgage Fund 3, LLC against Countrywide Financial Corporation, now a part of Bank of America. Does the safe harbor provision created by Congress last March for mortgage […]

Posted in: News
Mortgage Modifications: California Says “Prove It”

Mortgage Modifications: California Says “Prove It”

You see a lot of claims regarding the success of loan modification programs. There’s a ready market for such services because more than 300,000 borrowers per month are now receiving foreclosure notices according to RealtyTrac.com. If you were going to lose your home you’s be interested also. The problem, of course, is that very few […]

Posted in: Foreclosures