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Archive for February, 2013

What Do Renters Really Want?

What Do Renters Really Want?

It turns out that single-family renters want more than a nice place to live and a low monthly payment. Unlike those who live in multi-family properties, what they really want to do is stay where they are. A new study by Opinion Research Corporation for Premier Property Management found that “single family home tenants are […]

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Banned Mortgages You’ll Never See Again

Banned Mortgages You’ll Never See Again

A new government report tells us that American home values fell $9.1 trillion dollars as a result of the mortgage meltdown. You can bet no one wants to see that again, but just to make sure new rules under Wall Street Reform effectively end risky mortgages that certain lenders have come to know and love. […]

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Estate Taxes Little Threat To Rich & Famous Homeowners

Estate Taxes Little Threat To Rich & Famous Homeowners

Almost 2.5 million people passed away in 2010 and few of them took estate tax worries to their graves. The IRS tells us that just 15,000 estates filed tax returns in 2010, down from 108,000 in 2001. Estate tax filing has dropped 86% not because we are living longer, dying less  or have become poorer […]

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RealtyTrac: January Foreclosures Slide 28%

RealtyTrac: January Foreclosures Slide 28%

Foreclosure filings continue to decline. The latest monthly report from RealtyTrac shows that foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — fell 28 percent when compared with January 2013. Still, 150,864 U.S. properties received a foreclosure notice in January, a huge number by historic standards. On a national basis the federal government has […]

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Mortgage Foreclosure “Dual-Tracking” Abuses To End

Mortgage Foreclosure “Dual-Tracking” Abuses To End

New government rules will end the practice of foreclosure “dual tracking,” cases where borrowers enrolled in loan modification programs are simultaneously foreclosed. The new regulations give borrowers powerful new foreclosure protections and essentially require loan servicers to help prevent foreclosures in situations where borrowers are seeking modifications or short sales on a timely basis. As […]

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New 120 Day Mortgage Foreclosure Rule Protects Borrowers

New 120 Day Mortgage Foreclosure Rule Protects Borrowers

The federal government has enacted new rules which will protect mortgage borrowers nationwide from abusive and wrongful foreclosures. Although the new standards do not officially take effect until January 2014, virtually all lenders will start following them this year to avoid reputational damage, the potential for litigation and additional regulatory oversight. The Mortgage Servicing Rules […]

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FHA Reverse Mortgage Restrictions Lie Ahead

FHA Reverse Mortgage Restrictions Lie Ahead

For a number of years the reverse mortgages insured by the FHA were a successful product in the sense that borrowers got their cash and the FHA had few claims. However, the FHA reverse mortgage program does not work in isolation — it actually requires rising home values. The typical reverse mortgage is outstanding for […]

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The FHA Questions Congress Is Afraid To Ask

The FHA Questions Congress Is Afraid To Ask

Your government is at work again. The House Committee on Financial Services — which could be balancing the budget or helping the Postal Service — is instead asking about “The Role of the Federal Housing Administration in Housing Finance.” The purpose, of course, is to make the FHA less competitive by raising rates and looping […]

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Dim Prospects For FHA Mortgage Borrowers With Big Debts

Dim Prospects For FHA Mortgage Borrowers With Big Debts

New HUD regulations show how people with big debts and weak credit can get FHA financing. Or do they? HUD says that the “FHA will require lenders to manually underwrite loans for which borrowers have a decision credit score below 620 and a total debt-to-income (DTI) ratio greater than 43 percent. Lenders will be required […]

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New FHA Reverse Mortgage Warning Issued By HUD

New FHA Reverse Mortgage Warning Issued By HUD

It seems that the much-troubled FHA reverse mortgage program has a new problem: lender meddling in the supposedly-independent counseling process which is supposed to protect borrowers. Before getting a reverse mortgage borrowers are required to meet with an independent counselor to better understand how the program works. The counseling requirement is intended to assure that […]

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