Houston Real Estate Blogosphere
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Mortgage & Finance

The most recently published posts in the Mortgage & Finance category
If you put out a complaint box for customers of US banks and financial firms, you will get hundreds of thousands of complaints. That's what the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—which was set up by Elizabeth Warren before she became a US senator—has discovered. And the bank that has drawn the most complaints is Bank of America. Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Citibank were other top ...
Read Post [Posted on 07/31/2014 By John Askins]
Scammers continue targeting home owners, prompting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to issue warnings to underwater borrowers about widespread mortgage-modification scams. Scammers try to dupe home owners by claiming to be affiliated with government agencies or programs. They make promises to obtain a mortgage modification on behalf of the underwater home owner. They will charge up-front f...
Read Post [Posted on 07/31/2014 By John Askins]
Ocwen Financial Corp., a servicer of residential mortgages, launched a loan modification program to reduce the principal on a mortgage for delinquent borrowers, but the borrowers must agree to let loan investors share in future appreciation of the home’s value when the market recovers.  Through the Shared Appreciation Modification program, Ocwen will write down the principal of the loa...
Read Post [Posted on 07/31/2014 By John Askins]
Where do home buyers have the most to spend on housing? CNNMoney highlighted a map that shows which states millionaires gravitate to the most. Here are the 10 states that boasted the highest number of millionaires, along with the ratio of millionaires to households in each state: Maryland: 7.70% New Jersey: 7.49% Connecticut: 7.32% Hawaii: 7.18% Alas...
Read Post [Posted on 07/30/2014 By John Askins]
  5 Steps You Can’t Skip During Escrow  The escrow process, which is also known as closing or settlement, is the endgame of thehome-buying process. It is when the buyer, seller and other necessary parties get together to seal the deal. While your real estate agent and lender may assist you during the process, you should prepare yourself by knowing what to expect once you ar...
Read Post [Posted on 07/29/2014 By Michelle Cannon]
Home buyers may not get as great of a deal on a foreclosure as they once did, according to Paul Diggle from Capital Economics in a report. Foreclosure starts have fallen and the inventory of foreclosures has been decreasing, which has caused the discount on foreclosures to lessen.The discount on foreclosed homes compared to other homes has fallen to a 12 percent average, according to Diggle. That ...
Read Post [Posted on 07/29/2014 By John Askins]
The growing popularity of jumbo loans is increasing the potential for mortgage fraud with these high-priced loans, according to Interthinx in its latest mortgage fraud risk report.  In recent months, jumbo rates, in some cases, have been lower than conforming rates, leading to them grow in popularity.  "With the rise in popularity of jumbo loans, lenders must be aware of both the credi...
Read Post [Posted on 07/28/2014 By John Askins]
Short sale and foreclosure transactions can be fraught with potential legal problems for real estate professionals. And as the number of these transactions continues to skyrocket, agents need to be careful, says Stella Ling, managing senior counsel of the California Association of REALTORS®. Short sales success rate is only about 50 percent, Ling said, so "the best thing to do is to prescree...
Read Post [Posted on 07/26/2014 By John Askins]
More home owners are falling prey to scams that promise to “stop the foreclosure” and “save your home.” The Federal Trade Commission has released a report to help borrowers avoid falling victim to such scams, here are a few of its tips: 1. Watch for outlandish claims. "Eliminate your debt!" and "We guarantee to stop the auction" are too good to be true. If it sounds like an easy way out, don’t bel...
Read Post [Posted on 07/25/2014 By John Askins]
One provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law requires lenders to provide consumers with a free credit score, which will help provide new insights into why they may have been rejected for a loan or did not qualify for the best, lowest rate. While borrowers can access their credit scores from the credit bureaus, the credit score that a lender uses isn’t always the same one that t...
Read Post [Posted on 07/24/2014 By John Askins]
With the growth of green building the last decade, green lending has emerged to help finance those often costly “green” upgrades.  Dave Porter, with PorterWorks in Stanton, Wash., who provides continuing education courses on green lending to those in the real estate industry, says there are several basic types of green mortgages, which most of the public still isn’t very aware about. For e...
Read Post [Posted on 07/23/2014 By John Askins]
Five to six million new renter households may be created within the next 8 years, caused from low inventories of homes available and tight credit conditions, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center. Rental demand is expected to particularly increase among seniors looking to downsize their homes, as well as young adults and a growing immigrant population. “We expect to see an increase in househol...
Read Post [Posted on 07/23/2014 By John Askins]
More than three-quarters of Americans who fall within Generations X and Y believe they have become increasingly knowledgeable about home ownership due to the greater media coverage on the real estate market the past six years, according to a Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate survey of about 1,000 18-35 year olds. These two generations say that before buying they’d do their homework first, rese...
Read Post [Posted on 07/22/2014 By John Askins]
Fixed-rate mortgages have been at decade lows this year, increasing home buyers’ purchasing power and helping to trim home owners monthly mortgage payments—at least for those who qualify. But a number of home buyers and refinancers say they are shut out of the cheaper borrowing conditions due to banks’ tightened lending standards, according to data released by the Federal Reserve. One Washin...
Read Post [Posted on 07/22/2014 By John Askins]
With crowdfunding tech sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo successfully launching projects ranging from LPs to lightbulbs, the idea is making inroads in real estate. Groundfloor, an online crowdfunding program devoted to real estate, is putting a historic Atlanta home on the market this week as it prepares to expand its funding platform to five new states. The home renovator received...
Read Post [Posted on 07/22/2014 By John Askins]
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