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Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Rate Update

Mortgage Rates Continue Slipping

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.32 percent from last week’s rate of 4.39 percent, Freddie Mac said yesterday. At this time in 2013, the 30-year FRM rate averaged 3.53 percent.

--- ABA Daily Newsbytes

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Flood Insurance Rates Going Up?

ICBA is calling on the Senate to pass bipartisan legislation to protect homeowners from significant increases in flood insurance premiums. Senators last night advanced debate on legislation to delay the increases, which began being phased in on Oct. 1.

S. 1926, introduced by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), would delay rate increases for up to four years by giving the Federal Emergency Management Agency time to develop a plan to help property owners who cannot afford higher premiums.

Unless Congress acts, flood insurance rate increases under the  Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 would make flood insurance unaffordable for many policyholders who built to code and followed the law every step of the way. These increases would negatively affect home values and destabilize the still-recovering housing market in affected areas.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Rate Update

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.39 percent from last week’s rate of 4.41 percent, Freddie Mac said yesterday. At this time in 2013, the 30-year FRM rate averaged 3.42 percent.

---ABA Daily Newsbytes

Thursday, January 23, 2014

New Loan Safeguards Leave Path for Higher-Risk Borrowers

As regulators tighten mortgage rules and big banks resist lending to riskier middle-income Americans, state housing-finance agencies (HFAs) across the United States are rapidly expanding to restore the fading dream of homeownership. The state agencies got a boost from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which exempted them from stricter mortgage regulations that it rolled out this month. Wells Fargo, the biggest U.S. home lender, already is doing business with the state groups, and Quicken Loans Inc., the fourth-largest originator last year, is looking to build relationships with HFAs. The agencies have become far more attractive since getting the exemption, Bob Walters, vice president of Quicken’s capital markets group in Detroit, says. "The question is, if the industry gets really interested in this and wants to expand lending, are the HFAs ready for this influx?" asks Ben Olson, who helped write the CFPB guidelines before leaving the bureau in May.

From "New Loan Safeguards Leave Path for Higher-Risk Borrowers"
Bloomberg (01/22/14) Gopal, Prashant

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Rate Update

Mortgage Rates Fall Slightly

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.41 percent from last week’s rate of 4.51 percent, Freddie Mac said yesterday. At this time in 2013, the 30-year FRM rate averaged 3.38 percent.

---ABA Daily Newsbytes

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Poor Credit Reports Start Vicious Economic Cycle; Can It Be Stopped?

For some people, bad credit is a result of being irresponsible. For others, it’s a matter of bad luck and overwhelming circumstance. Alas, the credit reporting agencies don’t make such distinctions, meaning someone whose house went into foreclosure because he lost his job and also had to be hospitalized is treated the same as the person who stopped making mortgage payments because they didn’t feel like it.
A new study by the National Consumer Law Center says there’s always more to the story, especially when it comes to the aftereffects of foreclosure during the recent recession.
Americans are still hurting from the collapse of the housing market, the subsequent recession and foreclosure fest, a crisis that resulted in more than 4.5 million people losing their homes. The long-term damage to these former homeowners’ credit means they will likely not be able to secure a new mortgage for another decade.
And the recession’s effect on American consumers’ credit is more than just the inability to get a loan. Bad credit can keep those consumers from getting jobs, affordable housing and insurance.
Not every home lost to foreclosure is the result of people buying properties they couldn’t afford or taking out loans they weren’t qualified to repay. Many foreclosures occurred because consumers lost their jobs, or fell victim to predatory lending and exploding Adjustable Rate Mortgages.

 Read the rest at the link above.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Social Media and Your Loan Application

How your social media activity can torpedo your loan application-- from Naked Security

We already know that social media missteps can, say, bury our chances for getting hired or get us arrested if we brag on Facebook or Twitter about what bad-ass burglars we are.
Hang tight: there's actually a whole new world of d'oh! opening up.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, our Facebook friends, our Twitter musings, our eBay or PayPal accounts, our cookies, our browser behavior, and/or our smartphone use are increasingly being used by financial services outfits that are using our online selves to figure out whether they should loan us money or extend our existing credit lines.
The WSJ's Stephanie Armour writes that the horrifically embarrassing things some of us stumble into posting include financial details that could get our credit applications denied, such as whether the job information we put on our loan applications match what we posted on LinkedIn, or whether we posted about our employers firing us.
Small businesses, for their part, may well be turned down for more credit if they get lousy reviews on eBay, lending companies told the WSJ.
At this point, it seems that many such institutions are giving customers the social-media once-over on an opt-in basis, often using the information as one more way to get credit to borrowers who might otherwise have difficulty getting a loan, though banking experts predict that it's likely to become more pervasive and less opt-in than that.
For example, at one such business, the mobile-only bank Moven, customers can opt to link up their Facebook, LinkedIn, and/or Twitter accounts to learn about their own financial behavior and make payments to friends.
Moven is planning to offer loans, and customers' activity on social media will be one factor in making those underwriting decisions, the bank's president, Alex Sion, told the WSJ, noting that you can get a much better read on creditworthiness that way:
The data we have on customers via social networks says more about them than their FICO [credit-score rating]. … You can make credit decisions based not on a faceless score, but on who you know.
That "who you know" is quite literal, as in, the information provided by your social networks.

Read more at the link above.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Rate Update

Mortgage Rates Hold Steady

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained little changed at 4.51 percent from last week’s rate of 4.53 percent, Freddie Mac said yesterday. At this time in 2013, the 30-year FRM rate averaged 3.40 percent.

---ABA Daily Newsbytes

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Watt Reverses FHFA G-Fee Hike

Newly appointed Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt yesterday delayed plans to increase the guarantee fees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge. “The implications for mortgage credit availability and how these changes might interact with the new qualified mortgage standards could be significant,” said Watt. “I want to fully understand these implications before deciding whether to move forward with any adjustments to g-fee pricing.”

On Dec. 9, the FHFA said g-fees would rise by an average 14 basis points for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages, and an average 4 basis points for 15-year mortgages. The fee increases would have reflected a 10 basis-point hike of the base g-fee for all mortgages, changes to the g-fee pricing grid and the elimination -- except in four states -- of the up-front 25 basis-point adverse-market fee that has been charged since 2008.

---ABA Daily Newsbytes

Monday, January 6, 2014

Rates Edge Up to Start Year

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose slightly to 4.53 percent from last week’s rate of 4.48 percent, Freddie Mac said yesterday. At this time in 2013, the 30-year FRM rate averaged 3.34 percent.