mortgage

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Pricier in 2014: Mortgages

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to increase fees

(Newser) - An effort to loosen Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's grip on the mortgage market will come at a price: pricier mortgages. The two announced late Monday that, at the insistence of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, they will increase their fees to borrowers without impeccable credit (designated as those... More »

Calif. City OK With Seizing Mortgages From Banks

Eminent domain would be used to help Richmond homeowners

(Newser) - Eminent domain is usually used to seize homes from people, but Richmond, California, in the early hours of this morning gave a tentative green light to a plan that would use it to keep people in their homes. In a contentious 4-3 vote, the city council voted to continue pursuing... More »

Foreclosure Victims Get New Round of Botched Checks

Last month 's checks bounced, so maybe this is progress

(Newser) - The very same institutions that apparently couldn't foreclose on homes properly are having a run of it: Following regulators' $3.6 million settlement with 13 banks, the Federal Reserve told Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to send affected borrowers $247 million, doled out in amounts between $300 and $125,... More »

Banks Pay for Mortgage Abuse—With Rubber Checks

Company handling settlement didn't deposit money with the bank

(Newser) - It took years for homeowners to get even the relatively small checks afforded them in a $3.6 billion settlement with some of the country's biggest banks over mortgage abuses—and when they finally arrived this week, many of them promptly bounced, the New York Times reports. "Is... More »

Banks' Bad Behavior Costing Them Big: $100B

Fallout from Libor scandal could push legal tab even higher

(Newser) - Big banks are paying dearly for their recent bad behavior: to the tune of $100 billion and counting, reports the Wall Street Journal . The top four US banks alone have paid $61.3 billion in financial crisis- and mortgage-related settlements over the past three years, and analysts don't expect... More »

Feds Look to Deep-Six 'Forced' Home Insurance

Banks benefit from practice that has gouged millions

(Newser) - Since 2009, some six million "force-placed" home insurance policies have been written—expensive policies that hit homeowners if their original plans fall through, for instance, because they've fallen behind on payments. But these "forced" policies can cost up to 10 times as much as the original plans,... More »

Feds to Banks: Double-Check Your Foreclosures for Errors

Independent review not working, so comptrollers go straight to banks

(Newser) - In the quest to right wrongful foreclosures, government regulators are turning to the last people on Earth one might expect—the unscrupulous lenders who did the foreclosing in the first place. An attempt to distribute billions of dollars in aid by independent consultants was shut down after it was found... More »

Obama Mulls Exec Orders on Gay Rights, Environment

Could also take action on mortgage refinancing

(Newser) - If Congress won't move on President Obama's agenda, he may take further action—on mortgage refinancing, gay rights, and other issues—on his own. The process could begin this week with new cybersecurity rules for private firms in certain industries, including transportation, the Washington Post reports. Later, he... More »

Justice Filing Suit Against S&P Over 2008 Meltdown

Feds will accuse firm of fraudulently rating mortgage bonds

(Newser) - The Justice Department and state prosecutors are filing a lawsuit against the Standard & Poor's Ratings Service for its apparent role in the 2008 financial meltdown, the New York Times reports. The civil suit will accuse S&P of rating mortgage bonds too highly before their value fell off... More »

29% of Homeowners Are Mortgage-Free

Including 34.5% of those homeowners ages 20 to 24

(Newser) - In a country ravaged by the housing crisis, a hefty chunk of homeowners—some 29.3%—have escaped the mortgage burden entirely, a new report by Zillow finds. A great deal of the 20.6 million Americans who own their homes outright are retirees: 77.6% of people 85 and... More »

CFPB Mortgage Overhaul Bans Lots of Shady Practices

While also protecting banks from lawsuits

(Newser) - The newly-minted Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is circulating a series of new mortgage regulations that would ban some of the least savory tactics of the bubble era, the New York Times reports. Banks won't be able to offer deceptive teaser rates, or charge balloon payments, for example. They'll... More »

Did Banks Get Off Easy in $8.5B Mortgage Settlement?

Homeowner: 'What's $1K going to do for me?'

(Newser) - Sure, plenty of people—3.8 million, in fact—will benefit from yesterday's $8.5 billion mortgage settlement with banks. But some consumer advocates say the banks themselves have made out the best on the deal, the AP reports. They argue that the institutions are getting away with a... More »

Big Banks Agree to $8.5B in Mortgage Settlement

Banks agree to $8.5B deal with regulators, as BofA gives Fannie $10B

(Newser) - A group of 10 major lenders has agreed to pay federal regulators $8.4 billion to settle claims of foreclosure "robo-signings" and other abuses, the New York Times reports. Among the lenders onboard are JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, and Bank of America. About $3.3 billion of that will go... More »

Feds Eye a Fresh Round of Mortgage Relief

Refinancing could take on loans not backed by Fannie, Freddie

(Newser) - The White House is looking to roll out a fresh round of refinancing, this time adding mortgages that aren't backed by the government, reports the Wall Street Journal . Some 22% of mortgages—about 10.8 million—exceeded the value of the homes they backed in June, down sharply from... More »

Widows Forced Into Foreclosure by Mortgage Rules

Fine print keeps them from taking over the house

(Newser) - The housing crisis may be ebbing, but a particularly vulnerable group is falling into foreclosure because of the fine print on mortgages, the New York Times reports. Widows are finding that they can't take over the mortgage—which is usually in their husband's name—without being up-to-date on... More »

Big Banks Had 800K Needless Foreclosures

Study says big banks reacted sluggishly to modification program

(Newser) - The big banks moved sluggishly to implement the Obama administration's Home Affordable Modification Program, forcing hundreds of thousands of families out of their home unnecessarily, according to a new study. Office of the Comptroller of Currency data indicates that while many banks had sufficient staff and expertise to implement... More »

Bank Fires Worker Over Minor Offense 49 Years Ago

Wells Fargo cans 68-year-old over use of phony dime in laundromat

(Newser) - In the past year and a half, the federal government enforced tough new rules against banks and mortgage-lenders, designed to eliminate executives and mid-level employees with prior convictions for serious offenses such as fraud. But the banks, eager to avoid the $1-million-a-day fines, are firing even low-level workers over minor... More »

The Government Needs to Start Buying Mortgages

Economists Joseph Stiglitz and Mark Zandi have a plan to fix the housing market

(Newser) - Five years after the mortgage crisis began, housing is still one of the biggest factors dragging the economy down. There's just one option left, economists Joseph Stiglitz and Mark Zandi write in the New York Times : Mass refinancing. "Well over half of all American homeowners with mortgages are... More »

Zuckerberg's Mortgage a 1% Special

Loan illustrates benefits of wealth

(Newser) - The mortgage on Mark Zuckerberg's new $5.95 million abode brings whole new meaning to the term, "1%." For starters, that's roughly the rate Zuckerberg is paying—it's adjustable rate, but it's starting at just 1.05%. It's also the kind of loan... More »

Couple Pays Off Mortgage in Pennies

Massachusetts man had been saving them for 35 years

(Newser) - A man who pledged for decades to make the last mortgage payment on his home with pennies has made good on his promise. After warning his bank, Thomas Daigle of Milford, Mass., dropped off about 62,000 pennies weighing 800 pounds in two boxes for the final payment on the... More »

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