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Tag Archives: Mortgage Debt

As Borrowers Emerge from Underwater, Cloud of Problem HELOCs Rises

The percentage of homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth has declined to less than 12 percent as of the third quarter of this year, according to Lender Processing Services' (LPS) Mortgage Monitor report. While the increasing number of homeowners rising above water is good news for the market, LPS detects some tumultuous seas ahead as a cloud of problem home equity loans forms on the horizon.

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Capital Markets Veteran Outlines New Method of Home Financing

Perhaps you've known someone who raised money for a documentary or civic project by making an appeal through crowdfunding on the Internet. Now, the concept of pooled resources is being used as an investment vehicle offering equity in homeownership to investors and loan assistance to selected prospective homeowners.

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Despite Rising Prices, Investors Expected to Remain Most Active Buyers

While rising home prices have lifted many underwater homeowners to positions of positive equity, the real estate information and analytics provider DataQuick warns tight credit will still preclude many traditional buyers from the market. Instead, investors will continue to carry an outsized portion of the purchase market for the foreseeable future, according to DataQuick.

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Servicing Fees Counter Declines in New Mortgage Activity

Independent mortgage bankers are a growing segment and they're poised to take over even more market share as larger institutions trim their mortgage businesses. The five biggest banks were responsible for 53.2 percent of new mortgage activity in the United States in 2012, down from nearly two-thirds in 2010. According to a recent FBR Capital Markets forecast, that share could shrink to 40 percent by 2014.

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Eminent Domain Takes Root in Areas with High Unemployment, Poverty

To address widespread negative equity, at least 15 cities and counties are considering using eminent domain to seize underwater homes and lower borrowers' mortgage principal balances, according to the Urban Institute. The institute conducted a study to see what commonalities these communities share and found that all 15 suffer from high levels of poverty and unemployment, stagnant incomes, and low housing prices.

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U.S. Bank Executive Pleads Guilty to Bribery

A former U.S. Bank executive plead guilty to receiving bribes from Oxford Collection Agency over the course of several years in exchange for business, according to the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Wilbur Tate III served as the assistant VP at U.S. Bank from January 2004 through February 2011. He allegedly accepted bribes from Oxford starting in 2008--bribes which began as expensive cigars and escalated to cash payments disguised in cigar boxes.

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Negative Equity: A New Way of Life in the Recovery

Fast-paced price increases helped bring 1.4 million homeowners to the surface in the third quarter as their home values finally clipped their equity, according to the latest Negative Equity Report from Zillow. The third-quarter drop in negative equity was the largest on record for Zillow, dating back to early 2011. The negative equity rate now stands at 21 percent, down about one-third from a peak of 31.4 percent.

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Down Payments Continue to Decline in Third Quarter

The average down payment on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loan in the third quarter of this year was 15.73 percent, according to LendingTree, an online marketplace connecting potential borrowers with lenders. The third-quarter average is down 2.74 percent from the previous quarter. LendingTree suggests the drop is due to a slight loosening of standards by lenders across the nation.

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Borrowers Refinancing in Q3 Expected to Save $6B Next Year

Despite a steady climb in mortgage interest rates since May, borrowers continued to take advantage of low rates to refinance into lower monthly payments, Freddie Mac reported Tuesday. According to the results of the company's latest quarterly refinance analysis, the average interest rate reduction among those who refinanced in Q3 was about 1.8 percentage points, representing a savings of about 30 percent ($3,500 over 12 months on a $200,000 loan).

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Lenders Incur Visible Risk from Hidden Borrower Debt

Over the past few years, lenders and underwriters revamped their standards to reduce risk, but Equifax says there's one challenge many lenders still have difficulty combating--undisclosed debt. In a recent white paper, the credit bureau published results of its research into undisclosed debt and its recommendation for how to deal with this difficult hazard. Ultimately, Equifax said, ""The results are somewhat surprising and disturbing.""

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