New Feature Articles on HSH.comby Tim Manni
Each week HSH.com adds fresh content to the Articles and Information section of our homepage. Here’s what was new this week:
Mortgage Credit Certificates (MCCs) Help First-Time Homebuyers:
Most people know that mortgage interest is tax deductible. That’s great if you’re one of the 35% of taxpayers who itemize their tax deductions on Schedule A. If you’re one of the 65% of taxpayers who take the standard deduction, though, paying mortgage interest instead of rent doesn’t cut your debt to Uncle Sam.
Click here to continue reading ‘MCCs.’
Refinancing Manufactured Housing: Get a Better Interest Rate:
Mobile Homes: Real Property or Personal Property?
Many manufactured homes are sold as personal property. They have wheels and trailer hitches on them and can be moved to wherever you want to live. Financing them is generally expensive — personal mobile home loans, often called chattel mortgages, carry interest rates that are twice as high as mortgage interest rates. Manufactured homes designated as “real” property, in contrast, are not moveable. They are fixed to permanent foundations, and can be financed and refinanced like traditional homes.
Click here to continue reading ‘Manufactured Housing.’
HELOCs Held Hostage: When Your Line of Credit Is Cut or Frozen:
Rising delinquencies and weakening home prices have caused many lenders to freeze, cut, or completely close home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), in some cases depriving homeowners of their only financial backstop. Even worse, by closing lines of credit, lenders can do major damage to homeowners’ credit scores.
By targeting areas where housing prices have declined the most, mortgage lenders often shut down homeowners’ emergency credit in the areas hardest hit by the economy — that is, to the people who may need those lines of credit most.
Click here to continue reading ‘HELOCs.’
What Mortgage Lenders Can and Can’t Ask Under Federal Law:
When going through the application process for a home loan, your mortgage lender needs to learn about you so they can properly assess risk. But some of the questions they ask may take you aback, while others are downright illegal. Understanding the motives behind three legal lines of questioning, and spotting two types of questions lenders can’t legally ask — according to the Fair Housing Act and other federal law – will help to better prepare you for the mortgage loan process.
Click here to continue reading ‘Can and Can’t.’
Unemployed and Trying to Avoid Foreclosure? Assistance is Sparse:
In a recently-released report, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) concluded that the Home Affordable Modification Plan (HAMP) is less effective than it should be because it does little to address the biggest reason for mortgage foreclosure: unemployment.
The State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group, an organization of attorneys generals from 11 states, asserts that “both servicers and Treasury should provide better options to keep unemployed homeowners in their homes. Unemployment and loss of income are key catalysts to a mortgage default.”
Click here to continue reading ‘Unemployed and Trying.’