Weekly Recap (7/19/10-7/24/10)by Tim Manni
Economist Mark Zandi encouraged the most unlikely group of professionals to jump on the ‘eliminate mortgage deductions’ bandwagon: Realtors. Much to their surprise, or should I say chagrin, Zandi told his audience that the housing sector has received enough support, “it’s time to give back.”
Here’s a common scenario nowadays: You’re out of work and you know that you’re going to have trouble making your future mortgage payments on time. If you’re “lucky enough,” writes Gail MarksJarvis of the Chicago Tribune, to have your lender approve you for a loan modification, the last thing you need is for your credit score to drop as a result. Unfortunately that has happened to thousands of homeowners.
We went over to the Making Home Affordable (MHA) website to see exactly what qualifies a borrowers (and thus excludes a borrower) from HARP. Number five on MHA’s list of frequently asked questions is “How do I know if I am eligible for a refinance under HARP?”
President Obama signed the sweeping financial reform bill into law just moments ago. Overall, the legislation is designed to prevent another financial meltdown. The bill puts a strong emphasis on consumer protection as well as a more strict regulation on Wall Street.
For those who are unaware, your homeowners association (HOA) can foreclose on your home for delinquent dues. Some borrowers are getting the surprise of a lifetime when, despite putting every penny towards staying current on their mortgage, they still lost their homes. But they didn’t lose their homes to their lender; they lost them to their local HOA.
Bank of America recently opened up a “customer outreach center” in the Boston area to better serve struggling mortgage borrowers. While we know this news will only serve to help a finite group of borrowers, we think that the strategy BofA is incorporating to help these borrowers will be a successful one. Professionals from BofA’s home loan department will be meeting with borrowers one-on-one.
The redesign of our entire website, including the blog, is complete. While the blog may look different, all of our existing tools and functions have stayed the same. Our goal for the redesign is to present a new and updated feel that will also serve to make our information more accessible.
It takes a lot more than just low mortgage rates to spin the wheels of the housing market; and that couldn’t be more apparent than it is right now. Mortgage rates continue to fall week after week — according to HSH.com the weekly average for the 30-year Conforming fixed rate fell to 4.69% (week ending 7/16/10) — and yet the Mortgage Bankers Association reported the lowest level of mortgage application activity since 1996.