Weekly Recap (07/05/11-07/09/11)by Tim Manni
I know that title may sound hard to believe given all the talk and discussion these days about added lending restrictions, higher credit scores and having enough “skin in the game.”
The ongoing debate over qualified residential mortgages mainly concerns whether borrowers will have to have at least a 20 percent down payment.
All that said, borrowers still have several options when it comes to getting a home loan with little to no money down. HSH staff writer Gina Pogol takes us through each of the available options in her latest article, “Zero-down mortgages are not extinct!“
I’m always looking for ways to keep this blog fresh and current with the latest news and information. Not too long ago I brought in financial expert and nationally-syndicated columnist Peter Miller to help lend his expertise and personal take to this blog.
A while back we begun publishing a weekly recap on Sunday of all the week’s stories (several of you wrote to me saying you enjoyed the weekly recap).
Another idea in the making is to bring in more industry professionals to help write posts in an effort to provide all the consumers who read this blog with some more insight into what’s going on in the professional side of things. Furthermore, I thought by bringing in more industry contributors it could provide you all with some useful insider tips on, say, how to increase your success at obtaining a home loan, modification or refinance.
Other than a few exceptions, you will soon–it is claimed–need 20 percent down to buy a house.
Taken in some sort of literal sense, one can make the case that the above statement is both entirely misleading and completely truthful.
Parsing my first sentence is actually very important. It gets to the heart of a debate now going on in Washington–the question of whether we should return to the good old days of risky mortgages.
Let’s look at what that first sentence really says.
If your current mortgage is an option ARM, it’s possible that you may soon get a principal reduction or a lower interest rate…even if you don’t apply for a mortgage modification.
“Two of the nation’s biggest lenders, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, are quietly modifying loans for tens of thousands of borrowers who have not asked for help but whom the banks deem to be at special risk,” said the New York Times.
This is an interesting turn of events, given the seemingly widespread notion that the big banks are the bad guys.
Mortgage rates moved higher last week, signaling that the period of continuously falling rates has, at least temporarily, come to an end.
Why did mortgage rates rise last week? There were several reasons:
1. Somewhat better economic news
2. A hopeful start to a resolution of the Greek debt mess
3. Growing concerns about our own debt-limit ceiling
4. The end of QE2
5. The mark of the second-half of the year (and a new quarter as well)