August 21st, 2011

Falling mortgage rates, foreclosures, scams…just another week



Weekly NewspaperSaturday

Just when you thought you heard it all...”

In an attempt to bring some levity to a week that has been filled with stock selloffs, announced mass layoffs, economic decline both here and abroad, I thought I’d share a story that will make you chuckle and think, “Wow, just when I thought I heard it all…”

I first saw this headline come across a daily email alert I receive from the National Association of Realtors:

An Unusual Request: Housing for a Dinosaur?“…


Millions of homeowners in 17 states may be victims of modification scam

In a recent article entitled “Is it time to sue your mortgage lender,” offered a rundown of the kinds of mortgage lawsuits making their way through the country’s court systems. Among those filings are mass joinder lawsuits, which cost as much as $10,000 upfront to join. warned that these filings could be deceptive, designed to get around laws that prohibit upfront payments for mortgage modification help.

Kamala Harris, the State of California’s Attorney General, agrees. Today she unleashed a suit against prominent foreclosure attorneys Philip Kramer and Mitchell Stein and at least 17 other individuals and businesses. They’ve been charged with luring borrowers into a scheme that falsely promised a share in future settlements…


Foreclosure numbers don’t tell the whole story

The government is out with its latest housing scorecard and the figures look good:

As more homeowners secure mortgage relief, fewer borrowers entered the foreclosure pipeline. Entering June, 4.4 percent of prime mortgages were at least 30 days late–a significant decline from the peak of 6.69 percent seen in 2010. Similarly, subprime mortgage delinquencies were 32.9 percent, down from 36.6 percent a year ago… 


The FHA should not allow electronic mortgage signatures

It was back in 2000 when the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act was passed, allowing many contracts to be signed with electronic signatures.

Are “e-signatures” a good idea for FHA mortgages?

Given that we live in the Internet era, there’s little argument that e-signatures make a lot of sense when buying books or music online. The question is whether e-signatures are also a good idea for FHA mortgage paperwork.

The case for such signatures has been made by the Mortgage Bankers Association


Oil down: Where’s our gasoline stimulus?

Since the economy as a whole is a complex thing, we pay attention to lots of market influences here at in order to keep in tune.

Crude prices up, gas prices up

Like most Americans, we can’t help but watch the price of gasoline as it barely moves from day to day and week to week. This is especially grating as we hear of oil prices falling, first below $100 per barrel (bbl), and now below $85/bbl…


Mortgage rates break previous record-low set in 2010

The big news during the first week of August was that mortgage rates fell to 2011 lows.

The big news last week was that mortgage rates fell even lower, beating records set back in October of 2010.

30-year overall average’s broad-market mortgage tracker—our weekly Fixed-Rate Mortgage Indicator (FRMI)—found that the overall average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (conforming, expanded-conforming and jumbo rates) decreased by 12 basis points (0.12), moving to an average of 4.53 percent, besting the previous low of 4.58 percent, set for the week ending October 22, 2010…

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About the HSH Blog's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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