November 9, 2012 |
Although there are still some snares and drawbacks for participants, one of the federal government's most important financial relief efforts for underwater homeowners started operation on Nov. 1. It's a new short-sale program that targets the walking wounded among borrowers emerging from the housing downturn: owners who owe far more on their mortgages than their current home value but have stuck it out for years, resisted the temptation to...
October 24, 2011 |
On Monday, the federal government announced that it would revise the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), implementing changes that The Washington Post's Zachary A. Goldfarb reported would "allow many more struggling borrowers to refinance their mortgages at today's ultra-low rates, reducing monthly payments for some homeowners and potentially providing a modest boost to the economy. " The HARP program, which was rolled out in 2009, is designed to help. Those who are...
November 5, 2011 |
I have a fairly simple approach to investing: Start with data and objective evidence to determine the dominant elements driving the market action right now. Figure out what objective reality is beneath all of the noise. Use that information to try to make intelligent investing decisions. But then, I'm an investor focused on preserving capital and managing risk. I'm not out to win the next election or drive the debate. For those who are, facts and data matter much less than a narrative that...
July 5, 2011 |
Louise Golden, 79, recently stood at the front door of her tidy brick split-level in Lanham, still shocked to hear the terms of the refinancing agreement she and her now-deceased husband, Stanley, signed in 2006. "I thought it was a fixed-rate mortgage," said Golden. "I didn't know what a five-year ARM was. " "You didn't have a five-year adjustable rate mortgage," said her attorney, Gretchen C. Reimert. "It adjusted after 30 days. " The interest rate jumped from 2 percent to...
July 13, 2008
In his June 28 Housing Counsel column, Benny L. Kass referred to reverse mortgages as a last resort. Why a last resort? Most reverse mortgages are insured by the Federal Housing Administration, can be paid off at any time with no penalty and, in fact, can be treated like any other mortgage. You may make payments on a reverse mortgage to keep the balance down or pay off the growing interest during the loan without penalty. Generally, the interest rate on a reverse mortgage is also considerably lower than the interest rate on a home...
March 12, 2011
With the numerous bank errors that took place in the five months that Dana Milbank tried to refinance his home [" Foreclosures: Big banks' reign of error, " Sunday Opinion, March 6], you could almost laugh that a prominent mortgage servicer happened to pick a nationally recognized columnist to harass. But it is not funny. Bank regulators across the country hear the same story over and over again. In New York we took the unprecedented step of promulgating regulations to govern mortgage servicers' treatment of homeowners.