Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bank of England pulls back on support for home loans

The Bank of England plans to cut its support for mortgage lending in the U.K. and nudge banks towards lending more to small businesses, it said Thursday, November 28.

The move is an answer to increasing concern that a speedy pickup in housing market activity in Britain could ultimately turn unpleasant, affecting banks and borrowers, and also as longstanding worries that small firms are being starved of credit, hindering economic recovery.

What’s more, it is a sample of the growing willingness of central banks across the globe to organize customized policies to maneuver their economies, rather than relying exclusively on official interest.

The BOE said in its twice-yearly financial stability report that although there is little evidence that quickening activity in Britain’s housing market poses an immediate threat to financial stability, “risks may grow if stronger activity is accompanied by further substantial and rapid increases in house prices and a further buildup in household indebtedness.”

The central bank said property has played “a central role” in many previous economic and financial crises. In the U.K., real estate accounts for 70% of non-financial assets.

House prices in the U.K. have climbed speedily in past months, formed worries over the materialization of a new bubble in prices. A government mortgage-support program for would-be homebuyers called Help-to-Buy had pave the way for a boost in mortgage lending, together with an increase in the number of riskier loans on offer that entail merely a small down payment.

The BOE said that in response to the pickup in housing-market activity and an ongoing dearth in small-business lending it has decided to overhaul its flagship Funding-for-Lending Scheme, or FLS, which offers banks cheap cash provided they use it to dish out loans to households and businesses.

Banks drawing on the FLS will from January no longer benefit from reduced capital requirements on new mortgage loans, the BOE said. On the other hand, capital relief will carry on for small business loans. Banks engaged in small business lending will also pay a smaller flat-rate fee of just 0.25% to use the FLS and will be able to draw more cash from the facility, the BOE added.

The changes were settled with Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

“Now the housing market is starting to pick up, it is right that we focus the scheme’s firepower on small businesses,” Osborne said. BOE Gov. Mark Carney said extra support for mortgage lending is “no longer needed.”

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Mortgage Disclosure Forms to Roll Out In August 2015


The shorter forms, set to be adopted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will demonstrate buyers more evidently the terms and cost of a home loan.

The federal government’s consumer financial watchdog will necessitate lenders to issue shorter, easier-to-understand mortgage disclosure forms to home buyers that more noticeably show the costs and terms of the loans.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to issue the rule Wednesday, November 20, subsequent through on what was an initiative launched in 2011 as the then-fledgling agency’s first major action.  

The early Know Before You Owe forms were welcomed by consumer and industry groups as a development more than the more intricate disclosures essential under federal law for more than 30 years.  The bureau said the new forms would make it easier for home buyers to compare loan offers.

“Taking out a mortgage is one of the biggest financial decisions a consumer will ever make,” said Richard Cordray, the bureau’s director. “Our new Know Before You Owe mortgage forms improve consumerunderstanding, aid comparison shopping and help prevent closing … surprises for consumers.”

Lenders will be mandated to use the new forms, available in English and Spanish, starting Aug. 1, 2015.

The forms will be given to potential home buyers when they apply for a mortgage and when they close on the loan. They will make available the detailed information like the estimated monthly principal and interest payments, closing costs and any prepayment penalties or balloon payments.

The latest loan estimate form and the closing disclosure form use large and bold type for important information like the interest rate and feature highlighted headings and terms to make them easier to read.

Lenders will be obliged to provide the new closing disclosure form to home buyers three days before the closing.  That would give borrowers time to read and understand the information before the loan closes.  Lenders will not be allowed to change the fees and costs on the form at the closing “unless there is a legitimate reason,” under the bureau’s new rule.  

The bureau assembled public and industry feedback on the forms after introducing them in May 2011.  Testing showed that consumers using the new forms were better able to answer questions about a proposed loan and know whether they would be able to afford it, the bureau said.  

Sunday, October 6, 2013

HUD Says It’s Unclear If FHA Can Back Loans Issued after Seizure

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development made mention to thelawmakers it couldn’t pronounce if the Federal Housing Administration would cover new mortgages in communities together with Richmond, California that propose to seize home loans through eminent domain.“Pending legal developments and possible further execution of the plans in question, HUD does not know whether any new mortgages which might be created would qualify for insurance by the Federal Housing Administration,” Acting Assistant Secretary Elliot Mincberg wrote in an Aug. 12 letter responding to questions from members of Congress.

The week following the FHFA HUD’s comments came, which oversees Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac, said it would considering directing the companies to stop doing business in communities that seize mortgages through eminent domain to avert foreclosure by writing down the principal balances.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency may also initiate legal challenges to such actions, Alfred M. Pollard, the agency’s general counsel, said in a memorandum.

“There is a rational basis to conclude that the use of eminent domain by localities to restructure loans for borrowers that are ‘underwater’ on their mortgages presents a clear threat to the safe and sound operations of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks as provided in federal law,” Pollard wrote.
Blight Prevention

In the preceding month, Richmond announced it is moving ahead with a plan to seize mortgages. The public benefit of the seizures is to fend off foreclosures that cause blight and create other costs for the community, according to the plan’s supporters.

At the minimum of a dozen cities still dealing with the fallout of most horrible slump in home prices from the time when the Great Depression are studying the eminent domain idea. Others include El Monte, California, North Las Vegas, Nevada, and Irvington, New Jersey. Communities such as San Bernardino County, California, and Chicago abandoned such plans after considering them last year.

Last week, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac joined investors authorizing a lawsuit to stop Richmond from seizing loans.

The distinguished domain program is advocated by Mortgage Resolution Partners LLC, which would supply services and arrange for private investment funds that would proceed by buying the loans for less than property values, and reworking them.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Housing Counselors Warn Foreclosure Rescue Scams Still Common

It was agreed by nonprofit housing counseling agencies and housing rights advocates that foreclosure rescue scams are still common in the Bay Area, and there’s no need for homeowners in distress to empty their pockets paying for private attorneys.

Because of the sudden death of the family’s primary breadwinner, Tatakamotongas of East Palo Alto suffered from mortgage payments. They decided to seek help with obtaining a loan modification to lower their monthly payments and due to this they came into contact with a scammer rather than legal help.

“The advice they gave me was ‘Don’t make any more payments at all. The longer you are backed up, the more we can help you.’ And so of course I believed them,” says Mele Tatakamotonga.

The scammer was a private attorney. He told them to stop paying their mortgage so that they will qualify for a modification and charged them $3,000 for the assistance.

But as expected from a scammer, after paying the fee the phone number had been disconnected.
“Foreclosure rescue and mortgage modification scams are continuing and getting bolder,” says Vanitha Venugopal, program director of Community Development and Investment at The San Francisco Foundation.
Homeowners must pay for help with loan modifications and other housing issues because scams continue to be rampant, advocates say.

The Tatakamotongas finally found Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto, a nonprofit law office, which collected the family’s money from the dishonest attorney, and assisted them with obtaining a loan modification.

Maeve Elise Brown, Executive Director of Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA) in Oakland, another organization that offers free legal aid, warns that scams are commonly carried out by unscrupulous attorneys.
Brown also says that the media needs to be wary of running scammers’ advertisements.
Many homeowners looking for help contact scammers that they find through television and radio ads.
According to Leah Simon-Weisberg, the legal director of Tenants Together, about 40 percent of the occupants of foreclosed properties are tenants. Tenants can also get free help from nonprofit legal aid offices.

Advocates agree that homeowners looking for help should know the following:

1. Don’t trust people who want you to pay them for help in obtaining a loan modification, or for other housing counseling services. Beware particularly of attorneys charging for these services.
2. Don’t trust people who tell you to stop making your mortgage payments in order to qualify for a loan modification.
3. Don’t submit mortgage payments to anyone other than your servicer without your servicer’s direct consent.
4. Don’t sign over your property deed to anyone unless your servicer is directly involved in the process. If you don’t understand what someone is asking you to sign.

Monday, May 13, 2013

National Association of Realtors®: Some Areas Now Seeing Sellers' Markets

 The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said today that home affordability remains high despite rising home prices in U.S. metropolitan areas in the first quarter. The annual price increase posted in Quarter One was the greatest in over seven years but NAR figures demonstrates that the typical buyer receives almost twice the income required to purchase a median priced home in his or her area.

Weigh against $158,600 to the previous year the median price of an existing single-family home rose to $176,600 in the first quarter. An 11.3 percent leap is the greatest raise since Q4 2005 when the increase back then was 13.6 percent. Out of the 140 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) followed by NAR 133 demonstrated a yearly increase in median prices; the alike number which illustrated a twelve-monthly increase in Q4 but almost twice the number, 74, with such a year-over-year development in the first quarter of 2012.

NAR said that some of the price increase reflected a shrinking market share of lower priced homes and distressed sales and greater activity in the higher price ranges. There was a 23 percent share of distressed sales of the market in the first quarter compared to the 32 percent share in the previous year.

Median prices of condo and condominium prices located in urban areas ascend 4 percent on a yearly basis in the first quarter to $172,400. Thirty-nine metros out of the 54 tracked by NAR showed increases in their median condo price from a year ago while 15 areas had declines.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said many areas are experiencing a seller's market. "The supply/demand balance is clearly tilted toward sellers in a good portion of the country," he said. "Inventory conditions are expected to remain fairly constrained this year, so overall price increases should be well above the historic gain of one-to-two percentage points above the rate of inflation. If home builders can continue to ramp up production, then home price growth is expected to moderate in 2014."

The highest since the fourth quarter of 2009 when homebuyer tax credits were in place is the total existing-home sales including single-family and condos rose 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million in the first quarter. The rate was a boost of 4 percent starting the fourth quarter pace of 4.90 million and 9.8 percent higher compare to the year earlier.

NAR said that to qualify to purchase a home at the national median price during the first quarter a borrower with a 20 percent downpayment would need an income of $30,700. With only a five percent downpayment the qualifying income would be $36,500. The national median income was $62,200.

After the first quarter there were 1.93 million homes available for sale. It is 16.8 percent below the close of the initial quarter of 2012, when 2.32 million homes were on the market.

In the first quarter, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 4.4 percent furthermore, are 9.1 percent above the first quarter of 2012. In the first quarter from a year ago, the median existing single-family home price in the Northeast rose 2.9 percent to $234,000.

Existing-home sales increased 1.2 percent in the first quarter and are 15.0 percent higher than a year ago in the Midwest. In the first quarter from the same quarter last year, the median existing single-family home price in the Midwest increased 8.2 percent to $135,10.

In the South edged, existing-home sales up 0.7 percent in the first quarter and comparing to the first quarter of 2012 with just 13.3 percent above. The regional median existing single-family home price was $156,800 in the first quarter, up 9.3 percent from a year earlier.

The West is the region most impacted by limited housing supplies and its existing-home sales slipped 1.1 percent in the first quarter but are 0.6 percent above a year ago. The median existing single-family home price in the West leaped 24.4 percent to $247,800 in the first quarter of 2012.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Reasons You Could Ruin Securing The Lowest Mortgage Rate

It is up to you and it involves your necessary steps in order to make your application desirable to lenders when it comes to securing the lowest mortgage rate possible. In the case that you already know what lenders requires when they evaluate your home loan you must now do what is needed to make certain that you’ll get the home loan you desire and the home loan you are dreaming of. Be found lacking in taking these steps can be unfavorable to your probability of home ownership.

The following are six sure fire approaches to wreck your likelihood of securing the lowest mortgage rate:

Having poor credit - Bad credit is a definitely a sure destroyer when it comes to acquiring a low rate on your mortgage. In the condition that your credit rating is depleted afterward you can anticipate to be offered an extensively higher interest comparing to those who have finer or exceptional credit. In some cases, you may even be completely denied credit or have to get hold of a bad credit mortgage. Concentrating to your credit issues prior to trying to purchase a home loan can spare you the frustration of not getting the penny-pinching interest rates.

Having too many debts - Even though you have good credit, holding excessively many debts can as well disapprovingly impact your chances of securing an reasonably priced mortgage rate. The higher your debt-to-income ratio is, the more possible you are to be presented a sky-scraping interest rate or less advantageous loan terms. What you need to do first is pay down your debts and you will boost your probability of getting the greatest rates possible. Not having enough in savings - The less money you have in savings or that you can place towards a down payment, the more you'll need to have a loan of, basically making you more of in a fortuity. Having reserves is a good deal tool and can assist you counteract every unforeseen financial troubles.

Not comparing loan rates & fees - weigh against rates is a brilliant method that you can be guaranteed of getting the most excellent deal existing. Agreeing to the initial rate you are referred or deciding on a rate based only on the information given by one lender can be very unfavorable and will cost you money.
Not researching your broker & lender - Not every broker or lender has the loan you require or the means to find you the loan you want. Deciding the right broker and lending company is one of the most vital processes in acquiring the lowest mortgage rate possible.

Not asking enough questions - throughout the home buying procedure, inquiring on questions is one of your finest means in getting the responses and information that you want. Do not be terrified or be indecisive to raise any questions that you might have. If you will not going to do this, it will cost you more harm than good.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

South Korea’s Economy

According to the Bank of Korea, despite months of tension on the Korean Peninsula,South Korea’s economy recorded a small but significant quarter-on-quarter (QonQ)GDP rise of 0.9% for the first 3 months of the year. The reports made it clear that this is the highest quarterly growth in two years.

To new president Park Geun-hye, this news has come as a elief. During his first two months in the office was not easy in fact has been difficult due to South Korea’s troublesome northern neighbor off-putting from the economic hold back causing problems the country.

The country’s its reliance on exports is one the South Korea’s main economic weaknesses. Regardless of the actuality that exports raise a little in the initial three months of 2013 exports are composed of about a third of the country’s GDP so ongoing issues in the EU, the U.S., and China persist to discourage future forecasts.

And since “Abenomics” began to be implemented Japanese Yen collapse in the value, making it another worry for South Korean exporters. Yen has touched the 1USD:100Yen mark more than once from highs of 1USD:78Yen in the autumn. A lot of the top Korean export brands, for example Hyundai and Samsung, compete directly with Japanese brands in the world.

Without a doubt, Hyundai’s first quarter bottom line fell 15 percent year-on-year in results announced last April..

The net profit of 2.1 trillion Won (US$1.9 billion) was somewhat liable on the relative strength of Seoul’s currency, together with the wearisome union activity at home throughout the period.

Thus there are still worries that pressure in future months concerning growth in the South Korean economy. After 6 months of holding steady little spending at home as well as with the hesitant viewpoint abroad and a moderately strong Won makes much ammunition to those who are calling on the Bank of Korea to slash interest rates again.

This newest GDP figure endows with some support for the Bank’s. Governor Choongsoo Kim has stayed firm despite the growing calls for action on rates. He highlighted the weak Yen as a concern and, according to Bloomberg, suggested that “financial support” would be provided to vulnerable exporters rather than a tit-for-tat devaluation.

Undeniably, according to some South Korea’s low consumption as due to the consequence of very high levels of personal or individual debt grounds to drag on household spending. Given these situation, then an interest rate cut may make that problem worse by tolerating even additional debt to be accumulate. With that kind of move, it would provide a short term increase to falling consumption, but merely at the cost of longer term pain.

With these thoughts, the most recent GDP growth data will make available an extra piece of ammunition for individuals on the “hold” side of the monetary policy debate. This is above all true given that President Park announced a US$15 billion budget stimulus package early April of this year.