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May 6, 2013

BofA, Wells Fargo and Others Getting Sued by NY AG

Category: Mortgage Relief News – admin – 11:12 am

The fallout over the home foreclosure crisis continues. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced their plans to sue Bank of America Corp and Wells Fargo and Co for violating the National Mortgage Settlement brokered last year between the country’s biggest banks and 49 state attorneys general. Schneiderman said that since last October he has documented 339 violations of standards dictating the timeline for banks to process mortgage modification applications. “Wells Fargo and Bank of America have flagrantly violated those obligations, putting hundreds of homeowners across New York at greater risk of foreclosure,” the attorney general said in a statement. There has been much criticism over the relaxed guidelines that encouraged bad credit mortgage refinances prior to the foreclosure crisis.

Representatives of the banks did not immediately return calls seeking comment. Schneiderman said he sent a letter to monitors for the National Mortgage Settlement informing them of his intent to sue the banks. He said he would seek an injunctive and an order requiring the banks to comply with the settlement.
Bank of America and Wells Fargo were among five banks that agreed to the $25 billion settlement in February 2012. The pact was supposed to curb abusive house foreclosure practices and was expected to help roughly one million borrowers. JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup Inc and Ally Financial Inc were the other banks in the settlement. Read the original article from NBC News.

 

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November 16, 2012

Negative Home Equity Refinancing for Upside Down Loans

Category: Mortgage Relief News,Published Articles – admin – 10:17 am

Comparing HARP and FHA for Refinancing a Mortgage Underwater

By now most people have heard about the “super refi” also known as the Home Affordable Refinance Program. This refinance mortgage was inspired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in an effort to stem the loan defaults that were rapidly increasing from borrowers that had a tremendous amount of negative home equity and were unable to refinance into the lower market rates advertised on television and the radio. If you have a loan owned by Fannie or Freddie, you may be eligible to refinance your “upside-down mortgage.”

According to Marsha O’Hare, a financial service specialist and HUD-certified housing counselor at Apprisen, a Columbus, Ohio, the first step is to figure out who owns your mortgage. She stresses the importance of uncovering what type of mortgage you actually have. If the loan is owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, you may be eligible for the government’s HARP 2.0. “It allows someone who is not delinquent in their payments to refinance, even if the house is worth less than the mortgage balance.” Having the ability to refinance “1st mortgages” and “home equity loans” together could come in the HARP 3.0 Program in 2013.

Nationwide posted an article for distressed homeowners that need advice on refinancing underwater mortgages. They underscored the opportunity that the HARP 3.0 would afford borrowers that did not have liens owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Finding a lender that can process a negative equity loan in less than a month could be challenging.

The second option to refinance an upside down mortgage is the latest relief option insured by the Federal Housing Administration. This is called the FHA Short Refinance, because it reduces the principal amount down to “fair-market value” for a specific pool of FHA customers that have a significant amount of negative equity. This FHA program is offered to borrowers who are current on their loan payments, but owe more than their house is worth. This targeted group must also have a mortgage that is not owned or serviced by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or FHA. A key part of the program is that refinance lenders must agree to reduce the principal of the loan, so contact your mortgage provider to see if you are eligible. Read more about short refinancing online at the FHA or Making Homes Affordable website.

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October 19, 2012

Romney Mortgage Plan and Vision for Fixing US Housing Sector

Category: Mortgage Relief News,Published Articles – admin – 2:57 pm

Last week Mitt Romney published a report that outlines his plan for the housing sector and his indictment on Obama’s failures in the real estate and mortgage industries over the last four years. Romney recently committed to not repealing the mortgage interest deduction for American homeowners even though his critics have accused him of this. This article is important because it underscores Romney’s vision for solving problems with the Home Affordable Refinance Program and the other government sponsored measures for Americans that are stuck with underwater mortgages. The National Mortgage News posted the following Romney article below online.

The housing crisis has taken an immense toll on the economy, and the impact has been devastating for millions of American families. Since 2009, 8.5 million foreclosure notices have been sent to U.S. homeowners, the average home has lost $13,000 in value, and eleven million borrowers are “underwater,” owing more on their home loans than their homes are now worth. Although there have been some recent signs of life in the housing market, our economy remains stuck in neutral with 23 million Americans struggling to find work, persistently high unemployment that has stayed above 8% for a record 43 consecutive months, and real household incomes falling more than $4,000 over the past four years. The weakness of the recovery has left many in America struggling to make ends meet, pay their bills, or stay current on their mortgage payments. Over 3 million households are currently in the foreclosure process or seriously late on their home loan payment.

Over the past four years, the Obama administration has never offered a clear vision for the future of housing finance policy. At best, the president’s policy response to the housing crisis can be described as confused and reactive. Early in his term, the president stated, according to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward that “we will not roll out an aggressive plan for under water mortgage refinancing,” and it was not included in his 2009 stimulus. After the president reversed course and did roll out a mortgage relief plan, what followed was a series of confusing new government programs with names like HAMP, HARP, 2MP, H2H and EHLP. Unfortunately these alternative refinance programs have been poorly administered with constantly changing terms and overstated goals that have never been met. In the case of one program, when the goals were not being met the administration’s solution was to expand it, creating HARP 2.0. In his State of the Union Address this year—nearly three years after the program was first launched—the president proposed expanding the program further. While Wall Street needs effective regulation, the president’s solution was the Dodd-Frank Act. The 2,319-page law has produced more than 9,000 pages of new regulations to date, and regulators are only one-third of the way done.  Read the entire article at the National Mortgage News website.

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May 10, 2011

Nearly 30% of Homeowners Have Underwater Home Loans

Category: Mortgage News,Mortgage Relief News – admin – 9:01 am

Almost a third of borrowers have experienced a significant loss of value in their home as over 28% of homeowners are strapped with an “underwater mortgage”. Property values fell 3% from the prior quarter and are now nearly 30% lower than the June 2006 peak. Real estate data analytics firm Zillow said its home value index for the first three months of 2011 declined 8.2% from a year earlier to $169,600. The first-quarter decline was the steepest since 2008. Zillow now doesn’t expect home values to reach bottom before 2012, “at the earliest.” “Home value declines are currently equal to those we experienced during the darkest days of the housing recession,” Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries said. “With accelerating declines during the first quarter, it is unreasonable to expect home values to return to stability by the end of 2011. We did expect substantial payback from the home-buyer tax credits, which buoyed the housing market last year, but underlying demand post-tax credit, as well as rising foreclosures and high negative home equity rates makes it almost certain that we won’t see a bottom in home values until 2012 or later.”

According to Zillow the level of single-family homeowners who owe more on their home loan than the property is worth rose to a new high of 28.4% at March 31, up from 27% at the end of 2010. Home loan default rates increased during the first quarter as banks ended moratoriums related to last fall’s robo-signing debacle. Zillow also reported that one out of every 1,000 homes in the country was lost to foreclosure in March.

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March 10, 2011

Congress Votes to Kill FHA Short Refinance Program

Category: Mortgage Relief News – admin – 5:13 pm

According to Reuters, the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved the first of four bills aimed at eliminating government mortgage relief programs for homeowners hurt by the housing crisis, though none are expected to clear the Senate. The House voted 256-171 to kill a popular Federal Housing Administration program that enabled borrowers who were stuck with an underwater mortgage to refinance into a better loan.  Specifically, the FHA short refinance allowed people who owe more than their home is worth to refinance into a government-backed 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Republicans argued the mortgage relief program was ineffective and not worthy of taxpayer support and the vote to kill the program broke largely along party lines.

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June 20, 2010

Loan Relief Available for Gulf Coast Homeowners

Homeowners residing in the Gulf Coast finally got some good news.  Bank of America, Freddie Mac and Wells Fargo announced they were extending mortgage relief to distressed borrowers in the region.  Freddie Mac forbearance policies allow its servicers to suspend a borrower’s loan payments for up to three months or reduce payments for up to six months. BofA and Wells Fargo company policies also call for an initial 90-day forbearance of payments in a disaster situation.

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