Mortgage Related: ARMs, FHA MI Fees, O.C., Tax Credit, Buffett, Jumbos, DPA vs FHA, 9 more

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Adjustable-Rate Mortgages Losing Ground – CARRIE BAY –  … An annual report on the ARM market published by Freddie Mac Tuesday shows adjustable-rate mortgages accounted for just 3 percent of all conventional home purchase loans in 2009. That’s the smallest piece of the pie for ARMs since at least 1982. At that time, information from the Federal Housing Finance Agency shows they made up 62 percent of all new mortgages. … – DS News
Freddie Mac Releases 26th Annual ARM Survey ResultsPress Release at Freddie Mac


F.H.A. to Raise Standards for Mortgage Insurance – By DAVID STREITFELD – … Borrowers who get an F.H.A.-insured loan will soon have to pay a higher initial insurance premium. The new premium will be 2.25 percent of the value of the loan, up from 1.75 percent. … Starting this summer, sellers will not be able to offer as much help to buyers to pay their closing costs. The maximum amount of assistance will drop to 3 percent of the value of the property, from the current 6 percent. … – NY Times

Treasury Weighs Fixes to Foreclosures Program – By PETER S. GOODMAN – The Obama administration plans next week to revamp its $75 billion program aimed at sparing homeowners from foreclosure, streamlining the documents required of borrowers seeking lowered payments, according to financial industry executives and others who have met in recent days with Treasury officials. … The changes by the Treasury Department are expected to include greater assistance for homeowners no longer able to make mortgage payments because their paychecks have shrunk, said banking industry representatives privy to the department’s deliberations … – NY Times


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Orange County: Home-price gains end ‘09 near 4-year high – Orange County home pricing, as measured by DataQuick’s monthly median selling price, finished 2009 at $435,000 — the highest in 15 months and up 9.6% from a year ago, fastest appreciation since April 2006. – OC Register



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The Power of a Tax Credit Near Expiration – John Burns – $8,000 is a powerful incentive for home buyers who are buying their first home, especially when half of the homes in the country are trading at below $172,000.  However, we are also a nation of procrastinators, so the tax credit is really only effective as it nears expiration. – John Burns Real Estate Consulting – Advisor Perspectives 

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FHA Boosts Insurance Premiums to Cushion Defaults – By: Diana Olick – CNBC Real Estate Reporter – In a move to shore up the FHA’s beleaguered balance sheet, Commissioner David Stevens on Wednesday announced big changes at the government mortgage insurer that now backs about half of all home loans to the nation’s minorities 


video: Warren Buffett: We Need 13-Year Olds To Start Cohabitating To Clean Up The Housing Overhang – William Wei –  Clusterstock at Business Insider



Is There Any Viability Left In The Jumbo Mortgage Market? – BY PHIL HALL – REQUIRED READING: When it comes to jumbo mortgages, Jim Deitch is marching to the proverbial different drum.  “We are originating jumbo product,” says Deitch, CEO of American Home Bank in Mountville, Pa. “It is about 10 to 15 percent of our production.”  But Deitch’s bank is the exception to the rule. … The National Association of Realtors (NAR) estimates that the national share of home sales above $750,000 is approximately 2.3% for 2009, down from 4.4% in 2007. … – hattip Ira Artman – MortgageOrb



Reviving Down-Payment-Assistance Program Faces FHA Opposition – By James Sterngold (Bloomberg) – … A bill introduced by U.S. Representative Al Green, a Texas Democrat, and supported by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, would restart a program that allowed nonprofit groups to donate the 3 percent down payment low-income buyers needed to get FHA-insured mortgages. Sellers, often homebuilders, then contributed that amount, plus a fee, to the nonprofits. … Those mortgages have soured at about three times the rate of other FHA-backed loans, according to agency data. …  – BusinessWeek 



State Regulators Warn Of Failing Foreclosure Prevention Efforts – Shahien Nasiripour –  … “More troubling, more than 70 percent of modifications result in an increase in the principal amount owed,” according to the report by the State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group … – Huffington Post


Two Housing Indicators I Watch – Casey Mulligan – The PPI for housing is a proxy for housing construction costs, which are an important determinant of housing prices. The December data released this morning suggests that the gentle upward trend continues. … – Supply and Demand, In That Order


rrJUmbo moodys resrecap

Rapid Deterioration Leads Moody’s to Increase Loss Projections for Prime Jumbo RMBS – Losses on 2008 vintage to exceed 12% as future loss severity averages 50%. – Research Recap


Many are rejecting loan modifications – Homeowners are opting to flee rather than accept loan modifications that might still leave them underwater on their mortgages. BY KIMBERLY MILLER – PALM BEACH POST – Desperate homeowners scrambling to get a loan modification through federal foreclosure relief programs are beginning to shun the offer, opting for a strictly business approach to the dilemma — walking away….  `What motivation is there for a homeowner to pay a mortgage that is three times more than the property is worth?” said real estate attorney Rashmi Airan-Pace, whose Coral Gables firm Airan2, Airan-Pace and Crosa specializes in foreclosure defense. … – Miami Herald



great article – Is Change Coming to GSE Mortgage Servicing? – by AUSTIN KILGORE – … According to sources, so-called ‘performing servicers’ would continue to get paid via a traditional servicing strip arrangement. ‘Non-performing servicers’ would receive a smaller servicing fee, but would be eligible to receive more substantial cash incentives each time a delinquent loan reperforms, or if other loss mitigation efforts (such as a short sale or deed-in-lieu) succeed. … – HousingWire


Long Term Care, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts, and Reverse Mortgages – by Jim Veale – thoughtful article – Reverse Mortgage Daily

WAPO: Reverse Mortgage Market Has No Resemblance to Subprime Marketplace – Washington Post contributor Jack Guttentag writes in his latest column that Reverse mortgages are not the next subprime.  He adds that:  “For reasons not clear to me, reverse mortgages are being bad-mouthed by an unlikely source: consumer groups that are supposed to represent the interest of consumers in general, and seniors in particular.” … – Reverse Mortgage Daily

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