April 17, 2016 |
Freedom Mortgage Corp., of Mount Laurel, agreed to pay $113 million to settle allegations that from 2006 through 2011 it certified hundreds of mortgages for Federal Housing Administration insurance that did not qualify, Paul J. Fishman, the U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey, said Friday. Mortgage companies authorized to certify home loans for the federal loan insurance - designed for borrowers who cannot afford a large down payment - are required to monitor loans for defaults within the first six months.
October 25, 2015 |
FHA mortgages, with their low down payments and recently reduced insurance rates, continue to be the choice of many, especially first-time home buyers. But the Federal Housing Administration makes changes periodically in the rules. For example, effective Sept. 14, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires mortgage lenders "at first contact" to advise borrowers to get home inspections. On Sept. 15 came changes that can affect borrower eligibility. Because large numbers of buyers use FHA, I thought I would talk about some of those new rules: A buyer with a prior short sale may now purchase right away, rather than wait three years, as previously required.
November 2, 2014 |
Helen Heenan bought a 19th-century house on the 400 block of East Wildey Street in Fishtown in 2013. It was uninhabitable at the time. Using an FHA program called 203k, Heenan was able to finance both the acquisition of the property and nearly all of a total renovation. A native of Port Richmond, Heenan has lived on and off in Fishtown for nearly 20 years. First, she was renting houses with roommates, and then, after a stint working in Ireland and attending business school in London, she finally bought her own Philadelphia house in 2005.
December 23, 2013 |
It seems like a no-brainer: Only those who are able to repay mortgages should get them. Yet the housing market is still climbing out of a hole dug by lenders who thought otherwise. Come Jan. 10, nearly seven years after the housing market crashed and burned, a rule designed to ensure mortgages are granted only to borrowers who can repay what they owe will take effect. Called the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage Rule, the regulation was written by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in accordance with requirements of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Under the rule, mortgage lenders are required to verify ability to repay.
September 20, 2013 |
Jerry Schiano was driving to work Monday at New Penn Financial , the Plymouth Meeting home-loan company he heads, when he heard economist Larry Summers had asked President Obama not to make Summers the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. "We'll have a good day!" Schiano exulted. Summers' withdrawal meant investors would bid down interest rates, expecting current Fed chair Ben Bernanke's cheap-money policy will last longer without Summers' restraining hand.
August 11, 2013 |
A bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.) to limit the amount of money senior citizens can borrow against the value of their homes became law Friday afternoon. President Obama signed the bill, which was also sponsored by Rep. Denny Heck (D., Wash.) and passed easily in the House and the Senate. It was one of only 22 pieces of legislation passed thus far in this session of Congress. The one-page bill authorizes the Federal Housing Administration to craft regulations that would cap the amount senior citizens can initially withdraw in return for some of the value of their homes.
March 6, 2012
President Obama said Tuesday that homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages endorsed on or before May 31, 2009, who choose to refinance their loans to record low rates would see upfront and annual premiums reduced when they do. Effective for existing FHA loans refinanced starting June 11, the upfront premium will fall from 1 percent to 0.01 percent of the base loan amount, FHA acting commissioner Carol Galante said. The annual premium will decline to 0.55 percent. Last week, Federal housing Administration announced premium increases for new loans, beginning April 1. To take advantage of this streamlined refinancing program, borrowers must be current on their mortgages, she said.
February 22, 2012 |
Banks and mortgage servicers expect homeowners to meet their obligations. In an economy built to last, homeowners should expect the same of them. Too often in the run-up to the housing crisis, that wasn't the case. Banks didn't hold up their end of the bargain. Lenders sold loans to people who couldn't afford them to make profits that turned out to be a mirage. Millions of families who did nothing wrong lost their homes or saw their value drop as a result. As extensive federal and state investigations found, the abuses continued after homeowners moved in. After reviewing thousands of loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and its Inspector General's Office uncovered evidence that the country's five largest loan servicers routinely signed foreclosure documents without knowing whether they were accurate.
February 19, 2012 |
Since reporting the details of President Obama's latest housing recovery plan, I have been inundated with e-mails and calls from homeowners looking to refinance their mortgages to record low rates through the Federal Housing Administration. The volume, along with regular appeals from readers asking me to intercede for them with lenders and servicers, are proof positive the financial crisis is far from over. The problem is that Congress, including a Republican House majority hostile to the plan, has to approve it first, and that may not happen.
January 26, 2012 |
The housing industry has been appealing for a coherent policy that will end the market's five-year-old downturn and get real estate moving. What President Obama offered Tuesday night in his State of the Union address, though welcomed by many, does not appear to be all the industry had in mind. The President proposed to allow up to four million homeowners to refinance into loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, an action Obama said would save individuals an average of $3,000 annually.