May 16, 2016 |
When it comes to money know-how, talking is key, particularly when senior citizens are considering reverse mortgages. "I would encourage you to go to a counseling agency with your children," said Patricia Hasson, 53, president and executive director of Clarifi, the financial counseling and education nonprofit now celebrating its 50th year. (People old enough to qualify for reverse mortgages might remember the nonprofit's legal name, the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley.)
May 9, 2016 |
A prospective home buyer who needs a mortgage to make the purchase is under the gun to have it approved and fully processed before the sale date. By contrast, a senior homeowner contemplating a reverse mortgage has no deadline to meet and can be as deliberate and careful as he or she wants. Having the opportunity to consider all options without feeling pressured is a good thing. But it can be a bad thing if the conditions that affect the terms of the reverse mortgage for which a senior qualifies change in an unfavorable way during deliberation.
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.
April 2, 2016
ISSUE | PERSONAL FINANCE Buyer beware of reverse mortgages Reverse mortgages offer benefits for some people, but high fees, declining equity, and other risks can result in families losing their homes ("Reverse mortgage in retirement," Sunday). An owner must live in the home and pay taxes, maintenance costs, and insurance. Failure to do so, including moving to a nursing home or rehabilitation center for more than a year, could result in foreclosure. Low-income homeowners face greater risks.
April 1, 2016 |
It was time to trade an Old City condo for a townhouse large enough to accommodate their three growing children. But dentist Brad Pirok and veterinarian Maya Pirok had been spending considerable capital building up their practices, and so were in the market for a mortgage that took their situations into account. Two years ago, Maya opened Northern Liberties Veterinary Center, which "required a lot of emotional, financial, and physical capital," as Brad put it - something common among medical practitioners.
March 28, 2016 |
Many homeowners today choose to retire, or are obliged to, before they have fully paid off their mortgages. With their incomes reduced, the required monthly mortgage payments can become burdensome. If a balance is not too large relative to the value of the home, it can be paid off with the proceeds of a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM), the reverse mortgage offered by the Federal Housing Administration, which has no required payment. If the borrower is 62, the balance of the old mortgage cannot exceed 50 percent of the value of the home; the cutoff rises to about 68 percent for a borrower age 87. The conversion of a standard mortgage to a reverse mortgage is not for everyone.
March 20, 2016 |
Two men described as longtime friends allegedly pocketed hundreds of thousands in fees and fake mortgage payments in a scheme to defraud distressed homeowners, the federal prosecutors said Friday. Daniel Sheehan, 41, of Gloucester City, N.J., and John Hoban, 42, of Bellmawr, N.J., are charged with numerous counts of wire fraud. Prosecutors allege they scammed more than 110 people, including several homeowners who eventually lost their homes. U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger said the pair made more than $400,000, including upfront fees that often totalled more than $1,000 and subsequent monthly "trial payments" that the pair said were going into escrow accounts and would be returned once the homeowner's "loan modification" was completed.
March 7, 2016 |
Last week, I wrote about mortgage repayment as a type of investment. This one is focused on payment mechanics. Question: Will I save money if I make regular monthly payments early? Answer: No, paying early merely allows the firm servicing your loan to earn interest on your money until your payment is due. On a standard mortgage, the scheduled payment is due the first of the month, but there is a grace period of 10 to 15 days during which the payment can be made and will be credited as if it were paid on the first.
February 28, 2016 |
Questions about why and how to pay off a mortgage early outnumber those I receive on any other topic, including loan origination. Borrowers typically spend only a few weeks, at most a few months, acquiring a mortgage, but they usually have the mortgage for many years. During that period, their financial circumstances may change, the economy may change, or they may change, any of which may stimulate an interest in accelerating repayment of their mortgage. Question: Why do you view mortgage repayment as an investment?
February 1, 2016 |
Here's a much-belated Christmas present from me to those of you who are first-time buyers and struggling to come up with a down payment and closing costs for Home No. 1: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's "rural" mortgage. This is not my first mention of this kind of mortgage, which, despite its name, does not require you to have a degree in animal husbandry. A year ago at Christmas, I wrote about a 25-year-old single first-time buyer, employed by a software company, who bought a house in Gloucester County.