October 14, 2007 |
Given the inventory of unsold properties - and the rise in the number of days it takes to sell each one, even as median prices continue to increase - you'd think residential construction in Center City would be slowing. Yet from Front Street to the Schuylkill, and well north and south of the traditional boundaries of the business district, high-rises are rising and low-rises are spreading across what had been abandoned lots. The housing market may be sluggish, but 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates remain low and available to buyers with good credit.
April 30, 2007 |
If you get a home mortgage from Abington Community Bank in Jenkintown, chances are the money will come from deposits kept there by other residents of Philadelphia's northern suburbs. The 140-year-old bank has been making loans this way for decades, and then keeping the loans on its books instead of selling them. "We are looking for the relationship with the customer," said Tom Wasekanes, vice president of originations. While Abington has stayed with community-lending methods, the U.S. mortgage industry has transformed itself in a way that has opened conduits to global capital markets.
July 3, 2005 |
It's a mystery worthy of Hollywood: In February, $4 million suddenly appeared in the checking account of a suspended Philadelphia lawyer. Who wired it? And why? Is it, as Homeland Security officials in Dallas allege, an effort to launder money? Could it be, as a federal prosecutor in Philadelphia suspects, part of some complex international criminal fraud? Or is it, as the lawyer insists, all quite innocent - simply a surprise investment from an old client who wants to help him make major motion pictures?
May 14, 2004 |
American Business Financial Services Inc. lost $33.2 million, or $10.53 a share, in the first quarter, returning the struggling Center City lender to default status on its own loans. The company secured a temporary waiver from the lender, said Albert W. Mandia, its executive vice president and chief financial officer. While the company now expects losses through Sept. 30, "we can now see a path to profitability by the quarter ended Dec. 31," Mandia said. In late 2002, Center City promoters counted American Business Financial as a major coup, luring the lender from Bala Cynwyd with an aid and loan package from the state and city worth $19.6 million.
September 11, 2003 |
Brenda Hayden's summer mystery, the case of the missing mortgage broker, took an expensive turn last month. After seven weeks of unanswered phone calls, the bargain mortgage rate she had landed to refinance her Marlton home did a vanishing act as well. At 5.375 percent on a 30-year loan, she would have saved $115 a month. When the broker finally called back, she said, "he told me, 'I lost your loan, and I don't know what you expect me to do about it.' " Hayden answers that he could have fessed up earlier, while she still had a chance to improve on her 6.875 percent rate.
September 4, 2002 |
Up to 200 Pennsylvania and New Jersey residents may have been defrauded by a career scam artist once dubbed the "Con Man Casanova" for previous crimes - and he is still looking for more customers, authorities warned yesterday. James J. Masiello, 56, is alleged to have stolen between $150,000 and $200,000 - and reams of personal financial information - by posing as a mortgage broker and soliciting "processing" fees from families interested in refinancing their homes, Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Laurel Grass said.
February 8, 2002 |
A mortgage broker was appointed last night as the newest member of the Township Council. Joseph P. McCrea, 35, an assistant vice president at Countrywide Home Loans in Sewell, filled the seat vacated by Democrat Raymond J. Rapposelli. He will serve the 10 months left in Rapposelli's four-year term and, he said, will campaign in the June primary for a spot on the Democratic council ticket for the November election. McCrea said last night that his real estate experience would help with Washington Township's open-space acquisition program.
June 24, 1999 |
Residents living near the sinking homes in Wissinoming say the rowhouses showed visible signs of settling long before the rapid deterioration of the past three years. Yet, families who bought the homes in that period were able to obtain mortgages. Something that should not have happened if an alert appraiser had noted the settlement and recommended further investigation before the loans were approved. According to Harry Marder, president of the American Society of Appraisers, such vigilance is not always rewarded.
November 20, 1998 |
Obtaining a mortgage on the Internet was supposed to take the hassle out of the financing end of Rosanne and Jason Toohey's home purchase. Earlier this year, an on-line mortgage broker found the Tooheys a competitive interest rate for their condo mortgage, but the couple didn't bargain on the delays, lost documents, misinformation and unresponsive loan agents that came with the deal. The Web-based mortgage broker reimbursed some of the unexpected costs caused by the delays, but when the mortgage finally closed five days late, the two vowed never to venture back on line for mortgage money.
August 2, 1998 |
Although computers are transforming the real estate industry in a variety of ways, the greatest effect of this technology has been on the way houses are financed and refinanced. Especially the speed with which mortgage applications are being processed and approved. "We did our quickest one the other day - 3.41 seconds ," said Dan Rawitch, chief executive officer of Finet Holdings Corp. of Walnut Creek, Calif., which takes applications on its Web site. "It's very quick. " While most applications aren't being processed and approved in less than four seconds, the industry's computerization has cut approval time by more than half.