Major Bank Settlement -Do you qualify?

The $25 billion foreclosure settlement unveiled Thursday is expected to help many borrowers who are struggling to make their loan payments, owe more than their homes are worth or have lost their homes to foreclosure. But the rules of the deal are complicated and banks have three years to meet their obligations. The questions and answers below should help borrowers figure out if they qualify for help and what to expect from the process. Red more....
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204642604577213032296123026.html?mod=WSJ_RealEstate_LeftTopNews
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Foreclosure Settlement

WASHINGTON -- Arizona, Michigan and Florida, three of the states hit hardest by the housing crisis, will join a nationwide settlement over foreclosure abuses, sources said Tuesday. They will join more than 40 other states in a deal that would benefit many Americans who lost homes or can't afford their mortgages. Will Nevada join this settlement....read more
http://www.lvrj.com/business/foreclosure-settlement-gains-three-more-takers-138916979.html
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Positive Outlook for Housing

The consumer outlook for U.S. home prices improved again in January, extending a recent upward trend in housing market sentiment, according to mortgage market firm Fannie Mae.
For its monthly reading, Fannie Mae said respondents in its January survey predicted home prices will rise by 1% over the next year, up from the 0.8% gain forecast in December. To read full article http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2012/02/07/fannie-mae-outlook-for-home-prices-rises-again/#
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Retiring in 2012

Planning to retire in 2012? You could be starting off at a disadvantage – financially, at least – if you live in one of these 10 states.

TopRetirements.com, a guide to retirement destinations and communities, recently published its list of the 10 worst states for retirement, looking primarily at financial considerations. In specific, the site evaluated each state in terms of its fiscal health, property taxes, state income taxes and cost of living. (The survey also included climate as a yardstick, under the assumption that most retirees “have a bias toward places with warmer winters.”)
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Mortgage Rates Higher

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.98% for the week ended Thursday, up from 3.88% the previous week, though below 4.8% a year ago. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.24%, up from 3.17% last week and below 4.09% a year earlier. Click to read full article-

http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2012/01/26/mortgage-rates-rise-on-stronger-housing-reports/#
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Housing Inventory Ends Year Down 22%.

Per WSJ dated 1/19/2011--There were fewer homes listed for sale at the end of 2011 than in any of the previous four years, a positive sign for the housing sector.......Still, some real-estate agents aren’t celebrating because there’s a large backlog of potential foreclosures that haven’t yet been taken back and listed by banks. The inventory declines are particularly pronounced in certain states where banks have sharply slowed down foreclosures to correct document-handling abuses.
Read Full article http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2012/01/19/housing-inventory-ends-year-down-22/#
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Mortgage Principal Reduction

Congressional Democrats are expected to continue pushing a federal housing regulator to write down mortgage principal for government-backed loans if a settlement with banks doesn't help out enough homeowners.
The federal government is "very close" to an agreement with mortgage servicers that could help about a million homeowners, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said this week.
The deal, which also includes states' attorneys general, would require the nation's five largest banks — Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial — to spend upward of $25 billion to help borrowers caught up in so-called robo-signing practices where servicers signed-off on foreclosure paperwork without properly reviewing documents. ... to read more click link below

Dems push Fannie, Freddie regulator on mortgage write-downs - The Hill's On The Money
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Lock SOON!

Starting soon, nearly all home buyers and refinancing households throughout the nation will pay higher mortgage loan fees. Congress has made it law.
13 months ago, as part of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, Congress enacted a one-year cut to FICA payroll taxes.
FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act. Taxes collected under FICA fund such programs as Social Security and Medicare.
The stimulus plan temporarily lowered tax rates for salaried workers from 6.2% to 4.2%; and for self-employed persons from 12.4% to 10.4%. Effective January 1, 2012, “regular” tax rates were to return.
That is, until late-December 2011. In one of its last moves of the year, Congress passed a temporary, two-month extension to the payroll tax cut, extending it through February 29, 2012. The expected cost to the U.S. Treasury is $33 billion.
To recoup those costs, Congress has turned to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA.
Each entity has been ordered to collect news fees on each new mortgage is backs, and has been told to forward said fees to U.S. Treasury directly. There’s no “workaround” allowed or forgiveness applied — each new loan is subject to the payment.
The rules are listed on page 17 of the law’s final draft, in a section unambiguously titled “Title IV — Mortgage Fees and Premiums”.
According to the law :
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must collect an average fee of no less than 10 basis points (0.1%) per new loan
The FHA must raise its monthly mortgage insurance premiums 10 basis points for all new loans
The expected cost to consumers is no less than $10 monthly per $100,000 borrowed. Some analysts, however, expect Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to collect more than is minimally required. This could add an additional $30-50 to your monthly mortgage payment per $100,000 borrowed.
Therefore, if you’ve been shopping for a home or for mortgage rates, take advantage. Within days, lenders are expected to start collecting Payroll Tax Extension fees from mortgage applicants — a move that will cost you money.
Lock today to avoid the big fees. Save yourself money.
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30 Fixed Rate Mortgage NOT for Everyone

Choosing a loan can be simple- you need to ask yourself what is my 5, 15 or 30 year plan? Am I going to live here for a few years, is my family size going to grow or decrease, am I retiring, or unsure what your going to be doing. One thing is for sure banks are scared of getting burned with crazy mortgage options, but choices are still available with a conservative approach.
  • If you know you will be moving in less than 5 years- a 5/1ARM would still be your best option. This loan is fixed for the first 5 years but will jump if you don't sell by the 5th year. This loan is still a risk in a shaky market so have a cash cushion just in case.
  • If you want to build equity faster and may be retiring- a 15 year fixed rate loan is your best option. Not only do you get a break in the interest rate but you save big in long run. You can save an estimated $177,000 on a loan of $300,000.
  • If you have little down and uncertain of future plans - a 30 year fixed rate loan is the best option.. these loans allow you to pay a comfortable mortgage payment and allow lower down payments- FHA loan allows borrowers to put down as little as 3.5%. This loan currently is the most popular option.

So as your shopping for your loan ask for a comparison of what your options are and discuss what is right for you. Be educated and make a choice that fits your mortgage needs.

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Market Update.

Is the Market REALLY in repair...End of January Report Indicates:

11,406 Homes currently available on the Market -
39% are non distressed owners, 17% are REO, and 44% are Short Sales

10,917 Homes are in Contingent Status - 78.5% are Short sales- will these change into to Foreclosures- let's hope not.

Will the market change, let's hope all sales are approved and close- maybe with the current numbers, the banks will be opt to release more homes on the market . Creating more inventory and some options. Recovery TRUE OR FALSE? (you decide)
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BUY NOW to SAVE-FHA CHANGES

Weeks before the FTHB tax credit expires, FHA is making some changes.On April 5th , FHA will increase the up-front mortgage insurance by 0.50%. All though the up-front mortgage insurance is financed into the loan- it can add an extra $965 to your loan amount. The Spring also warrants a change in seller concessions. The amount now a seller is allowed to contribute to buyers closing cost is 6% and that will change to 3%- creating more money out of pocket for buyer. If a buyer buys a house at $100,000 they will get $3000 instead of the $6000- so buyers will have to come up with the extra cost.Buyers the only way to avoid the changes is to buy now and have a mortgage application submitted by the last week in March.
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Record Numbers in Real Estate

I have been saying to everyone that the market in Las Vegas is booming... here are the comparison numbers from October and November 2005 compared to present:

2005 October - Sales Volume = 2,574
2005 November - Sales Volume = 2,441

2009 October - Sales Volume = 3,535
2009 November - sales Volume = 3,117

We are selling more homes in Vegas than the real estate boom... get your share of the pie.
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Fannie Mae-Lease Back

Fannie Mae will allow homeowners lease back their homes and stay in them for a year or more.

The "DEED for Lease" Program will let borrowers transfer their homes to Fannie Mae in exchange for a lease. The borrowers will be expected to pay market rents, which will be lower than the current mortgage in most cases. These borrowers will be the ones who don't qualify for loan modification and wish to remain in the home.

Borrowers will have to provide decline of loan modification, proof they can afford to pay the rent, and willing and able to move out when lease is not renewed.

This will definitely help stabilize the housing market!
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$8000 Tax Credit Logic

Primaries in early November.- may be the reason that the extension has not be announced. Hopefully we will hear something in the next couple of weeks.If someone hasn't identified a house by now, closing by Nov 30th will be a difficult task. If I had to guess I'd say June 2010 extension, $8k for ALL buyers (except investors) JUST MY LOGIC!! Again, I also think there will be some legislators running for goodwill just prior to the primaries so we'll see if and what they say. . .
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$8000 Tax Credit/ Military

The $8000 tax credit is shortly coming to an end. There is still plenty of time to close your home and take advantage of this great opportunity.
Are you in the military- this may be extended for you:
HR 3590 will allow eligible military personnel and foreign service and intelligence officers to apply for the $8,000 tax credit for one year beyond its current November 30 deadline. Those meeting the underlying requirements for the credit must also be serving overseas or have spent at least 90 days deployed outside of the country during the current calendar year. It is expected that about 350,000 military personnel and an unknown number of federal employees may be affected by the new law.
This is more than like to pass through the Senate...
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HOUSING NEWS

Pending sales rose once again for the seventh consecutive month across the United States. The NAR states that the contracts signed and placed in off market status was up 6.4 percent to 103.8, the longest month to month gain since 2001. Most were expecting a rise in home sales but it was estimated to be not more than 1 percent. This is definitely showing a steady amount of home buyers returning to the market and newcomers joining homeownership.
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FINANCING OPTIONS ARE BACK

Fannie Mae Loan Program now available for as little as 5% down with no mortgage insurance for primary residents and 10% down with no mortgage insurance for second homes and investors. The features and benefits are:
  • 1 to 4 unit Properties
  • NO Appraisal Required
  • Low Credit Score
  • Up to 6% Contributions
  • NO Mortgage Insurance
  • Up to 10 Financed Properties
  • Flexible Terms

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