HSBC curbs mortgage offering to Chinese citizens in U.S.

HSBC curbs mortgage offering to Chinese citizens in U.S.

(Source: Reuters) – Europe’s biggest lender HSBC will no longer provide mortgages to some Chinese nationals who buy real estate in the United States, a policy change that comes as Beijing is battling to stem a swelling crowd of citizens trying to get money out of China.

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Former Maryland Real Estate Broker Pleads Guilty to Second Federal Fraud Scheme

Former Maryland Real Estate Broker Pleads Guilty to Second Federal Fraud Scheme

(Source: USDOJ) BOSTON – A former real estate broker pleaded guilty on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, in U.S. District Court in Boston, in connection a scheme to defraud a couple of the deposit they paid to purchase three properties in Randolph, Roxbury and Jamaica Plain.

Michael David Scott, 51, of Mansfield, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.  U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for March 25, 2016.

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FHFA Index Shows Mortgage Interest Rates Increased in December

FHFA Index Shows Mortgage Interest Rates Increased in December

(Source: FHFA) Washington, D.C. – Nationally, interest rates on conventional purchase-money mortgages increased from November to December, according to several indices of new mortgage contracts.

The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders Index was 3.97 percent for loans closed in late November, up 12 basis points from 3.85 percent in November.

National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for Previously Occupied Homes

National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for Previously Occupied Homes

The average interest rate on all mortgage loans was 3.96 percent, up 10 basis points from 3.86 in November.

The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.20 percent, up 12 basis points from 4.08 in November.

The effective interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.10 percent in December, up 9 basis points from 4.01 percent in November.  The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.

The average loan amount for all loans was $318,000 in December, down $1,800 from $319,800 in November.

FHFA will release January index values Thursday, February 25, 2016.

SOURCE: FHFA

24 Million Americans Likely to Take Personal Loans This Year

24 Million Americans Likely to Take Personal Loans This Year

Personal Loans Market Booming Thanks to Fed, Low Unemployment

(Source: Bankrate) NEW YORK – 24 million Americans are likely to take out a personal loan this year, according to a new Bankrate.com (NYSE: RATE) report, including 10 million who are very likely and 14 million who are somewhat likely.

“I think the actual number will be even higher,” said personal loans expert Todd Albery, the CEO of Quizzle.com, a Bankrate company. “A lot of people don’t plan for a personal loan until their roof leaks or their car breaks down. Since three in 10 Americans have no emergency savings whatsoever, they’re just one unplanned expense away from needing cash in a hurry.”

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FHA Lowers Insurance Rates on Multifamily Mortgages

FHA Lowers Insurance Rates on Multifamily Mortgages

Lower rates expected to stimulate production and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing

(Source: HUD) WASHINGTON – In an effort to help preserve and increase the amount of affordable, quality rental housing across the country, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today announced a multifamily insurance rate reduction designed to encourage capital financing of affordable and energy-efficient apartments. The rate reductions announced today will take effect on April 1, 2016, and will directly impact FHA’s Multifamily Housing Programs and properties housing low- and moderate-income families and/or developments installing energy-efficient systems or building within federal energy guidelines.

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Herring Announces Record Settlement of Mortgage-Backed Securities Against Banks

Herring Announces Record Settlement of Mortgage-Backed Securities Against Banks

RICHMOND  – Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced today that the Commonwealth of Virginia has recovered more than $63 million collectively from eleven banks to settle allegations that the banks misled the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) through the sale of allegedly misrepresented residential mortgage-backed securities. This is the largest non-healthcare-related recovery ever obtained in a suit alleging violations of the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.

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Fifty percent of the American communities studied are struggling to find their way forward after the Great Recession

Fifty percent of the American communities studied are struggling to find their way forward after the Great Recession

(Source: Demand Institute) – We studied 2,200 cities and towns in the US, and hundreds of metrics for each including their housing markets, to develop 9 profiles of American communities. There is a startling contrast in economic prosperity between successful and struggling American communities. America is divided into nine different community profiles, ranging from the successful — the “Affluent Metroburbs” — to the genuinely troubled — the “Endangered Communities.” Fifty percent of the American communities studied are struggling to find their way forward after the Great Recession. (more…)

Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey for the week ending January 22, 2016

Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey for the week ending January 22, 2016

(Source: MBA) WASHINGTON, D.C. Mortgage applications increased 8.8 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 22, 2016.  This week’s results include an adjustment to account for the Martin Luther King holiday.

Builder Application Survey (BAS) data for December 2015 sho (more…)

Many homeowners downsize when released from their bubble-era debtor’s prison

Many homeowners downsize when released from their bubble-era debtor’s prison

AFTER ENDURING 10 YEARS OF EXCESSIVE MORTGAGE DEBT SERVICE, MANY PEOPLE DOWNSIZE WHEN PRICES RISE HIGH ENOUGH FOR THEM TO SELL.

(Source: OC Housing News) – Most people visualize the housing ladder as a steady upward progression from starter home to Mansion by the beach, but that’s seldom the reality. Many people buy entry-level housing, and when prices rise high enough for them to sell and have 20% down for a larger property, the participate in the move-up market. If their income grew while they lived in their entry-level home, the step up can be quite luxurious. If their income didn’t go up much, they are probably better off refinancing into a lower-cost mortgage and staying put.

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