Is Congress finally going to help out consumers?
Since Congress has taken off on its annual summer recess, you might assume that nothing is happening on Capitol Hill that could affect the taxes you pay on your home. Quite the reverse.
It's called "upselling" - steering home mortgage applicants into higher-cost terms that increase the lender's profits - and it was rampant during the housing boom years.
Do 75 million homeowners need their own advocate before Congress and federal agencies on issues such as the mortgage interest tax deduction, retention of low down payment loans and the start of tougher financing rules next January?
WASHINGTON - Call it the estate-devouring, nightmare home loan you hope to never encounter:
It's a crucial question for many first-time and moderate-income buyers in rebounding markets across the country: Where do we find the lowest down payment, lowest monthly cost loans? The answers are changing.
You've probably seen some of the reports during the past week about home sales and prices. Housing is hot.
They're not yet an endangered species, but their steadily diminishing presence has some real estate analysts worried: First-time buyers are missing in action in housing markets across the country.
You can call it Big Brother. You can call it high-tech snooping. But be aware: If you are applying for a mortgage in the coming weeks, you can be sure that your credit will be checked and re-checked - possibly monitored daily - to make certain no hints of new debts pop up before you close on…
The refinancing boom may be cooling down, but the move to shorter mortgages - especially 10-year loans among pre-retirees - appears to be accelerating.
Pressured by consumer protection regulators, the Federal Housing Administration is expected to end one of its most controversial practices: Charging borrowers interest on their home mortgages for weeks after they've paid off the entire principal balance.
A settlement between the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and a Texas homebuilder is drawing renewed attention to a controversial issue that was prominent during the years preceding the housing bubble: kickbacks in home real estate transactions.
Here's a heads-up for the growing ranks of seniors whose post-retirement monthly incomes aren't sufficient to qualify for a mortgage under today's tough underwriting standards: Thanks to a rule change by the largest players in the home loan business, you may be able to use imputed income fro…
Who says lenders need to charge you a cash down payment when you take out a mortgage in this era of hyper-strict underwriting?
With full-fledged sellers' markets under way in dozens of metropolitan areas around the country, new research has found curious statistical patterns emerging: Even in cities where listings get multiple offers within days or hours, significant numbers of homes are sitting on the market for si…
Using your home as an ATM no longer is a financial option, but the tools that allowed owners to pull out massive amounts of money during the boom years - equity credit lines and second mortgages - are making a comeback.
Got a beef with your mortgage company or loan servicer? Lots of people do, and thousands of them - including Tucsonans - have been turning to a federal complaint hotline for action, or at least a quick response from the lender.
WASHINGTON - If you buy or own an energy-efficient house, does this make you less likely to default on your mortgage? Is there a connection between the monthly savings on utility costs and the probability that you'll pay your loan on time?
Jeanette Ogle, a 92-year-old Arizona widow with a reverse mortgage on her house, got a huge birthday surprise last week: She did not lose her home at a scheduled foreclosure auction that had drawn scrutiny from federal and state agencies and consumer advocates.
WASHINGTON - Though the housing market is rebounding in many local markets, there is one important segment that is not: First-time buyers are missing in action and represent a smaller proportion of overall sales activity than their historical norm.
Could we be looking at an early spring this year - not in meteorological terms but real estate? Could the chilly December to February months, which traditionally see fewer buyers out shopping for houses compared with the warmer months that follow, be more active than usual? And if so, what d…
WASHINGTON - You've probably seen the reverse-mortgage pitchmen at work on your TV screen - former Sen. Fred Thompson and actors Robert Wagner and Henry "Fonzie" Winkler prominent among them - urging seniors to pull cash out of their homes through a loan program guaranteed by the federal gov…
WASHINGTON - In the congressional and White House negotiations on tax reform - including the mortgage interest and property tax deductions - who has the crucial political advantage of counting documented public opinion on their side?
WASHINGTON - Patrick Boris, a banquet chef in Las Vegas, is inching closer to his own "fiscal cliff," 2,100 miles away from the political brinksmanship under way on Capitol Hill.
WASHINGTON - You may have seen headlines last week about the Federal Housing Administration needing a taxpayer "bailout" by the Treasury and wondered: Uh oh. Is the FHA heading down the fiscal drain like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have required billions in federal assistance just to s…
WASHINGTON - With the House and Senate back on Capitol Hill for the lame-duck session, preliminary negotiations aimed at keeping the country from careening off the "fiscal cliff" began in earnest this week.
WASHINGTON - With 30-year mortgage rates hitting new lows and recent borrowers' payment performance the best by far in decades, you'd think that banks and other lenders might be loosening up on their hyper-strict underwriting standards.