A second major mortgage lender, JPMorgan Chase, has stopped foreclosures so it can review loan documents for errors.
“It will probably slow things down for a couple of months while these documents are reviewed,” said Rick Sharga, senior vice president at foreclosure listing service RealtyTrac Inc. “It won’t stop things.”
But if Sharga is wrong and more problems surface, they are likely to slow the foreclosure crisis still more, making it drag on for several more years, other analysts say.
In any case, an increased number of lawsuits are likely. Christopher Immel, a Florida lawyer who represents foreclosed home owners, says many former home owners could sue their lenders, alleging errors in documents.
GMAC Mortgage was the first big lender to pause foreclosures while it reviews past files.
Source: The Associated Press, Janna Herron and Alan Zibel (09/29/2010)
Seventy-six percent of workers drive alone to work. Another 11% carpool, and 5% take public transportation. Average time it takes for people in the nation to commute to work: 25.5 minutes.
More women (26.4 million) work in managerial and professional-related occupations than men (24.7 million).
Of the total American workforce, 10.1 million workers are self-employed and 5.9 million work from home.
There are 16.1 million labor union members nationwide. About 12% of wage and salary workers belong to unions, with Alaska, Hawaii and New York having among the highest rates of any state. North Carolina has one of the lowest rates at 3%.
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Closing costs have risen an average of 36.6 percent compared to 2009, according to Bankrate.com’s annual survey.
The big increased was caused by the U.S. government requiring lenders to provide accurate good faith estimates of closing costs. Previously, lenders weren’t penalized for a bad estimate.
On average, the origination and third party fees on a $200,000 purchase mortgage added up to $3,741.
Here are the 10 highest states:
1. New York, $5,623
2. Texas, $4,708
3. Utah, $4,605
4. California-San Francisco, $4,566; California-Los Angeles, $4,406
5. Alaska, $4,327
6. Oklahoma, $4,254
7. Pennsylvania, $4,236
8. New Jersey, $4,110
9. Idaho, $4,077
10. Massachusetts, $4,025
Source: Bankrate.com (08/16/2010)
Despite rumors to the contrary sweeping Wall Street and Washington, D.C., the White House says it is not planning to order Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to forgive a portion of the mortgage debt of millions of people who owe more than their homes are worth.
“The administration is not considering a change in policy in this area,” said Treasury spokesman Andrew Williams.
Mortgage bond prices stabilized after that rumor was quashed.
Source: Reuters News (08/05/2010)
Paying off an underwater mortgage and buying a better home could be the best tactic in this troubled market.
“If you are trading up, what better time than when interest rates are at record lows and the cost of the trade-up is much less than it used to be?” says Christopher J. Mayer, a Columbia Business School economist.
With 15-year fixed-rate mortgages at about 4.5 percent, it also makes sense to pay off the mortgage and keep the house. “At this point,” says Jay Brinkmann, chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington, D.C., “if they don’t have anything else that is bringing a tremendous return, then they are buying themselves an annuity by paying their house off sooner than they needed to.”
Source: The Wall Street Journal, M.P. McQueen