Monday, October 25, 2010

Study: Shadow Inventory to Keep REO Supply Elevated for Several Years

An estimated 4.1 million borrowers are in the process of foreclosure or are more than 90 days delinquent. Their homes make up what's been termed the shadow inventory -- a pent up supply of REOs that could drive down home prices and perhaps cause another wave of defaults. Guhan Venkatu, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, says even under the most benign projections, the stock of REO properties is likely to remain elevated for the next several years.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Foreclosures Sales, REO Inventories Increase Along West Coast: Report

ForeclosureRadar has released its September market report, and the company's data shows that both foreclosure sales and inventories of bank-owned properties are on the rise throughout the West Coast states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. In Nevada, for example, foreclosure sales increased by nearly 40 percent from August to September, with the majority going back to the bank and swelling the REO supply even further.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mortgage Rates Drop Yet Again to New Lows

The last time rates for 30-year mortgages were as low as they are now was in April 1951. Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages have been under 5 percent for 23 weeks in a row, according to data gathered by Freddie Mac. This week, the GSE reports that the average 30-year rate fell again to break the survey's all-time low, hitting 4.19 percent. The 15-year fixed rate also averaged a record low of 3.62 percent.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Administration Officials Reject Idea of National Foreclosure Moratorium

Evidence of major servicers mishandling foreclosure paperwork has cast a cloud of doubt over the entire industry and servicing procedures across the board. Consumer advocacy groups and a number of state attorneys general have demanded a nationwide moratorium on foreclosures. But two senior White House officials have indicated that the Obama administration will not support an all-out foreclosure freeze. So far, five companies have announced voluntary foreclosure suspensions because of potential deficiencies in the legal paperwork.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Wells Fargo Offers Pick-a-Payment Customers a Reprieve

Wells Fargo & Co. announced this week that from December 18, 2010, through June 30, 2013, Wachovia Pick-a-Payment customers who are at-risk of default may be eligible to earn principal forgiveness by making on-time mortgage payments. The company says it has already written mortgage principals down by a total of nearly $3.4 billion for Pick-a-Payment customers. The bank will also contribute $24 million to eight states to help with customer outreach and alleviate the impact of foreclosure in local communities.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Clear Capital Sees Evidence of Early Winter Slowdown in Home Prices

Data released by Clear Capital Thursday shows that quarter-over-quarter home prices were down 0.2 percent in September compared to the previous month's reading. It's the first time in months the company has seen national home prices slip into negative territory. Clear Capital says signs of a slowdown are apparent and likely mark an early onset of the typically weaker winter season. However, the company says home prices are still 10 percent above their 2009 lows, so the risk of carving out a new trough this year remains small.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wells Fargo Puts a Stop to Short Sale Extensions

Wells Fargo will no longer delay foreclosure proceedings in hopes that a short sale deal will come through. At the requests of its mortgage investors, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the bank has stopped granting extensions for distressed homeowners to complete short sales. Going forward, borrowers must close on short sales by the date quoted in their approval letter. The policy change will allow the bank's foreclosure proceedings to advance, even if a short sale is already in negotiation.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Mortgage Rates Fall to New Lows...Again

How low can we go? When it comes to mortgage rates, the floor keeps dropping. Industry reports released Thursday show that interest rates for home loans - already at their lowest marks in more than a half-century - dropped again this week. Market analysis conducted by Freddie Mac puts the 30-year fixed rate at 4.32 percent and the 15-year rate at 3.75 percent. Bankrate says rates for the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage also inched lower to 5.16 percent.