Shelli Dore’s Real Estate Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Financial

By Stephanie Armour, USA TODAY

The Obama administration’s initiative to help homeowners obtain modifications of second mortgages is getting off the ground.
Just this month, Bank of America became the first major lender in the program to send letters offering modifications to home-equity loan customers struggling with their loans. Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo joined the program in March, when updated guidelines were issued by the government. Those banks hold about half of the USA’s second liens.

The program, originally introduced in August, is aimed at overcoming an impediment to permanent modifications of first mortgages. Holders of first mortgages have been reluctant to take losses unless the holder of the second-lien mortgage does, too. More borrowers are staying current on their second mortgages, however, which has made those lenders less inclined to take losses.

“This is a huge concern for consumers,” says Marietta Rodriguez, national director for homeownership and lending at national non-profit NeighborWorks America. “You have two financial institutions trying to get a payment out of you. How do you respond?” The government’s second-mortgage program, called 2MP, offers incentives to borrowers, mortgage servicers and investors to modify second mortgages. How it works:

•When a borrower’s first loan is modified under the federal program, known as the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), and the servicer of the second loan is also a participant in HAMP, that servicer must offer to modify the borrower’s second lien.

•Servicers can stretch the term of the second loan to 40 years.

•Second-lien lenders must defer the payment of the same proportion of principal that was deferred or forgiven on the first loan.

The second loans also must have originated on or before Jan. 1, 2009, to be eligible for a modification. Modifying a mortgage with a second lien can be more difficult because of the additional parties involved. A second lien may be held by another servicer or investor, and getting all parties to agree on interest rate reductions or other steps to ease borrowers’ monthly payments can be time-consuming or difficult. The government program aims to make the process easier. The number of homeowners who will get assistance is limited.

While the program is expected to reach up to 1.5 million homeowners who are struggling to afford their mortgage payments, there are an estimated 19 million residential junior liens, with an average balance of $57,000 as of January, according to First American CoreLogic. Up to 50% of at-risk mortgages have second liens, according to the Treasury Department. Even with the incentives the government is offering mortgage lenders to modify second mortgages, they could still prove to be an obstacle as pressure grows to reduce borrowers’ loan principal. “First-lien holders become more reluctant to do principal reduction because of the second” lien, says Jack Schakett, loss mitigation strategies executive at Bank of America. “Everyone is calling for doing more principal reduction. Second liens will be a problem.”

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Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) was introduced to simplify and streamline the short sale process. HAFA accomplishes this in the following ways: 

  • Compliments the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) by providing viable alternatives for borrowers who are HAMP-eligible
  • Utilizes borrower financial and hardship information collected in conjunction with HAMP, eliminating the need for additional eligibility analysis
  • Allows the borrower to receive pre-approved short sale terms prior to the property listing
  • Prohibits the servicer from requiring, as a condition of approving the short sale, a reduction in the real estate commission agreed upon in the listing agreement
  • Requires that borrowers be fully released from future liability for the debt
  • Uses standard processes, documents and time frames
  • Provides financial incentives to borrowers, servicers and investors

HAFA provides financial incentives as follows: 

  • Financial incentives for lenders participating in the program include a $1,000 servicing bonus
  • Homeowners can receive up to $1,500 in relocation assistance (which, in some cases, may classify as taxable income) after a short sale or deed-in-lieu has been executed
  • Lenders pay all servicing fees – homeowners suffer zero out-of-pocket expenses

If you (or someone you know) are a homeowner looking for answers, or would like to determine if you qualify for HAFA, contact me at 303-942-0648.  I’m here to help.  

Sources:

HousingWire “Treasury to Announce New Program to Avoid Foreclosure” (2009): http://www.housingwire.com/2009/10/12/treasury-to-announce-new-program-to-avoid-foreclosure/

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Shelli Dore

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The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) Program is a government-sponsored initiative led by the US Treasury Department assisting all Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)-eligible homeowners in avoiding foreclosure, specifically through short sales or deeds-in-lieu.

First introduced November 30, 2009 in Supplemental Directive 09-092 as part of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), HAFA assists eligible homeowners in quickly and effectively implementing short sales by providing financial incentives to lenders that work in conjunction with HAMP to assist homeowners in need.

The program was introduced in part with the intent to remove the stigma from short sales and help keep communities from being destroyed through massive foreclosures. HAFA in its current state is only applicable to conventional-type, non-Governmental Serviced Enterprises (non-GSE) mortgages and therefore does not apply to loans owned or guaranteed with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. These organizations may have plans to release their own versions of HAFA.

If you (or someone you know) are a homeowner looking for answers, or would like to determine if you qualify for HAFA, contact me at 303-942-0648. I can help.

Sources:
• 1Making Home Affordable “HAMP Supplemental Directive 09-09” (2009): https://www.hmpadmin.com/portal/docs/hamp_servicer/sd0909.pdf

• 2HousingWire “Treasure to Announce New Program to Avoid Foreclosure” (2009): http://www.housingwire.com/2009/10/12/treasury-to-announce-new-program-to-avoid-foreclosure/

• 3HousingWire “Treasure to Announce New Program to Avoid Foreclosure” (2009): http://www.housingwire.com/2009/10/12/treasury-to-announce-new-program-to-avoid-foreclosure/

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Shelli Dore

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…Remember! The next time you are in a conversation with someone who is thinking about a move – IN ANY CITY OR STATE IN THE US OR CANADA – call me first! I can help make sure your friends, family members and work associates are very well taken care of.

For agents trained to help home owners in distress, the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) Program  is the single most important piece of housing legislation to take place. Why?

For those trained in how to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and financial ruin by assisting them through the short sale process, after April 5, 2010, not only will trained agents  receive more requests for assistance with short sales from distressed homeowners, they will also receive increased support from the lenders that hold those distressed mortgages. HAFA shows that the government fully supports agents trained to help homeowners and work with lenders.

This is a tremendous opportunity to help homeowners facing financial hardship, and have a positive impact on communities nationwide.

If you (or someone you know) are a homeowner looking for answers, or would like to determine if you qualify for HAFA, contact me at 303-942-0648. I can help.

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Shelli Dore

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Source: www.indenvertimes.com
By Kevin Flynn on March 23, 2010

The North Metro commuter rail corridor through the heart of Adams County will be proposed as a single-track line but with five strategically placed double-tracked segments that will allow RTD to slash costs while retaining the capability for 15-minute service on this FasTracks corridor.

The refinement to the corridor, the second-most expensive and third-longest rail line in the FasTracks rapid transit program, is contained in the Final Environmental Impact Statement, which will be voted on Tuesday night by the RTD board for public release and comment.

The 18-mile corridor serves Denver, Commerce City, Northglenn and Thornton, between Denver Union Station and 162nd Avenue, north of CO 7 and Colorado Boulevard.

The North Metro Corridor’s cost has been reduced from a high of $1.065 billion two years ago to the current working estimate of $909.8 million – a nearly 15 percent drop due in great part to RTD’s review of every corridor from the bottom up. New General Manager Phil Washington ordered the zero-based budgeting review to determine the least-cost way of getting all the corridors built while still serving all of the communities along them.

In the case of North Metro, planners found that they could build a system that mostly uses a single track for both northbound and southbound trains if they included five two-track passing segments and coordinated the schedules, allowing trains in opposing directions to pass without delays. Two of the double-track segments are at the north and south ends, and three are in the middle of the line. They are from south of 72nd Avenue to around 74th Avenue, from north of Thornton Parkway to just north of 104th Avenue, and from south of 124th Avenue to before the York Street crossing south of 136th Avenue.

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Colorado’s use of the federal government’s stimulus-related Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is relatively low as of February, according to a report released Friday by the U.S. Treasury and Housing and Urban Development departments.

As of the end of last month, Colorado had a total of 14,320 mortgage-loan modifications related to HAMP — 2,613 permanent modifications and 11,707 active trial modifications, according to the report. A trial modification precedes a permanent one.

By comparison, California had the most total loan modifications for that period at 205,606, followed by Florida with 123,144, Illinois with 53,285 and Arizona with 49,763.

States with the least HAMP activity included states with relatively low populations, including North Dakota with 245, South Dakota with 474 and Wyoming with 545.

The HAMP data also included mortgage-delinquency information provided by the Mortgage Bankers Association, and Colorado fared well in that arena, as well.

Colorado’s mortgage delinquency rate, according to the report, was in the second-lowest category, at 5.01 to 10 percent of total mortgage loans. The data relate to loans that are delinquent by 60 days or more.

Two states had the highest delinquency rates — California and Florida — at 20.01 percent and higher.

HAMP was created as part of the stimulus (or “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009”), the federal government’s $787 billion package designed to jump-start the recovery of the U.S. economy. The HAMP program went into effect in August 2009, and can be used by holders of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Authority.

Via HAMP, such mortgage holders can modify their loans to make payments more affordable, and mortgage holders have the potential to get the full amount of the existing balance on a loan, according to the government.

As of last month, more than 170,000 homeowners nationwide have gotten permanent mortgage modifications, and another 91,800 such modifications have been OK’d and are pending, according to the report.

Homeowners with permanent modifications are saving a median of more than $500 per month on mortgage payments, for a total of $2.7 billion. Median is the midpoint between highest and lowest figures in a range.

Some 1.1 million homeowners have started trial modifications, and more than 1.3 million homeowners have gotten offers for trial modifications.

HAMP’s goal, the report said, is to offer 3 million to 4 million homeowners lower mortgage payments using loan modifications through 2012.

Click here to download the report in PDF format.

Source: Denver Business Journal

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Shelli Dore

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve on Tuesday repeated its pledge to hold interest rates at record lows to foster the economic recovery and ease high unemployment.

But the Fed’s assessment of the economy at its meeting Tuesday was a bit more upbeat. It said the job market is stabilizing, which was an improvement from its January statement when it said the deterioration in the labor market was abating.

It also said business spending on equipment and software has risen significantly, also an upgrade from its last assessment.

Still, the Fed cautioned that consumer spending could be dampened by high unemployment, weak wage growth, lower wealth and tight credit. And it noted weakness in the commercial real-estate and homebuilding markets.

“The Fed painted the economy in a slightly brighter shade,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group. “It’s been painted black for so long. Now, it is a lighter shade of gray.”

The Fed held its target range for its bank lending rate at zero to 0.25 percent, where it’s been since December 2008. In response, commercial banks’ prime lending rate, used to peg rates on certain credit cards and consumer loans, has remained about 3.25 percent — its lowest in decades.

Super-low rates benefit borrowers who qualify for loans and are willing to take on more debt. But low rates are hard on people living on fixed incomes and earning scant returns on their savings.

The Fed’s pledge to keep record-low rates for an “extended period” relieved investors. The Dow Jones industrial average finished the day up nearly 44 points. Before the announcement, it had posted a gain in the single digits.

Prices for Treasurys rose slightly. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury fell to 3.66 percent from 3.68 percent just before the announcement.

The Fed made no changes to a program to drive down mortgage rates and bolster the housing market, even as a government report Tuesday showed housing construction tumbling in February.

Source: The Denver Post
03/17/2010 01:29:32 AM MDT
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Shelli Dore

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…Remember! The next time you are in a conversation with someone who is thinking about a move – IN ANY CITY OR STATE IN THE US OR CANADA – call me first! I can help make sure your friends, family members and work associates are very well taken care of.


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