Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mortgage Interest Deduction - is it still Vunerable?

Possibly. Even though the report from the Commission for Deficit Reduction will not go to Congress for an automatic vote, there is the possibility that individual pieces of it -- such as curbing the mortgage interest deduction -- could be included in the proposed budget that will be sent to Congress in January. 

Click here to read "Plan to Curb MID Remains in Play" by Robert Freedman, Senior Editor of REALTOR Magazine and to watch short video from REALTORTV.

Click here to read "Commentary: Mortgage Interest and Real Estate Tax Deduction Facts" by Danielle Hale, posted on  This is a sobering look at what impact losing the MID might have on the economy and housing market.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Financing in Today's Mortgage Market...

ALL I WANT TO DO IS BUY A HOUSE! - a good article about today's mortgage market.
Years ago, when someone applied for a mortgage they had to have money in the bank and proof of just about everything.  Then, somewhere along the way, lenders relaxed their lending requirements, didn't follow up to verify income or debt, and lent money just based on the value of a home.  Due to the mortgage meltdown, those days of just filling out an application and expecting to get a mortgage are gone.  The reality if you want to by a home?  It is a great time... low rates, low prices.  But be prepared to be able to show proof of income, show months worth of bank statements, tax returns and other various documents to prove to a lender that you are credit-worthy.  Lenders will also want to see money for a downpayment and closing costs readily available.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

FTC Issues new rule to help protect consumers from loan modification scams

You have probably seen the ads for loan-modification firms that say they can get your loan modified, save you from losing your house, cut your interest rate, get you a short sale, or get your loan reduced.  Many of these firms will charge you thousands of dollars and pay up front, and then do very little or nothing to help you.  The FTC has issued a new rule called "MARS" (Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule) to help protect struggling homeowners -- most significantly, this new rule bans these mortgage-relief type-companies from collecting advance fees.  Mortgage relief companies must contact your lender and provide a written offer from the lender that the consumer deems acceptable prior to collecting a fee for this service. These mortgage modification companies also must now let you know that they are not associated with the government and are not allowed to keep clients from communicating with their lender. See the FTC website for more detail and info. 

These rules should help, but always beware of any company asking you for a fee in exchange for loan modification or counseling on a mortgage loan.  Assistance from a HUD-approved counselor through the Making Home Affordable program is always free.  See the Making Home Affordable website for more information.