Friday, June 22, 2012

Foreclosure Review Deadline Extended, Nearly 200K Requests So Far

The deadline to request a free, independent foreclosure review has been extended for another two months, and so far, nearly 200,000 people have requested a foreclosure review, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve Board announced Thursday. The new deadline to request an independent foreclosure review is getting pushed back from July 31 to September 30, 2012.

The review is for those who believe they have suffered financial harm as result of servicing errors during a foreclosure process between 2009 and 2010. The property must be the borrower’s primary residence and serviced by a participating servicer to be eligible. The OCC first issued consent orders for the reviews on April 13, 2011 against 12 mortgage servicers, and so far, about 193,630 people have requested a free review. In addition, independent consultants have reviewed servicers’ portfolios and selected 144,817 files to review. Currently there are 156,826 files under review, and 11,939 files have been completed, according to the OCC. If financial harm did occur as a result of a faulty foreclosure process, relief may be available in the form of lump-sum payments, rescission of a foreclosure, a modification, or corrections on credit reports, deficiency amounts, and records. Efforts from the OCC to reach out to borrowers have included 4.4 million letters sent to those who may be eligible for a review, and the agency also required servicers to pay for advertising announcing the review.

 The website has been visited 600,386 times, and 7,948 borrowers have submitted requests for review online as of May 31. The toll-free number, 1-888-952-9105, has received 241,048 calls, and 25,752 people have requested forms. The independent foreclosure review is separate from the $25 billion servicing settlement reached between federal and state officials and five of the largest servicers. As part of OCC’s agreements, four banks – Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo – received penalties totaling $394 million.

 Examples of servicer actions that could lead to relief include Servicemembers Civil Relief Act violations; modifications that were not approved but should have been, lack of proper notification during the foreclosure process, and errors that did not result in foreclosure, but still led to financial injury.

By: Esther Cho

 Bayside NY Real Estate
Bayside Homes for Sale
homes for sale bayside ny

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Home Value Analysis Finds Unbalanced Recovery

A Zillow Inc. analysis of home values in different zip codes for the three months ended in April—taking into account home sales and appraisals, among other factors—shows an unbalanced housing recovery and emphasizes the influence of location on residential values. As home sales grow and available supply narrows, home values have held up or are beginning to rise in neighborhoods with good public school systems, low crime rates, and nearby transportation corridors. However, other neighborhoods—especially in the exurbs—are not yet in recovery mode. The report shows that home values during the three-month period rose in nearly 94 percent of Phoenix zip codes, 90 percent of Denver zip codes, and 33 percent of Seattle zip codes, while they fell in 40 percent of Washington, D.C., zip codes. Although buyers were willing to commute longer distances to achieve homeownership during the boom years, they are unwilling to do so now. Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman says, "The marginal neighborhoods won't do well until the so-called desirable neighborhoods are completely fished out." He adds that these communities could see rising foreclosures due to a large "shadow inventory." Source: "Housing Prices Rise, But Not for Everyone," Wall Street Journal (June 20, 2012).

Dependable United States Of America Allowed Real Money Casino Sites

When you like the idea of being at your house along with when you play progressive jackpot slots for legitimate chips from a personal pc or mobile device, then you will be pleased to learn you could win money playing video slot games with real coins. Typically the dependable United States Of America allowed real money casino sites & Vegas accepted no download real money casino sites possess a lot to offer if you sign up for and spin the wheels playing.

You might gain access to win money playing many types of virtual slot games, together with use of other styles of well-known Internet slots along with possibilities. A person does desire to educate yourself onthings to seek out in the legit American accepted casinos and Mayland approved Apple IPad mobile casino sites to be certain you're becoming a member of the only one that’s intending to make anyone the most memorable.

Evaluate the buzz of the reputable United States accepted casinos & CA friendly cyber casino sites before you even join plus read through all the critical reviews and the ratings.

When you are thinking beginning to spin the reels playing instant play slots at on the list of legitimiate United States accepted casino sites & Mayland approved online casino sites , you want to check to see whether or not it is a popular instant play slot machines with other players.

If it is, then this tells you that many others have found it to be one of the best legit USA approved real money casino sites and Georgia friendly Android mobile casinos, the very best legit United States allowed real money casino sites and Arizona approved instant play casino sites for these to spend time in.

Any time you enroll in a popular legitimiate United States Of America allowed real money casino sites and Missouri allowed instant play real money casino sites, you also know that convincing to choose to have access to more no download slot machines likeThe Slotfather to spin the wheels playing, very good competition, and more than likely bigger prizes. The popular legitimiate United States friendly casino sites & real money Tunica Mississippi friendly live dealer casino sites also tend to have more tournaments with virtual slot machines like Lucky 8   going on.

Join in on the tournaments with Internet slots like Lucky Lightning    to win guaranteed cash prizes. The dependable American accepted real money casinos and Iowa friendly no download real money casinos tend to do a great job of having a lot of slots tournaments with 3D slot machines likeShark School happening on a regular basis. The online slots tournaments last longer than the regular progressive jackpot slots like Cash Bandits and this means you can enjoy a lot of fun when you are win money playing in the no download slot machines like Cash Bandits .

The virtual slots competitions can provide access to cash incentives like vacation trips, purchasing sprees, in addition to consumer electronics.

 If you like the concept of playing slots for actual coins at among the dependable United States Of America friendly casinos plus Delaware friendly online casino sites.

 then you definitely may like the thought of having the ability to win cash playing progressive jackpot slot games like Cash Bandits  for legitimate money whilst experiencing and enjoying the accessibility to other kinds of rewards.

 If you want to get an adrenaline rush playing spinning the reels playing video slot games through your mobile device, you'll find a large number of from the no download slots like Mermaid Queen sizes also offer you the opportunity to have fun with the reputable US friendly real money casino sites plus Alaska accepted Android mobile casino sites from your mobile device when you are also outside of your own home.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cities’ Secret Weapon to Boosting Home Values

Home values in an area can get a big boost by reducing the amount of violent crime, according to a new study by the Center for American Progress. Communities that reduce violent crimes by 10 percent could potentially see billions of dollars in home price appreciation for the community or about a 0.8 percent increase in home prices, the study says. Researchers found that reducing murders in a particular ZIP code followed a “predictable and significant increase in housing values in the same ZIP code in the next year.” For example, reducing crime by one homicide in a ZIP code in a year can lead to a home price jump of 1.5 percent for the next year, according to the study. Researchers also found that reducing homicides by 25 percent could lead to an estimated 2.1 percent increase in housing prices over the next year.

 "The basic idea is that crime has a big negative effect on property values, and if you do a cost-benefit analysis, it will be a good investment and the impact on home values is statistically significant and very large," Kevin Hasset, director of Economic Policy studies for the American Enterprise Institute, said during a conference call. What’s more, the study finds that a 10 percent decrease in homicides and increase in home values could also drastically expand a community’s revenues from property taxes. For the study, the researchers analyzed crime data from police reports and home prices in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Jacksonville, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Seattle. Source: “Violent Crime Reduction Equals Billions in Home Value Gains,” HousingWire (June 19, 2012)

5 Biggest Mistakes Home Buyers Make

Some home buyers fall for common pitfalls when purchasing a home. How can you help make sure your clients don’t fall for one? recently featured some of the biggest mistakes home buyers often make. Their list included: 1. Trying to fix credit scores before buying a home. Home buyers may do more harm than good if they don’t consult a financial expert first. “Even paying down credit card balances, which is a good thing as far as your credit scores and debt ratios are concerned, could be a problem if it leaves you short the cash you need to qualify to get the loan,” says Gerri Detweiler,’s personal finance expert. 2. Not considering the future enough in their purchase. Buyers should consider what they want out of a house not just for today but also five or 10 years down the road. Do they plan to expand their family? If so, they may need a bigger home and want a different location. Also, how long do they plan on staying at the home? That can help determine the type of mortgage that makes the most sense for them too. 3. Failing to research financing enough. First comes the home and then the financing? Not in today’s market. Home shoppers should get prequalified for a mortgage before they start shopping for a home so they know what they can afford. “The time to make decisions about your mortgage needs is not during this 10-day window [after you sign a contract]; at most, this is time to shop for rates and fees and such,” says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of “Evaluating your credit, deciding on a product you prefer, how much down payment you feel comfortable making, whether you want to pay fees or points [and, if so, how much] and even shopping for a lender [getting preapproved] should happen well in advance of even wandering through the market looking at houses.” 4. Making the assumption that the Good Faith Estimate is always what you pay at closing. The form lenders provide that estimates closing costs is not set in stone. Closing costs may actually be more, so buyers need to be prepared. Closing costs generally are about 3 percent to 5 percent of the loan amount. “Shop around and compare the Good Faith Estimate provided by the lender with that of two or three other lenders,” suggests Ryan Himmel, a CPA and founder of BIDaWIZ, a tax advice resource. “If there is a significant disparity in estimates, then request an explanation from the lender to determine if you would like to move forward.” 5. Failing to budget for home expenses. Budgeting to purchase the home isn’t all new home owners should be squeezing in their budget. They’d be wise to not forget to budget for maintaining the home too. New home owners should budget for an increase in utility bills as well as for future maintenance and repair costs, such as repairing a furnace or roof. Read more mistakes that home buyers often make. Source: “10 Mistakes New Homebuyers Make,” (2012)

Home Building Picks Up in May

Groundbreaking for single-family homes edged up 3.2 percent in May, reaching its highest level since December, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Single-family construction is now up 26 percent from year ago levels, as the new-home market continues to inch toward recovery. However, the volatile multifamily market bit into the pick-up in single-family construction. Overall housing construction in May dropped 4.8 percent compared to April, pulled down by a 21.3 percent decrease in May in multifamily construction. Still, there’s reason behind home builders’ increasing optimism about the sector: New housing permits--a future gauge of construction--soared nearly 8 percent in May, reaching the highest monthly level since September 2008. Builders’ Feeling More Confident About Recovery Builders’ confidence is gradually building about the market for newly built, single-family homes. Builder confidence rose one point in June and continuing the trend of several months of steady increases, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. The index is now at its highest level since May 2007. Builders in the Midwest and West seem to be the most optimistic that the new-home market is improving. The increase in builders’ sentiment is “reflective of the continued, gradual improvement we are seeing in many individual housing markets as more buyers decide to take advantage of today's low prices and interest rates," says Barry Rutenberg, NAHB chairman. However, builders continue to cite overly tight lending conditions and low appraisals as major obstacles in completing sales. Source: “Housing Starts in U.S. Fall 4.8% in May on Apartments,” Bloomberg (June 19, 2012) and National Association of Home Builders

Fed Weighs Move to Take Mortgage Rates Even Lower

The Federal Reserve’s policy-making committee meets today and Wednesday to decide whether the economy could use another boost. Threats from the ongoing debt crisis in Europe, a dismal U.S. job report in May, low inflation, and dropping consumer prices has shaken the U.S.’s economic recovery in recent weeks. Some analysts speculate that the Fed will decide at its policy meeting to extend Operation Twist, a plan in which the Fed has sold short-term securities in order to buy up longer-term bonds in an effort to reduce long-term interest rates. The move has set out to increase borrowing and spending. Operation Twist is set to expire in two weeks. Some analysts expect the Fed will decide to extend Operation Twist and try to lower already record-low mortgage rates even more to help lift the housing market, the Associated Press reports. But others are skeptical that lowering rates any more would provide much boost to the economy. The lower rates may not provide any more motivation for consumers to act, they say, and those who have not been able to qualify for more stringent lending standards in recent years will still be shut out. "I think Fed officials will send a pretty decisive signal that they are prepared to provide more support to boost economic growth and lower unemployment," Brian Bethune, economics professor at Gordon College in Massachusetts, told the Associated Press. Source: “As Fed Holds Policy Meeting, Many Await Possible Action to try to Lower Rates and Aid Economy,” The Associated Press (June 19, 2012) and “With Risks for Growth Still Hazy, Fed to Weigh New Aid,” The New York Times (June 18, 2012)

FHA Revokes Controversial Credit Dispute Rule

The Federal Housing Administration has decided to rescind a rule that would have made it tougher for borrowers with credit disputes on their records to qualify for an FHA-backed mortgage. The rule had been widely criticized by the lending and real estate industry as shutting out too many potential borrowers from qualifying for a mortgage. The new rule originally took effect April 1 but then was postponed a week later until July 1 as the FHA further reviewed the policy change. The guideline would have required borrowers who wanted to qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage to pay off any credit dispute in their history of more than $1,000 or set up a documented payment plan on any unpaid collection accounts. "FHA killing off the rule is not a surprise when you take into account the resounding objection from the housing finance community and their concern that this would overly constrain credit," Edward Mills, senior vice president at FBR Capital Markets, told HousingWire. "This action shows how it can be incredibly difficult to make choices that move towards protecting the insurance fund over keeping mortgage credit available." The FHA rule was expected to have the greatest impact on young, first-time borrowers. John Burns Real Estate Consulting found in a recent survey that about a quarter of builders said that the rule had the potential of delaying or losing up to 60 percent of their sales. "The ripple effects of the FHA credit dispute rule would have had a notable impact on the housing market," Lisa Marquis Jackson, vice president of John Burns Real Estate Consulting, told HousingWire. Source: “FHA Rescinds $1,000 Credit Dispute Rule,” HousingWire (June 16, 2012)