The Seattle area has more than a year's worth of distressed home inventory, but most big metropolitan areas are worse off, according to a new report.

CoreLogic calculates distressed supply by dividing the number of properties that are at least 90 days delinquent on their mortgages by the number of sales. These homes stand a good chance of ending up on the market as foreclosures or short sales -- where a lender accepts less than the home is worth to avoid foreclosure -- further straining the fragile housing market.

"The weak demand for housing is significantly increasing the risk of further price declines in the housing market," CoreLogic Chief Economist Mark Fleming said in a news release. "This is being exacerbated by a significant and growing…

3241 Views, 0 Comments

NEW lending guidelines being rolled out by Fannie Mae will make securing a mortgage a lot easier for some borrowers but harder for others.
The rules, effective on Dec. 13, will allow buyers to use gifts and grants from nonprofit groups for their minimum 5 percent down payment, which is the threshold set by Fannie Mae, the government-owned company that sets lending standards and buys mortgages from lenders. (Freddie Mac is considering similar new guidelines, said Brad German, a spokesman.)

Previously, borrowers had to contribute a minimum 5 percent down payment from their own funds, but additional down payment money could be from a gift (though never from a home seller). The exception was for borrowers who put 20 percent down: all that money could come as a…

14255 Views, 0 Comments


WASHINGTON — Here’s a home­owner credit torture scenario that has a major real estate lobby on Capitol Hill demanding immediate reforms.

Say a homeowner has a solid payment record on just about all his accounts. The last time he checked, his credit scores were comfortably in the 750s.

Suddenly he receives a notice from the bank that because of “market conditions,” the equity line limit has been cut to $35,000 — slightly above the $30,000 balance outstanding — from $60,000. Then one of his credit-card issuers delivers more bad news: The $20,000 limit has been reduced to $10,000. The balance on the card is about $9,000.

The cuts could send the home­owner’s credit scores plunging into the upper 600s.…

2800 Views, 0 Comments

Four years into the housing crisis, myths about foreclosure still litter the minds of even the smartest of real estate consumers. When it comes to matters as high stakes as your home, confusion can cost you thousands - or even your home. Whether you’re a buyer looking at foreclosures, a homeowner struggling to keep your home or a seller concerned making sure your home can compete with the foreclosed homes on your block, these foreclosure myths are prime for the busting, with no further ado.

Myth #1: Foreclosure happens fast. With unemployment and underemployment still affecting nearly 1 in every 4 Americans, no one is immune from fears that a pink slip might quickly turn into a foreclosure notice. According to NeighborWorks America, nearly 60 percent of…

3246 Views, 0 Comments


Despite record-low interest rates, an increasing number of Americans can’t afford to buy a house.

The nation’s two largest mortgage lenders, Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp., have raised the minimum required credit score on FHA-insured loans to 640 from 620.

Requiring a 640 credit score excludes about 15 percent of FHA borrowers, FHA commissioner David Stevens said.

Such a high limit will further delay a recovery in the real estate market, says Ron Phipps, president of the National Association of REALTORS®.

Source: Bloomberg, Jody Shenn and John Gittelsohn (11/17/2010)

3043 Views, 0 Comments