Have you ever asked yourself, who is the holder of my mortgage note? Do you ever wonder what the life of your mortgage looks like? Just because you make your checks payable to Citibank or Bank of America doesn’t mean they own your loan. The fact is, they probably don’t even know who actually owns the note. Dan Edison with DTC-Systems performs securitization audits. He wanted to know the history of his own mortgage. He spent a year putting the diagram below together tracking the history of his own mortgage. Dan does this for a living and wanted to know the history of his loan and where it had been and the path taken to get their. He discovered that it had not taken the correct path.

What does all this mean for the average borrower? Unfortunately, not a…

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Foreclosure actions against homeowners in Washington fell sharply in November compared to the month before, a national foreclosure tracking group said Thursday.

RealtyTrac, a California based company, said the numbers dropped 36 percent in Washington state. Nationally, such actions - processes ranging from an initial notice of default to actual repossession - were down 21 percent, which RealtyTrac said reflected a seasonal trend but also delays stemming from questions about the legality of some proposed foreclosures.

RealtyTrac said 4,067 properties in Washington had some sort of foreclosure action against them in November of 2010.  The national rate for November was one in every 492 properties, a 21 percent decline from October and a 14.4 percent fall…

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Many contracts today utilize homeowner review periods as a contingency for the buyer.  Many times they are used as outs for a contract, but there appears to be little a home seller can do to keep a buyer committed if they want out.  As a seller what are some things you can do, and what should you be aware of with regards to homeowner's associations and real estate contracts.  (Of course not all properties are members of and subject to a Homeowner’s Association, so this may not apply to your purchase or sale).

As a buyer, if the property you have made an offer on is part of a structured community or condo association, with mutually agreed rules and regulations, you will have some paperwork to…

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The Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) is vital to both home ownership and our economy.

I'm disappointed that anyone in Congress — or on a Presidential Commission — would even suggest limits to the Mortgage Interest Deduction. Mortgage interest has been deductible for nearly 100 years, and the proposed changes will affect all 75 million home owners in the United States. We must act now to make sure the MID is not changed.

Ever since the Deficit Commission announced its conclusions, the news media have been buzzing about the report. And what do they emphasize? Proposals to limit or even eliminate the Mortgage Interest Deduction. I'm concerned because all this does is scare the public — and potential buyers — away from the housing market. The…

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The idea of putting green features into a home sounds great, but, like other investments, home owners want to know they're getting at least some of their investment back when they resale, and home buyers want to know exactly what they're getting and paying for.

Both continue to be tricky issues when it comes to marketing a "green" home and placing a value on it, particularly at a time when the nearest comparable sale may be a foreclosure or bank owned home down the street.

"Greenwashing" has landed in the housing market, and it's proving to be a irritant that requires housing market professionals to become sleuths, as evidenced by complaints from real estate agents and builders from throughout the country who attended Greenbuild, a national conference on…

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Add the following supplies to your disaster supplies kit:
* Rock salt to melt ice on walkways
* Sand to improve traction
* Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.

Prepare your home and family
* Prepare for possible isolation in your home by having sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off. For example, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
* Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
* Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain…

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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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)

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