ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 02/27/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 02/27/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

More homes went under contract in January compared to December and a year ago, according to an index released today from the National Association of Realtors that tracks pending sales of existing U.S. homes.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, which is based on purchase contracts signed but not yet closed, rose 8 percent from January 2011 and 2 percent from a downwardly revised 95.1 percent in December, to 97.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

The trend in contract activity implies we are on track for a more meaningful sales gain this year. Movements in the index have been uneven, reflecting the headwinds of tight credit, but job gains, high affordability and rising rents are hopefully pushing the market into what appears to be a sustained housing recovery”

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

The index typically represents about 20 percent of all existing-home transactions nationally. An index score of 100 is equal to the average level of sales contract activity in 2001, which was the first year examined by the trade group and a robust year for existing-home sales. The national index has not been above 100 since April 2010. The South experienced a similar yearly increase in January, 10.5 percent, and the largest monthly increase, 7.7 percent, to 109.1 — the highest index score among the regions.

In its latest economic outlook, also out today, NAR projects existing-home sales will rise 6.8 percent to 4.55 million units in 2012, from 4.26 million units in 2011. In 2013, sales are expected to rise 3.3 percent to 4.7 million. The trade group expects the median price for existing homes to rise a slight 1.1 percent this year, to $168,000, with a subsequent 2.4 percent rise in 2013 to $172,000. NAR predicts rents will rise 3.3 percent this year, followed by a 3.8 percent increase in 2013.

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 02/23/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 02/23/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Increased demand from investors and first-time homebuyers helped boost existing-home sales in January — the third increase in the past four months, the National Association of Realtors reported. NAR said total existing-home sales — including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops — were up 4.3 percent from December to January, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

While that’s essentially unchanged from the same time a year ago, for-sale inventory was down 20.6 percent from a year ago, to 2.31 million homes, a 6.1-month supply of homes at the current pace of sales.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Many housing analysts view a six-month inventory of homes as a good balance between supply and demand — a larger inventory of homes can indicate an oversupply of homes for sale, which can undermine prices. When inventories drop below six months, the shortage of homes for sale can drive up prices. “The broad inventory condition can be described as moving into a rough balance, not favoring buyers or sellers,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Yun cited the statistics as evidence that a government proposal to convert bank-owned properties into rentals on a large scale “does not appear to be needed at this time.” NAR said foreclosures and short sales accounted for 35 percent of sales in January, and that the national median existing-home price for all housing types was down 2 percent from a year ago, to $154,700.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Single-family home sales were up 3.8 percent from December to January, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.05 million. That’s a 2.3 percent increase from a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $154,400 in January, down 2.6 percent from the same time a year ago.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 02/15/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL 02/15/2012

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Mortgage rates continued to plumb new depths this week, but demand for purchase loans remains down from a year ago, lender surveys show. All types of mortgages tracked by Freddie Mac hit new lows during the week ending Jan. 12, the company said in releasing its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, which have been below 4 percent for six weeks in a row, hit a new low this week in records dating to 1971. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.89 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from 3.91 percent last week and 4.71 percent a year ago.

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For 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, rates averaged 3.16 percent with an average 0.8 point, down from 3.23 percent last week and 4.08 percent a year ago. Rates on 15-year loans, popular for refinancing, have never been lower since Freddie Mac began tracking them in 1991.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Rates on five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans averaged 2.82 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from 2.86 percent last week and 3.72 percent a year ago. That’s a new low in records dating to 2005. For one-year Treasury-indexed ARM loans, rates averaged 2.76 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from 2.8 percent last week and 3.23 percent a year ago.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Looking back a week, a separate survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that demand for purchase loans during the week ending Jan. 6 was up a seasonally adjusted 8.1 percent from the week before. Purchase loan demand was down 17.9 percent from the same time a year ago. Requests to refinance accounted for 80.8 percent of all mortgage applications. Mortgage rates have been sliding because mortgage-backed securities (MBS) — bonds that fund the vast majority of home loans — have been popular with investors seeking a safe haven.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 02/14/2012

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 02/14/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Even as the $26 billion mortgage settlement helps hundreds of thousands of troubled homeowners, it will bring a wave of new foreclosures. Many lenders held off on reposessing homes during the complex negotiations between 49 state attorneys general, and federal officials.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

That’s left a backlog of troubled loans, many of which won’t be helped by measures in the deal that will let homeowners refinance or reduce the amount of their mortgage. “The bottom line is that 2012 will see a lot of foreclosures that should have taken place in 2011 and didn’t,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president for Carrington Holdings, a real estate finance firm.  “We think what we saw in 2011 was artificially low foreclosure numbers,” he said. He added that banks took longer to file foreclosure notices last year, and longer to finish the foreclosure process.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

HUD press secretary Derrick Plummer said Thursday’s mortgage settlement is designed to make foreclosure the last resort for banks negotiating with homeowners who are seriously delinquent on loans.  The mortgage deal will help many homeowners stay in their homes who would have otherwise been forced out. Up to one million mortgage holders could see the amount of money they owe reduced.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

But the solutions offered by the settlement can only work for homeowners who can afford to make new, lower mortgage payments. Banks will have little choice to foreclose on those who have stopped paying due to prolonged unemployment or other severe economic distress.

Banks have been letting delinquent loans sit in limbo, but now that a settlement has been reached, banks will likely start contacting delinquent homeowners to see which loans can be salvaged. Sharga says that the banks will likely turn up a raft of new foreclosures.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL 02/14/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 02/13/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 02/13/2012

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More than 40 states have signed on to a draft settlement with the nation’s largest banks aimed at helping homeowners struggling with loans bigger than the value of their homes. But several key states — including California, New York, Nevada, Florida and Delaware — remain undecided, sources familiar with the negotiations tell CNN.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

“The sign-on deadline for the proposed joint state-federal mortgage servicing settlement passed Monday with more than 40 states,” said Iowa Attorney General Thomas Miller, who has been leading negotiations that have spanned nearly a year. “This enables us to move forward into the very final stages of remaining work.”

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Attorneys general from California, New York and Delaware, who have all been cold to the deal in past weeks, are still talking with negotiators and may yet signal their participation, according to sources familiar with the talks. Attorneys general from Florida and Nevada also have issues, but are still at the negotiating table.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Federal officials and state attorneys general could announce — perhaps as early as this week — the deal with some of the nation’s largest banks that could yield up to $25 billion for qualified homeowners. That would be more than any housing relief program has produced since the financial crisis began.

In return, mortgage servicers in states that agree to the deal would get immunity from future state servicing and originating claims — although homeowners could pursue claims against banks and states could still pursue criminal investigations, according to reports.

Driving the deal originally were allegations that mortgage servicers cut corners and enlisted robo-signers that improperly foreclosed on homeowners. However, the deal under negotiation now wouldn’t be able to return houses to those who have already been foreclosed on, according to reports.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 02/07/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 02/07/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

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More than 40 states have signed on to a draft settlement with the nation’s largest banks aimed at helping homeowners struggling with loans bigger than the value of their homes. But several key states — including California, New York, Nevada, Florida and Delaware — remain undecided, sources familiar with the negotiations tell CNN.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

“The sign-on deadline for the proposed joint state-federal mortgage servicing settlement passed Monday with more than 40 states,” said Iowa Attorney General Thomas Miller, who has been leading negotiations that have spanned nearly a year. “This enables us to move forward into the very final stages of remaining work.”

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Attorneys general from California, New York and Delaware, who have all been cold to the deal in past weeks, are still talking with negotiators and may yet signal their participation, according to sources familiar with the talks. Attorneys general from Florida and Nevada also have issues, but are still at the negotiating table.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Federal officials and state attorneys general could announce — perhaps as early as this week — the deal with some of the nation’s largest banks that could yield up to $25 billion for qualified homeowners. That would be more than any housing relief program has produced since the financial crisis began.

In return, mortgage servicers in states that agree to the deal would get immunity from future state servicing and originating claims — although homeowners could pursue claims against banks and states could still pursue criminal investigations, according to reports.

Driving the deal originally were allegations that mortgage servicers cut corners and enlisted robo-signers that improperly foreclosed on homeowners. However, the deal under negotiation now wouldn’t be able to return houses to those who have already been foreclosed on, according to reports.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 02/06/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 02/06/2012

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States have until the close of the business day to agree to the latest draft deal aimed at relieving homeowners struggling with mortgages bigger than their home’s value. Attorneys general from California and New York, who had been cold to the deal in past weeks, are now involved in talks that could signal their participation.

A source close to the talks told CNN that California Attorney General Kamala Harris is now inclined to sign on to the deal. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is also talking with negotiators, sources say.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Federal officials and state attorneys general could announce — perhaps as early as this week — a deal with some of the nation’s largest banks that could yield up to $25 billion for those homeowners. That would be more than any housing relief program has produced since the financial crisis began.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Under the latest draft, about 1 million U.S. homeowners who are “underwater” on their mortgages — with principal exceeding the home’s value — could be eligible for as much as $20,000 in relief of principal owed, according to U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

In return, mortgage servicers in states that agree to the deal would get immunity from future state servicing and originating claims — although homeowners could pursue claims against banks and states could still pursue criminal investigations, according to reports.

Driving the deal originally were allegations that mortgage servicers cut corners and enlisted robo-signers that improperly foreclosed on homeowners. However, the deal under negotiation now wouldn’t be able to return houses to those who have already been foreclosed on, according to reports.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 02/03/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 02/03/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Just two days after President Obama detailed a proposal to enable millions of homeowners to refinance to record-low mortgage rates, those rates notched another record.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

The 30-year, fixed rate fell to an average of 3.87% and the 15-year fixed dropped to 3.14% for the week ending February 2, both the lowest rates ever recorded in the 40-year history of the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey. the rates fell to new lows after the fourth quarter gross domestic product report last week showed that the economy was growing at a rate that fell short of expectations.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

The plan, which requires approval by Congress, would allow borrowers who are current on their mortgage to save an average of $3,000 a year by refinancing into loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

A year ago, mortgage borrowers were thrilled to get 30-year mortgages averaging 4.81%. These days they’re finding ones nearly a full point lower. The difference in the monthly payments between a 4.81% loan and a 3.88% is about $54 for every $100,000 borrowed. For someone with a loan balance of $250,000 that comes to more than $1,620 a year.

But many of the borrowers that Obama’s plan would help currently have mortgages that carry interest rates of 6%, 7% or higher. If someone with a $250,000 mortgage carrying a 7% rate could refinance into a 3.88% loan, it would reduce payments by nearly $6,000 a year.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 02/01/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 02/01/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

The Obama administration is taking another swing at improving its main foreclosure prevention program.  The administration said it was expanding eligibility for its Home Affordable Modification Program, known as HAMP, to borrowers with higher debt loads and tripling the incentives it pays banks that reduce principal on loans.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Originally designed to help some 4 million mortgage borrowers when it was first introduced in February, 2009, HAMP has helped fewer than 1 million homeowners.

With these changes, HAMP is turning into an all of the above strategy to help responsible homeowners lower their costs and stay in their homes.

Here’s a rundown of the new changes:

  • Expansion of eligibility: HAMP was designed to bring the debt ratio of mortgage borrowers down to 31% of their incomes. Those whose mortgage payments were already below that level had been ineligible for a modification. They may qualify now. The new guidelines will allow for a more flexible approach that takes other debt into account when calculating debt-to-income ratios.

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  • Extension of eligibility to owners of rentals properties: The old HAMP rules applied solely to owner-occupied homes but now those who own rental properties may also qualify for a HAMP modification.
  • Triple balance-reduction incentives: The new HAMP will pay between 18 cents and 63 cents for every dollar that lenders take off the mortgage principal, up from between 6 cents and 21 cents.

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  • Pay Fannie and Freddie the same incentives: Currently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not offer principal reduction plans as part of their HAMP modifications. To encourage this assistance, Treasury said it will pay the same principal reduction incentives to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac if they allow servicers to forgive principal in conjunction with a HAMP modification.