ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL- 08/09/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 08/09/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

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Loan servicer GMAC Mortgage has launched a Web portal, HomeownerConnect.org, that allows struggling borrowers to apply for loan modifications and other foreclosure alternatives online.

The site is a joint effort with Hope LoanPort, a Web-based portal launched in 2010 by the HOPE NOW Alliance of loan servicers to streamline the collection of loan modification applications. Both Homeowner Connect and Hope LoanPort are powered by IndiSoft’s RxOffice, a Web-based tool that streamlines home retention applications from at-risk borrowers.

Homeowner Connect will help GMAC Mortgage fulfill its obligations under the national mortgage settlement reached earlier this year, in the wake of allegations that loan servicers engaged in so-called “robo-signing” practices.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

The $25 billion settlement mandates that each of the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers — Ally Financial Inc. (parent company of GMAC Mortgage), Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo — set up an online portal linked to their primary servicing system, allowing borrowers to check the status of their loan modifications at no cost and improving communications with housing counselors.

Hope LoanPort is specifically mentioned in legal filings as a model for a “neutral, nationwide loan portal system” that could meet compliance requirements for the settlement. Hope LoanPort allows housing counselors to transmit completed foreclosure alternative applications to mortgage servicers online. More than 4,000 housing counselors in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., as well as more than 800 mortgage servicer users, have registered with Hope LoanPort.

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In addition to meeting these criteria, Homeowner Connect will provide borrowers with information about foreclosure alternatives available through both government and industry programs. GMAC Mortgage borrowers will also be able to apply for foreclosure alternatives online through the portal as well as track the status of their application and upload all required documents.   Hope LoanPort will also partner with MortgageKeeper Referral Services, an online database application that will help borrowers connect to more than 6,000 local, nonprofit and government agencies that provide assistance with employment, food, utilities and housing counseling, among other services, and may be able to put borrowers in a better position to qualify for a foreclosure alternative.

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GMAC Mortgage sponsored the development of Homeowner Connect and “will proactively notify its borrowers at risk of foreclosure about the availability of this option,” according to an announcement.

“GMAC Mortgage is committed to preserving homeownership whenever possible,” said Dana Dillard, senior vice president of GMAC Mortgage, in a statement. “In that spirit, we’re proud to support this initiative with Hope LoanPort to provide useful tools and education to borrowers.”Hope LoanPort said it is “actively working” with other mortgage servicers to participate in Homeowner Connect after the initial rollout to GMAC Mortgage borrowers.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL- 08/07/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 08/07/2012

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Few topics have sparked more debate among housing market watchers than mortgage principal reduction. Its proponents tout debt forgiveness as one of the surest ways to counteract the housing slump. Its critics label it a handout that would cost taxpayers and spur further defaults.

The arguments for and against are only going to get hotter. In 2010, principal reduction was included in just 11 percent of those mortgage modifications without government guarantees. But by the fourth quarter of 2011, the number had jumped to 40 percent, according to a report by mortgage research firm Amherst Securities Group. And it’s likely to rise still further: The “robo-signing” settlement reached in February requires the country’s five major mortgage servicers to perform at least $10 billion in write-downs, mostly on loans that they own, to atone for illegal foreclosures.

Now principal reduction is nipping at the heels of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Many consumer advocates and policymakers are calling for the twin mortgage guarantors to adopt the loss-mitigation tactic, but so far the mortgage giants’ conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, has resisted.

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All forms of mortgage modification, not just principal reduction, carry some of the same risk, but critics say that principal reduction offers more of an incentive for a homeowner to strategically default. Calabria points out that principal reduction, unlike a break on an interest rate, offers a lasting reward in the form of increased home equity.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

And, he added, debt forgiveness also puts a homeowner closer to having a home value that exceeds his or her loan, which makes it much easier for a borrower to sell.

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The question of whether lenders should reduce principal on some distressed mortgages grows even more fraught in the case of write-downs performed under government-sponsored programs like the Home Affordable Modification Program.

Taxpayers fund HAMP, which subsidizes modifications on distressed mortgages. So when a lender performs a HAMP modification, taxpayers are footing some of the bill.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL- 08/06/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 08/06/2012

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Mortgage rates bounced off record lows this week as the Federal Reserve offered few clues as to whether it will unleash another round of asset purchases to stimulate the economy. Looking back a week, homeowners were rushing to refinance at levels not seen since 2009.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged 3.55 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Aug. 2, up from 3.49 percent last week but down from 4.39 percent a year ago, Freddie Mac said in reporting the results of its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Last week’s rate for 30-year fixed-rate loans was an all-time low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971.

For 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, rates averaged 2.83 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from 2.8 percent last week but down from 3.54 percent a year ago. Last week’s rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages was a low in records dating to 1991.

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Rates on five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 2.75 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from 2.74 percent last week but down from 3.18 percent a year ago. Last week’s rate for five-year ARMs was a low in records dating to 2005.

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Wrapping up a two-day meeting yesterday, a Federal Reserve committee responsible for setting monetary policy gave little indication on whether the Fed will or will not launch a third round of quantitative easing, or “QE3.”

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Lower gasoline prices have curbed inflation, and the committee said it will closely monitor economic and financial developments, providing “additional accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions in a context of price stability.”

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 08/01/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 08/01/2012

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Home prices continued to see a spring bounce in May, but fell slightly compared to the same month a year ago, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released today.

After seven straight months of declines, home prices rose on a monthly basis in April and continued to rise in May with all 20 major markets tracked by the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index seeing increases between April and May. Overall, the index rose 2.2 percent month to month in May, but fell 0.7 percent from May 2011.

Eight of the 20 markets experienced year-over-year price declines, though 17 of the 20 saw their rates of return improve, making these annual changes “the best we’ve seen in at least 18 months,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a statement.

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Nonetheless, these figures are not seasonally adjusted, and Blitzer cautioned that despite the improvements, “we need to remember that spring and early summer are seasonally strong buying months so this trend must continue throughout the summer and into the fall.” On a seasonally adjusted basis, the index still rose month to month in May, but at a slower rate, 0.9 percent.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Both sets of numbers have their problems, according to Bill McBride of the blog Calculated Risk, but “however we look at the numbers, it appears house prices increased in May from April, and that the year-over-year change will probably turn positive in the June or July report.”

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Blitzer noted that data for existing-home sales, new-home sales, housing starts and mortgage default rates were all better than their year-ago levels in June.  “The housing market seems to be stabilizing, but we are definitely in a wait-and-see mode for the next few months.”

On average, home prices in the 20 markets in May had fallen to their spring 2003 levels, down about 33 percent from their peak in June and July 2006.