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Bankrate: Mortgage Rates Slightly Higher Following Strong Jobs Report

NEW YORK, July 10, 2014, Mortgage rates moved higher following a stronger than expected jobs report, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate rising to 4.31 percent, according to Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.33 discount and origination points.

To see mortgage rates in your area, go to http://www.bankrate.com/funnel/mortgages/

The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate inched higher to 3.41 percent, while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased to 4.33 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mixed, with the 5-year ARM holding steady at 3.33 percent and the 10-year ARM climbing to 3.88 percent.

So why did a blockbuster jobs report have such a muted impact on mortgage rates? In large part the flood of cheap money from central banks around the globe is keeping a lid on rates, even in the face of the type of economic news that historically has pushed rates higher in a more pronounced way. Many investors around the globe are parking this cheap cash in the safety of U.S. Treasury securities, at yields that are favorable to what can be found elsewhere around the globe. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government debt.

As 2013 came to a close, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.69 percent. At that time, a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,036.07. After drifting lower throughout the first half of 2014, the average rate is now 4.31 percent, and the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $990.92, a savings of $45 per month for anyone that waited.

SURVEY RESULTS

30-year fixed: 4.31% — up from 4.28% last week (avg. points: 0.33)

15-year fixed: 3.41% — up from 3.40% last week (avg. points: 0.19)

5/1 ARM: 3.33% — unchanged from last week (avg. points: 0.21)

Bankrate’s national weekly mortgage survey is conducted each Wednesday from data provided by the top 10 banks and thrifts in the top 10 markets.

For a full analysis of this week’s move in mortgage rates, go to http://www.bankrate.com/mortgagerates

The survey is complemented by Bankrate’s weekly Rate Trend Index, in which a panel of mortgage experts predicts which way the rates are headed over the next seven days. According to the panelists, don’t expect any sharp pullback in mortgage rates. The majority – 80 percent – expect mortgage rates to remain more or less unchanged over the coming week, while the remaining 20 percent predict mortgage rates will rise. Interestingly, none of the respondents predicts a decrease in mortgage rates over the next seven days.

For the full mortgage Rate Trend Index, go to http://www.bankrate.com/news/rate-trends/mortgage.aspx

To download the Bankrate Mortgage Calculator & Mortgage Rates iPhone App 2.0 go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bankrate-mortgage-calculator/id551454062?mt=8.

About Bankrate, Inc.

Bankrate (NYSE: RATE) is a leading publisher, aggregator, and distributor of personal finance content on the Internet. Bankrate provides consumers with proprietary, fully researched, comprehensive, independent and objective personal finance editorial content across multiple vertical categories including mortgages, deposits, insurance, credit cards, and other categories, such as retirement, automobile loans, and taxes. The Bankrate network includes Bankrate.com, our flagship website, and other owned and operated personal finance websites, including CreditCards.com, Interest.com, Bankaholic.com, Mortgage-calc.com, CreditCardGuide.com, InsuranceQuotes.com, CarInsuranceQuotes.com, InsureMe.com, and NetQuote.com. Bankrate aggregates rate information from over 4,800 institutions on more than 300 financial products. With coverage of nearly 600 local markets in all 50 U.S. states, Bankrate generates over 172,000 distinct rate tables capturing on average over three million pieces of information daily. Bankrate develops and provides web services to over 80 co-branded websites with online partners, including some of the most trusted and frequently visited personal finance sites on the Internet such as Yahoo!, CNN Money, CNBC, and Comcast. In addition, Bankrate licenses editorial content to over 500 newspapers on a daily basis including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe.

For more information contact:

Kayleen Yates Senior Director, Corporate Communications kyates@bankrate.com (917) 368-8677

SOURCE:

Bankrate, Inc.

http://www.bankrate.com

 

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California Hard Money Lenders — An Alternative Source of Financing

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 1, 2013, The real estate market is hot, very hot, and both investors and consumers are in need of financing to take advantage of the real estate market.  An increasing number of individuals and companies are turning to hard money lenders, such as All California Lending, for financing their California property acquisitions.  This is especially true when the property is in need of repair.  Purchasing properties in need of repair is becoming more common as the inventory available on the market continues to stay tight.  As hard money loan specialists, this company is able to assist in the financing of real estate even in cases where the banks have declined the buyer a loan due to needed rehab or repairs on the property.

The loans offered for properties in need of rehab are truly unique in today’s market.  While these loans are not long-term solutions, they do include funding for acquisition, rehab and even interest payments.  With new guidelines these loans can fund up to 65% or more of the estimated after repair value, commonly referred to as ARV.  With loan terms ranging from six months up to two years, the structure is flexible enough to accommodate not only light rehab projects but also construction completion and major rehab projects on residential, commercial and multi-unit property.

One area of particular interest is Los Angeles and surrounding areas.  Hard money lenders in Los Angeles often times are making loans based on the purchase price.  With the programs All California Lending offers, however, more aggressive lending is realistic.  For investors who are looking to leverage their existing cash, these aggressive loans based on an estimated sales price at completion allows for the additional leverage they need.

In addition to the Los Angeles market, All California Lending can help provide financing for rehab loans in most other markets of California.  From San Diego all the way North to Sacramento and the North Coast, as long as the property is located in California there is likely an alternative financing option available.

With the California real estate market so hot right now, hard money lending offers many benefits.  These benefits include faster closing times than conventional loans, flexible underwriting requirements, aggressive loan amounts and creative solutions that bank lending simply cannot compete with.  While the cost is more for these types of loans, they make sense for many investors in the market today.

Chris Goulart is a seasoned professional and only works with California hard money loans.  He specializes in structuring alternative financing for real estate investors and has years of experience.  He is fully licensed both at the state and at the national level through the Department of Real Estate and the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System.

Acalending.com

Media Contact: Chris Goulart, All California Lending, 877 462 3422, cgoulart@acalending.com

SOURCE:

All California Lending
http://www.acalending.com

 

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118 Experts Predict Annual Home Value Growth To Exceed Pre-Bubble Rates Over Next Five Years

Survey Benchmark Changes; Path of U.S. Zillow Home Value Index Predicted to Show Cumulative 22 Percent Increase Through 2017

SEATTLE, March 18, 2013, A nationwide panel of more than 100 professional forecasters expects home values to end 2013 up an average of 4.6 percent and rise cumulatively by 22 percent, on average, over the next five years, according to the first quarter Zillow® Home Price Expectations Survey. Additionally, a majority of panelists indicated support for policies that would allow certain underwater homeowners to refinance at today’s low rates.

The survey of 118 economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists was sponsored by leading real estate information marketplace Zillow, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z) and conducted by Pulsenomics LLC. This is the first survey edition that utilized the U.S. Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI)[i] as the reference benchmark for the panel’s home price expectations[ii].

Survey respondents predicted home values will rise another 4.2 percent on average in 2014, before moderating somewhat to annual appreciation rates between 3.6 percent and 3.8 percent for 2015, 2016 and 2017. On average, panelists predicted home values to rise 4.1 percent annually from 2013 through 2017, exceeding the pre-housing bubble (1987-1999) average annual appreciation rate of 3.6 percent. This is the first time the predicted average annual growth rate for the next five years has surpassed pre-bubble levels since the survey’s inception three years ago.

“The panel is quite bullish on home prices near-term, considering a pre-bubble average appreciation rate of 3.6 percent per year,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “That said, their expectations are a bit shy of the home value gains of 5.5 percent that we saw in 2012, implying some moderation in the pace of gains. The panel expectations are consistent with continued strong home value growth this year fueled by tighter-than-normal inventory of for-sale homes and robust demand attributable to high affordability and a stronger general economy.”

The most optimistic quartile[iii] of panelists predicted a 6.1 percent increase in home values in 2013, on average, while the most pessimistic[iv] predicted an average increase of 3 percent. Through 2017, panelists predicted cumulative home value changes of 22 percent, on average. Expectations for cumulative home value change projections ranged from 34.2 percent among the most optimistic quartile to 11.7 percent among the most pessimistic, on average.

GSE Wind-Down Period and Refinance Options For Underwater Borrowers

The first quarter 2013 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey asked the panel to indicate their view of a reasonable timeframe for “winding-down” government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; and to weigh in on the debate over the merits of providing new refinancing options to underwater homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments.

The majority of panelists (59 percent) indicated that a reasonable and appropriate timeframe for winding-down the GSEs is within the next five years. On the opposite ends of the spectrum, 13 percent suggested a timeframe within the next two years, and 10 percent said they believe a period of more than 10 years is sensible.

Existing proposals that would facilitate refinancing of certain underwater borrowers include the Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of 2012, sponsored by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), and the Rebuilding Equity Act sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). The majority of respondents said they supported these types of policy initiatives.

“More than four of every five supporters of these refinancing proposals said they believe that borrowers who have demonstrated an ability to make their payments in recent years would pose little or no incremental risk to taxpayers if they refinanced. Two-thirds of supporters said they believe that the lower monthly payments would create a significant stimulus for the economy,” said Terry Loebs , founder of Pulsenomics LLC. “But the 41 percent of panel respondents who do not support these plans also hold strong views. More than two-thirds of them said they believe that rewriting loan contracts is bad policy in general, and that lowered monthly payments for borrowers ultimately translate into taxpayer and investor losses.”

Additional details regarding this portion of the survey are available at www.pulsenomics.com.

This is the 17th edition of the Home Price Expectations Survey. It was conducted from Feb. 22, 2013 through March 7, 2013 by Pulsenomics LLC on behalf of Zillow, Inc.

For full survey results and graphics, please visit Zillow Real Estate Research or www.pulsenomics.com.

About Zillow:
Zillow, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z) operates the largest home-related marketplaces on mobile and the Web, with a complementary portfolio of brands and products that help people find vital information about homes, and connect with the best local professionals. In addition, Zillow operates an industry-leading economics and analytics bureau led by Zillow’s Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. Dr. Humphries and his team of economists and data analysts produce extensive housing data and research covering more than 350 markets at Zillow Real Estate Research. Zillow also sponsors the quarterly Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, which asks more than 100 leading economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists to predict the path of the Zillow Home Value Index over the next five years. The Zillow, Inc. portfolio includes Zillow.com®, Zillow Mobile, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, Zillow Rentals, Zillow Digs™, Postlets®, Diverse Solutions®, Buyfolio™, Mortech™ and HotPads™. The company is headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow.com, Zillow, Zestimate, Postlets and Diverse Solutions are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc. Buyfolio, Mortech, HotPads and Digs are trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

About Pulsenomics:
Pulsenomics LLC is an independent research and consulting firm that specializes in data analytics, new product and index development for institutional clients in the financial and real estate arenas. Pulsenomics also designs and manages expert surveys and consumer polls to identify trends and expectations that are relevant to effective business management and monitoring economic health.

[i] The Zillow Home Value Index is the median Zestimate® valuation for a given geographic area on a given day and includes the value of all single-family residences, condominiums and cooperatives, regardless of whether they sold within a given period. It is expressed in dollars, and seasonally adjusted.
[ii] Previously, the survey benchmark was the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index (single-family properties, not seasonally-adjusted). For a summary comparison of the survey benchmarks prepared by Pulsenomics, please click here.
[iii] Based on the 25 percent most optimistic panelists in terms of cumulative home price change through 2017.
[iv] Based on the 25 percent most pessimistic panelists in terms of cumulative home price change through 2017.

SOURCE:

Zillow, Inc.

 

 

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Nearly 2 Million American Homeowners Freed From Negative Equity In 2012

Phoenix, Los Angeles and Miami Metros Had Most Homeowners Freed Last Year, According to Zillow; At Least 1 Million Additional Homeowners Nationwide Expected To Be Freed In 2013

SEATTLE, Feb. 21, 2013, Negative equity continued to fall in the fourth quarter of 2012, dropping to 27.5 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage, compared with 31.1 percent one year ago, according to the fourth quarter Zillow® Negative Equity Reporti. Almost 2 million American homeowners were freed from negative equity over the course of the year.

Approximately 13.8 million homeowners with a mortgage were in negative equity, or “underwater,” at the end of the fourth quarter, owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. That was down from 15.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. American homeowners with a mortgage were collectively underwater by more than $1 trillion at the end of 2012.

In 2012, national home values rose 5.9 percent year-over-year, according to the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI)ii, to a median value of $157,400. This jump in home values, coupled with sustained high foreclosure rates, were the main drivers for receding negative equity. Among the nation’s 30 largest metro areas, those with the highest number of homeowners freed from negative equity last year were Phoenix (135,099 homeowners freed in 2012); Los Angeles (72,936 homeowners freed in 2012); Miami-Fort Lauderdale (70,484 homeowners freed in 2012); Dallas-Fort Worth (59,461 homeowners freed in 2012); and Riverside, Calif. (58,417 homeowners freed in 2012).

New this quarter, the Zillow Negative Equity Forecastiii predicts the negative equity rate among all homeowners with a mortgage will fall to at least 25.5 percent by the fourth quarter of 2013, freeing more than 999,000 additional homeowners nationwide. Of the 30 largest metro areas, the majority of these newly freed homeowners are anticipated to come from: Los Angeles (72,696 homeowners freed in 2013); Riverside (62,407 homeowners freed in 2013); Phoenix (43,044 homeowners freed in 2013); Sacramento (33,356 homeowners freed in 2013); and Dallas-Fort Worth (31,434 homeowners freed in 2013).

Zillow forecasts negative equity by applying anticipated appreciation or depreciation rates to a home, according to the most current metro and national Zillow Home Value Forecasts, and by assuming all other factors remain constant.

“As home values continue to rise and more homeowners are pulled out of negative equity in 2013, the positive effects on the housing market will be numerous. Freed from negative equity, homeowners will have more flexibility, and some will likely choose to list their home for sale, helping to ease inventory constraints and moderating sometimes dramatic, demand-driven price increases in some markets,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries . “But negative equity is still very high, and millions of homeowners have a very long way to go to get back above water, even with current robust levels of home value appreciation in most areas. As a result, negative equity will remain a major factor in the market for the foreseeable future.”

These results are from the fourth quarter edition of the Zillow Negative Equity Report, which looks at current outstanding loan amounts for individual owner-occupied homes and compares them to those homes’ current estimated values. Loan data is provided by TransUnion®, a global leader in credit and information management. This is the only report that uses current outstanding loan balances on all mortgages when calculating negative equity. Other reports estimate current outstanding loan balance based on the most recent loan on a property (i.e., the original loan amount at time of purchase or refinance).

Metropolitan Area

Q4 2012: % of Homeowners w/ Mortgages in Negative Equity

# of Homeowners Freed From Negative Equity in 2012

Q4 2013: Forecasted Negative Equity Rate

Minimum # of Homeowners Expected to be Freed From Negative   Equity in 2013iv

UNITED STATES

27.5%

1,908,732

25.5%

999,601

New York

19.4%

17,394

19.1%

6,513

Los Angeles

24.3%

72,936

20.0%

72,696

Chicago

36.9%

41,208

37.3%

N/A

Dallas-Fort Worth,

Texas

24.2%

59,461

21.3%

31,434

Philadelphia

23.8%

1,462

23.1%

7,356

Washington, DC

28.0%

45,207

25.8%

24,911

Miami-

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

39.6%

70,484

37.0%

23,674

Atlanta

49.5%

49,827

47.9%

17,255

Boston

16.9%

30,495

15.6%

10,765

San Francisco

23.3%

39,496

19.5%

25,776

Detroit

43.4%

57,396

41.4%

17,197

Riverside, Calif.

43.8%

58,417

34.5%

62,407

Phoenix

40.4%

135,099

34.8%

43,044

Seattle

33.5%

32,457

29.9%

23,441

Minneapolis-St. Paul,

Minn.

34.6%

29,518

32.8%

12,808

San Diego

28.3%

31,894

23.4%

22,788

Tampa, Fla.

41.5%

34,359

40.0%

7,775

St. Louis

26.9%

23,348

27.0%

N/A

Baltimore

27.7%

11,529

26.5%

6,265

Denver

20.0%

53,848

18.0%

10,509

Pittsburgh

14.0%

8,767

13.2%

3,403

Portland, Ore.

28.0%

26,355

24.7%

13,799

Sacramento, 

Calif.

41.7%

32,195

32.9%

33,356

Orlando, Fla.

45.3%

32,650

43.3%

7,286

Cincinnati

27.2%

16,034

26.8%

1,830

Cleveland

29.8%

13,818

29.1%

2,965

Las Vegas

59.2%

36,876

56.7%

8,435

San Jose

16.1%

17,330

13.2%

8,062

Columbus

28.8%

19,905

27.7%

3,620

Charlotte

33.0%

13,513

32.9%

325

About Zillow:
Zillow, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z) operates the largest home-related marketplaces on mobile and the Web, with a complementary portfolio of brands and products that help people find vital information about homes, and connect with the best local professionals. In addition, Zillow operates an industry-leading economics and analytics bureau led by Zillow’s Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. Dr. Humphries and his team of economists and data analysts produce extensive housing data and research covering more than 350 markets at Zillow Real Estate Research. The Zillow, Inc. portfolio includes Zillow.com®, Zillow Mobile, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, Zillow Rentals, Zillow Digs™, Postlets®, Diverse Solutions®, Buyfolio™, Mortech™ and HotPads™. The company is headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow.com, Zillow, Zestimate, Postlets and Diverse Solutions are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc. Buyfolio, Mortech, HotPads and Digs are trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

TransUnion is a registered trademark of Trans Union LLC.

i The data in the Zillow Negative Equity Report incorporates mortgage data from TransUnion, a global leader in credit and information management, to calculate various statistics. The report includes, but is not limited to, negative equity, loan-to-value ratios, and delinquency rates. To calculate negative equity, the estimated value of a home is matched to all outstanding mortgage debt and lines of credit associated with the home, including home equity lines of credit and home equity loans. All personally identifying information (“PII”) is removed from the data by TransUnion before delivery to Zillow. Overall, this report covers over 800 metros, 2,300 counties, and 22,900 ZIP codes across the nation.

ii The Zillow Home Value Index is the median Zestimate® valuation for a given geographic area on a given day and includes the value of all single-family residences, condominiums and cooperatives, regardless of whether they sold within a given period. The Home Value Index at the national level includes data from over 80 million homes in almost 3,000 counties and over 850 core-based statistical areas. It is expressed in dollars and is for a particular geographic region.

iii The Zillow Home Value Forecast is a conservative estimate of what negative equity rates will be a year from now. To forecast negative equity, we take the current home value of a house and appreciate it by the Zillow Home Value Forecast (ZHVF) for the MSA in which the home is located. In cases where there is no ZHVF available, we use the historical rate of home appreciation, and for metros that don’t have a historical rate of appreciation we use the historical rate of inflation at the national level. For homes that are not located in a metropolitan area, we use the forecasted national rate of appreciation. To calculate the level of home equity a year from now, we use the forecasted home value and the current outstanding debt balance, where we make no assumptions about a homeowner’s debt level a year from now. We also make no assumptions about foreclosure activity in the coming year. Therefore, this forecast is a very conservative one, as homeowners will likely continue to pay down their debt throughout the year and homes will likely continue to be foreclosed on, and both of these factors will contribute to a lower negative equity rate. The Zillow Negative Equity Forecast can therefore be considered a higher bound estimate of negative equity.

iv Some metro areas may be marked “N/A” in this column. Home values are expected to continue to fall in these metros, which will lead to a net increase in the number of homeowners with a mortgage who are in negative equity. While some homeowners in this metro will be freed from negative equity, we expect more homeowners to enter negative equity in the coming year when looking strictly at home value changes and not considering pay downs in mortgage principal or foreclosure activity.

SOURCE:

Zillow, Inc.
http://www.zillow.com

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Bankrate: Mortgage Rates Retreat

NEW YORK, Jan. 17, 2013, Mortgage rates moved lower after reaching a 4-month high last week, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate retreating to 3.60 percent this week, according to Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.36 discount and origination points.

To see mortgage rates in your area, go to http://www.bankrate.com/funnel/mortgages/.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate pulled back to 2.89 percent and the larger jumbo 30-year mortgage dropped to 4.04 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were lower across the board, with the popular 5-year ARM sliding to 2.74 percent and the 7-year ARM sinking to 2.88 percent.

The glow of the fiscal cliff deal is beginning to wear off, with mortgage rates now sliding back after a run-up to start the year. Although recent economic data has been pretty positive, the pace of the decline in bond yields and mortgage rates will likely pick up as nervousness about the debt ceiling debate increases. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds.

The last time mortgage rates were above 5 percent was Apr. 2011. At the time, the average 30-year fixed rate was 5.07 percent, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,082.22. With the average rate now 3.60 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $909.29, a difference of $173 per month for anyone refinancing now.

SURVEY RESULTS

30-year fixed: 3.60% — down from 3.67% last week (avg. points: 0.36)

15-year fixed: 2.89% — down from 2.92% last week (avg. points: 0.27)

5/1 ARM: 2.74% — down from 2.77% last week (avg. points: 0.31)

Bankrate’s national weekly mortgage survey is conducted each Wednesday from data provided by the top 10 banks and thrifts in the top 10 markets.

For a full analysis of this week’s move in mortgage rates, go to http://www.bankrate.com/mortgagerates.

The survey is complemented by Bankrate’s weekly Rate Trend Index, in which a panel of mortgage experts predicts which way the rates are headed over the next seven days. A little over half of respondents, 54 percent, expect mortgage rates to
remain more or less unchanged over the coming week. Slightly more than one-quarter – 27 percent – predict mortgage rates will decline and just 19 percent see mortgage rates rising over the next seven days.

For the full mortgage Rate Trend Index, go to http://www.bankrate.com/RTI.

About Bankrate, Inc. (NYSE: RATE)

The Bankrate network of companies includes Bankrate.com, Interest.com, Mortgage-calc.com, Nationwide Card Services, InsureMe, CreditCardGuide.com, Bankaholic, CreditCards.com and NetQuote. Each of these businesses helps consumers to make informed decisions about their personal finance matters. The company’s flagship brand, Bankrate.com is a destination site of personal finance channels, including banking, investing, taxes, debt management and college finance. Bankrate.com is the leading aggregator of rates and other information on more than 300 financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, new and used auto loans, money market accounts and CDs, checking and ATM fees, home equity loans and online banking fees. Bankrate.com reviews more than 4,800 financial institutions in 575 markets in 50 states. Bankrate.com provides financial applications and information to a network of more than 75 partners, including Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), America Online (NYSE: AOL), The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times (NYSE: NYT). Bankrate.com’s information is also distributed through more than 500 newspapers.

For more information contact:

Kayleen Yates
Senior Director, Corporate Communications
kyates@bankrate.com

(917) 368-8677

SOURCE: Bankrate, Inc.

RELATED LINKS: http://www.bankrate.com

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issues rules to strengthen protections for high-cost mortgages

Bureau Also Expands Time Frame for Required Escrow Accounts

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 10, 2013, Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued final rules to strengthen consumer protections for high-cost mortgages and to provide consumers with information about homeownership counseling. The Bureau also finalized a rule that requires escrow accounts be established for a minimum of five years for certain higher-priced mortgage loans.

“Addressing problems in the mortgage market is critical to helping our economy recover,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Today’s changes will better help consumers to understand the real costs of owning a home while protecting them from harmful practices that can trap them into high-cost mortgages.”

The Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) was enacted in 1994 to address abuses in home-equity lending and refinances. Since then, HOEPA has deterred high-rate and high-fee lending in those markets. In recent years, high-cost mortgages have made up only about 0.2 percent of those types of loans.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) expanded HOEPA to cover home purchase loans and home equity lines of credit (“HELOCs”); revised HOEPA’s rate- and fee-thresholds for coverage; added a new coverage test based on a transaction’s prepayment penalties; and provided new limitations on risky loan features, as well as other new protections for high-cost mortgages. The CFPB has finalized rules to implement the Dodd-Frank Act’s amendments to HOEPA.

For loans that are high-cost mortgages, today’s final rule:

  • Bans potentially risky features: For mortgages that qualify as high-cost, the rule      generally bans balloon payments (a large, lump sum payment usually due at      the end of the loan) with some exceptions, such as for certain types of      loans made by creditors serving rural or underserved areas, and bans      penalties for paying the loan early.
  • Bans and limits certain fees and practices: The CFPB’s rule bans fees for modifying loans, caps      late fees at four percent of the payment that is past due, generally      prohibits closing costs from being rolled into the loan amount, and      restricts the charging of fees when consumers ask for a payoff statement      (a document that tells borrowers how much they need to pay off the loan).      The rule also prohibits certain bad practices, such as encouraging a      consumer to default on an existing loan to be refinanced by a high-cost      mortgage.
  • Requires housing counseling: The rule requires consumers to receive housing      counseling before taking out a high-cost mortgage.

In addition to strengthening the protections for high-cost mortgages, the Bureau today is implementing a requirement of the Dodd-Frank Act that lenders provide a list of homeownership counseling organizations to consumers shortly after they apply for a mortgage so consumers know where to get help when deciding what loan is best for them.

The Bureau is also implementing other changes made by the Dodd-Frank Act concerning escrow accounts. An escrow account is an account that a lender may set up to pay certain recurring property-related expenses on a consumer’s behalf, such as property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Escrow accounts help to ensure that consumers have enough money to pay those bills when they come because the lender breaks the expenses down into monthly installments and adds them to the monthly mortgage payment. Through an escrow account, consumers can better see the true cost of owning a home with insurance and tax costs laid out with each mortgage payment and are better assured that those costs are paid in a timely manner.

Under current regulations, creditors are required to establish escrow accounts for certain higher-priced mortgage loans for a minimum of one year. Today’s final rule implements changes from the Dodd-Frank Act that generally extend the required duration of an escrow account on such mortgage loans from a minimum of one year to a minimum of five years. To preserve access to credit, the rule exempts loans made by certain creditors that operate predominantly in rural or underserved areas, as long as certain other criteria are met.

The rules will be available later today at: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/regulations

 

A consumer guide to the final HOEPA rule can be found at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201301_cfpb_high-cost-mortgage-rule_what-it-means-for-consumers.pdf

 

A consumer guide to the final Escrows rule can be found at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201301_cfpb_escrow-requirements-rule_what-it-means-for-consumers.pdf

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20.6 Million U.S. Homeowners Own Homes Free And Clear Of Mortgage Debt

 

Pittsburgh, Tampa and New York Top Metros For Free-And-Clear Homeownership; Age, Credit Score and Local Home Values Help Influence Ratios Of Debt-Free Homeowners

 

SEATTLE, Jan. 10, 2013 — Almost 21 million Americans, or 29.3 percent of homeowners, own their homes outright, unencumbered by a mortgage, according to a recent Zillow® analysis of mortgage data.

 

Analyzing data through the third quarter of 2012, Zillow found that 20.6 million homeowners nationwide own their homes free and clear of mortgage debt.

 

Among the nation’s 30 largest metro areas included in the study, Pittsburgh (38.6 percent), Tampa (33.2 percent), New York (29.7 percent), Cleveland (29.4 percent) and Miami (28.9 percent) had the highest percentage of free-and-clear homeowners. Washington, D.C. (15.5 percent), Atlanta (17.7 percent), Las Vegas (18.3 percent), Denver (18.5 percent) and Charlotte (20 percent) had the lowest percentage.

 

A number of elements influence the percentage of free-and-clear homeowners in a given area, including median home values. Zillow found that areas with lower home values generally have higher outright homeownership rates, as smaller loan amounts are easier to pay back more quickly.

 

Demographic factors including the age and credit rating of primary borrowers also influence free-and-clear homeownership rates. Zillow found that 65- to 74-year-olds are most likely to be free-and-clear (20.5 percent), followed by 74- to 84-year-olds (17.9 percent). This is attributed to the fact that the longer someone owns a home, the longer they have to pay off their mortgage. Interestingly, when examining free-and-clear ownership rates as a percentage of homeowners in various age groups, Zillow found 34.5 percent of 20- to 24-year-old homeowners are free of mortgages.

 

Among homeowners who own their homes outright, 44 percent have a high VantageScore – representing their credit rating – between 800 and 900. Only 15.5 percent of homeowners with the highest credit rating of 900-990 are free-and-clear.

 

“So far we have used our unique data on how much homeowners owe on their homes primarily to identify underwater and delinquent groups of homeowners,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries . “But looking at those homeowners who are free-and-clear is important, too. Homeowners unencumbered by a mortgage may be more flexible than indebted homeowners, and therefore more apt or willing to list their homes or enter the market for a new property. By determining where these homeowners are located, we can also gain insight into potential inventory and demand in those areas, as well.”

 

Zillow’s analysis incorporates mortgage data from TransUnion®, a global leader in credit and information management. All personally identifying information is removed from the data by TransUnion before delivery to Zillow. Overall, the data covers more than 800 metro areas, 2,100 counties and 21,900 ZIP codes nationwide. To calculate the free-and-clear homeownership rate, we compute the number of overall homeowners and number of homeowners with no outstanding mortgage debt by location and demographics. We exclude investor and rental homes.

METRO

FREE-&-CLEAR
HOMEOWNERSHIP RATE

METRO

FREE-&-CLEAR
HOMEOWNERSHIP RATE

New York

29.7%

San Diego

21.5%

Los Angeles

20.7%

Tampa

33.2%

Chicago

23.8%

St. Louis

27.2%

Dallas-Fort Worth

24.5%

Baltimore

22.5%

Philadelphia

27.6%

Denver

18.5%

Washington, DC

15.5%

Pittsburgh

38.6%

Miami-Fort   Lauderdale

28.9%

Portland

21.8%

Atlanta

17.7%

Sacramento

21.5%

Boston

24.6%

Orlando

24.6%

San Francisco

21.8%

Cincinnati

23.7%

Detroit

28.8%

Cleveland

29.4%

Riverside, Calif.

20.6%

Las Vegas

18.3%

Phoenix

22.9%

San Jose, Calif.

22.1%

Seattle

21.0%

Columbus, Ohio

21.7%

Minneapolis-St   Paul

20.6%

Charlotte, NC

20.0%

For more data on free-and-clear homeownership, including data at the state, metro and county levels broken down by homeowners’ age and credit rating, please see the full research brief or contact press@zillow.com.

 

About Zillow:
Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) is the leading real estate information marketplace, providing vital information about homes, real estate listings and mortgages through its website and mobile applications, enabling homeowners, buyers, sellers and renters to connect with real estate and mortgage professionals best suited to meet their needs. In addition, Zillow operates an industry-leading economics and analytics bureau led by Zillow’s Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. Dr. Humphries and his team of economists and data analysts produce extensive housing data and research covering more than 350 markets at Zillow Real Estate Research. Zillow, Inc. operates Zillow.com®, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, Zillow Rentals, Zillow Mobile, Postlets®, Diverse Solutions®, Buyfolio™, Mortech™ and HotPads™. The company is headquartered in Seattle.

 

Zillow.com, Zillow, Postlets and Diverse Solutions are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc. Buyfolio, Mortech and HotPads are trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

 

TransUnion is a registered trademark of Trans Union , LLC.

 

SOURCE Zillow

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