The overseer for compliance with the $25 billion settlement finds servicing has improved but is still falling short. Consumer advocates say the situation is much worse.
The nation’s five biggest loan servicers are doing better at handling borrowers’ requests for loan modifications and other foreclosure-related issues, but they are still failing at some issues, according to an independent monitor.
The monitor was appointed to oversee the lenders’ compliance with the terms of a $25 billion settlement reached last year with 49 attorneys general. The monitor's report said four of the five lenders still are falling short in their handling of loan modification requests.
But his report was much less damning than recent complaints from attorneys general in several states and consumer advocates, who say the loan servicers are falling way short of compliance, forcing more homeowners into foreclosure. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has said his office may bring enforcement action against Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
Some of the nation's most affluent ZIP codes are suffering rising demand and shrinking supply of homes for sale. But not all luxury markets are booming.
Here’s a trend we would never have discovered on our own.
There’s a shortage of homes for sale in the nation’s richest ZIP codes, with the number of listings down more than 50% at the highest echelons, CNBC reports.
In one Carmel, Calif., ZIP, only four homes priced at $1 million or more were on the market at the end of May.
Baby boomers nearing retirement want to pay off their homes while they're still working. You can save a lot on interest – if you can afford the higher payment.
During the real-estate boom, people were refinancing their homes, pulling out cash and lengthening the mortgage term.
In recent years, an opposite trend has emerged: a trend toward shorter loans. That includes 10-year loans, reports syndicated columnist Kenneth R. Harney.
Baby boomers who want to pay off their home mortgages before they retire are attracted to 10-year loans. Low interest rates make the shorter term even more appealing.
May's single-family permit pace is the best in 5 years. Total housing starts, including multifamily, were 28.6% higher than a year ago.
Builders began construction on 6.8% more homes in May, but the increase was all in multifamily construction.
The number of single-family homes started in May was about the same as in April, according to the latest data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Census Bureau. The single-family number is a better indicator of the health of the new-construction market because it’s a less volatile statistic.
If construction continues at this pace the rest of the year, builders are on track to construct 914,000 units, including 599,000 single-family homes. That’s up 28.6% for all construction and 16.3% for single-family homes compared with May 2012.
Bank of America pushed employees to deny loan modifications and lie to borrowers, ex-workers say, adding that they say they got bonuses for meeting foreclosure quotas.
Bank of America employees said in sworn statements they were told to lie to homeowners about loan modifications and were rewarded for sending homeowners to foreclosure rather than modifying their loans.
The allegations, which the bank denies, were made as part of a federal class-action lawsuit in Boston by homeowners who say Bank of America thwarted their attempts to take advantage of the federal Home Affordable Modification Program.
For the first time since 2006, more builders are optimistic than pessimistic about sales conditions. Builders expect to start 29% more new homes this year.
It’s official: Builders are now optimistic about the housing recovery.
The monthly National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index reached 52 in June, the first time the index has exceeded 50 in seven years. Any score over 50 means that more builders see sales conditions as good rather than poor.
With the inventory of used homes for sale so tight, you’d think builders would have been ecstatic for months. But they have found it difficult to gear up to meet the demand for new homes. Rising materials costs, a shortage of lots, difficulty finding labor and other challenges have tempered builders’ ability to take advantage of the recovery.
With the robo-signing scandal resolved, lenders are moving to complete foreclosures. The foreclosure rate is highest in Florida.
Foreclosure activity inched up in May, a reminder that the real-estate crisis has not yet run its course in all cities.
The number of foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – increased 2% from April to May, led by an 11% increase in bank repossessions, RealtyTrac reported. But the number of repossessions was 29% below the level of last May.
The tight inventory of houses and condos on the market is easing in some cities, according to two new reports. That could temper price increases.
Two reports released this week indicate that the shortage of homes for sale is easing, at least in some parts of the country.
The number of homes listed for sale at Realtor.com rose 5.82% from April to May, compared with 1.77% in the same period last year. The number of homes for sale is 10.11% below last year’s level, which was 14.1% below the level of the year before.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.