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Aug 7, 2013

Freddie Mac earns $5 billion in second quarter

WASHINGTON — Freddie Mac earned $5 billion from April through June, the seventh straight profitable quarter for the mortgage giant. The second-quarter gain reported Wednesday compares with net income of $3 billion in the same period of 2012. Freddie says its earnings were due largely to increased profits from investments made to hedge against rising […]

Jul 19, 2012

U.S. rate on 30-year mortgage: 3.53 pct., new record

WASHINGTON — Average rates on fixed mortgages fell again this week to record lows, creating more incentive for buyers to enter the recovering housing market. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan fell to 3.53 percent. That’s down from 3.56 percent last week and the lowest since long-term […]

Nov 24, 2011

Mortgages hover near record lows

WASHINGTON — The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage hovered above its record low for a fourth straight week. But cheap mortgage rates have done little to boost home sales or refinancing. Freddie Mac says the rate on the 30-year fixed loan fell to 3.98 percent from 4 percent the previous week. Seven weeks […]

Nov 17, 2011

Community banks fight to keep their niche

So far this month, BlueRidge Bank has opened a new location in Towson — its first outside of Frederick — and named an executive to make inroads into Washington County with the goal of opening a branch there as well. The moves are a rarity given the state of the banking industry, which has been […]

Nov 3, 2011

Freddie Mac reports Q3 loss, asks for $6B in aid

WASHINGTON — Government-controlled mortgage giant Freddie Mac has requested $6 billion in additional aid after posting a wider loss in the third quarter. Freddie Mac said Thursday that it lost $6 billion, or $1.86 per share, in the July-September quarter. That compares with a loss of $4.1 billion, or $1.25 a share, in the same […]

Aug 10, 2011

Fed plan good for borrowers, not retirees

WASHINGTON  — The Federal Reserve’s plan to keep interest rates super-low for at least two more years is great news for mortgage refinancers and other borrowers. For retirees and others who need interest income? Not so great. Nor will low rates likely revive a depressed home market, energize a weak economy or reassure frightened consumers. […]

Jul 18, 2011

Cheating death by cloning

I got a pretty unusual press release in the old inbox the other day from a company calling itself “DNA Live Forever” that claims to have come up with a way to travel in time — by cloning yourself. In a nutshell, the company’s business model is you send them $120 and a baggie of your […]

Jul 13, 2011

Bernanke: Fed would supply more stimulus if needed

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that the central bank is prepared to provide additional stimulus if the economic lull persists. Delivering his twice-a-year economic report to Congress, Bernanke laid out three options the central bank would consider. One possibility, he said, was another round of Treasury bond buying. That would make […]

Jun 2, 2011

Robert Nusgart: Home prices, rates, loan limits moving lower

This week we learned that mortgage rates are moving lower, housing prices nationally are moving lower and FHA loan limits are gearing to move lower. So all mixed together, what does it mean as we head into summer? Obviously, low interest rates benefit everyone. Lower prices benefit those looking to purchase, but sting sellers or […]

May 22, 2011

Gary S. Williams: Credit is a fact of life, but use it carefully

Credit was once defined as “man’s confidence in man.” But in fact, the definition of credit today is more like “man’s confidence in himself.” Using credit today means you have confidence in your future ability to pay that debt. Forty years ago, your parents may have paid cash for their homes and their cars, a […]

May 8, 2011

Baltimore casino sparks interest from at least 4 groups

The right to build what would be Maryland’s second-largest casino has sparked interest in diverse gaming companies across the United States and Canada. Those that have taken steps to pursue the sole gaming license in Baltimore include a company owned by the Chickasaw tribe of Oklahoma, a Missouri-based casino owner, a Canadian equity firm and […]

Mar 27, 2011

Credit card rates to drop for some users

Credit card users are in for another surprise, and for a change it’s a pleasant one. Banks are reducing some cardholders’ interest rates, thanks to a section of the credit card reform law that requires them to review any rate increases imposed since January 2009. Millions of consumers faced rate hikes that year, as the […]

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