Jun 21, 2012

Rate on 30-year mortgage falls to record 3.66 pct.

WASHINGTON — The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell this week to a record low for the seventh time in eight weeks. Cheap mortgages have helped drive a modest recovery in the weak housing market this year. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average on the 30-year loan dropped to […]

May 31, 2012

Foreclosures in Maryland below U.S. average

Maryland continues to stay below the national rate of foreclosure home sales, with such properties accounting for about 13 percent of all homes sold in the state in the first quarter. Nationally, homes in some stage of foreclosure or bank-owned homes, known as REOs, accounted for 26 percent of residential sales. That’s an 8 percent […]

May 31, 2012

Sales of foreclosure homes rose in 1st quarter

LOS ANGELES — Homes in some stage of the foreclosure process saw their share of overall U.S. home sales grow in the first quarter even as sales of bank-owned homes fell. The increase was driven by a spike in short sales, or homes that sell for less than what the owner owed on their mortgage, […]

May 23, 2012

Sales of new homes rose 3.3 percent in April

WASHINGTON — Americans bought more new homes last month, the latest evidence that the U.S. housing market could be starting to recover. New-home sales increased 3.3 percent in April from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 343,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Sales rose sharply in every region of the country but the […]

May 16, 2012

Assembly approves tax increase, teacher pension cost shifts

ANNAPOLIS — The General Assembly gave final approval early Wednesday afternoon to a budget package that will raise taxes on the wealthiest Maryland residents and shift the cost of teacher pensions to local jurisdictions. The tax package, which did not pass in the waning hours of the legislature’s regular session which ended last month, is […]

Apr 26, 2012

Contracts for homes across U.S. rose last month

WASHINGTON — An index that tracks the number of signed contracts to buy U.S. homes rose to its highest level in nearly two years last month, the latest sign the battered housing market is slowly improving. The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that its index of sales agreements increased 4.1 percent last month to […]

Mar 15, 2012

Some states saw spike in foreclosures in February

LOS ANGELES — Foreclosure activity surged last month across about half of the nation’s states, as banks tackled a backlog of homes with mortgages that had gone unpaid yet remained in limbo due to delays stemming from foreclosure-abuse claims. The increase occurred across 26 states where the courts supervise the foreclosure process. In contrast, the […]

Mar 9, 2012

Bank of America to reduce loans for homeowners

NEW YORK — Bank of America is providing mortgage relief to about 200,000 homeowners. Homeowners that qualify are those whose home values have fallen below what they owe on their mortgages. Bank of America will reduce the amount owed by the homeowners by as much as $100,000 in some cases. Only mortgages that are currently […]

Feb 14, 2012

Late payments on mortgages rise again in 4Q

NEW YORK — Late payments on mortgages ticked up in the last three months of 2011, the second straight quarter-to-quarter increase after nearly two years of steady decline. Credit reporting agency TransUnion said 6.01 percent of mortgage holders were behind on their payments by 60 days or more in the October-to-December period. That compared with […]

Jan 26, 2012

New-home purchases fall, 2011 worst ever for sales

WASHINGTON — Fewer people bought new homes in December. The decline made 2011 the worst year for new -homes sales on records dating back nearly half a century. The Commerce Department said Thursday new-home sales fell 2.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 307,000. The pace is less than half the […]

Jan 13, 2012

JPMorgan’s profit falls 23 percent in 4Q

NEW YORK — In a sign that banks will continue to be punished for past mistakes, JPMorgan Chase set aside a large sum to fight lawsuits related to poorly-written mortgages during the real estate boom. The reserves hurt the bank’s income, which fell 23 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. The New York bank […]

Dec 16, 2011

SEC charges ex-Fannie, Freddie CEOs with fraud

WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission has brought civil fraud charges against six former top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying they misled the government and taxpayers about risky subprime mortgages the mortgage giants held during the housing bust. Those charged include the agencies’ two former CEOs, Fannie’s Daniel Mudd and Freddie’s […]

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