Merry Christmas for short sellers: Mortgage debt forgiveness is back

A comprehensive tax bill that reinstates protections for distressed homeowners shielding them from having to pay taxes on mortgage debt forgiven in 2014 is headed for President Obama’s desk. The tax break on forgiven mortgage debt, and another allowing homeowners …

US economy no longer fragile and accident-prone

Markets are moving in dramatic fashion, obscuring the improving U.S. economy. Or vice versa. Our 10-year T-note fell to 2.08 percent today, mortgages attempting to crack 4 percent. The German 10-year is at a new all-time low of 0.627 percent …

Fannie, Freddie taking loans with 3 percent down again

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are ready to ramp up purchases and guarantees of mortgages in which borrowers put just 3 percent down, and first-time homebuyers will be able to apply for the loans as early as next week, Federal [&hellip …

Look for Fed to tighten before it sees the whites of inflation’s eyes

Surprise, surprise: November employment data released today were off-the-chart strong. Estimates for November payrolls had called for a gain a little over 200,000 jobs, but at 6:30 a.m. New York time, screens all over the world flashed NOV PAYROLLS PLU…

Portal that has its sights set on Zillow acquires Title365 for $36 million

In another step in its quest  to build an end-to-end real estate marketplace that will outdo top real estate portals Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com, HomeSearch.com operator Solutionstar is set to acquire title insurance and settlement services provider Title365. The $36 …

‘First Look’ window for Fannie, Freddie REOs could stay open longer

Two prominent Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee are pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s regulator to prolong the time period during which first-time homebuyers and other owner-occupants get a “First Look” at purchasing homes repossessed by the mortgage giants …

FHA is back in the black, but don’t hold your breath for premium rollbacks

The Federal Housing Administration’s mutual mortgage insurance fund is unlikely to need another taxpayer bailout, but that doesn’t mean homebuyers looking to finance purchases with an FHA-backed home loan will get a break on their premiums anytime soon. To make …

Think the Fed is standing pat? Think again

Mortgage rates have been stable near 4 percent, held there by the 10-year T-note moving hardly at all in the last month, 2.31 percent-2.38 percent since Halloween. Such stability is most unusual, best understood as a market gathering tension for …

NAR’s candidates won big in the elections. That doesn’t mean Realtors will get their way.

With a little help from the National Association of Realtors, Republicans regained control of the Senate and increased their majority in the House of Representatives in last week’s elections. But Realtors attending the trade group’s annual convention were told not …

Regulators promise thaw in mortgage credit underway

Regulators who oversee Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration are telling mortgage lenders that they’re ready to cut them some slack, and mortgage lenders say they’re ready to run with the ball. Speaking at the Mortgage Bankers …