Dallas area lags in taking home mortgage tax deduction

Julie C. Nichols General

Dallas Morning News – Alexandria Baca About 22 percent of tax filers nationwide last year claimed the deduction for a total of $68 billion, making it the third-most-expensive tax break in 2011, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. But Dallas-area homeowners are lagging, a recent study by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows, and when they do take the deduction, …

Will Dodd-Frank Save Capitalism?

Julie C. Nichols General

The Washington Post – Robert Samuelson Throughout history, the government has stepped into intervene a few times to save capitalism, including when former President Woodrow Wilson created the Federal Reserve in 1913 to improve financial stability. According to Robert Samuelson in a blog on The Washington Post, Dodd-Frank might not have been so inevitable, with America incapable of focusing on …

Survey: Large Number of Americans Know Little About Credit Scores

Julie C. Nichols General

MBA Newslink – Mike Sorohan Nearly two-fifths of adult Americans incorrectly answered wide-ranging questions about credit scores, the Consumer Federation of America said yesterday. The consumer survey by CFA and VantageScore Solutions said 42 percent of respondents did not know that mortgage lenders use credit scores in decisions about credit availability and pricing; 40 percent said they did not know …

Many Americans have misconceptions about homeowners insurance

Julie C. Nichols General

HousingWire – The Ticker Forty-one percent of Americans believe their homeowners insurance policy protects them against mold, according to a new study from InsuranceQuotes.com. That’s more than two in five Americans, and an example of how often consumers remain unaware of what their homeowners insurance policies truly cover, InsuranceQuotes claims in its report. Mold mediation also is not covered, but …

Fannie, Freddie profits could sap will in Congress to reform mortgage giants

Julie C. Nichols General

The Hill – Vicki Needham Growing profits for the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could cause Congress to lose interest in overhauling the agencies. Lawmakers and housing industry experts have called for reforms in the mortgage finance system to shift the lead role from the government to the private sector. But any efforts to reduce Fannie and Freddie’s …

Mortgage Delinquency Rates Increase, But Foreclosure Inventory Rate Down Sharply

Julie C. Nichols General

Mortgage Bankers Association – Matt Robinson The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties increased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 7.25 percent of all loans outstanding at the end of the first quarter of 2013, an increase of 16 basis points from the previous quarter, but down 15 basis points from one year ago, according to the …

Housing costs cripple more working households

Julie C. Nichols General

Bloomberg.com – Camden R. Fine When you’re paying more than 50 percent of your income on housing, there’s not much room for anything else. That burden concerned two housing experts from the Center for Housing Policy, who recently released a report indicating that in the recent past, nearly 25 percent of working Americans were struggling under heavy housing burdens. The …

New Regulations Are Strangling Community Banks

Julie C. Nichols General

Bloomberg.com – Camden R. Fine The wave of new banking regulations that Congress created to deter and punish Wall Street’s misdeeds is landing with much greater impact on the U.S.’s almost 7,000 community banks than on the too-big-to-fail lenders. Community banks didn’t cause the financial crisis; they played by the rules. Because of their time-tested business model, one based on …

Loan officers, banks tighten FICO standards

Julie C. Nichols General

HousingWire – Brena Swanson Obtaining a mortgage with a FICO score in the 620 range is more difficult in today’s lending environment, the Federal Reserve concluded in its April survey of loan officers and bank lenders. The Federal Reserve polled a little under 100 banks and found 32 of respondents are less likely to approve a borrower with a FICO …

MBA: Fed will taper off QE this fall, stop purchases by 2014

Julie C. Nichols General

HousingWire – Christina Mlynski Market observers believe the Fed’s continued monthly commitment to acquiring $40 billion in agency mortgage-backed securities has served its purpose, with housing data showing clear signs of improvement. Now that existing home sales and new home sales are rising alongside falling foreclosure inventories, Fed watchers are anxiously awaiting for the central bank to take its foot …