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The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage hovered above its record low for a sixth straight week.
Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on the 30-year home loan ticked down to 3.99 percent from 4 percent the previous week. It dropped to a record low of 3.94 nine weeks ago, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage was edged down to 3.27 percent from 3.30 percent. Nine weeks ago, it too hit a record low of 3.26 percent.
Rates have been below 5 percent for all but two weeks this year.
The Treasury Department said Wednesday it would withhold loan modification incentive payments from Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. for the third consecutive quarter, and took Chase in particular to task for its poor compliance with federal loan modification programs.
Chase was found to be the only servicer whose processes tied to helping struggling borrowers still require “substantial improvement,” according to the report. In addition to again withholding incentive payments, Treasury said it will permanently reduce incentives owed to Chase unless the issues outstanding are addressed before the next quarterly assessment.
According to the assessment, as of September, 72 percent of Chase’s trial loan modifications were converted to permanent modifications, compared to 90 percent for the best servicers. It also logged an average of 39 days to resolve escalated cases, compared with nine days for the best performing servicers. Chase also did not meet the government’s benchmarks for the processes it is using to identify and contact homeowners and how it is calculating borrowers’ incomes.
Bank of America, whose incentive payments also continue to be withheld, was found to be in need of moderate improvement. Treasury noted that it has made progress in addressing a number of deficiencies found in previous reports.
Treasury officials began publicly releasing the results of servicer evaluations in the first quarter.
The monthly report on the administration’ loan modification efforts also found that of the more than 1.7 million trial modifications begun under the program, only 735,464, or about 42 percent, have resulted in permanent loan modifications.
If the U.S. economy does not suffer more setbacks, the rate of mortgage holders behind on their payments should decline significantly by the end of next year, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion.
Mortgage delinquency rates – the ratio of borrowers 60 or more days behind on their payments – will likely tick up to about 6 percent through the first three months of 2012, TransUnion said in its annual delinquency forecast issued Wednesday.
But by the end of next year, it could drop to 5 percent, TransUnion said. That’s well off the peak of 6.89 percent seen in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Chicago-based TransUnion’s forecast takes into consideration several factors, including expectations that consumer confidence and the economy will improve next year.
The jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to a new record low of 4.68 percent, according to Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey. The average jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.4 discount and origination points.
According to Bankrate’s weekly survey, the average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage inched lower to 4.24 percent while the 15-year fixed mortgage held steady at 3.48 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mostly lower, with the average 5-year ARM sliding to 3.18 percent and the 10-year ARM inching down to 3.8 percent.
Mortgage rates are low, but based on the ultra-low levels of benchmark interest rates such as 10-year Treasury notes, mortgage rates could be even lower.
Since August, the European debt crisis has pushed the spread between risk-free U.S. government bonds and those of other bonds, such as mortgage-backed bonds, to the highest levels since the spring of 2009. At that time, financial tensions were at a fever pitch, particularly surrounding the health of the U.S. banking system. This time, it’s Europe’s banking system in the crosshairs, but the result is much the same – a higher-than-typical cost of borrowing when compared to the rock-bottom government rates.
Bankrate’s national weekly mortgage survey is conducted each Wednesday from data provided by the top 10 banks and thrifts in the top 10 markets.
I specialize in helping investors find the perfect property for them to supplement their income with rentals. If you’re interested in investing in real estate — and not speculating — then please read on and then contact me at 239-672-2599 or email@example.com.
With real estate prices low, many people are considering buying an investment property and becoming a landlord.
It might sound simple, but there’s a lot to know. The landlord who doesn’t follow such basic guidelines as conducting a thorough background check can get stuck with a nightmare tenant. It takes both business sense and common sense.
The down economy that has resulted in real estate bargains also means it’s more difficult to find a tenant who can afford to pay first and last month’s rent and a security deposit upfront.
Landlords also find they are competing with foreclosed houses, which some people rent below market, forcing rents lower.
Although picking up a cheap condominium unit might be tempting, I advise avoiding them. Instead, buy a duplex, triplex, small apartment building or single-family home where you won’t be subject to a condominium board.
Special assessments levied by condo associations can run into thousands of dollars.
Whatever the property, finding a decent tenant starts with the screening process.
Credit checks and criminal background checks are a must. Small-scale landlords can find help at websites such as http://www.mysmartmove.com. Operated by Trans-Union, a major credit bureau, SmartMove gives independent rental owners access to the same tenant screening used by large property management groups. It also gives renters data privacy because they provide their identifying information directly to TransUnion in a secure, online setting.
For $25 the landlord receives a credit-based leasing recommendation, national criminal report including 50 state sex-offender and terrorist searches, renter fraud warnings and automated renter identity verification.
For an additional $5, the landlord also can get access to a credit report, a credit score and a detailed rental address history.
The $30 is well spent compared with the headaches that come with evicting a bad tenant.
An application should be filled out in full as part of that process.
‘Never be desperate’ for a tenant
Just because you’re offering a place you own for rent doesn’t mean you have to rent to the first person who comes along.
A rental applicant can be denied for such reasons as poor credit, poor personal references, poor job reference, lack of job stability, insufficient funds to move in, criminal background and too many occupants for the size of the dwelling.
If the prospective tenants have been through a foreclosure or short sale, that doesn’t rule them out if their credit is otherwise OK.
Lawyer review of lease form advised
A written lease is essential. Standard leases are available for free at sites such as http://www.mrlandlord.com or can be purchased at office supply stores. If you hire me to find you tenants, we also have a lease already prepared by Pennsylvania lawyers for your use.
Of course, leases cover such basics as the term of the lease, when the rent is due and how much the rent is. But they also should include sections on policies about late rent, security deposits and how many people are allowed to live on the premises and that the premises are for residential purposes only.
The lease needs to state what might seem obvious. Many landlords err by not spelling out everything. If you don’t allow pets, don’t just say, “No pets.” State that no pets of any kind are allowed, including visiting pets. Or one day you will knock on your tenant’s door to find her holding a cat.
Don’t just state that parking is provided. Be specific.
Don’t simply state that the premises must be left clean and undamaged in order for the tenant to receive his damage deposit back after he moves out.