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Mortgage applications jump, possibly from fear of a bump in interest rates


The fear of rising mortgage interest rates may have nudged people into action on homebuying in November. Mortgage applications are down 0.7 percent from a week ago, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday. But over the last month, ...

The Mortgage Professor: Preventing mortgages from going underwater


One weakness of the standard mortgage in the U.S., discussed last week, is the extreme rigidity of the payment obligation, which makes it very difficult to manage the repayment process efficiently. In last week's article, I suggested that this ...

The Mortgage Professor: Improving the standard mortgage


The standard mortgage in the U.S. has two major weaknesses. First, because the payment obligation is rigid, it is very difficult to manage the repayment process efficiently. Second, because the loan balance that the borrower pledges to repay is ...

The Mortgage Professor: How senior homeowners can hedge property value risk


The opportunity to accumulate growing equity in a home is one of the main reasons people are motivated to become homeowners. Equity growth, however, is heavily influenced by market changes over which owners have little control. House prices ...

The Mortgage Professor: Mortgage shopping at multi-lender websites: What to look for


While every mortgage lender has a website and would love to have you come by and initiate a transaction, for anyone looking to shop for the best deal, visiting individual lender sites is largely a waste of time. Every site is formatted differently...

The Mortgage Professor: What happens to house secured by a reverse mortgage?


Q: What happens to the house of someone who secures a reverse mortgage? A: Before answering, let me clarify that my response applies only to the home equity conversion mortgage, or HECM, program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and ...

The Mortgage Professor: Is the annual percentage rate a useful disclosure?


When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau substantially changed mortgage disclosure rules last year, it did not change the status of the annual percentage rate, or APR, as the system's disclosure centerpiece. The reason for the central role ...

The Mortgage Professor: Common mortgage-shopping mistakes


A mortgage shopper assumes responsibility for determining the type of mortgage that best meets her needs and finding the loan provider offering the best (or close to the best) price on that mortgage. A client, meanwhile, places herself in the ...

The Mortgage Professor: Reverse mortgage can quickly resolve common retirement-age emergencies


A recent U.S. News & World Report article described how the elderly can prepare for three different emergencies commonly faced by those of retirement age. The article didn't mention, however, the best solution to two of the three problems: a ...

Banks warming up to mortgages again after housing crisis


If you want to buy a home and go to a bank for a mortgage, you may get a warmer welcome than people have received in years. The mortgage lending market is thawing. Banks are providing more mortgages after essentially closing up shop when the ...