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The Mortgage Professor: Why do borrowers pay for mortgage insurance?


Last week, I wrote an article on how home mortgage borrowers who have been required to purchase mortgage insurance could earn a high rate of return by paying it off -- with the help of a new spreadsheet now on my website. That article ignored what...

The Mortgage Professor: Looking for a safe investment with a high yield? Pay off your mortgage insurance


Home purchasers who were obliged to take out private mortgage insurance, or PMI, because their down payment was less than 20 percent have the right to cancel it, ridding themselves of the monthly premium. Borrowers should take advantage of the ...

The Mortgage Professor: Keeping tabs on a HECM reverse mortgage: A new tool for seniors


In 2010, when she desperately needed additional income, a woman named Sheila P. took out a reverse mortgage, even though her home in Nevada had fallen sharply in value during the previous four years. Home prices in Nevada rebounded sharply, ...

The Mortgage Professor: The 'reverse' in reverse mortgages and 'skipping' payments


Occasionally, I like to play professor by answering some of the more-interesting questions I have received. The ones I respond to below are all interesting for different reasons. Q: What is "reversed" in a reverse mortgage? A: The reversal is in...

Could the 30-year mortgage survive without the government?


WASHINGTON -- Republicans are raising the prospect of making the biggest change to home loans since the New Deal. Two of President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet picks, along with Republican lawmakers, have been speaking publicly about curbing ...

The Mortgage Professor: Market dysfunction is a remediable weakness of the home-loan market


With a new administration in Washington, the time is ripe to reconsider some fundamental features of our housing finance system. In recent articles, I focused on three weaknesses of the system, and on how to fix them. ––The rigidity of the ...

Feds allege Minnesota bank discriminated in lending practices


MINNEAPOLIS -- The U.S. Justice Department has accused Minnesota-based KleinBank of "redlining," the practice of unlawfully structuring its mortgage lending business to avoid serving minority neighborhoods around the Twin Cities. In a federal ...

The Mortgage Professor: How retired homeowners can avoid running out of money: Alternative strategies compared


An increasing number of retirees, who are living longer and are less likely to be covered by a defined benefit pension than previous generations, risk running out of money. Those who have significant equity in a home, however, can reduce or ...

This company will help with a down payment, but it wants a stake in your new home


CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- When Ricardo and Catherine Soto were looking to buy a home in Chula Vista, they knew that even after selling their old house they would be able to afford a down payment of only about 10 percent. But when buying a home, 20 ...

The Mortgage Professor: Keep Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until they are no longer needed


In September 2008, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed in a federal governmental conservatorship. The crisis-induced rise in mortgage defaults had eroded their capital and made it impossible for them to continue operations without support from ...