Mortgage, loan and property. What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is putting a property as a guarantee to a lender as a security for a mortgage loan.

While a mortgage in itself is not a liability or a dept, it is evidence of a debt. It is a transfer of an interest in property, from the owner to the mortgage lender, on the condition that this interest will be returned to the owner of the property when the terms of the mortgage have been satisfied or concluded.

In other words, the mortgage is a guarantee for the loan that the lender makes to the borrower. In all but a very few states, a mortgage creates a lien on the title to the mortgaged property.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan: Recession chances '50% or better'

Alan Greenspan said Thursday there's at least a 50% chance the United States will slip into recession, and that the economy won't clear until home prices bottom out.

Greenspan, speaking at the Cambridge Energy Research Associates' annual energy conference in Houston, said that what may upset the economy are tightening credit markets and a potential slowdown in consumer spending sparked by defaults in the real estate market.

"We're clearly on the edge, it's 50% or better" chances the economy will slip into recession, said Greenspan.

Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said things won't look brighter until real estate prices stop dropping and banks figure out how much money they lost - only then will they be willing to step up lending again.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Home prices in biggest quarterly drop

Home prices continued their fall during the last three months of 2007, setting a real estate trade record for the biggest-ever quarterly drop.

The national median price went to $206,200 from $219,300, a drop of 5.8%. It was the steepest ever recorded by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which has been compiling the report since 1979.

More information at CNNMoney.

Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates little changed

Mortgage rates were modestly changed this week as labor productivity rose higher than forecasted and pending existing home sales weakened.

30-year fixed-rate loans averaged 5.72%, up from 5.67% last week. While last year at this time, the 30-year rate was 6.30%, Freddie Mac said.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Retail sales helped the Stock market today

Strong report on consumer spending in January boosted the stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average and the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index both added 0.6% in the early stage of the day. The Nasdaq composite gained 1.2%.

Blue chips rallied Tuesday on reports that Warren Buffett reached out to ailing bond insurers and that major lenders came up with a plan that they say will help owners steer clear of foreclosure.

A surprisingly strong January retail sales report fired up investors Wednesday…

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Writedowns sinks Credit Suisse profit

Fourth-quarter net income fell 72% to $1.2 billion after credit-related writedowns.

Net profit dropped 72% to $1.2 billion because of writedowns for money-market funds and investment banking.

Credit Suisse took writedowns of $1.88 billion, which demonstrates it continues to weather the subprime crisis better than some competitors.

More info on CNN Money…

Monday, February 11, 2008

How to Find Deals on Foreclosed Homes

Foreclosure: Such properties can often be bargains, but there are risks involved in buying them.

It's cruel but true: You can benefit from others' hardship. The increase in foreclosures means that homebuyers can find great deals on houses that have been reclaimed by lenders. They are frequently sold for prices well under the market value because the lenders are eager to get rid of them.

The low-priced homes do come with potential downsides: Some have liens against them or mortgages associated with them, which can be inherited by the new owners. It can also be hard or impractical to inspect such properties in advance of their sale, which means there's no time to check if the basement has been flooded or if the roof is still good.

If you're willing to brave the risks, then your first challenge is locating the bargains. Here are five ways to find the best deals.

Mortgage help for borrowers

Countrywide would expands scope: The plan would offer loan modifications for both fixed and adjustable loans and to borrowers who are already behind.

Countrywide Financial says it will expand programs to help borrowers handle their mortgage payments regardless of the type of loan they have or whether they have already fallen behind on payments.

More information on CNN