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 22, 2008

Congress is considering a rescue for hundreds of thousands of homeowners

Inspired in part by some of the nation’s largest banks, the Bush administration and Congress are considering costly new proposals for the government to save hundreds of thousands of homeowners whose mortgages are higher than the value of their houses.

Not since the Depression has a bigger share of Americans owed more on their homes than what they are worth. With the crumple of the housing boom, nearly 8.8 million homeowners, or 10.3 percent of the total, are over their head with mortgage problems. That is more than double the percentage of just a year ago, according to a new estimate by Moody’s

More information in the New York Times.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mortgage rates: yoyo time again!

Fixed mortgage rates rise, adjustable rates fall: Long-term fixed mortgage rates are back to their January levels; average adjustable-rate mortgage rates are slightly lower than earlier this year, says Freddie Mac.

Adjustable-rate mortgages might become more popular as the difference between long-term fixed rates and adjustable rates raises, Freddie Mac reported Thursday.

"As the spread between long-term fixed-rates and adjustable-rates widens, it's possible we could see a slight increase in the popularity of adjustable-rate mortgages," said Freddie Mac (FRE, Fortune 500) vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft in statement Thursday.

More information here…

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mortgage field-servicing firms are in for a treat

Never before seen action since the great depression

As the mortgage-lending crisis spreads, business is booming among small mortgage field-servicing firms which specialize among other things in "property preservation."

Pushing the trend: the national homeowner-vacancy rate, which measures how many vacant homes are for sale. That rate was at 2.8% in the fourth quarter of 2007, matching a record set in the first quarter of last year. It hasn't been this high since the famous Great Depression.

And it is far from finished: U.S. foreclosure filings, a prelude to vacancies, surged 75% last year to 2.2 million, according to RealtyTrac. Just for December, there were 215,749 foreclosure filings, almost double from December 2006.

All over the US, handymen, contractors and inspectors are on the front lines of a battle to keep the vacated homes free from burst pipes, vandals, rot and animals until they can be resold -- and to safeguard the integrity and living conditions of neighborhoods.

In some cases, these mortgage field men and women work for the lenders who are foreclosing on the house. In others, they act as vendors to big national middlemen who handle large volumes of foreclosures and then subcontract the fix-up work to these smaller regional shops.

While a big proportion of the companies, big and small, are private, some trade groups estimate mortgage servicing to be a $1 billion business with 8,000 to 10,000 active companies in operation.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Good credit? your FICO score could be much better than you think

Good news about credit: Fair Isaac, the company that calculates consumer credit ratings for lenders, is rolling out a new formula that promises to support responsible credit holders.

Guess what… Your FICO score could benefit.

Fair Isaac began working on the new system in 2006…

More info here.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Countrywide Financial will expand programs to help borrowers manage their mortgage payments

Countrywide Financial will expand its scope of mortgage help. The plan would propose loan changes for both fixed and adjustable loans and to borrowers who've already fallen behind.

Regardless of the type of subprime loan the borrowers have or whether they have already fallen behind on payments, the borrowers would be eligible.

Full details will be disclosed later today. More information on