mortgage

Economy
10:29 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Fewer Michiganders are underwater on their mortgages

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report says a quarter of Michigan homeowners are underwater on their mortgages – and that’s a big improvement.

Back in 2012, roughly half of Michigan homeowners owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth.

Daren Bloomquist of Realty Trac says Michigan, like the rest of the nation, has seen steady improvement in home values since the end of the recession.

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Economy
4:35 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Many Michigan homeowners are still deeply underwater on their mortgages

'Short sales' are the only solution for many homeowners 'deeply underwater' on their mortgages
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Realty Trac reports nearly a third of Michigan homeowners owe 25 percent or more on their mortgages than their homes are actually worth.   

In December, 31% of Michigan homeowners were deeply underwater on their mortgages.  That’s down from 37% in January of 2013.

Nationally, 19% of homeowners are deeply underwater on their mortgages.

Daren Bloomquist with Realty Trac says many homeowners have been waiting a long time for their house to gain value.

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Business
11:17 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Michigan home buyers may face new problems

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Critics say proposed legislation in Congress could hurt many home buyers in Michigan and the nation.

The bills would allow exceptions to new limits on bank fees for mortgages. And it would become easier to give borrowers loans they can't afford.

Gary Kalman is with the Center for Responsible Lending.

He says the so-called "Mortgage Choice Act" would undermine what he calls a fair and balanced compromise.

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Economy
12:52 am
Thu September 5, 2013

More Michigan homeowners are underwater on their mortgages

Aerial view of homes in Jackson, Michigan
Google Earth

Michigan homeowners continue to struggle with underwater mortgages.

Realty Trac reports today that 38% of Michigan homeowners owe at least 25% more on their mortgages than their homes are actually worth.

Michigan trails only Nevada, Illinois and Florida for the percentage of home mortgages that are deeply underwater.

Realty Trac’s Daren Bloomquist says more homeowners in those states may be underwater on their mortgages, but home values are also rising faster than in Michigan.

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Law
2:21 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Predatory lending lawsuit against Morgan Stanley moves forward, the suit involves Detroit homeowners

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A federal judge ruled this week that a lawsuit accusing investment banking giant Morgan Stanley of predatory lending in Detroit can move forward.

The lawsuit alleges Morgan Stanley pushed sub-prime mortgage lenders to target Detroit neighborhoods with large minority populations.

Morgan Stanley later packaged the ‘high risk’ loans into ‘mortgage backed securities’

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Law
1:01 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Former company president accused of "robo-signing" indicted by Michigan AG

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette
Bill Schuette Facebook.com

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced today he' s filing a criminal charge against Lorraine Brown.

Brown is the former president of a mortgage records company in Alpharetta, Georgia. She's accused of 'robo-signing' more than 1,000 signatures on home mortgage documents from Michigan.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Brown will be charged with racketeering:

The charge is part of a state investigation, begun in April 2011, into the practice of “robo-signing.”

At a late morning conference, Schuette said Brown orchestrated a robo-signing scheme and directed her employees to sign another bank official’s name to mortgage documents, speeding up the process and making more money for her firm.

He said arrangements are being made for Brown to surrender to Michigan authorities.

"She got greedy, and as a result she's facing a 20-year felony," Schuette said.

Brown pleaded guilty to similar charges in Florida. From Reuters:

"Lorraine Brown participated in a scheme to fabricate mortgage-related documents at the height of the financial crisis," Assistant Attorney General Breuer said in a statement. "She was responsible for more than a million fraudulent documents entering the system, directing company employees to forge and falsify documents relied on by property recorders, title insurers and others."

Reuters reports Brown has also agreed to plead guilty to Missouri state charges of forgery, perjury and a misdemeanor count of making a false declaration.

Law
4:34 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Michigan Supreme Court Justice faces FBI investigation

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway
michigan.gov

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway is being investigated by the FBI for possible mortgage fraud, The Detroit News and Free Press report.

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Economy
6:42 am
Mon April 18, 2011

Personal finance: What it takes to become 'mortgage-free'

The Murphy family says "living below their means" helped them pay off their mortgage early.
Photo courtesy of the Murphys

In 1950, more than half of Americans owned their homes free and clear. No surprise that number has shrunk over the years.  But those who count themselves mortgage-free are still out there. The 2010 U.S. Census shows 1 out of every 3 homeowners owns their home free and clear. In a story produced for Marketplace Money, we look at what it takes to become mortgage-free.

Meet the Murphys

Mike and Kate Murphy live in a working-class neighborhood of Chicago, with two of their kids, Becky and Tommy, and their pet fish. They bought their charming, 3-bedroom brick house in 1996 for $156,000.

They originally started with a $110,000 mortgage. Mike Murphy says it was " obviously the largest mortgage we had ever taken out."

At the time, Kate brought in $30,000 a year, designing theater costumes part time. Mike was making $50,000 as a public school teacher:

At first they paid $1,100 a month on the mortgage. Refinancing dropped the payment to just under a $1,000. But they decided to pay a little more each month -- first $100, then $150 more.

Fast forward 13 years and they owned their house free and clear.

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Economy
1:01 am
Thu April 14, 2011

Sen. Levin accuses mortgage lenders of "greed and deception"

U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, (D) Michigan
Photograph courtesy of U.S. Sen. Carl Levin's office

A new report lays the blame for much of Detroit’s foreclosure problems at the feet of one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders. 

In 2003, Washington Mutual Bank’s CEO said he wanted to turn his bank into “the Wal-Mart of Banking."  His plan was to focus on low and moderate income borrowers deemed “too risky” by other lenders. 

By 2008, federal regulators seized Washington Mutual and the company filed for bankruptcy protection. 

What happened? 

Washington Mutual had taken major losses in the subprime loan market.  Its subsidiary, Long Beach Mortgage Corporation was for a time the second biggest subprime mortgage lender in Detroit.  Between 2005 and 2007, more than half of those loans ended in foreclosure.

Michigan U.S. Senator Carl Levin says Washington Mutual’s subprime loan practices “devastated” neighborhoods and families in Detroit.  At the end of a year long investigation, Levin’s released a report blaming reckless lending and lax federal oversight for the near collapse of the nation’s banking system in 2008.

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