Mortgage Rates Newsletter - Market Analysis

Provided courtesy of: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/reports/mortgage_rates/archive

Mortgage Rates Continue Defying Bond Market Weakness
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 21:33:19 GMT - Although it was the focus of yesterday's discussion , the ability of the mortgage market to hold steady in the face of bond market weakness continues to impress . This is interesting because mortgage rates take direct cues from the bond market. That's still the case, but at the moment, the mortgage side of the bond market is playing with a stacked deck . If Treasuries are only a little bit weaker on any given day (like today), mortgage bonds and mortgage rates have been consistently holding their ground or actually improving. Today was more of a "ground-holding" sort of day, but it depends on how any given lender responded to yesterday's bond market weakness. Those who adjusted rates higher yesterday were generally in slightly better shape today . Those who abstained yesterday were offering
Mortgage Rates Surprisingly Steady Despite Market Drama
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 21:39:03 GMT - Like many industries, housing finance has a superficial layer that's fairly easy to understand for the average consumer. A person wants a home. They don't want to pay cash. They get a loan. Lower rates = lower payments. The end. Shortly below that superficial layer of understanding, where a surprisingly high percentage of mortgage professionals operate, it's popular to discuss 10yr Treasury yields as a basis for mortgage rates. The only problem with viewing 10yr yields as the basis for mortgage rates is that they're not. Anyone can observe this objective fact by jumping just a bit deeper into the rabbit hole and acquainting themselves with MBS (mortgage-backed securities). These are the true raw ingredients for mortgage rates even though they frequently mimic 10yr Treasury yield movement. By
Mortgage Rates Hold Steady Over Holiday Weekend
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 22:09:53 GMT - Although many mortgage lenders were technically open for business last Friday, it's a well-known unofficial holiday. Mortgage rate movement requires bond market movement, and the post-Thanksgiving Friday invariably sees fewer traders trading fewer bonds. Even when bonds do manage to move, the people in charge of setting mortgage rates at various lending institutions tend to play it safe. In fact, many lenders simply leave rates wherever they were on Wednesday and then simply plan on getting back to work on Monday. This particular Monday, however, the average lender is still in line with Friday's and Wednesday's rates. Some of them offered lower rates in response to strength in the bond market today. Those who abstained are expected to offer token improvements tomorrow, assuming the bond market
Mortgage Rates Little-Changed But The Fed Raises Some Doubts
Wed, 25 Nov 2020 21:36:15 GMT - Mortgage rates have been operating relatively close to their all-time lows recently and today was no exception. The Fed raised some doubts as to how much longer that would be the case this afternoon when it released the minutes of its most recent policy meeting (from 3 weeks ago). The Fed questioned whether its mortgage-specific bond buying was having any ill effects. That's only a vague hint of a threat, to be fair, but on top of that, market participants also felt the Fed did less than expected to telegraph any enhancement of its bond buying plans (something that traders saw as a stronger possibility for the upcoming Fed announcement in mid-December). The market reaction was almost negligible in the bigger picture, but it looks like it would give a modest bump to rates if markets had more
How The New Loan Limits Affect Mortgage Rates
Tue, 24 Nov 2020 21:58:55 GMT - If you follow the MBS Commentary channel on this site, you will have already seen most of the following, but it's relevant for consumers as well. As far as mortgage rates are concerned, the increase in conforming loan limits doesn't have a direct impact, but it does change rate availability for those seeking certain loan amounts. There's a link below where you can see exactly what the new loan limit is for any given county. If you'd like to read the official FHFA press release, here you go , but here's the skinny on the new conforming loan limit of $548,250 for 2021, up from $510,400 in 2020. Which loans does this apply to? Conventional, conforming loans (those sold to or securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which is a vast majority of the market), both refinances and purchases Does this
HARP Loan

HARP Loan

When you have little equity in your home, or owe as much or more on your mortgage than your home is worth, it can be difficult to find a lender willing to help you refinance. But for borrowers who have remained current on their mortgages, and have loans owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, there is hope. It's called HARP. 

Introduced in March 2009, HARP enables borrowers with little or no equity to refinance into more affordable mortgages without new or additional mortgage insurance. HARP targets borrowers with loan-to-value (LTV) ratios equal to or greater than 80 percent and who have limited delinquencies over the 12 months prior to refinancing. 

Significant changes have been made to HARP since the program was first introduced. For example, in 2011 the LTV ceiling was removed, property appraisal requirements were waived in certain circumstances, certain risk fees for borrowers selecting shorter amortization terms were eliminated, and certain representations and warranties were waived. In 2013, the eligibility date was changed from the date the loan was acquired by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to the date on the note, increasing the pool of eligible borrowers. 

HARP has also been extended several times and will now expire on December 31, 2016. 

Through HARP, you can get a lower interest rate (which means less out-of-pocket costs each month), get a shorter loan term, or change from an adjustable to fixed-rate mortgage. There's no minimum credit score needed, either. 

And now that HARP guidelines are simpler, even people who were formerly turned down may now be eligible for HARP refinancing.  

How can HARP help me?

If you are current on your mortgage; have a mortgage that is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and owe as much or more than your home is currently worth, you may be eligible for HARP refinancing. That can mean significant savings by: 

  • Lowering your monthly payment
  • Reducing your interest rate
  • Securing a fixed-rate mortgage that won't change over time
  • Building equity faster—shorter term options may be available
  • Lower closing costs because an appraisal is not usually required

HARP program includes:

  • No underwater limits
    Borrowers will now be able to refinance regardless of how far their homes have fallen in value. Previous loan-to-value limits were set at 125 percent.
  • No appraisals or underwriting
    Most homeowners will not have to get an appraisal or have their loan underwritten, making their refinance process smoother and faster.
  • Modified fees
    Certain risk-based fees for borrowers who refinance into shorter-term loans have been reduced.
  • Less paperwork
    Lenders now need less paperwork for income verification, and have the option of qualifying a borrower by documenting that the borrower has at least 12 months of mortgage payments in reserve.
  • Program Deadline
    The end date to get a HARP refinance is December 31, 2016.

How do I know if I'm eligible for HARP? You may be eligible for HARP if you meet all the following criteria:

  • Your mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
  • Your mortgage must have been originated on or before May 31, 2009.
  • Your current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%.
  • You are current on your mortgage, with no 30-day+ late payments in the last six months and no more than one late payment in the past 12 months.

How do I find out if Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae owns my loan? Visit the HARP.gov eligibility page and use the Loan Look-up Tools to help you determine if your loan is owned or backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. After entering basic information (e.g., name, address) into the tool, you will receive an immediate response indicating whether Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae owns your mortgage. How do I find out if my lender offers HARP? We encourage you to call your lender as soon as possible and ask them if they participate in HARP. For your convenience, visit HARP.gov for guidance on how to get started. There you will find helpful links for lender information and lenders who work with existing borrowers. If your lender is not listed, it doesn't mean they don't offer HARP — reach out to them using the contact information on your mortgage statement and ask for the refinance department. If your current lender does not offer HARP, there are other lenders that you can contact. Review the list of participating HARP lenders, available under the "Resources" tab on HARP.gov, to find a lender who can discuss your options and eligibility with you. HARP.gov Frequently Asked Questions I tried to refinance through HARP when the program was first introduced, but I owed more than 105% of the value of my home. Should I try again? Yes. HARP has been enhanced since the program was first introduced in 2009. Now, HARP allows borrowers, who owe significantly more than their house is worth, to refinance and take advantage of today's low interest rates. If I owe more than my house is worth and don't have the money to pay my loan balance down, can I still refinance through HARP? Yes. HARP allows you to refinance even if you owe more than your house is worth. If you refinance under HARP and your new loan is a fixed-rate mortgage, there is no maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. * If you refinance under HARP and your new loan is an adjustable rate mortgage, your LTV may not be above 105%. To calculate your LTV, divide the outstanding mortgage balance by the approximate value of your home. * The interest on any portion of your loan that is greater than the fair market value of your property is not tax deductible for federal income tax purposes. Please consult your tax advisor for more information. It is very time consuming to pull together all the paperwork to refinance. Do I need the same amount of paperwork to refinance under HARP? HARP offers a more streamlined process than traditional refinance programs, requiring less documentation and allowing for a smoother and faster transaction. Please contact a HARP lender for more details on what you will need to provide. I've had my loan for seven years and don't want to start all over again with a 30-year mortgage. Can I refinance into a shorter-term loan? Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae allow you to refinance into fixed-rate mortgages with terms anywhere from 10 years to 30 years. Check with your lender to see if they offer shorter-terms and ask about refinancing into a shorter-term mortgage. HARP.gov Is there a benefit for homeowners to shorten the terms of their mortgage? A shorter-term mortgage enables you to pay down the amount you owe much faster than a traditional 30-year mortgage. Furthermore, interest rates on shorter-term mortgages usually are lower than 30-year mortgages. The lower interest rate may allow you to shorten the term of your mortgage without much change in your monthly payment and you will pay less interest over the life of the loan. Can I refinance under HARP if my property isn't my primary residence? Yes. In addition to primary residences, HARP allows you to refinance even if your property is an investment property or second home. I live in a condominium. Can I refinance under HARP? Yes. HARP allows mortgages on condominiums to be refinanced. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae guidelines indicate that I should be eligible for HARP, but my lender said I am not. Why? Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae purchase mortgages that meet each of their requirements from banks and other lending institutions. Lenders may have their own requirements in addition to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae HARP guidelines. It is important that you reach out to your lender to discuss your eligibility for the program. My loan was previously modified; can I still refinance under HARP? You may be able to refinance with HARP as long as your original loan meets the basic eligibility requirements outlined in Question #1. It is best to speak with your lender directly so they can ensure you meet the other eligibility requirements for HARP. HARP.gov Frequently Asked Questions Will refinancing through HARP reduce the principal amount that I owe on my loan? No. HARP is designed to help borrowers get into more affordable loans, but will not reduce the principal amount you owe on your mortgage. However, refinancing through HARP can benefit you with a new loan that has more favorable terms, such as a lower interest rate that will save you money by reducing your monthly payment and the amount of interest that you pay over the life of the loan. Is HARP the only refinance program available? What if I am not eligible? HARP is only one of several refinancing options that may be available to you. HARP is unique because it enables homeowners with little to no equity in their homes to take advantage of today's low interest rates and other refinancing benefits. If you find that you are not eligible for HARP, we encourage you to contact your existing lender or another lender in your area to explore other refinancing options that meet your specific needs. Are offers from companies promising to help me get a HARP loan legitimate? Many borrowers have become wary of the multiple solicitations they receive to refinance their mortgage. Legitimate offers often have specific information identifying your current mortgage, including the loan number your mortgage servicer uses with your mortgage — which is printed on your statement. Valid offers will not require you to pay an upfront fee for services. If you are unsure if an offer is legitimate, we recommend you call your lender before responding to third-party companies that advertise themselves as "mortgage experts" or "foreclosure specialists" to apply for a HARP loan.

 

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