Mortgage Rates Newsletter - Market Analysis

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

Mortgage Rates Finally Catching a Break
Tue, 02 Mar 2021 21:57:07 GMT - In the past 2 decades , there have been 6 months where mortgage rates rose at least 50 basis points. February 2021 was one of them. Moreover, it was one of only 2 of those months where rates rose without obvious provocation from a significant new, unexpected motivation (the last time that happened was December 2010. The other months were associated with 2013's taper tantrum, the 2016 presidential election, and the market dislocations in March 2020 as covid panic surged). In other words, it was a really bad month for rates--so bad, in fact, that it has increasingly made sense to look for some relief simply because things don't tend to stay that bad for that long. Of course, if there's an exception to how rapidly rates "usually" spike, it has every right to occur after rates have spent an unusually
Brutal Week For Rates But There's Hope (Hopefully)
Fri, 26 Feb 2021 22:53:42 GMT - Rising rates have been on the menu for months, but the drama kicked into a higher gear this week. Maybe you heard about this? We've certainly been discussing it in recent newsletters ( especially last week's ). The rising rate narrative hit the mainstream this week as it was widely credited for doing damage to the stock market. Perhaps you even caught one of Thursday's many mortgage rate headlines citing the spike in Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage rate survey. Freddie reported a jump in 30yr fixed rates from 2.81 to 2.97, their biggest in nearly a year. Unfortunately, Freddie was low last week and they're WAY low this week. This is a common problem when things are this volatile. Although their survey is published on Thursdays, most of the responses are in by Monday. As such, their numbers didn
Mortgage Rates Are Now Well Over 3 Percent
Thu, 25 Feb 2021 22:46:25 GMT - Mortgage rates WISH they were still at 2.97%--the number conveyed today by Freddie Mac's weekly survey. Freddie's data is accurate when it comes to capturing broad trends over time, but can really fall short when the bond market is experiencing elevated volatility. To say that bond market volatility has been elevated recently is an understatement of extreme proportions. Things are happening that haven't happened in years . Some measures of volatility rival the March 2020 panic surrounding covid, only this time, there's no catalyst other than the market movement itself. Today was by far the worst of the bunch when it comes to this most recent spate of volatility. Most any mortgage lender added another eighth of a percent to their 30yr fixed rate offerings. Over the course of the past week, most
Highest Mortgage Rates Since June 2020
Wed, 24 Feb 2021 22:17:38 GMT - As of today, you'd have to go back to June 2020 to see higher mortgage rates. This is courtesy of an ongoing move in the bond market that has longer-term rates/yields surging higher at the quickest pace since the pandemic began. The broader bond market has actually been signalling this sort of move since late last summer, but it wasn't an issue for mortgage rates for a variety of reasons. Now that the mortgage market has mostly exhausted its protective cushion against broader bond market volatility, when the broader bond market has a bad day, so do we. It goes without saying that today was bad. Just look at the scoreboard , after all. But it also tried to be good. Bonds battled back from their worst levels quite well by the early afternoon. This was especially true for mortgage-backed bonds
February Easily The Worst Month For Rates in Long Time
Mon, 22 Feb 2021 23:50:36 GMT - There are still 4 business days left in the month of February and thus still 4 days for the bond market to undergo an epic recovery that helps mortgage rates come back down. But traders and market-watchers alike have pined for--if not outright expected--such a recovery several times in the past few weeks only to be disappointed . Merely avoiding additional rate spikes would be a victory at this point. Even if we can manage to avoid further rate spikes, February will still go down as the worst month for rates since January 2018 (March 2020 was worse at face value, but it's not really a fair comparison due to the unprecedented bond market reaction to the pandemic). Some back-of-the-napkin math (OK, it's actually more official than that) shows the average lender charging at least a quarter of
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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