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FHA Updates Forbearance Deadline


The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced it is extending the date for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages to request an initial forbearance from their mortgage servicer to defer their mortgage payments for up to six months.

January 2014: Foreclosure Rates Decrease, While Auction Sales Increase


January 2014 saw an improvement in foreclosure rates over the previous month. New foreclosures in Chicagoland counties decreased 14.21%. This rate is 47.88% lower than in January 2013. The counties with the largest drop in foreclosures are Will, Kendall,

New York City Housing Market Faces Challenges with Rent-Stabilized Units


Due to gentrification in New York neighborhoods like Bushwick, Brooklyn Heights, and the Upper West Side and increases in city property taxes and water sewer rates, many landlords want to increase the price of rent. However, this poses a problem for people who live in rent-stabilized units.

Housing Market Expected to Slow in 2014


The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index reported that 2013 saw a 13.4% increase in 20 metro areas’ home prices from 2012. David Blitzer, an S&P Dow Jones Indices economist, 2013 was the best year since 2005.

HUD Rejects New Jersey’s Request to Change Aid Rules


In order to make the recovery after Sandy easier for homeowners, New Jersey officials tried to change a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rule. The Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) program allows homeowners to receive reimbursement for the work that was done on their homes. However, the program does not cover work completed after the application date, which frustrates homeowners.

Foreclosure Rates Down Nationally, Louisville


Nationally, foreclosure rates are down. Specifically, Louisville, Kentucky has been seeing significantly lower foreclosure rates. For example, the amount of time between the recommended judgment and the sale of a foreclosed home was 148 days in 2010—now, it is a mere 56 days, according to Edith Halbleib, Jefferson County master commissioner.

Kelly Kasparian Joins Birchwood Credit Services, Inc. as Regional Sales Manager


Birchwood Credit Services, Inc. has named Ms. Kelly Kasparian as Regional Sales Manager for New England. Ms. Kasparian will be responsible for implementing Birchwood's broad-based information solutions to both the mortgage and tenant industries. A fixture in the Consumer Credit Services business since entering the industry in 1990, Ms. Kasparian has been active with the Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Association (MMBA) for the past 15 years and has served on the membership committee of the MMBA for the past 7 years.

FHA Approved v. Non-FHA Approved Condos


Typically, buyers feel more comfortable with a condo that is approved by the FHA than one that is not. Likewise, condo-owners who are considering selling in the future tend to like FHA approval. FHA approval also makes properties available to more buyers. With FHA approval on a condo, buyers can make a low down payment on a mortgage. In order for condos to be approved, they must meet certain requirements, like having hazard, flood, and liability insurance and having 15% or less residents who are delinquent.

VA Loan: A Good Choice


The VA loan from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is a good choice for those who qualify. (Note: the department doesn’t give or originate loans—banks, credit unions, and other approved mortgage companies give loans.)

Chicago Foreclosure Rates Increase, Still Significantly Less Than a Year Ago


RealtyTrac reported that there was 3% more foreclosure activity in Chicago—which definition includes Kenosha, Wisconsin and Northwest Indiana—in January 2014 than December 2013. However, in contrast to a year ago, foreclosure activity was down almost 35%.


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