Old Foreclosure Debt Coming Back to Haunt Homeowners

Source: CNN/Money
Old foreclosure debt coming back to haunt former homeowners
They thought losing their home was bad enough. Now, years later, collectors are coming after them for thousands of dollars in back debt.

Ben McLarin lived near Jacksonville, Fla., until he lost his job and got divorced in 2007. His wife kept the house, but then couldn’t keep up the payments, spurring the bank to foreclose in 2009.

This year, a debt collector informed him he was being sued for $115,000, the difference between what was owed on the house and the amount the lender managed to recoup after it sold the home, said McLarin, an IT worker, who now lives in California.

His attorney, Chip Parker, with Parker & DuFresne in Jacksonville, said McLarin is one of thousands. Parker estimates that one debt collector alone, Dyck O’Neal, has filed more than 10,000 suits in Florida this year, involving roughly $1 billion in foreclosure debt.

Read the full story at money.cnn.com

Average 30-Year Mortgage Rate Slips to 3.97 Percent

Source: Sacramento Bee
Average 30-year mortgage rate slips to 3.97 percent
Low mortgage rates are on the holiday menu for home buyers, with lenders surveyed by Freddie Mac offering 30-year fixed-rate home loans this week at an average of 3.97 percent, down from 3.99 percent a week ago.

The average 30-year rate, which started 2014 at 4.5 percent, has been below 4 percent for five of the last seven weeks, according to Freddie Mac, which has published weekly reports on the 30-year loan since 1971.

The latest survey from the bailed-out finance giant, released Wednesday, showed the average rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage was the same as last week, 3.17 percent. Start rates for adjustable loans also were unchanged.

Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Frank Nothaft, described economic news in the United States as “uplifting” going into the holidays. Third-quarter home resales topped expectations, Nothaft noted, while growth in the gross domestic product was revised up from 3.5 percent to 3.9 percent.

Read the full story at SacBee.com

Some Housing Affordability Improvement in Bay Area

Source: San Jose Mercury News
sSome housing affordability improvement in Bay Area
California housing affordability remained in check in the third quarter of 2014 due to lower interest rates and smaller home price gains, according to the California Association of Realtors. Affordability even improved in some high-cost counties in the San Francisco Bay region during the July-September period of this year.

The percentage of home buyers who could afford to buy a median-price, existing single-family home in California in third quarter 2014 was unchanged from the 30 percent recorded in the second quarter of 2014, but it was down from a revised 32 percent in third quarter 2013, according to the state Realtor group’s Traditional Housing Affordability Index.

This is the sixth consecutive quarter that the index was below 40 percent. The index measures the percentage of all households that can afford to purchase a median-price, single-family home in California.

Read the full story at MercuryNews.com

Home Foreclosures Dropping to Levels Seen in 2006

Source: Sacramento Business Journal
san jose residential subdivision
New research by RealtyTrac Inc. on foreclosures in the Sacramento housing market suggests by early 2015, the rate of underwater buyers losing their homes to the bank will be about what it was before housing bust began.

Right now, about 1,000 homes are at some stage of foreclosure every month in the region; during the first half of 2006, the number was 929, said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

“Sacramento is making its way back to normal, but it’s not there yet,” he said. Compared to the state as a whole, though, where 13,000 homes monthly are in some kind of foreclosure stage now but only 7,000 were on a month-to-month basis during 2005 and early 2006, Sacramento’s recovery is ahead of the pace.

For September, 951 homes were in foreclosure, more than 400 fewer than the same month a year ago. But either way, the same culprit is still afflicting those homes: Loans from 2008 or earlier that have backfired relative to values now.

Read the full story at BizJournals.com