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Showing posts from April, 2009

Do you have enough equity to refinance?

By Marcie Geffner -

If you'd like to refinance your mortgage but don't want to shell out hundreds of dollars to find out whether you have enough equity to qualify, you're not alone. Plenty of other homeowners share your dilemma, and good solutions aren't easy to find.

"A lot of people have called, got the application, locked that great rate, and then it's down to the appraisal and the deal falls apart," says Joe Metzler, a mortgage specialist at Mortgages Unlimited in St. Paul, Minn.

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New 'code of conduct' for appraisers

By Marcie Geffner -

If you want to buy a home or refinance your mortgage, you might not be all that concerned about how your lender selects the appraiser who figures out how much your home is worth. But new rules intended to reduce appraisal fraud and curtail undue pressure on appraisers could have some dramatic repercussions for homebuyers and homeowners.

Proponents say the new rules will result in more reliable appraisals, less fraud, lower costs and minimal disruption. But critics expect less accurate appraisals, delays in loan processing, higher costs and general misery for all concerned.

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Banks cut off mortgage brokers

By Marcie Geffner -

A war has broken out between lenders and mortgage brokers, two groups that used to play nicely together so they could make loans for people who wanted to buy a home or refinance an existing mortgage. The fallout from the battle could result in fewer choices of loan products and higher loan fees for borrowers -- or at least that's the argument of the brokers, who so far appear to be on the losing side.

Brokers still control a very large share of mortgage applications; however, a number of lenders, most notably JPMorgan Chase and Citi, recently announced they will no longer accept loan applications that are submitted through brokers. Instead, these lenders have decided to take applications and fund loans only through their own retail and other in-house operations. As a result, brokers have found themselves out in the cold.

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