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Finance, Economy & Government Issues Archive


Talks to Settle Foreclosure Probes Could Take Months

RISMEDIA, April 4, 2011—(MCT)—Talks to settle state and federal investigations into botched foreclosure paperwork will be going on for a long time, government officials note after holding their first face-to-face meeting with top bank executives. ...


Reforming America’s Housing Finance Market

RISMEDIA, April 2, 2011—The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) recognizes the need for an orderly transition from the current form of the secondary mortgage market to a new structure that removes some of the pitfalls under the old GSE structure. ...


Home Warranties Protect Homeowners during Extreme Weather; Attract Buyers in Competitive Real Estate Market

RISMEDIA, April 1, 2011—Extreme temperatures across the nation contributed to a record-breaking year for home warranty claims, and now with a glut of homes for sale across the country, home warranties to cover major systems (HVAC, plumbing, electrical) and built-in ...


Federal Housing Finance Agency Reports Mortgage Interest Rates

RISMEDIA, March 31, 2011—The Federal Housing Finance Agency has reported that the National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders, used as an index in some ARM contracts, was 4.79 percent based on loans closed in February. This is an increase of 0.08 ...


Principles for Restoring Stability to the Nation’s Housing Finance System

RISMEDIA, March 30, 2011—A coalition of trade organizations has released the top principles for restoring stability to the nation’s housing finance system, which—they believe—is at a historic crossroad. As policymakers debate options to restore vitality, integrity and stability to the secondary mortgage market—including an appropriate role for the federal government ...


Consumers Have the Motivation – But Lack the Money for Home Improvement

RISMEDIA, March 29, 2011—The arrival of spring brings not only warmer weather, but also spring cleaning and the undertaking of do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement projects. Much to the chagrin of home improvement stores, the DIY home improvement market has seen ...


VIDEO: Prospering in the Real Estate Revival: 12 House-Rich Rules for Building Real Estate Wealth – Rule #10 – Other People’s Money

RISMEDIA, March 29, 2011–One of the reasons real estate investing produces such incredible returns is because often times the appreciation is leveraged. ...


How Do Property Tax Rates Work?

RISMEDIA, March 28, 2011—It's that time of year again, and some of you should be expecting your property tax bill for the first half of 2011. If that's the case, then you'll probably be wondering just how the government calculates property tax rates and why your bill seems to change ...


Update on First Time Homebuyer Credit and Tax Refunds

RISMEDIA, March 26, 2011—The IRS recently released information on processing issues that are impacting a small percentage of tax returns involving repayment of the First Time Homebuyer Credit (FTHB), primarily involving 2008 home purchases. While most of these returns are ...


Distressed Homeowners’ Top Priorities: Food Assistance and Help with Heating Costs

RISMEDIA, March 26, 2011—As the economic downturn continues, more homeowners lagging on their mortgage payments are looking for help with basic needs. These are the findings of MortgageKeeper Referral Services, Inc., the developer of a unique database that connects users with more than 6,000 qualified nonprofit and government agencies. ...


Consumers Agree – It’s A Good Time to Buy Real Estate

RISMEDIA, March 25, 2011—According to the latest Spending and Saving Tracker from American Express, more than two in five (41 percent) of Americans said that it’s a buyer’s market for real estate. However, over 61 percent agree that a seller’s ...


Anticipating a Spring Thaw

RISMEDIA, March 25, 2011—In the world of real estate, the going has been tough—and we have been going. These are the most challenging economic times that most of us have ever known. This has been a cold, long, and bitter economic winter in real estate. There are, however, hints of ...


Treasury to Begin Orderly Wind Down of Its $142 Billion Mortgage-Backed Securities Portfolio

RISMEDIA, March 25, 2011—Recently, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that it will begin the orderly wind down of its remaining portfolio of $142 billion in agency-guaranteed mortgage-backed securities (MBS). Starting this month, the Treasury plans to sell up to $10 billion in agency-guaranteed MBS per month, subject to ...


NAR Pulse: This Week’s Top Stories from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

RISMEDIA, March 23, 2011—This week’s headlines from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® include: maximize your e-marketing with the hub and spoke concept, SentriLock enhances SentriCard®, and tax time can be less taxing for home owners. ...


A Closer Look at February Existing-Home Sales Following Sustained Gains

RISMEDIA, March 23, 2011—Existing-home sales fell in February following three straight monthly increases, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops—dropped 9.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in February from an upwardly revised 5.40 million in ...


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