Mortgage Rates Pulse

Interest Rate Updates for Home Financing and Mortgage Refinance Rates
Jump to content.

Mortgage Rate Info

Preferred Loan Type

Mortgage Balance

Property Value

Credit Rating

Property State

Full Name

Email Address


Current Mortgage Rates See local rates Zillow Mortgage Marketplace Get this widget


October 2008
    Nov »

Home Loans Defaults Rise for Mortgage Insurers

According to a report by Mortgage Insurance Companies of America or MICA, home loan defaults rose in September. CNN Money reported that September saw 76,776 insured mortgage loans went into default, or became 60 days past due, up from 72,818 the month before, and the highest monthly total in a year. In April, one mortgage lender changed its default reporting, making figures before April not directly comparable to monthly figures since then, MICA said. Mortgage cures, or home mortgages that are brought current, decreased by 383 to 41,400 in September from the previous month.

The number of applications for primary mortgage insurance dropped by 3,337 in September to 62,209 the lowest monthly number in at least a year. New policies issued dropped to 49,544, the lowest monthly total for the year, for a total insured amount of $8.1 billion. After a month with no bulk mortgage loan activity, 164 bulk mortgage insurance policies were issued, for a total value of $35.9 million.

MICA’s members reported a total of $801.3 billion in primary insurance in force for the month of September, $350 million less than in August.The statistics in this month’s report include data from AIG United Guaranty, a unit of American International Group (AIG); Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp., a unit of Genworth Financial (GNW); Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. (MTG); PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., a unit of PMI Group (PMI); and Republic Mortgage Insurance Co., a unit of Old Republic International (ORI).

Are Mortgage Rate Modifications Fair to Borrowers Who Aren’t Delinquent?

California borrowers have been requesting loan modifications in high volumes. Even when homeowners are able to pay their mortgage and they have a good fixed interest rate, below 6%, they want to restructure their mortgage for a better rate. What will this do to mortgage rates? According to Jeff Morris, a former mortgage executive with Ditech, “If everyone wants to modify their home loan… Eventually it will affect home interest rates negatively because the lenders would be taking a big hit with all of the loan workouts.” Morris continued, “However, the banks need to do something quickly, because too many people are losing their homes to foreclosure.”

New York Times Reporter David Streitfeld considered these home financing issues in an article published Friday. What is the method for determining hardships for homeowners?

Who deserves help and who does not deserve a mortgage rate reduction from their mortgage lender? This is a slippery slope that threatens the mortgage industry and the credibility of our current home loan system. Is it fair to provide mortgage and debt relief to some borrowers and not others? San Diego homeowner and music promoter, Brett Matson shared his thoughts, “Who said life is fair?…We need to be grateful for what we have and if your neighbor needs help with their mortgage and their lender wants to revise their mortgage for them – We should be happy for them. Americans need to embrace each other and getting jealousy because your co-worker was able to negotiate a lower rate than you have is a waste of time and energy.” It is a controversial issue for homeowners, but you have to applaud Matson’s attitude and declaration for being content.

The LA Times Peter Viles quoted economist Peter Schiff, who suggested that homeowners who are upside down will have a motivation to default on their mortgage if the government provides aid: “If the government says, ‘Prove that you can’t afford your house and we’ll redo your mortgage,’ then people are going to try to qualify,” Mr. Schiff said. - Article written by Bryan Dornan

Mortgage Interest Rates Spike to 6.46%

Mortgage interest rates for thirty year mortgage loans spiked this week, following a rise in long-term Treasury bonds yields. Mortgage Loan Company Freddie Mac reported Thursday that thirty year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 6.46%, which is up from 6.06% last week and above the 6.26% rate this time last year. The increase reverses a decline from 6.46 % two weeks ago. According to North Carolina mortgage broker Hayden McBride, “As the long as the rates for FHA home loans remain below 7%, we will be able to refinance people into fixed rate mortgages.”

Mortgage rates on fifteen year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 6.19% from 5.72% last week. A year ago, the rate was 5.91 %. Five-year adjustable-rate mortgage loans rose to 6.36%, from 6.06% last week. A year ago, the rate was 5.98%.The Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday reduced the federal funds rate what banks charge each other for overnight lending a half-point to 1%. Analysts say that is likely to keep short-term interest rates low, holding initial interest rates on ARMs near current levels.

Reports Suggest that HUD is Reducing FHA Mortgage Loan Limits for 2009

Rumor has it HUD is set to reduce the FHA home loan limit for 2009 at $625,000 for a single-family home in 48 states. (all states except for Alaska and Hawaii) The common obstacle for homeowners will be getting an appraisal with a value that is higher than your mortgage balances. Even if you do, the sad reality is that most FHA lenders will reduce the value that the licensed appraiser comes up with because they will be factoring the anticipated market decline for the neighborhood.  According to former mortgage executive Scott Hess, “This is a big blow for homeowners that were in position to refinance a jumbo mortgage in 2009.”

The FHA mortgage limit was $362,790 in 2007 and the idea of higher loan limits is that more borrowers in expensive areas will want to use the program to finance and refinance homes — thus improving local sales and prices. However, the number of homeowners impacted by the FHA mortgage loan limits will be lower than originally anticipated because of the economic problems plaguing our nation and the poor performing home mortgages fueling the foreclosure crisis.

“For the August-July period only 2 regions, Cleveland and Boston, had positive returns. Cleveland returned +1.1% and Boston returned +0.1%. Boston has had positive monthly returns for each of the past five months. Dallas and Denver’s streaks of 4+ straight positive returning months ended in August. San Francisco was the biggest decliner for the month returning -3.5%. This worsened from its July/June return of -1.8%. From August 2007 to August 2008, Dallas and Charlotte have the best relative performance. Even Dallas has declined 2.7% over the year and Charlotte, North Carolina dropped 2.8%.”