Remember that big, ballyhooed mortgage settlement of early last year? The one where homeowners got $25 billion of relief (well actually only around $5 billion in cold cash, but why bother with pesky details?) The one made possible by Eric Schneiderman abandoning his fellow state attorneys general to grasp the brass ring of a do-just-about-nothing Residential Mortgage-Backed Task Force?
1.4 million borrowers moved to positive equity (where homeowners owe less on their mortgage than their home is worth) in the year through the end of Q3. This is according to CoreLogic's latest negative equity report. But a whopping 10.7 million or 22 percent of all residential properties with mortgages were underwater by the end of Q3.
People (including some MSNBC viewers) don't tend to believe this: five years after the financial crisis, it is still possible to get a government-insured mortgage with just 3.5% equity down. No really. You can.
Bloomberg reports that that staple of mortgage funding, the 30 year fixed rate mortgage, has seen its interest rate increase from 3.48% a month ago to 4.16% as of yesterday. By contrast, the highest rate the 30 year mortgage reached in the previous year as of mid-March had been 3.85%.
One analyst, Mark Hanson, sees evidence that the dropoff in refinancings has been impressive:
The Wall Street Journal gives a teaser, in the form of excerpts from a speech to be made later today, on new rules the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be implementing to regulate how servicers treat homeowners who become severely delinquent on their mortgages. Unlike past efforts to stop servicer abuses, the CFPB’s new rules will cover all servicers, as opposed to bank-affiliated ones.
The number of borrowers whose homes are worth less than their mortgage balances declined to 10.9 million at the end of March from 11.1 million at the end of December, a research firm says.The number of homeowners underwater on their mortgages in the U.S.