22% of Homeowners Have Difficulty Making Mortgage Payments
According to a new poll from the market research firm Harris Interactive, 22 percent of people with mortgages have difficulty making their monthly payments. The poll also reveals that 21 percent think they are underwater and owe more on the loan than their home is worth. Compared to the results of last year’s poll, those struggling to pay their mortgage has declined by 7 percent, but the company says the improvement is deceptive since it likely reflects the fact that borrowers previously experiencing trouble have already lost their homes.
Grievance Committee for Failed Modifications?
Although the Treasury Department has vowed to hold mortgage servicers publicly accountable for their adherence to Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) guidelines, some senators want to go one step further. They have proposed establishing a new federal agency as a means of recourse for “families who face foreclosure but believe their mortgage servicers are breaking the rules.” Legislators say if the bill passes, HAMP has the potential of reaching its original goal of helping 3 to 4 million homeowners.
Disagreements Continue on GSE Reform
A House subcommittee convened Tuesday to mark-up eight bills aimed at winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. While lawmakers agree that reform is needed, they were divided on just how to proceed with the medley of individual bills in front of them. Republicans’ string of separate bills, which could ultimately tally 24, is a conscious effort to pull in Democratic support on individual reforms. But some are calling the multiple-bill approach for a single-end-goal “scattered” and “without vision.”
Second Home Purchases on the Rise
In spite of dreary financial outlooks, the trend of purchasing second homes
saw growth in 2010 that outpaced investment property and regular home sales, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). An additional survey by NAR indicated that 79% of prospective buyers said they were likely or very likely to buy a second home in the next two years. The survey cites that the typical profile of a second-home buyer is 46 years old, married and has a median income of $87,500. Census Bureau data shows that 44 million people in the United States fit this profile.
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