May 13, 2015
There are two types of HELOC resets: Variable interest rates can reset, and an interest-only repayment plan can reset to amortize. That means payments will switch to include principal and interest, explains David Reiss, a law professor specializing in real estate at Brooklyn Law School.
Many are in for a shock. If you’ve been making interest-only payments for 10 years, “the switch to amortizing over the compressed 20-year period [remaining on a 30-year loan] can lead to an increase of 100 percent or more,” says Peter Grabel of Luxury Mortgage Corp. in Stamford, Connecticut.
If your HELOC is resetting, know what to expect.
“You will no longer be able to draw on the equity line,” says Casey Fleming, author of “The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage.” You’ll have a specific time to pay off the loan.
Consider your goals: “What is your purpose for having a HELOC?” says Ray Rodriguez of TD Bank in Manhattan. That drives the options.
Plan for change: “Prepare for the end of the draw period. Find out what your new payment will be,” says Kevin Murphy of McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union in Manhattan. Cut expenses to make up for the jump.
Explore options: Consider refinancing your debt into a longer-term fixed-rate loan, suggests Ben Sullivan of Palisades Hudson Financial Group in Scarsdale. Replace the HELOC with a new one, or combine your first mortgage with your HELOC into a new interest-only ARM. Talk to a mortgage counselor.
May 12, 2015
Bloomberg quoted me in Nomura, RBS Defective-Bond Suit Loss Seen Spurring Deals. It reads, in part,
Nomura Holdings Inc. and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc may face $500 million in damages for what a judge called an “enormous” deception in the sale of defective mortgage-backed securities, a ruling that may spur other banks to settle similar claims tied to the 2008 financial crisis.
Nomura and RBS were excoriated in a 361-page opinion by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan, whose ruling followed the first trial of claims that banks sold flawed securities to government-owned mortgage companies. After a three-week trial, Cote said they misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and set a damages formula that may result in the government winning about half its original claim of $1 billion.
“The offering documents did not correctly describe the mortgage loans,” Cote, who heard the case without a jury, wrote Monday. “The magnitude of falsity, conservatively measured, is enormous.”
“They look pretty bad,” Hockett said in an interview. “They look like the strategy has blown up in their faces.”
Cote ordered the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which filed the case, to propose how much the banks should pay as a result of her ruling.
* * *
Cote rejected the banks’ claim that the housing crash, and not defects in the loans, was responsible for the collapse of the mortgage-backed securities.
David Reiss, a professor at Brooklyn Law School, called Cote’s ruling “incredibly thorough.” The judge included detailed factual rulings that may make it difficult for Nomura and RBS to win on appeal, he said.
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued guidance to “remind lenders of their obligations under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and it’s implementing Regulation B, to provide non-discriminatory access to credit for mortgage applicants using income from the section 8 housing choice voucher program.”
- A bipartisan House Bill was recently introduced to provide a temporary safe harbor for from the enforcement of integrated disclosure requirements under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act until January 2016 for those seeking to comply in good faith – this safe harbor would allow lenders to implement the new rules.
May 11, 2015
I was interviewed on the Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever with Joe Fairless podcast. The interview, How to Negotiate the Interest Rate on Your Mortgage Down…A LOT, went live today. The teaser for the show reads,
Today’s Best Ever guest shares just how important it is to do you due diligence with everything. From negotiating the interest rate on your mortgage rate down to an unheard of number, to learning about different zoning codes and what they mean to you.
The interview runs about half an hour. I always like to be invited to speak on a long-form program because I can go into greater depth about things that I think are important. I also got a chance to discuss some topics that usually only come up in my Real Estate Practice class.
The Best Ever Real Estate Investing Advice Ever show is one of the highest rated investing podcasts on iTunes, up there with Suze Orman, Jim Cramer, Marketplace, Motley Fool, NPR and the Wall Street Journal. The show is sold with some hype, but it was a substantive discussion, geared to the newish real estate investor. All in all, this was a fun interview to do.
- The United States Supreme Court holds that debtors do not have an absolute right to appeal a denial of a proposed bankruptcy plan (mentioned in April 6 post).
- Maryland federal judge approves settlement between CFPB and Genuine Title and participants for illegal mortgage-kickback scheme (mentioned in May 4 post).
- CFPB settles with Florida law firm for nearly $12 million for collecting over $5 million in illegal fees. The firm enlisted homeowners to bring “mass-joinder” suits against mortgage lenders.
- Lead plaintiff in class action against Bank of America asks the Third Circuit to rehear case alleging violations of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act decided last month. The Third Circuit held that the FDCPA covers foreclosure complaints (mentioned in April 13 post).
- The Clearing House Association LLC, the American Bankers Association, the Financial Services Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce support Bank of America in its Second Circuit appeal of $1.3 billion fine for allegedly defrauding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through its mortgage program, “Hustle.”
- In stipulation, Massachusetts Federal District Court voluntarily dismisses claims against JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other institutions in $5.9 billion MBS suit brought by Bank of Boston.
May 8, 2015
Chase.com quoted me in 5 Myths About Your Money. It opens,
There’s no shortage of money advice out there, but each person’s financial situation is unique. So there are times when conventional wisdom can be just plain unhelpful.
With that in mind, here are five money myths that experts say deserve to be reconsidered.
Myth #1: Your Home Is Primarily an Investment
A house can be an excellent investment, but David Reiss, professor of law and research director of the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship at Brooklyn Law School in New York, cautions against thinking of it only that way.
After all, he says, the housing market can be hard to predict, so it’s better to make decisions based on your own needs. You’re not just owning the house; you’re living in it.
“Make decisions about buying, remodeling, and refinancing your home because it makes sense for you and your family,” says Reiss. “If you make decisions based upon your guesses about the future and about what other people will do, there is a good chance that you will end up frustrated.”
Should you upgrade that bathroom? Is it solely an investment decision? Or is there also value in improving your quality of life?