REFinBlog

Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

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May 13, 2015

Reset Tsunami

By David Reiss

Cyclone home

Newsday quoted me in When Home Equity Lines of Credit Reset when your plan resets. It reads,

A decade isn’t really a long time – just ask the millions of homeowners whose 10-year-old home equity lines of credit are resetting.

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 13, 2015 | Permalink | No Comments

Wednesday’s Academic Roundup

By Shea Cunningham

May 13, 2015 | Permalink | No Comments

May 12, 2015

FHFA’s $500MM Win

By David Reiss

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.”

Before the trial, FHFA had reached $17.9 billion in settlements with other banks, including Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The ruling against Nomura and RBS may encourage other banks to settle mortgage-related suits brought by regulators and private investors rather than face the bad publicity and cost of an adverse judgment, said Robert C. Hockett, a professor at Cornell Law School.

“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.

May 12, 2015 | Permalink | No Comments

Tuesday’s Regulatory & Legislative Round-Up

By Serenna McCloud

  • 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 12, 2015 | Permalink | No Comments

May 11, 2015

Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever

By David Reiss

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.

 

 

May 11, 2015 | Permalink | No Comments

Monday’s Adjudication Roundup

By Shea Cunningham

May 11, 2015 | Permalink | No Comments

May 8, 2015

Myths About Money

By David Reiss

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?

May 8, 2015 | Permalink | No Comments