By Tony Stasiek, editor
July long has been a fairly chill month, in which the strongest
advocacy positions come regarding decisions to replace patio-furniture cushions or to make the case that the half-day Friday
really includes part of Thursday. Or all of it.
That means 12.07 percent of all loans were delinquent
or facing foreclosure procedures, The New York Times
reported. In the fourth quarter of 2008, 11.93 percent
of all mortgages were in distress.
Ah, the decadent days of The Old Economy.
Tip of the Month
Distinguish your company
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In the Past Month
News from the industry and abroad
MBA: More than 5 million home
loans in distress in 1st quarter
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Mortgage Bankers Association reported a record 5. 4 million U.S. home loans
were in distress in the first quarter of this year.
The average score fell six points to 651, USA Today
Photo: Heather Trimm
This July is a bit different. Hot on the heels of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers
collecting comments about the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (BTW: We just uploaded our
interview with the Federal Housing Finance Agency on this topic; listen in at scotsmanguide.
com/3632. More from the agency: Page 14), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is accepting
public comment on two mortgage-related rule-making proceedings. Both impact entities the
FTC oversees, and both can impact you and your clients.
“It does not appear the level of mortgage defaults will
begin to fall until after the employment situation begins to improve,” said Jay Brinkmann, the association’s
The crux of these proceedings — Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rulemaking, Rule No.
bit.ly/R911003) and Mortgage Acts and Practices Rulemaking, Rule No.
bit.ly/R911004) — is fraud in loan-modification and foreclosure-rescue services. With
the Mortgage Bankers Association reporting that single-family delinquencies, foreclosure inventories and loans past due hit record highs in the first quarter, many companies have sprouted up
to address and potentially remedy borrowers’ issues. Some are good. Some aren’t.
Average U.S. credit
score drops to 651
CHICAGO — The average U.S. credit score dropped
sharply in the six-month period ending this past March
31, credit-tracking bureau TransUnion said.
The FTC’s question: How can it protect consumers from the bad ones? It’s accepting public comments on
fee-related issues through July 15 at
reliefservices and on servicing and “activities that occur throughout the life cycle of a loan”
through July 30 at
Credit scores dropped furthest in states where the
housing market fell furthest, slipping 11 points in Arizona and 10 in California, TransUnion said.
If you or your clients have opinions and experiences to share, this might be the
time. If you’d merely like to ensure your borrowers are properly informed,
you also have options: The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has
an online tip sheet you can share for how consumers can avoid loan-mod
and foreclosure-rescue scams,
April home sales up from
March, down from April ’08
WASHINGTON, D.C. — New- and existing-home
sales in the United States increased this past April
compared to March but remain far below the rate of
2008, the U.S. Commerce Department and National
Association of Realtors reported.
New-home sales reached a seasonally adjusted annual
rate of 352,000, 34 percent lower than a year ago. The
median sales price of a new home sold in April was
$209,700 with an average price of $254,000.
Sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes,
condominiums and co-ops reached an annual rate
of 4.68 million units in the month, down 3. 5 percent
from a year ago.
Scotsman Guide congratulates its staff on its recent awards from the American Society of
Business Publication Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists.
The Realtors association said the total housing inventory represented a 10.2-month supply at the current
sales rate, up from 9. 6 months after March’s sales
readings. Pending home sales, meanwhile, increased
6. 7 percent in April.
… in August’s Scotsman Guide
■ A Q&A with NAMB President Jim Pair
■ Marketing tactics for today’s economic
Marketing customer service is important in today’s real estate market. Setting
yourself apart from your competition is
the best way to gain attention. To produce results, brainstorm internally to
determine consumer needs, identify
your target market, research media outlets and track your investment. Know in
what areas to concentrate funds to affect
your business positively.
Builder confidence increases,
with low mortgage rates cited
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Association
of Home Builders (NAHB) said builder confidence
improved in May, with the Housing Market Index
increasing two points to 16.
■ Breaking down the Secure and Fair
Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act
“Builders are responding to what they perceive to be
some of the best home-buying conditions of a lifetime,” NAHB Chairman Joe Robson said.
■ A look at the hard-hit housing market in
… and much more
With historically low mortgage interest rates, affordable prices and a large amount of homes on the market, “[consumers] have a very appealing set of reasons
to make a move,” he said.
Online? Check out current and past editions of
Scotsman Guide at scotsmanguide.com.
The index, which started with a score of 50 in January
1985, peaked at 78 in 1998 and hit its lowest score of
eight this past January.