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Mortgage Rates Fall for Third Week

ocregister.com | October 13, 2014

By Jeff Lazerson

What’s up with mortgage rates? Jeff Lazerson of Mortgage Grader in Laguna Niguel gives us his take.

Rate News

From Freddie Mac’s weekly survey: The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage improved nicely, down to 4.12 percent from last week’s 4.19 percent.

The 15-year fixed dropped as well, landing at 3.30 percent from last week’s 3.36 percent.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports a 4 percent increase in loan application volume from the previous week.

BOTTOM LINE: Assuming a borrower gets the average 30-year conforming fixed-rate on a $417,000 loan, last year’s rate of 4.23 percent and payment of $2,046 is $27 more than this week’s payment of $2,019.

WHAT I SEE: From rate sheets hitting my desk that are not part of Freddie Mac’s survey: Locally, well qualified borrowers can get a 30-year fixed rate all the way up to $625,500 at a 4.125 percent rate and zero cost. The 15-year fixed rate, up to $417,000 is at 3.25 percent and zero cost. A true jumbo (over $625,500) is 4.375 percent and zero cost.

WHAT I THINK: What are the most common real estate crimes? And how can you avoid real estate and mortgage fraudsters?

I put that question last week to Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, Assistant District Attorney Bruce Moore and Chief of Staff Susan Schroeder to get their answers.

Their answer: Loan-modification fraud and short-sale fraud are the top crimes.

A loan-modification scam occurs when someone charges distressed homeowners $1,000 to $2,500 or more upfront, Moore said. Upfront charges for loan-modification services are illegal. In most cases, victims pay the fee, then the loan-modification company does little to nothing to help them get a modification.

For good measure, the crook might tell the borrower to send his or her mortgage payment to the , instead of the lender, then pocket the payment.

Another swindle, according to Moore, is where someone borrows money from you, giving you a promissory note backed by a piece of property. But the promissory note is never recorded.

The bad guy or gal comes up with all the excuses in the world about why he or she is not paying you back. Eventually, you find out there is no property backing this (worthless) note.

How do you protect yourself? Here are their suggestions:

  • Be careful who you are dealing with. Meet people face-to-face, not just on the phone. Verify that real estate people, loan people and appraisers are licensed. Notaries should be bonded as well.
  • If the deal sounds too good to be true, it is (too good to be true).
  • Fraudsters prey on the most desperate people – such as those on the verge of losing their home.
  • One suggestion I will add is use title insurance (where applicable). The title company verifies the property and parties, runs those folks through security and authenticity data bases, and records the note and deed of trust as part of the policy issuance.

If you do suspect a real estate or mortgage fraud, report it to the local police department or go to www.orangecountyda.com and fill-out their online complaint form.


Back to October 2014 Archive

CFLA was founded by the Nation's Leading Foreclosure Defense Attorneys back in 2007 to serve the Foreclosure Defense Industry and fight pervasive Bank Fraud. Since opening our virtual doors, CFLA has rapidly expanded to become the premier online legal destination for small businesses and consumers. But as the company continues to grow, we're careful to hold true to our original vision. For us, putting the law within reach of millions of people is more than just a novel idea—it's the founding principle, just ask Andrew P. Lehman, J.D.. With convenient locations in Houston and Los Angeles, you can contact Our National Account Specialist and General Manager / Member Damion W. Emholtz at 888-758-2352 for a free Mortgage Fraud Analysis or to obtain samples of work product, including cutting edge Bloomberg Securitization Audits, Litigation Support, Quiet Title Packages, and for more information about our Nationally Accredited and U.S. Department of Education Approved "Mortgage Securitization Analyst Training Certification" Classes (3 days) 24 hours for approved CLE & MCLE Credit (Now Available Online).

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