Bank of America’s Inaccurate Reporting of its Residential Mortgage Loan

Henry Blodget’s worries regarding the quality of Bank of America’s mortgage loans show several interesting details. However, he seems to be looking in an incorrect place.

According to a Blodget’s statement in “The Bomb That Might Blow A Hole In Bank Of America,” a Business Insider piece, the biggest bank of the country only accounted $19 billion worth of residential mortgage loans that are deemed to be nonperforming. This totals to only 5% of the entire residential mortgages on its balance sheet and a $21 billion worth of loss reserves in loans.

To begin with, the detail in the story of the $21 billion used to pay for expected losses from potentially bad loans is inaccurate. As of June 30, the bank reported a total of $37.3 billion for loan allowances and rent losses. This can be seen on page 129 of Bank of America’s 10-Q reporting with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In terms of the chances that there was under-reporting of problem mortgages, the story given was a real mistake because the reported 5% also accounted for Bank of America’s mortgage loans that were obtained from Countrywide. Jerry Dubrowski, spokesman of Bank of America, established that they previously lowered the loans of Countrywide to an acceptable value.

Excluding the loans of Countrywide, residential mortgages that are fully-insured and loans that have already been lowered to a fair value, the Banks total mortgage loan amounts to $169.869 billion. This accounts to one out of four of the mortgage loans included in its main portfolio as of the 30th of June. $16.726 billion of this amount or 9.84% are categorized as nonperforming loans.

Bank of America divides the Countywide loans to show the past write-downs on loans considered as “purchased credit impaired.” This was also done in order to better represent the credit risk in the loan portfolio of the residential mortgage.

Blodget also says that about 35% of the bank’s residential real-estate loans amounting to $413 billion might be in trouble in the future. This is according to an unnamed analyst’s scrutiny of the securitized mortgage delinquencies in the entire industry.

However, according to Rochdale Securities’ Richard Bove, the idea that the bank’s credit quality in its self-originated core portfolio is weak as the loan portfolio from the wholesale lending operations of Countrywide is already beyond the imagination.

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What is the Best Way to Repay a Student Loan?

It’s great that you are looking for the best way to repay a student loan. That means that you are a responsible person and want to do the right thing! Let’s take a look at loan repayments when it comes to student loans.

Two Ways to Repay a Student Loan
Majority of Americans have been struggling to settle different types of loans and debts such as mortgage, home-equity, credit card and vehicle in the last few years. But, these are not the only loans that Americans are having problems with. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, student loans are also significantly increasing. Moody’s Analytics support this information by saying that there is no improvement in the rates of delinquency of student loans and the future outlook for borrowers are troublesome. If you are one of the many individuals who are experiencing challenges in settling your student loan, do not be tempted to ignore them. Take note that not paying your loan will have a huge negative impact on your future paycheck, tax refund and credit rating. Here are two ways to repay your student loan.

Serve an organization that can help you settle your debt.
There are many organizations that you can work for to obtain loan forgiveness. These include the United States Military, AmeriCorps and Teach America. Also, full-time public sector workers such as police officers, public school teachers and public defenders are qualified to have their debt balances cancelled after making 120 payments on or beyond October 1, 2007.

Seek a leniency application
If you took a Federal Stafford loan, you are allowed to defer your repayment up to a maximum of three years under the condition that you are unemployed, you are going through difficult economic challenges or you pursued grad school. You can also request forbearance from your lender.
Aside from suspending your payment up to three years, you can also make small payments for your federal loans in the first couple of years of your payment period. Moreover, you can also ask for an extension of your repayment term. Another option is to qualify for a repayment plan that is based on your income. This plan lets you link your income and your payment.

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Tips for Refinancing Your Home Morgage

One of the things that is continually asked these days is “Should I refinance my home mortgage?”

Things are moving so quickly with the economy, that it is no wonder that you may be confused and not sure whether or not to get a mortgage refinance.

The recent downgrading of the US credit from AAA to AA+ was a big hit to the nation and many people are trying to work out whether or not that is going to have an effect on home mortgage interest rates.

Keep in mind, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are part of the Government so the downgrade affects the two largest mortgage holders in the nation.

Additionally, the FED has announced that rates are going to stay low for the next 2 years. When the FED says low, that means close to zero.

I’m going to talk about things to think about before refinancing, but before I do, I want to say that it may be a good idea to refinance if you have great credit, and the interest rate you lock in can drop your monthly payments by hundreds of dollars.

Three Factors to Consider Before Refinancing

Recently, the Fed announced that they are maintaining the low interest rates until the year 2013. This is good news for those with good credit standing and for those with some home equity left because these individuals and families still have a chance to refinance their mortgage with the lowest rates. However, even if low rates are available at the moment, this does not mean that it is always a good idea to refinance. Here are the reasons why:

First, since low rates will continue for a little while, refinancing should not be rushed. Individuals and families can still make use of the time to build a strong credit so that when the decision is made to finally refinance, the lowest rates are obtained.

Second, it is best to consider the fees that come with refinancing. With this, it is best to keep the loan long enough to be able to justify the charges. Find out about the fees that you might potentially pay; those that you will surely pay; and those that you may or may not pay. Familiarity with these charges is important before refinancing in order to generate extra savings.

Third, note that points gathered from payments can be deducted in one’s taxes for the entire duration of the loan. With this, the cost of the loan will greatly decrease because of tax savings. For example, if an individual obtains a mortgage of $300,000 and pays 2 point or 2%, he or she has to make an upfront payment of about $6,000. If the person belongs to the 25% tax bracket, the savings will be 25% of $6,000 or $1,500 for the entire duration of the loan. When computing for the real after tax cost, the 2 points will generate a tax savings of $4,500. This is obtained from deducting $1,500 to $6,000.

Despite the low rates these days, it is best to think things through before refinancing. Consider and compute the costs and check if there are savings that can be obtained from it. Otherwise, postpone refinancing if after a thorough computation, it ends up as a bad deal even when the rates obtained are lower.

Whether or not to refinance is really a personal choice. I have friends that have refinanced 5 times in the last year. And, everytime they have refinanced, they have saved hundreds of dollars. Their current interest rate will be 4%. Now, their mortgage is close to 1 million. They live in a home in Hawaii.

The point is, you need to make sure that you do the numbers, do the research and make sure that you are comfortable with the numbers.

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Home Loan Refinancing Options for People with Bad Credit

Home Loan Refinancing Options for Individuals with Bad Credit

Over the past few years, many Americans have refinanced their home loans to take advantage of the low interest rates. But, the low rates are not offered to all homeowners. Currently, the 30 year fixed interest rate is around 4.35%. This is only available to borrowers with good credit. Those with poor credit standing are usually given higher rates than the average.

People with bad credit who are seeking a refinance loan from Bank of America or Countywide must know that they need a credit score of at least 740 to qualify for the 30 year fixed interest rate of 4.5% or below. Moreover, their debt to income ratio must fall below 40% in order to be qualified for this refinance rate.

Sadly, the reality is, these are very difficult requirements to meet for people with poor credit. However, if they are determined to take advantage of good rates, they must try to boost their score by paying down their debts especially the ones incurring high interests. These include credit cards, payday loans and personal loans.

Moreover, even if Bank of America is considered as one of the country’s major financial institution, the low rates are not only exclusive to them. It is a common misconception of Americans with bad credit that not many lenders would want to work with them. In fact, there are plenty of institutions that are looking for customers and would welcome anyone regardless of his or her credit standing.

The website of FDIC provides a list of the mortgage lenders who can help in refinancing a home loan no matter what the status of the borrower’s credit is. There are about 7000 financial institutions all over the country with FDIC insurance that can provide assistance in home loan refinancing with the lowest mortgage rates of interest.

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Is it a Good Time to Buy a House Right Now?

Positive Economic News Despite Wall Street Challenges

Although it may seem unbelievable, economists have some positive news despite the challenging week in Wall Street.

One of this is the chance of Americans with good credit ratings to obtain the best bargains in housing prices. In the latest survey of Freddie Mac, it showed that there has been a reduction in the average rate of 30-year fixed rate mortgages. Currently, it is only at 4.32%. Aside from this, home prices are even lower compared to the previous year. According to the S&P/Case Shriller 20-city composite, prices all over the country have become lower by 46.5%. Low mortgage rates and home prices will help more individuals and families afford their first home purchase. For those that already own a home, they can also benefit from low rates by refinancing their mortgages so that their monthly payments will become lower.

The impact of lower rates also extends to the retail industry. The data of the Commerce Department from the previous week shows that there is an increase of 0.5% in their July sales. This is one of their strongest numbers since March this year.

Moreover, another report from last week showed that state unemployment benefit claims declined by 7,000 resulting to only a total of 395,000. Although it seems high, this is still a better number than what most economists are expecting.

Also, a weaker dollar is a silver lining at this time. This means that U.S manufacturers can effectively and better challenge their competitors in countries with strong currencies.

Finally, there is no better news than oil price reduction. During the spring time, prices of oil and gasoline increased. Currently, the prices are more reasonable at around $85 per barrel. Compare this with the $114 high price that it reached several months ago. The lowering oil price is evidence that there is re-balancing in the economy. When oil is cheaper, gasoline is more affordable. This will help consumers save more money.

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