One important reason the home loan market works so poorly is that borrowers have no reliable way to select the loan originator - the individual who takes the borrower through the loan process. LOs are loan officer employee of a lender or broker, or a broker herself. The problem is that LOs have a financial incentive to use the large knowledge gap between themselves and borrowers for their own benefit.
Q: The board at our condominium fired the management company a few months ago and took over managing the association. Things aren't going well. We have been told to mail our payments to an unsecured mailbox at the clubhouse. Membership records are being stored in the clubhouse restrooms. Is there anything we can do to fix this?
Because of the widespread belief that homeownership is valuable, the recent decline in the homeownership rate has generated some dismay. The rate, which had peaked at 69.1 percent in 2005, shortly before the financial crisis, has since fallen to 64.8 percent. This is the lowest it has been since 1995.
Q: We've been turned down repeatedly for loan modifications and have been stuck in foreclosure for several years. Truthfully, we don't need and can't afford this much house anyway. The court has scheduled the foreclosure auction for about six weeks from now. Is there anything we can still do to soften the blow from all of this? - Gail
Northern San Joaquin Valley home values made remarkable gains in 2013, with home sale prices soaring by more than 20 percent in most cities. Denair led the pack, skyrocketing 48.3 percent, while median-priced homes in Patterson posted 40 percent gains, according to just-released annual statistics from DataQuick.