Mortgage woes? Tell it to them!

Well, now you have a place to complain, gripe, and deal with all your mortgage issues and woes.  Developed by the Obama administration, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now open for business.  And they want to hear all about your mortgage problems.  This government agency has been mostly dealing with credit card complaints (talk to them about that, too) but now want to hear about mortgages.  

When you get to their page, you can easily submit your complaint, watch a YouTube video from their director, and connect with them via Facebook or Twitter.  According to this Chicago Tribune article, when they initially opened up to hear credit card complaints, they received over 5,000 and were able to resolve over 3,100!  They’re hoping to handle complaints through the end of this year.  

As I mentioned, the easiest way to contact them is via their Web site.  However, they’re also reachable via postal mail at P.O. Box 4503, Iowa City, IA 52244, fax 855-237-2392, or telephone 855-411-2372.  Please be aware that it is not a toll-free number.  But they did mention that they’re hoping for virtually no wait time to speak to a representative.

You can also create an account through the site and visit often to check the status.  You can also view correspondence between CFPB officials and members of Congress as well as recent press releases regarding the bureau.  

I’d love to hear if anyone has submitted a complaint through you and whether they were successful in resolving it or not.  I hope that this is another avenue the government has established to take care of those underwater and remove some of the excess inventory we’re seeing on the market.  Please post your story if you have one in the comments!

Positive mortgage news for the week

Lots of good news on the mortgage front this week.  First of all, rates are currently at their lowest than they have been in 6 weeks.  Freddie Mac said that the average rate for 30-year- fixed mortgages was 5%.  Last week it was 5.06%.  Still not as great as last year when it was 4.84% but definitely still low comparatively.   Those interested in adjustable rate mortgages will be happy to hear that those rates are down as well, with an average of 3.97%.  This is definitely worth looking into for buyers who are planning to buy but know ahead of time they don’t plan on staying for more than a few years in that home. 

The other good news is that for the first time since 2006, late mortgage payments have dropped.  Could this be the first sign that the housing market may start to turn around?  The number of houses selling is definitely increasing.  It’s just values that are still a lot lower than expected and more foreclosures popping up.  But if people aren’t having as much trouble, whether that’s because of loan modifications or other assistance, we might see the number of foreclosures decrease in the near future, allowing values to steadily climb back up.

Credit Reporting Agency TransUnion says, “We cannot characterize it as a trend yet, but we anticipate that things will continue to improve.”  They say creation of jobs and more people out of the unemployment line could be contributing to this news.  TransUnion measures the rates by payments that are at least 60 days late.  They’re estimating a possible rate of 6.3% of late payments by the end of this year.  It’s currently 6.77% and was 6.89% in the fourth quarter of 2009.

They’re thinking it could be as low as 5% by the end of 2011.  Late mortgage payments in the past (before we hit the housing market situation we’re in now) were as low as 1.5% or 2%.  Those states with the highest amount of late payments include California, Florida, Arizona, and Nevada, which is at 15.98%.  The two states with the lowest percentage are North Dakota and South Dakota.  You can read more about TransUnion through USA Today’s page here.

While the first time buyer tax credit is expired if you’re still looking for a home, don’t forget you can take advantage of Coldwell Banker’s seller assist program, earning up to $8,000 back for certain properties.  Please visit me online for more info.