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Mortgage Rates Ease for Second Consecutive Week

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 17, 2018 - 12:00am

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate dipped again, relieving some borrowers.

Categories: Real Estate

Economists: Builders Add More Inventory, But Not Enough

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 17, 2018 - 12:00am

“Given the chronic lack of affordable housing and rapidly escalating home prices, it is worrisome that the country is producing new single-family housing stock at a rate that is similar to the trough of a typical recession,” Freddie Mac’s chief economist says.

Categories: Real Estate

Hot Midwest Markets Are Winning More Buyers

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 17, 2018 - 12:00am

The region dominates in realtor.com®’s latest hottest housing market list.

Categories: Real Estate

New Tool Pinpoints the Best Days to Sell a Home

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 17, 2018 - 12:00am

A HomeLight feature helps drill down to the market level and get a snapshot of a seller’s best chances for maximizing their sales price or selling quickly.

Categories: Real Estate

Redfin: Bidding Wars Fuel Surge in Home Prices

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 16, 2018 - 12:00am

“To win, [buyers] will likely have to raise their offer price and waive contingencies,” says company spokeswoman Rachel Musiker.

Categories: Real Estate

Airbnb Investment in Apartment Buildings Irks Tenants

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 16, 2018 - 12:00am

The home-sharing company plans to turn 14 multifamily properties into short-term rentals by 2020.

Categories: Real Estate

Cities Expected to Get the Most New Residents in Q3

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 16, 2018 - 12:00am

These metros may soon see a boost in production for local agents, home improvement stores, and moving companies.

Categories: Real Estate

HUD Backs Off on Rule It Says Stifles Affordability

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 15, 2018 - 12:00am

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is taking steps to amend a fair housing rule that intended to combat segregation, claiming it was "suffocating" efforts to build affordable residential options.

Categories: Real Estate

Home Searches Are Stretching on Longer

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 15, 2018 - 12:00am

Be prepared to work with house hunters over months, not weeks, before they ultimately find a home to buy.

Categories: Real Estate

Millions of Consumers Getting a Credit Score Boost

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 15, 2018 - 12:00am

Sweeping changes in how several credit reporting agencies factor negative financial information is prompting millions of consumers’ credit scores to increase.

Categories: Real Estate

Why Aren’t You Earning More?

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 14, 2018 - 12:00am

Unemployment is low and the economy is growing, but home sales are going down for many real estate professionals. Here’s why.

Categories: Real Estate

Sticker Shock Over Price Per Square Foot in Manhattan

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 14, 2018 - 12:00am

New York’s central area is more than twice as expensive as any other city in the U.S. on a per-square-foot basis.

Categories: Real Estate

Wildfires May Make Insurance Harder to Get in California

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 14, 2018 - 12:00am

The state’s Department of Insurance is warning homeowners about the headaches they will likely face.

Categories: Real Estate

Are Homeowners Overextended With Kids’ College Costs?

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 14, 2018 - 12:00am

The wave of foreclosures during the Great Recession was blamed on rising unemployment and subprime loans. But a new study suggests something more.

Categories: Real Estate

5 Most Affordable Places for Outdoor Enthusiasts

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 14, 2018 - 12:00am

You won’t find Denver, Boulder, or Honolulu on this list: a recent study pinpoints outdoorsy meccas that also offer reasonable housing markets.

Categories: Real Estate

Borrower Beware: Soon It Will Be Tough to Unload College Loans

RisMedia Consumer News - August 13, 2018 - 2:33pm

(TNS)—Here’s a good reason to think twice about taking out piles of student loans after watching a catchy TV ad for a for-profit college.

The U.S. Department of Education is on a path to make it far tougher to get federal college loans forgiven using the argument that the school cheated you out of a good education by misleading you about job prospects or engaging in fraud.

The new rule—now under a public comment period—would apply to students seeking loans after July 1, 2019.

Consumer watchdogs, of course, charge that bad actors are getting a pass here. It would be up to students to prove that the school knowingly made false statements. What’s most troubling is that we’re often talking about low-income students, minority students or military veterans who have taken out loans to attend for-profit schools as they seek to build a better life and get training for a good-paying job.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has said the proposal lays out clear rules schools must follow, while protecting students from fraud. The administration maintains that the current rules had been too broadly interpreted, leaving taxpayers on the hook and opening the door for frivolous claims.

Yet many borrowers could be burned here. We’re looking at yet another reminder of why it’s savvy to be skeptical when costly for-profit colleges aggressively recruit you and make breathless promises about grants and financing.

All graduates don’t get good jobs.
Some schools do go out of business unexpectedly; others provide misleading claims and don’t provide a degree that employers really value.

Two years ago, for example, ITT Tech shut its doors following sanctions by the U.S. Department of Education. The sudden shutdown meant that students were able to seek a discharge of federal student loans—but not private student loans—from the federal government. For-profit Corinthian College closed its campuses in 2015, leaving students unable to complete their programs.

Often consumers find the pitch surrounding some for-profit programs very appealing. They’re looking to get on the fast path to a new, more promising career. Yet many students borrow heavily—too heavily—to chase those dreams.

Robin Howarth, senior researcher for the Center for Responsible Lending, says there’s growing concern that students attending for-profit schools can end up owing a great deal of money but only have limited potential for obtaining a job with a substantial paycheck in return.

The consumer watchdog group released a report in June that indicated, for example, that students face very high tuition and fees at for-profit colleges in order to receive training for healthcare support jobs. Many students borrow most of the money, but the jobs they find don’t pay enough to cover their living expenses and all that debt.

“Students need to pay very close attention to what kind of earnings are achieved,” Howarth says.

It’s important to look beyond average salaries in the medical field and look at the kinds of jobs obtained by students who attended that program.

Many times, Howarth says, earnings for similar programs are less when the student has attended a for-profit school than if the student studied a similar program at a public or private nonprofit college.

Often, Howarth says students may be better off obtaining training at a community college at a far lower cost.

Proving fraud isn’t easy for student borrowers.
Kurt O’Keefe, a Grosse Pointe Woods attorney who has a blog called “Discharge Student Loans,” says student borrowers would still face significant challenges under the new rules, if they want to try to get loans forgiven if they claim they were defrauded by the schools.

“Failing to deliver requisite skills and knowledge is a tough one to litigate,” O’Keefe says. “The schools will say the student just failed to learn.”

In addition, he noted that many who find themselves in such circumstances are from lower-income families and cannot afford to take legal action.

“A right that costs money to exercise, legal fees for your lawyer, does not help much when you are talking about people who cannot pay their loans to begin with,” O’Keefe says.

O’Keefe says the real problem is one that he refers to as “the triangle.”

“The schools get the money whether the student gets value or not, the government (usually) lends the money and chases the borrower for repayment. The schools have no skin in the game,” he says.

Part of the draft rules would allow the Department of Education to seek reimbursement for forgiven student loans from the institutions and that is good, he says.

“It would hurt scam schools and schools with scam programs, and could be used against any institution, public or private,” O’Keefe says.

Under a current regulation, borrowers with federal student loans might be able to get debt relief when they claim they were misled about the cost and quality of the education. It’s called the “Borrower Defense to Repayment” rule.

The Education Department notes students may be eligible for borrower defense regardless of whether your school closed or you are otherwise eligible for loan forgiveness under other laws.

Consumers with questions or pending claims regarding borrower defense may call the Department of Education’s hotline at 855-279-6207 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays. As of January, the Department of Education has received 138,989 claims—and 23 percent had been processed. The bulk of the claims processed were associated with Corinthian and ITT.

New rules would save the government billions.
The proposed change in regulations would significantly limit the situations under which borrowers could qualify for financial relief, says Mark Kantrowitz, publisher and vice president of Research for Savingforcollege.com.

“The changes appear intended to primarily reduce costs to the federal government,” Kantrowitz says. “While the previous regulations may have been too permissive—allowing cancellation of debt based on just accusation of wrongdoing—the new regulations go too far in the opposite direction. As the lender, the federal government should have some responsibility to the borrower.”

It’s estimated that the new proposal could save the federal government nearly $13 billion over the next decade.

It’s a substantial savings, given that the Education Department had put a $14.9 billion price tag over the next decade for the program under the more-broadly defined regulations.

The new regulations would permit the U.S. Department of Education to provide partial relief instead of cancelling all of the borrower’s loans, depending on the level of harm suffered, he says.

Under the new rules, borrowers would need to prove that the college intended to defraud—a very difficult standard.

Also significant: Only borrowers already in default could apply for relief under the proposed rules. As a result, a borrower who was actively repaying the loans wouldn’t get help.

“This might lead some borrowers to intentionally default on their federal student loans,” Kantrowitz says.

Defaulting can seriously harm your credit score, and drive up borrowing costs when you want to take out a car loan, home mortgage or open up a credit card. A default will be reported to credit bureaus.

Most often, you do not want to go into default. If you default on student loans, you will be subject to collection charges and wage garnishment, and the government can seize your income tax refund, too.

©2018 Detroit Free Press
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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The post Borrower Beware: Soon It Will Be Tough to Unload College Loans appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Latin America Agrees to Standardize Ethics Rules

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 13, 2018 - 12:00am

Real estate associations in the region sign an accord with NAR to promote and enforce the Code of Ethics.

Categories: Real Estate

Erosion, Sea Levels Threaten Viability of Waterfront Homes

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 13, 2018 - 12:00am

Disappearing coastlines may prompt affluent home buyers to shun oceanside communities.

Categories: Real Estate

Median Age of Maturing U.S. Housing Stock is 37

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 13, 2018 - 12:00am

As homes in the U.S. get older, there could be expensive repercussions for homeowners.

Categories: Real Estate

The U.S. Should Have 2.4M More Households Than It Does

NAR Daily News Magazine - August 13, 2018 - 12:00am

Even with a strengthening economy, young adults are choosing not to step out on their own and buy their first home.

Categories: Real Estate