Housing

7:52am

Tue March 6, 2012
Business

Did The Fed Help Banks While Ignoring The Risks?

Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 12:05 pm

The Federal Reserve shrugged off warnings and let banks pay shareholders billions of dollars in dividends, ProPublica investigative reporter Jesse Eisinger says.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Since the financial crisis of 2008, the Federal Reserve has shrugged off warnings and let the largest U.S. financial firms pay tens of billions of dollars in dividends to shareholders, instead of putting aside money as capital in case a new financial crisis hits.

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3:40pm

Wed February 29, 2012
Crisis In The Housing Market

Fannie, Freddie Won't Write Down Mortgage Principal

Many experts say reducing mortgage principal can help troubled homeowners stay in their homes. But two of the nation's largest mortgage holders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have not signed on to the idea.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Despite some green shoots in the economy, the housing sector remains weak. With 11 million Americans still underwater on their mortgages, some housing experts believe it's time for more dramatic solutions.

The idea of reducing the principal on the loans of underwater homeowners used to be a fringe concept, embraced by a few outliers. Today, many policymakers believe principal reduction is necessary to keep some troubled homeowners afloat.

But so far, the nation's biggest mortgage holders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, haven't embraced the idea.

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1:24pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Crisis In The Housing Market

Cash Buyers Squeezing Out Traditional Home-Seekers

Dan Grohs (left) with real estate agent Pat Paulson in front of a foreclosed Minneapolis home. Grohs hopes to buy the house with cash.
Annie Baxter NPR

Not everyone wants to buy a mold-infested foreclosure, but Dan Grohs does.

He and his Realtor are walking through a three-bedroom house in Minneapolis. The copper pipes have been stolen by vandals and the heat doesn't work, but Grohs recently bid on the house — and he sees potential.

"It's got a nice flow to it," Grohs says as he moves through the home. "You walk in — living room, dining room, kitchen. Good spacious rooms."

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10:01pm

Wed February 22, 2012
Crisis In The Housing Market

With Banks As Landlords, Some Tenants Neglected

Luz Escamilla's bedroom walls are stained with the blood of bedbugs. She says she doesn't want to bleach them until reps from CW Capital, her landlord, pay an in-person visit to her Maryland home.
Aarti Shahani NPR

Across the country, big banks and other large investors are buying up tens of thousands of foreclosed rental properties. They're not always model landlords, according to tenants and regulators. Some banks are failing to follow local and state housing codes, leaving tenants to live in squalor — without even a number to call in the most dire situations.

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9:55am

Wed February 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Sales Of Existing Homes At Highest Level In Nearly Two Years

There were 4.3 percent more existing homes sold in January than in December, and the 4.57 million annual rate was the highest since May 2010, the National Association of Realtors reports.

Sales have gone up three of the past four months.

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