Filed under: Mortgages

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Chicago-area home sales up from February

"For sale" signs line a Chicago street. (Nancy Stone, Chicago Tribune)

The median price of a condominium sold in Chicago last month beat its year-ago comparison for the first time in two and a half years, new data shows.

The median price of a condo within the city rose to $275,000, up 2.8 percent from $267,500 a year ago, according to a monthly sales report released Wednesday by the Illinois Association of Realtors. The last time Chicago condo prices recorded a year-over-year gain was in October 2008, when the median sales price of $315,000 was a 3.3 percent gain from October 2007. Get the full story »

Northern Trust CEO sees more mortgage activity

Northern Trust Corp., which caters to wealthy consumers, said it’s beginning to see more demand for mortgages as housing prices firm up.

“The mortgage pipeline is beginning to fill up,” Chief Executive Frederick Waddell told reporters Tuesday after his Chicago-based bank’s annual shareholder meeting. “There’s more interest in housing,” including refinancings. Get the full story »

Bank of America posts 37.5% decline in 1Q profit

Bank of America posted a 37.5 percent decline in first-quarter earnings Friday and named a new chief financial officer. Get the full story »

Banks, SEC in talks to settle mortgage charges

The Securities and Exchange Commission is in talks with major Wall Street banks to settle fraud allegations relating to the sale of toxic mortgage bonds to various investors that helped unleash the financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. Get the full story »

Wintrust Financial buys River City Mortgage

Lake Forest-based Wintrust Financial Corp., which operates 15 community banks in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas, said its mortgage unit has acquired certain assets and liabilities of River City Mortgage LLC. Get the full story »

Turn your house into a billboard, get free mortgage

A digital mockup of Adzookie's painting plan. (Adzooki)

Startup advertising firm Adzookie has latched on to a high-profile way to publicize itself: by turning homes into massive billboards. In exchange, Adzookie says it will pay the house owner’s mortgage every month for as long as the home stays painted.

Adzookie launched the offer on its website Tuesday — and by late afternoon, the company had already received more than 1,000 applications, according to Adzookie CEO Romeo Mendoza. One even came from a church. Get the full story »

Nearly 25% of mortgage applications rejected

During the housing boom, anyone who could fog a mirror could get a mortgage. Today, only highly qualified borrowers can get financing — let alone the best rates. The latest data from the Federal Reserve shows that nearly a quarter of people who apply for loans are turned down.

“Good borrowers with one or two blemishes on their credit are being denied credit,“ said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. Get the full story »

Fannie, Freddie execs paid $35M in last 2 years

Top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were paid handsomely in the last two years, while the government agency in charge of regulating the bailed-out mortgage backers was ill-equipped to do anything about it, according to a federal review. Get the full story »

More than 26K new loan mods in February

About 26,147 struggling borrowers received new loan terms as part of President Barack Obama’s much-maligned foreclosure prevention program, the Treasury Department said Friday. Get the full story »

U.S. mortgage brokers fail in bid to stop Fed rule

U.S. mortgage broker groups failed in an 11th-hour push to block a Federal Reserve overhaul that will limit a type of compensation that became controversial during the housing boom. Get the full story »

JPMorgan’s Dimon: No mortgage writedowns

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, right, at a conference on global capital markets competitivene in Washington, D.C (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

The head of JPMorgan Chase said Wednesday that banks would not consider writing down mortgages for homeowners who can’t make payments, an idea at the center of talks aimed at fixing the mortgage mess.

“Principal writedown for people who couldn’t pay their mortgages? Yeah, that’s off the table,“ JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said when asked about the idea after an appearance before a U.S. Chamber of Commerce forum in Washington. Get the full story »

Mortgage applications fall as rates rise

Applications for U.S. home mortgages tumbled last week as higher interest rates sapped demand for loan refinancing, an industry group said on Wednesday. Get the full story »

New mortgage-backed securities rules unveiled

U.S. bank regulators on Tuesday unveiled a proposal to overhaul the market for securities backed by mortgages and other assets, a piece of the financial system battered by the recession and financial crisis. Get the full story »

Americans put credit card bill ahead of mortgage

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Americans are more likely to pay their credit card bills than their mortgages, according to a study from TransUnion LLC. The trend, which began during the Great Recession, reflects the lingering affects of the housing crisis.

Many experts expected the payment behavior to revert by now to the old dynamic of consumers paying their mortgages first, but that has yet to happen, the Chicago-based credit score agency said. Get the full story »

Rate on 30-year fixed mortgage rises to 4.81%

Fixed mortgage rates edged up this week, but even 30-year rates below 5 percent have done little to boost home sales. Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose to 4.81 percent from 4.76 percent the previous week. It hit a 40-year low of 4.17 percent in November. Get the full story »