Welcome to American Title Guaranty!

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American Title Guaranty and their underwriters provide stability, integrity, experience and personal service that home buyers and sellers should insist on.

Protect yourself against the loss due to title defects. Insist on title insurance policies from American Title Guaranty, Inc.

Please let us know if there are other things you’d like to see on the website or there is anything else we can do to help you have peace of mind in your unique situation.

FHFA Said to Plan Steps to Ease Lending to Riskier Buyers

By Clea Benson  Oct 17, 2014 2:54 PM CT

bloomberg10-21-14Fannie Mae (FNMA),Freddie Mac and their regulator are nearing agreement with mortgage issuers on efforts to boost lending and ease banks’ concerns that they will get stuck with bad loans when borrowers default.

The initiatives include a consensus on when defaulted loans are so flawed that lenders must buy them back from the two mortgage-finance companies, a key sticking point in efforts to unlock credit, according to three people familiar with the discussions. The steps are part of a broader push to increase lending after banks had to repurchase billions of dollars of mortgages that were issued during the housing bubble.

The banks’ reticence has kept first-time homebuyers and others with weak credit out of the real-estate market and created a drag on the fragile housing recovery.

Read more…

How mortgage rates affect car purchases, credit card debt and jobs

By Dina ElBoghdady October 9

washpost10-14-14Back when interest rates plummeted, homeowners with adjustable-rate mortgages ended up saving $150 per month on average, which dramatically reduced their chances of falling behind on their loans.

But that’s not all. The savings also led to more automobile purchases among those borrowers, less credit card debt, and more jobs in their communities, according to researchers at the University of Chicago, Columbia Business School and Fannie Mae.

This goes to show that the Federal Reserve policy that pushed mortgage rates lower all those years ago helped stimulate consumer spending and rev up the economy, just as the Fed had hoped, the researchers said in a working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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Weisman: You’re not helpless against cybercrime

Steve Weisman, for USA TODAY9:15 a.m. EDT October 5, 2014

usatoday10-3-14National Cybersecurity Awareness month began auspiciously with the disclosure by JP Morgan Chase through a required SEC filing that the massive data breach it suffered this summer involved more than 76 million households and 7 million small businesses.

There is little as customers that we can do about the security of the companies andgovernment agencies with which we conduct business, but there are things we can do to protect ourselves from identity theft and the effects of massive data breaches which are now a part of modern day life. Living in a digital world requires some basic precautions and now is a good time to implement them in eight simple steps.

The first step is to change your password regularly, such as every six months. A good password has a mixture of capital letters, small letters, symbols and digits. Don’t use any word in the dictionary because hackers have computer programs that can guess your password in a matter of seconds. Instead use a phrase, such as IHate2UsePasswords!!. This is a very secure password. You should also have a separate and distinct password for each of your accounts. To make things simple, you can merely adapt your basic password by adding a couple of distinguishing letters for each account. For example, you could make this your Amazon password by adding the letters “Am” at the end of your basic password so it reads IHate2UsePasswords!!Am.

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Conventional Loans Dominate U.S. Mortgage Market

SEPTEMBER 29, 2014
by DAN GREEN

themortgagereports9-30-14Even as they’re losing market share, conventional mortgages via Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dominate today’s mortgage lending landscape.

According to mortgage origination software maker Ellie Mae, nearly two-thirds of August’s closed loans were financed with conventional loans, with the majority of the remaining closed loans spread across FHA loansand VA loans.

A small percentage of August’s closed loans were linked to portfolio and jumbo loans.

WHAT IS A CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGE?

A conventional mortgage is a home loan which is not explicitly guaranteed or insured by a government agency. Conventional mortgages are typically backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, but not always.

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Three Things to Do Before Buying Real Estate

6:30 am ET
Sept 24, 2014

wallstreetjournal9-26-14MICHELLE PERRY HIGGINS: There are three things that you must do before entering into any real-estate transaction regardless of the current situation in the real-estate market.  According to recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, 66.9% of all households in the U.S. live in owner-occupied housing. For most Americans, this is our largest purchase and it requires a well- thought-out plan.  Review the following issues before you take action.

1. Time horizon and investment goals: First, as with any investment, you must identify your time horizon. For example, if you are a purchaser, do you plan to flip the house within a year?  If so, you must believe the market will move higher in that time frame. Have you evaluated the risks that might prevent this from happening? Or, on the other hand, will this be your retirement home allowing you to endure real-estate cycles without worrying about short-term fluctuations. Understanding your expectations about the property, along with liquidity needs, will help you evaluate if the property is right for you.

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New home sales hit six-year high, but they’re still struggling

By Dina ElBoghdady September 24 at 1:14 PM

newhomesales9-24-14While the sales of newly-built homes hit a six-year high in August, the numbers aren’t as dazzling as they seem when put in context.

New home sales jumped 18 percent last month from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000, the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Wednesday. That’s 33 percent higher than a year earlier, when home prices and mortgage interest rates were climbing.

Last month’s performance blew past the expectations of many economists, including the 74 surveyed by Bloomberg, whose median prediction for the pace of  new home sales was 430,000. The activity also stands in stark contrast to the 1.8 percent drop in sales of previously-built homes last month.

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Can You Get a Mortgage With a Low Credit Score?

By Michele Lerner
Published September 15, 2014

foxbuisness9-19-14Fear of a loan denial has led some consumers with low credit scores to simply not bother applying for a mortgage. But, while you’ll still have to provide proof of your income and assets and an explanation of your low credit score, it is possible to get a mortgage with a low credit score from some lenders.

“Your credit score is a piece in the qualification puzzle, but it’s not the whole puzzle,” says Josh Moffitt, president of Silverton Mortgage Specialists in Atlanta.

‘Fair’ to ‘Poor’ is Considered a Low Credit Score

There aren’t any hard lines between a “good” and “bad” credit score. The scores break down like this:

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Fannie Mae Relaxes Waiting Period for Distressed Borrowers

Author: Brian Honea September 11, 2014

fanniemae9-16-14Fannie Mae recently released a report revising the waiting periods for distressed borrowers with a derogatory credit event such as a foreclosure, bankruptcy, short sale, or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure on their credit history to obtain a new loan.

For borrowers with a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure on their record, Fannie Mae’s new mandated minimum waiting period to become eligible for a new loan is four years. The time is shortened to two years if there are extenuating circumstances. According to Fannie Mae, extenuating circumstances are defined as “nonrecurring events that are beyond the borrower’s control that result in a sudden, significant, and prolonged reduction in income or a catastrophic increase in financial obligations.”

If a borrower has a foreclosure on his or her credit record, the new minimum waiting period is seven years. Under extenuating circumstances, that period is shortened to three years with some additional requirements for up to seven years.

Mortgage rates were supposed to rise this year. Here’s why they didn’t.

By Dina ElBoghdady September 11

washpost9-12-14washpost9-12-14Throughout the year, mortgage rates have defied expectations.

House hunters who were bracing for rates to increase instead saw them fall and then plateau in recent months,  settling in at their lows for the year.The trend continued this week, with the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 4.12 percent, barely budging from 4.10 percent last week, according to a closely-watched Freddie Mac survey.

Many firms regularly track interest rates and come up with a slightly different numbers because they survey different lenders at different times of the day or week. But most of them don’t expect rates to change much any time soon, and they’ve adjusted their forecasts to reflect that.

Unlikely Bedfellows Create 15-Year Loan for Low-Income Borrowers

BY KATE BERRY
SEP 7, 2014 8:00pm ET

nationalmortgagenews9-9-14A vexing housing policy question has created the mortgage industry’s ultimate odd couple.

Ed Pinto, a conservative housing critic at the American Enterprise Institute, has teamed up with Bruce Marks, a liberal consumer advocate who leads Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America, to chase an elusive goal: invent a viable mortgage that could help low-to moderate-income borrowers build wealth rather than just accumulate debt.

On Monday they will announce their “Wealth Building Home Loan” product at a mortgage conference in Raleigh, N.C.