Kenneth Harney

Less Stigma, More Ditched Mortgages?

Social Stigma vs. Financial Self-Interest Across U.S., Food Stamp Use Soars and Stigma Fades –Headline, The New York Times (11/28/09) [A new academic paper] argues that far more of the estimated 15 million American homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages should stiff their lenders and take a hike. –Kenneth Harney, “The Moral Dimensions of...
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Tax Trial Balloons

Gov’t. Financial Squeeze = Homeowner Squeeze? The mortgage-interest deduction has been a political no-go zone for decades. The same for local property-tax write-offs. But with billowing deficits and the need to raise trillions to help pay for health-care reform and the economic stimulus bills, somewhere, somehow, Congress is going to be pressed to raise revenue....
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High-end Double Whammy

Jumbo Loan Premium to Shrink With the collapse last year of the private mortgage bond market on Wall Street, home buyers, builders and refinancers who relied on jumbo financing were left with few sources except at punitively high interest rates and huge down payments. –Kenneth Harney, “A Big Boost for Buyers Seeking Jumbo Loans” (The...
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Fannie & Freddie "Add-On Fees"

“Airline Pricing” Spreads to Mortgages Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac say they are tacking on extra fees to counter higher risks and losses associated with certain loan products, buyer equity stakes and credit scores . . . However, real estate agents, mortgage bankers and brokers are incensed at the new round of fee increases,...
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