A Means To Lend

by Stephanie Sims

Stephanie Sims, EditorThere has been a lot of news in the world of mortgages lately – the mortgage interest deduction almost disappeared (and it still might, as it could be on the chopping block for the next sequester discussions), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) unveiled new regulations for mortgage servicers as well as new qualified mortgage standards, and while inventory continues to shrink, lending standards still seem a bit strict to agents and their clients.

For this Mortgage issue, we feature the results of our first-ever mortgage survey. We sent this survey out to hundreds of Chicago-area lenders and asked them their thoughts on the MID and incentivized programs, interest rates, products and programs, among other things, and also asked for their predictions for what will happen with mortgages this year. For some of the questions, we saw some fairly surprising results. Turn to our cover story to find out what they were.

Besides potential changes to government programs and mortgage rates staying consistently low (at press time, according to Freddie Mac, 3.42 percent for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage), the CFPB unveiled new regulations for qualified mortgages. What does that mean for you and your clients? We outline everything for you – turn to page 23 to find out.

While we aren’t sure what the future holds for some mortgage programs, it’s clear that the mortgage market is strong. Homebuyers have a lot of options to work to their advantage when it comes to purchasing a home – low mortgage rates, more loan options and more refinancing options. It’s still a buyer’s market, and it’s still a great time to buy a home.

What do you think about the results of our mortgage survey? The new CFPB regulations and qualified mortgage standards? Feel free to email me your thoughts and opinions about this issue, or about anything on our website, anytime: [email protected]

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