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Fournier Law Blog

Intelligent legal insight from our team of experienced attorneys.

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Agree on Relaxed Lending Rules forHome Mortgage Loan

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New lending rules drafted by mortgage powerhouses Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should make it easier for home buyers with less-than-perfect credit to obtain financing. The new lending guidelines, which are expected to be announced soon according to an article in the Los Angeles Times, should encourage lenders to approve home loans for the average consumer whose credit score took a slight hit in the wake of The Great Recession. Among the benefits consumers can expect from the relaxed guidelines is a reduction in the minimum down payment from 5% to 3%.

To learn about other anticipated changes, read the entire
article
:

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Falling Foreclosure Rates in Chicagoland

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Even though Chicago’s foreclosure rate is still slightly higher than the state average, foreclosures in the Chicagoland are have been falling at a rate of approximately 1.6 percent annually.  In July, the foreclosure rate for the Chicago area was 2.6 percent.  A recent report confirmed that the national foreclosure rates are also continuing to drop each month.  Hopefully, the further we continue to move past mortgage and financial crisis of 2008, the problem of foreclosures will continue to decrease.

For the full story read, “Falling
Foreclosure Rates Represent A Housing Market That’s Bouncing
Back.

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Engineers and Baby Boomers Help Boost 12 Hottest Real Estate Markets

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The top 12 real estate markets in the country right now all seem to haveone thing in common according to a recent article posted by Real Estate News. They are all home to young engineers or baby boomers headed toward retirement. According to the article, strong housing demand seems to follow young math and science professionals who generate better-than-average salaries at technology companies and seasoned professionals who are looking to make a housing change because of retirement. Sitting at the top of the list of the hottest real estate markets is Oakland, CA.

Read the full article for the entire list.

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Downtown Chicago Apartment Tower Sells for Record Price

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Related Midwest closes record deal on a once-distressed Wacker Drive apartment tower. Check out the impressive per-unit-price they cleared here.

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Default Borrowers Could Score Free Homes in Some States

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Want a free house? Just stop making payments on your mortgage for five years. That’s the unsettling message lenders fear that courts in Florida, New Jersey and New York will send to default borrowers if judges uphold these states’ statutes of limitations on foreclosing. According to a recent New York Times article, “there are tens of thousands of homeowners who have missed more than five years of mortgage payments” and their lenders could end up missing the opportunity to seize their homes because of a failure to complete the foreclosure process within the states’ required time-frames. Lenders say several factors have caused the long delays in foreclosing including 69 federal changes to mortgage modification programs, the need for a judge to sign off on foreclosures in these states, and an overwhelming inventory of homes with delinquent mortgages.

To learn more, read the entire article.

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Congress Approves Short Sale Tax Break for Struggling Homeowners

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Congress revives the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which offers short sellers a welcome tax break for the holidays. Get the full details here.

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Commercial Realtors React to Tax Reform Efforts to Repeal 1031 Exchanges

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Commercial realtors are weighing in on aggressive lobby efforts to repeal 1031 exchanges. The proposed 2015 tax reform would close the loophole that allows businesses and investors to defer the payment of capital gains tax on property swapped in a “like-kind” exchange. For many commercial realtors, these transactions represent 30 percent of their business. If Congress passes reform legislation that eliminates the tax deferment, commercial realtors say sellers will be more reluctant to sell their properties. The issue is so important to the health of the commercial real estate industry that realtors are reaching out to legislators to voice their concerns.
Learn more about this issue here
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Chicagoland Real Estate Market Considered Affordable

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A new affordability report has been issued by RealtyTrac that discusses the success that some real estate markets have experienced in rebounding after the housing crisis. Some areas have rebounded nicely from the housing crisis with some areas surpassing their averages pre-crisis.  For Cook County, the report revealed that prices are low relative to information available for past performance.  In other words, real estate in the Chicagoland area is considered affordable when compared to other data.

For the full article read, “New Report Talks Chicagoland Affordability.

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Chicagoland Home Sales Fall Short of National Trend

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Home sales in the Chicago area are not enjoying the same positive sales trend as other markets around the country. Last month, home sales on a national level increased by 2.2 percent year-over-year according to the latest Redfin report. However, in Chicagoland, sales actually took a dive 3.5 percent during the same period. An article in the Chicago Business Journal seeks to understand the reasons behind the negative trend. One possible cause offered by Redfin real estate agent David Yocum is the weather. He says during February and March of this year, when he is typically busy, Chicago home sales were slow due to unusually bad weather.

Read the entire article entire article
for other reasons behind the trend.

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Chicago Ranks Among Top 10 Markets to Experience Double-Digit Decrease in Housing Inventory

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With a 22.8% decrease in home listings since September 2013, Chicago is among 33 markets that have significantly fewer homes available for sale. This finding, which is based on the September National Housing Trend Report released this month by realtor.com, may signal a need for new home construction in the Chicagoland area to help alleviate the inventory shortage and give sellers more housing options. Other cities experiencing a similar crunch in housing inventory include Las Vegas, San Jose, Cincinnati, and Columbus, Ohio while some markets like Honolulu, Orlando, Miami, and Charleston, West Virginia are seeing a double-digit growth in inventory.

Read the full article.

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