Struggling Sallie Mae Turns to Private Loans and Stock Sale

December 28, 2007

By JOHN HECHINGER – Wall Street Journal
SLM Corp. cited potentially grim prospects for its main federally guaranteed student-loan business, and indicated it was accelerating its push into private loans that aren’t backed by the U.S. government.The biggest student lender, commonly known as Sallie Mae, also said that it faced a federal inquiry into its billing practices for high-return loans and a recent lawsuit from customers alleging racial discrimination. Read more

Subprimes Across the USA – nytimes

November 16, 2007

interactive mapEver wanted to see where all of those ‘Subprime Mortgages’ are concentrated throughout the nation? This interactive map over at the NY Times will give you the percentage of mortgages that are considered subprime in relation to all mortgages. As the bubbles begin to burst, the areas with higher concentration are going to be hit hardest when the foreclosures set in.

Florida, Ohio, California: Foreclosure Leaders

November 16, 2007

More than two-thirds of the nation’s 25 cities highest in foreclosure rates are located in Florida, Ohio and California. James J. Saccacio, chief executive of RealtyTrac Inc., said the number of filings at 77 of the 100 largest metro areas rose from the second quarter. There continue, however, to be “pockets of the country — most noticeably metro areas in the Carolinas, Virginia and Texas — that have thus far dodged the foreclosure bullet,” the CEO noted. Read more

Telemarketers Pay for Violating Do-Not-Call List – Reuters

November 16, 2007

PhoneWASHINGTON, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Ameriquest Mortgage Co, bed-seller Craftmatic (CRCC.PK: Quote, Profile, Research), security company ADT and other companies paid fines of $7.7 million dollars for telephoning consumers who had put their names on a do-not-call list, the Federal Trade Commission announced on Wednesday. Read more

Mortgage Survival Kit – WSJ Online

November 13, 2007

It’s a nightmare for any homeowner: An interest-rate hike pushes your mortgage payments into such costly territory that you fall behind, and soon the foreclosure notice arrives in the mailbox. So when Countrywide Financial, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, recently announced a program aimed at helping cash-strapped homeowners by canceling rate resets or modifying their loans, you could almost hear a collective sigh of relief. Countrywide estimates it will offer help to 80,000 of its customers. It’s likely that others will follow Countrywide’s example, but if your mortgage is with another lender, you still may have to negotiate a solution yourself. Here’s what you need to do. mortgage-survival-kit.pdf Read more

Countrywide’s New Scare

November 13, 2007

Subprime mortgages aren’t the only challenge facing Countrywide Financial Corp., the nation’s biggest home-mortgage lender. Some loans classified as prime when they were originated are now going bad at a rapid pace. Read more

Countrywide And Other Mortgage Servicers Use Dubious Foreclosure Fees For Profit

November 6, 2007

CountrywideFrom As record numbers of homeowners default on their mortgages, questionable practices among lenders are coming to light in bankruptcy courts, leading some legal specialists to contend that companies instigating foreclosures may be taking advantage of imperiled borrowers. Read more

EMC Mortgage Won’t Foreclose On Your Burning Home Until Flames Are Out

November 2, 2007

California Fires - AP NewswireFrom The Wall Street Journal Online: In response to the catastrophic fires that have burned at least 1,300 homes and forced more than 500,000 residents to flee in Southern California, EMC Mortgage Corporation is implementing its emergency response and crisis management plan in support of its customers affected by the devastation. Read more

Chase Changes Due Date Without Warning, Changes APR From 3.9% to 29.99%

November 1, 2007

Chase CreditSteve writes: “I was scammed big by JP Morgan Chase Credit Cards. They apparently have “floating due dates” that we had not encountered in our 10+ years as customers but somehow February of 2007 was the magic month. They moved our due date up by 3 days, our payment was two days late. They raised our interest rate from 3.99% to 29.99%…Amazingly enough, on our March bill the due date is exactly the same as January. They claim they sent us a notification letter, but I never received one. I spoke to the worst customer service person ever, Dennis Broyles, who claimed that no one in the company had the power to change my interest rate back and that he had no supervisor I could speak with. It was outrageous.” Read More

Scorned Bear Stearns Investors Lost Money, Now Want Control

October 31, 2007

Investors in two highly leveraged Bear Stearns Cos. (BSC) hedge funds that up in the summer are taking an unusual tack in an effort to probe possible wrongdoing in the fund’s operations, said a person involved with the effort. Read More

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