• Lenders compete for those with good credit. Remember trying to refinance during the real estate boom? You were lucky if your broker or lender returned your calls within two weeks. How that has changed since the bust of the subprime market last
  • Few lifeboats for people with mortgage troubles. The rolling tsunami of home-loan delinquencies and foreclosures is exposing serious problems in the mortgage industry's capacity to quickly handle borrowers' requests for help -- whether loan modifications, rate freezes or short sales to ward
  • Cleveland sues 21 banks for home loans gone bad. The city of Cleveland, an epicenter of the nation's home foreclosure crisis, has sued 21 banks, claiming their subprime lending practices created a public nuisance that hurt property values and city tax collections. The lawsuit was
  • Underwater mortgage? How to stay afloat. There's hardly a homeowner out there who doesn't cringe at the thought of how far their home's value has sunk over the past year. But for those who find that they owe their mortgage lender
  • Bank of America to buy Countrywide. Bank of America (BAC) said Friday it has agreed to buy Countrywide Financial (CFC) for $4 billion in stock, a deal that both rescues the country's biggest mortgage lender and expands the financial services empire of
  • Baltimore sues subprime lender over race. The city of Baltimore yesterday sued a major national lender for engaging in what it describes as abusive practices that have created a foreclosure crisis in black neighborhoods and eroded city coffers. The suit, filed
  • Forecasters: No quick end to housing ills. It could be a long slump. Housing prices in Massachusetts and the nation likely will keep falling through next year and beyond, according to a growing chorus of economic forecasters. Eric Rosengren, president of the
  • Bush mulling boost for the economy. President Bush said Tuesday that he is watching very carefully to see if the struggling U.S. economy needs a short-term boost from the federal government. "We're listening to different ideas about what may or
  • Countrywide tells judge it 'recreated' letters. The Countrywide Financial Corporation fabricated documents related to the bankruptcy case of a Pennsylvania homeowner, court records show, raising new questions about the business practices of the giant mortgage lender at the center of the
  • Foreclosure hotline looks for help. A month after the Bush Administration announced a plan to help troubled homeowners, one foreclosure counseling agency is looking for some help of its own. "[We have] plans to hire new managers, counselors and customer
  • Too good to be true tax myths. Every year at this time, I write a series of tax-related columns. The goal is to provide guidance for homeowners preparing to file income tax returns. Normally, millions of Americans try to file well before
  • Ways to cope despite real estate's dire outlook. If you'd asked housing economist David Seiders at this time last year to forecast the real estate industry's future, he would have told you to expect "a recovery year" in 2008. "That outlook has been cut
  • Your money: A gaze back, a look ahead. Los Angeles Times Business columnists share resolutions and admonitions for a rewarding 2008. From Kathy Kristof, David Lazarus and Tom Petruno.



  • How a bank fell victim to loan fraud. Kathy Moore's loan application sailed through the mortgage desk at Lehman Bros. Bank, and little wonder. With sterling credit, deep pockets and two appraisals pegging the value of the Benedict Canyon house she wanted to
  • Reverse mortgages hit by deceit. With the housing market in decline, unscrupulous sales agents are popping up in the booming reverse-mortgage industry, where reports of deceptive and high-pressure sales tactics are worrying lawmakers and consumer advocates alike. Both say thousands
  • New California borrower, buyer protections. When the calendar turns to Jan. 1, several new real estate-related laws will come into effect, the most notable of which include state measures requiring greater disclosure of nontraditional mortgage products and of private transfer fees
  • More hoops for borrowers. If you hope to get a mortgage this coming year, look beyond your credit score, because that's what lenders will be doing. The mortgage mess that has grabbed the attention of politicians, economists and investors
  • Reason for hope next year. Queen Elizabeth II once famously referred to her "annus horribilis," a horrible year during which almost everything went badly, from royal-family scandals to a fire in Windsor Castle. The American housing market experienced its own
  • Mortgage probes face big hurdles. he nation's largest banks are losing billions of dollars from the mortgage debacle. But will pain from bad housing bets be compounded by government investigations? As credit woes sparked by the troubled housing market threaten
  • Mortgage mess has government scrambling. After a slow and stumbling start, Washington is scrambling to prevent the unfolding mortgage crisis from pushing the country into recession during an election year. There is a strong feeling, though, that the government will

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