Recommended Publications

Consumer Action would like to recommend these selected publications created by other organizations, corporations and the government. Our recommendations cover a variety of housing topics. The Editor welcomes your feedback and suggestions. Click here to e-mail the editor.

Mortgage loan relief for disaster victims. The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) has produced a guide to assist those helping homeowners struggling after a hurricane, flood, fire or other natural disaster.

Risks of reverse mortgages (video). The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has created a short video to explain the risks of reverse mortgages. To learn more about whether this is a good use of your home equity also see the CFPB's new guide.

New mortgage modifcation program for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. NerdWallet explains the new home loan modification program that takes effect October 1, 2017. Flex Modifications are intended to reduce monthly mortgage payments by about 20% and help prevent foreclosure.

Fannie Mae expands access to credit. Fannie Mae will allow new borrowers to increase their debt-to-income (DTI) ratio from 45% to 50% for mortgage loans. Urban Institute believes this increase could add 95,000 new home loans per year, particularly for Black and Latino families. Urban's analysis is that this move will expand credit with little risk.

Spanish-English glossary of real estate terms. A new Spanish-English glossary of commonly used real estate terms has been released to help real estate agents and brokers make the home buying process more manageable for consumers who seek to better understand the complexities of a mortgage transaction in Spanish. The glossary offers both formal and colloquial translations of key mortgage terms.

CFPB issues new foreclosure prevention protections. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized rules for mortgage servicers that strengthen consumer protections when a home loan is transferred, provide protections for surviving family members who inherit property, and require that certain borrowers be considered for a loan modification more than once.

Reverse redlining case awards nearly $1 million to victims of predatory lending. Here is the story of the first-ever federal jury to have found a lender, Emigrant Savings Bank and Emigrant Mortgage Company (NY), liable for discrimination in the sale of toxic mortgages to Black and Latino homeowners with low credit scores.

Fannie Mae offers mortgage loan documents in Spanish. Fannie Mae has created Spanish language mortgage origination documents such as home loan application, loan estimate, loan closing disclosures and an adverse action notice to help bridge language barriers during the home buying process.

CFPB Glossary of Financial Terms - Spanish. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has created a glossary of important financial terms - including mortgage terms - such as promissory note, short sale and loan modification. One version is available in Spanish. Another has been translated into Chinese.

CFPB Home Loan Toolkit. This step-by-step booklet guides consumers through the mortgage shopping, home buying and mortgage closing process. It warns of pitfalls to avoid and helps make this complex process understandable. The guide is also available in Spanish.

Interactive map: The Uneven housing recovery. While the housing market in many of our country's major cities has rebounded since the foreclosure crisis, many markets in other parts of the country are actually getting worse, according to research by the Center for American Progress (CAP). More than seven million homeowners are still underwater struggling to avoid foreclosure, says CAP. See which counties remain hardest hit today.

CFPB Monthly Complaint Report: Mortgage Complaints. Complaint reports from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) focus on a different issue each month providing a snapshot of complaint trends by type, state and company, and highlight actual complaints reported by consumers. Mortgage complaints highlight continued problems preventing foreclosure and trouble when home loans are transferred.

CFPB Monthly Complaint Report: Credit Reporting Issues. Complaint reports from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) focus on a different issue each month providing a snapshot of complaint trends by type, state and company, and highlight actual complaints reported by consumers.

Owning a Home Cover Art Owning a Home. Designed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Owning a Home features an interactive, online set of resources and tools to help borrowers.

Shelterforce Cover Art Shelterforce. The nation’s oldest continually published community development magazine brought to you by the National Housing Institute (NHI).

CreditSmart in Spanish helps people plan for homeownership. Freddie Mac offers online financial tools in Spanish to assist families in achieving the skills needed for homeownership

Public access online to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched an online tool to provide consumers with easy access to public mortgage information collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The tool enables greater transparency by helping inform people of trends in their local mortgage markets.

5 Tips for Shopping for a Mortgage Cover Art 5 Tips for Shopping for a Mortgage. The Federal Reserve Board recommended 5 tips for shopping for a mortgage for consumers.

Foreclosure Rescue Scams Cover Art Foreclosure Rescue Scams. This brochure highlights common foreclosure rescue scams, and provides resources for Santa Cruz and Monterey County residents facing foreclosure or foreclosure rescue scams.

Foreclosure Mitigation Toolkit for Communities. The Federal Reserve Board of Governors created this "toolkit" to help communities assess the foreclosures in their areas, reach troubled homeowners, and provide support for displaced homeowners.


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