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Monday, July 23, 2007

ARM's To Reset

According to CNNMoney, soon more than two million adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) are going to reset at much higher rates in coming months, worsening an already suffering housing market.

Borrowers who took out hybrid ARMs in 2004 and 2005 to secure low "teaser" rates for the first two or three years of the loan may see their monthly mortgage payments climb by 35 percent or more.

In October alone more than $50 billion in ARMs will reset," according to Mark Zandi, chief economist and co-founder of Moody's Economy.com. That's a record, according to Zandi.

A buyer in 2005 with poor credit and limited means might have signed on for a $200,000 2/28 hybrid ARM, locking in a fixed rate of 4 percent for two years. After paying $955 a month, his bill would now be set to spike to $1,331, a 39 percent increase.

The tightening mortgage-loan standards could also result in short-term foreclosure spikes. Home owners with resetting ARMs, for example, may not qualify for refinancing under the stricter oversight. That could lock borrowers into unaffordable loans and they could lose their homes.

The effect of a foreclosure rise and home price slide on the nation's economy may be hard to predict but it will have an impact.

Source: CNNMoney

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