Magazine article Mortgage Banking

The Unknown

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

The Unknown

Article excerpt

It's rare that there is this much uncertainty in the outlook. Sure, interest rates have been tough to predict in the past, especially in an increasingly global economy. State and federal lawmakers can be hard to predict as well, especially as elections near. Home prices and loan volume are always hitting the skids unexpectedly. But this amount of uncertainty in (he mortgage business? Practically unheard of.

Speaking of the "I can't believe this is really happening" quality of recent news, who knew that a story this month on the interest-rate outlook would get a last-minute update clue to a historic downgrade of the nation's credit rating? The article titled "One More Blow" by Robert England quotes all the experts saying the mortgage market should prepare for rising rates. But who really knows in these unpredictable times?

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And then there is regulatory and legislative uncertainty. This is something we have in spades. The debt downgrade resulted from a game of chicken played by warring partisan lawmakers over raising the debt ceiling. In the past, this has been a routine legislative event. The debt ceiling has been raised 74 times since March 1962, virtually without incident, according to the Congressional Research Service. It is a sign of the times that in the summer of 2011 no one could predict with any certainty that this important piece of business would get done.

The uncertainty hanging over the mortgage industry right now is extreme. …

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