Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks Inc. has informed employees that it will cut 800 positions in its mortgage business. The bank joins others in a trend that's led to lost jobs as mortgage interest rates rise and fewer homeowners refinance their loans.
More than forty percent of Georgia homeowners with mortgages owe more money than their houses are worth, according to new data. But at the same time, real estate companies are beginning to buy up properties in Georgia as investments.
A court ruling in Georgia could force those foreclosing on homes to disclose who actually owns the loan. The ruling last month said that the name of the owner of a mortgage must appear in foreclosure filings and notices sent to delinquent borrowers.
Georgia had about 50 percent more mortgage fraud over the last five years than it should based on the number of new home loans in that time. A new report from LexisNexis finds the amount of fraud in the Peach State might be decreasing, however.
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) wants to see the end of government-owned mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and he has filed a proposal to phase them out over 10 years. Isakson’s bill would replace Fannie and Freddie with a single Mortgage Finance Agency to guarantee residential mortgages. After 10 years, that agency would become a private entity.
Foreclosures by the nation’s 14 top mortgage services are under review. The office of the Comptroller of the Currency said Tuesday that the banks are sending notices about free reviews to four million people. It’s in response to allegations earlier this year that banks wrongly foreclosed on thousands of people.
Half of metro Atlanta homeowners are upside-down in their mortgages, according to fourth-quarter data from Zillow.com, but the rest of the state is in better shape. Nearly 22 percent of mortgage-holders are underwater in the Augusta metro area, and experts say rural areas probably have fewer than that.