More homeowners shorten mortgage terms

Normally, when you see smoke wafting from a neighbor’s backyard, you assume he’s burning some leaves, or has poured too much lighter fluid on his barbecue. But there could be another reason for the conflagration: Your neighbor is torching his mortgage. 

Spurred by low interest rates and a desire to pay off their debts, homeowners are shortening the terms of their loans. In the first quarter, 34% of refinancers switched to a 20- or 15-year loan, the highest level in seven years, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac. At LendingTree, an online mortgage broker, requests for 15-year mortgages are up 30% from a year ago, says Mona Marimow, vice president of marketing… more

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