The two main fixed-rate mortgage rates were essentially unchanged on Monday. The average 30-year mortgage rate fell one basis point to 4.17% (one basis point equals a hundredth of a percentage point), which equates to a $487.27 monthly payment per $100,000 borrowed. A month ago, the equivalent payment would have been lower by $18.02.

The average 15-year mortgage rose by one basis point, to 3.34%, equating to a $707.05 monthly payment per $100,000 borrowed. A month ago, the equivalent payment would have been lower by $15.99.

Rate (National Average)

Today

1 Month Ago

30-year fixed jumbo

4.68%

4.43%

30-year fixed

4.17%

3.87%

15-year fixed

3.34%

3.01%

30-year fixed refi

4.20%

3.93%

15-year fixed refi

3.36%

3.07%

5/1 ARM

3.60%

3.24%

5/1 ARM refi

3.85%

3.52%

5/1 ARM: ADJUSTABLE-RATE MORTGAGE WITH AN INITIAL FIXED five-YEAR INTEREST RATE. DATA SOURCE: BLOOMBERG. RATES MAY INCLUDE POINTS.

European banks: Burying the ghost of the mortgage crisis

This week could be pivotal in drawing a line on the credit crisis, with two major European banks reportedly close to multibillion-dollar settlements with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the mis-selling of mortgage-backed securities during the credit bubble.

First, Reuters reported that Deutsche Bank could announce a settlement with U.S. authorities as early as this week. In September, the German bank confirmed that the Department of Justice had opened negotiations with a proposed $14 billion settlement. The magnitude of that number spooked investors, who sold the shares down to a 24-year low; the shares have since rebounded but remain down by nearly a quarter for the year. The final settlement is likely to be substantially lower than $14 billion; nevertheless, Deutsche Bank's stock was down 4.5% on Monday.

Then, Reuters -- they have this beat covered! – reported that the DOJ has advanced a settlement amount of $5 billion to $7 billion to Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second-largest bank, with regard to an investigation into the bank's sales of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.

At the end of September, Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam said that European banks were "not really investable, as a sector." If Deutsche and Credit Suisse do announce settlements with U.S. authorities, it would certainly help to bury the ghost of the financial crisis past and bolster confidence in the sector.