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.

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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.

Alex Dumortier, CFA has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.