Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The next problem facing housing: Cyber security

Officially the Mortgage Bankers Association is calling this year’s National Technology Conference “Connect”. Unofficially it could probably be renamed “Let’s Talk About TRID.” However, there is another topic that is looming in the background that is gaining precedence: cyber security.



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Home eviction leads to grisly, tragic discovery

Home evictions can uncover any number of problems, but an eviction in Detroit led to a very disturbing crime scene and the arrest of a mother.



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JPMorgan’s Dimon to Sen. Warren: Hit me with a fine. We can afford it

It’s probably safe to say that of all the elected officials that walk the halls on Capitol Hill, Sen. Elizabeth Warren isn’t Wall Street’s favorite, but a newly released excerpt from Warren’s book “A Fighting Chance,” shows just how tense her interactions with Wall Street’s bigwigs can be.



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New forward-looking quarterly measure says housing is healthy

You can’t tell the players without a program, and you can’t know where housing is going unless you have as many readings as possible. To that end, Nationwide is offering a new quarterly analysis for the toolkit that’s sunny. Is it too sunny?



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Wintrust Bank to acquire North Bank

The purchase price of $17 million is “subject to possible adjustment,” Wintrust said, and will be paid in cash in exchange for all outstanding shares of North Bank’s common stock.



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Former FDIC chair unleashes sharp critique of Fannie, Freddie treatment

The sweep of Freddie and Fannie profits to Treasury puts taxpayers at a great risk of having to bailout the GSEs if, as FHFA’s OIG suggests, profitability goes south. The latest sounding the warning? The former head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Think he’s right?



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Did little-known Arizona law start the appraiser death clock?

With the passage of the new state’s budget, AMCs are emboldened to make a move towards pushing for more technology and fewer humans being involved in the appraisal process.



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CFPB releases 'Know Before You Owe' shopping toolkit

With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Know Before You Owe” mortgage rule soon coming into implementation, the CFPB released a new toolkit to guide consumers through the process of shopping for a mortgage and buying a home.



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Lone Wolf Real Estate secures massive private equity investment

Vista Equity Partners announced it is investing in Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies to help the company as it pursues new market opportunities and expands product development efforts. Right now, Lone Wolf serves nearly 10,000 real estate offices and 250,000 real estate professionals across the U.S. and Canada.



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HUD returns control of Detroit Housing Commission

Citing “consistent accountability and progress,” the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is finally handing control of the Detroit Housing Commission back to local authorities, after nearly 10 years of federal control.



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Long foreclosure processes give borrowers free home

There are still tens of thousands of homeowners who have missed more than five years of mortgage payments. And according to an interesting legal quirk, they might be able to keep their homes for free now.



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Costs up, profits down: Closing a mortgage gets more expensive

The net cost to originate a mortgage is growing and the profit from closing an origination is shrinking, despite growing loan balances and steady loan production. Can you spot the drag?



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San Francisco median home price nearly $1 million

The median home price in San Francisco is pushing close to $1 million. (Dr. Evil nods in agreement.) And their early reading for February suggests the markets they survey are strengthening.



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Home prices dropped in January from December

Home prices are slowing — they grew on an annualized basis but month-to-month they dropped. But the big problem is what’s happening with home prices versus wages. Find out why this means trouble.



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Monday, March 30, 2015

More than one-third of America holds no emergency savings

Despite marked improvement in the economy since the end of the housing crisis, millions of Americans are still on the brink of foreclosure due to a lack of savings. How bad is it?



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KBRA: High compliance costs will drive commercial lenders from mortgage space

The way things have been trending, commercial lenders don’t have much – wait for it – interest in mortgage loans. Is the sector going to continue to wane?



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Zillow: When ListHub agreement ends, we’ll have most listings ever

Zillow once feared losing a “few hundred thousand” out of the 3.6 million listings on Zillow when the Listhub agreement ends on April 7, but thanks to a set of newly signed direct listing agreements, Zillow and Trulia are now saying that they’re about to host more listings than ever before.



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3 things you need to understand about mortgage default rates

The researchers at The Urban Institute have a new report worth a look. It’s a critical read if you’re going to understand mortgage default rates. Here’s what they have to say.



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Parkside Lending continues growth

In addition to recently adding Robin Gilmore as executive vice president of operational strategy and Joann Berger as underwriting manager, Parkside also announced the additions of Gail Dolton as general counsel, Laurie Spira as chief compliance officer and Jo-Ann Krueger as closing manager.



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Mortgage brokers: Update your stump speech on mortgage lending, Mr. President

Before there was the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, mortgage brokers were already getting their house in order, NAMB says. It’s time to stop talking like it’s 2007, they charge.



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Blogatative Easing: Ben Bernanke, Brookings blogger

Ben Bernanke has gone from being the most powerful conjurer at that Hogwarts known as the Federal Reserve to being a lowly blogger for the Brookings Institute.



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Clayton Holdings acquires AVM provider Red Bell

Clayton Holdings announced it acquired Red Bell Real Estate, and its sister company, Main Street Valuation. According to the president of Clayton, this will serve as the platform and the foundation for new initiatives within the broader real estate market.



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Supreme Court revives ING mortgage bond lawsuit

As it turns out, ING’s risk exposure in the United States isn’t yet finished. The Supreme Court of the United States revived a class action case accusing ING Groep NV of illegally hiding the risks of mortgage-backed securities.



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Fannie, Freddie loans hit series high in National Mortgage Risk Index

While the overall risk index ebbed slightly in February, the risk index for Fannie, Freddie, FHA and VA loans all hit series highs. Worried?



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Sierra Pacific Mortgage harnesses Alight Mortgage Lending solution

Sierra Pacific Mortgage announced it licensed Alight Mortgage Lending, a unique financial optimization application that will help the company’s plans for future growth.



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ComplianceEase acquires Mortgage Banking Systems

ComplianceEase, a provider of automated compliance solutions, acquired the assets of Mortgage Banking Systems, a provider of mortgage document preparation and closing software solutions.



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Black Knight: Home prices essentially flat in January

Home prices flat-lined in January, according to Black Knight Financial Services. But there were peaks and valleys in a variety of housing markets. Here’s the skinny.



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Pending home sales surge again in February

Good news for the industry, especially given that 2015 is off to a bad start for housing in terms of housing starts, completions and permits. Pending home sales in February surged to their highest level since June 2013, continuing the record high set last month.



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Woman falls for real estate scam on Trulia

A woman fell victim to an Internet scam on Trulia’s real estate website after spending nearly $1,000, including sending a security deposit to a person she thought was the owner of the rental home.



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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Spring turnaround, or spring-loaded trap?

Housing and mortgage finance has had a rough time so far this year. This week could be the week it turns, or the week that turns on the industry. Either way, we’ll still have baseball.



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How to capitalize on 2015’s housing market opportunities

Both the U.S. economy and the housing market are poised for a robust start to 2015, making it critically important to be properly positioned for the potential growth. Are you applying these tips?



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Friday, March 27, 2015

B2R Finance launches first multi-borrower single-family rental securitization

Moving into a new territory for the industry, B2R Finance announced its first multi-borrower SFR securitization transaction.



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Freddie Mac completes largest sale ever of seriously delinquent loans

Shortly after releasing the new requirements for the sales of non-performing loans, Freddie Mac announced its biggest sale yet of seriously delinquent loans from its portfolio. This one is nearly the same amount as the first two pilot sales combined.



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Florida homeowners can start claiming their $6.5M from SunTrust

Here’s some good news for Florida homeowners who were impacted by SunTrust. The office of Attorney General Pam Bondi sent out official claim forms for borrowers to receive their share of the National SunTrust Settlement.



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Will the Fed’s inevitable interest rate hike break a fragile recovery?

Some are worried that the Federal Reserve’s coming interest rate hike could smothers the housing recovery. But not everyone thinks that way.



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Twitter roundup of this week's top housing articles

The list of the most-read HousingWire stories for this week is filled with some of the normal names in the mix, like the CFPB. However, another big name joined the list this week — Yahoo. This time we deliver the top-five list via Twitter. Happy Friday, everyone!



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Final 4Q GDP estimate comes in below expectations

Fourth quarter gross domestic product growth was unrevised overall, and disappointing. Here’s why it all fell short. Warning sign for 1Q15?



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Fed: Wages grew in recession, went flat in recovery

Home prices are outpacing wage growth, and it turns out that the biggest stagnation has been during the recovery, not the recession. Sound strange?



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This 1 chart may boost housing’s outlook

The rough start for housing in terms of sales and starts in 2015 may give way to a better environment as the spring season heats up. This chart may show why.



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The latest Federal Reserve data proves it’s still too hard to get a mortgage

According to the Federal Reserve, the recent news that mortgage credit availability increased slightly in February is counter balanced by the fact potential borrowers are still being rejected at a historically high rate. So, just how many are being rejected?



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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ocwen offering indemnification to company directors and executive officers

By its own admission, Ocwen Financial is facing 21 pending investigations in 15 different states, is currently facing delisting by the New York Stock Exchange for delaying the release of its annual report, and has run afoul of investors and homeowners alike. Is that why it began offering indemnification to its directors and executive officers?



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Congresswoman wants to put Fannie, Freddie profits in escrow

A congress member wants to put profits from the government sponsored enterprises in escrow. Is it so crazy it just might work?



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ACA wants NY Supreme Court to reinstate Abacus lawsuit

ACA Financial Guaranty wants the supreme court in New York state to reinstate its lawsuit against Goldman Sachs over the Abacus CDO.



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Here are the top 20 for-sale-by-owner markets

Some of the nation’s most expensive markets are also the ones where homeowners are choosing to eschew the traditional methods of real estate and sell their homes without the help of a Realtor, real estate agent or broker.



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Shaky housing market about to get even shakier

Over the past several years, despite Wall Street and the current administration’s efforts to artificially prop up the housing market with historically low interest rates and foreclosure-alternative programs such as moratoria, HAMP, HAFA and others, we discovered that the so-called housing recovery was simply rhetoric.



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Ellie Mae names new executive vice presidents

Ellie Mae is promoting two of its own into executive vice president roles. The company announced this week that it is promoting Cathleen Schreiner Gates to executive vice president of sales and marketing and Joseph Tyrrell to executive vice president of corporate strategy.



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‘Foolish’ survey: Will rising rates doom housing?

Predictions are like armpits – every economist has two of them and thinks theirs are the only ones that don’t stink. Here’s what three had to say about interest rates and home sales.



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Confirmed: White House tapping senior HUD advisor to head FHA

Former Freddie Mac executive and current senior HUD advisor is being named the new head of FHA.



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Online mortgage lender moves into New Mexico

Online mortgage lender Privlo continues to gain ground in the industry and announced its latest expansion into New Mexico. This is only the latest in a string of new expansions from Privlo.



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Lexmark purchases Kofax in massive acquisition

In a giant move for housing, Lexmark International purchased document-capture software provider Kofax for approximately $1 billion. Will this be a gamer changer for online mortgages?



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Yahoo launches feature-heavy mortgage calculator

Google made waves in the mortgage industry earlier this year when it quietly launched a built-in mortgage calculator. Yahoo is joining the mortgage calculator game as well, but its built-in calculator is far more feature-rich than Google’s option.



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Trulia’s Market Leader now available on Zillow

The fusion of Zillow and Trulia is taking another step forward, as Trulia’s Market Leader will now be available through Zillow’s Tech Connect Program.



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MIT grad’s new housing theory upsets Piketty’s work

A recent MIT graduate’s new paper puts up one of the greatest critiques to Thomas Piketty’s book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” which is renowned as one of the most influential books in history. And one the paper’s main points that is gaining ground: Housing’s role in growing returns on capital.



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FBR Capital lowers target for Nationstar, keeps future EPS estimates

FBR Capital lowered their target for Nationstar Mortgage from $30 to $25 following the company’s stock offering to raise capital and several MSR acquisitions.



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Piketty’s Folly: Wrong on inequality, wronger on homeownership

Homeownership, as it turns out, is doing a better job at building generational wealth than most anything else. It’s almost as if there’s a flaw in popular socialist economic theory.



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Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates fall even lower

The good news continues for homebuyers looking to jump into housing this spring as mortgage rates sink even lower and stay well below 4%.



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RealtyTrac: Home prices outpacing wage growth in 76% of U.S.

The housing recovery is real, but is it recovering too fast? Home prices are growing much faster than wages for a majority of the country, a new report by RealtyTrac shows.



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United Wholesale Mortgage to offer Freddie Mac 97% LTV loans

United Wholesale Mortgage is set to become the latest participant in Freddie Mac’s Home Possible Advantage program, which features 97% loan-to-value mortgages.



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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

FHFA: Refinance volume drops in January

Refinance volume dropped in January despite mortgage rates continuing to drop from the highs witnessed in late 2013. Will HARP see any revitalization?



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Home eviction leads to grisly, tragic discovery

Home evictions can uncover any number of problems, but an eviction in Detroit led to a very disturbing crime scene and the arrest of the mother for the alleged murders.



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CFPB: No concrete plans to extend TRID

Industry talk quickly spread after a speech on Wednesday by Steven Antonakes, deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he seemed to suggest that the CFPB might delay the Integrated Disclosure deadline. The CFPB is putting an end to the rumors.



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House marking up key mortgage, regulatory reform bills

Mired though they be in the bog of committee procedure and moored though they are to the whim of every committee member, key bills that could drastically improve mortgage lending and finance struggle to leave port.



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Supreme Court hears Bank of America case on second mortgages

In an interesting turn of events, a Bank of America case to decide whether homeowners can erase underwater second mortgages through bankruptcy quickly changed its course, turning into a debate over whether the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn the precedent that raised the issue in the first place.



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Wells Fargo cutting 1,000 mortgage servicing jobs

The bad news? Wells Fargo is cutting about 1,000 mortgage servicing jobs. But the good news is that the job cuts mean there are fewer legacy and problem mortgages to service.



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Fannie Mae to list risk-sharing bonds on Irish Stock Exchange

European investors seeking to buy into the U.S. mortgage market will now have that opportunity, after Fannie Mae announced that it plans to list all of its outstanding risk-sharing mortgage bonds on the Irish Stock Exchange.



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Freddie Mac: Here are the 5 top improving metro markets for housing

Although the housing market experienced a few hiccups from a tough winter, spring officially started, and as the weather warms up, so will the market. For now, the latest data from Freddie Mac shows which markets are most ready and improved for the selling season.



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NexTitle promotes Erin Sheckler to president

With Sheckler’s appointment, NexTitle will join a “small number” of title and escrow firms nationwide to be led by a female president, the company said in a release.



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Uh-oh: Most millennials don’t know about closing costs

The story about millennials not forming households and getting into homebuying is ancient history. But that doesn’t change the fact the generation remains tech savvy but knowledge poor, at least in terms of mortgage costs.



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Nationstar drops more than 10% in day's trading after $500M public offering

Yesterday’s public offering of 17.5 million in common stock by Nationstar Mortgage to raise funding isn’t pleasing investors. Here’s what’s happening on the Street.



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Mortgage applications jump 9.5% in mid-March

After just downright depressing lows for much of the first quarter, mortgage applications surged ahead last week. Here’s what happened.



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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

California home sales boom hits six-year high

Pending home sales surged in February, posting strong improvement as it enters the spring homebuying season. Is the housing market getting better in the notoriously difficult state to live in?



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Nationstar to fund MSR purchases with stock offering

In the last month, Nationstar Mortgage reached two separate agreements with Ocwen Financial to purchase nearly $35 billion worth of mortgage servicing rights. Nationstar is planning to fund those purchases by executing a public offering of common stock.



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Freddie Mac prices first high-LTV risk-sharing bond of 2015

Freddie Mac priced its first high loan-to-value risk-sharing bond of 2015, which is supported by loans with LTV ratios of 80-95%. According to Freddie Mac, the deal was greeted positively by investors.



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Is housing weakness just a seasonal blip?

Tuesday morning’s mixed news on housing sales and home prices in January and February may come down to an issue of inventory. But is it really?



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Ocwen faces delisting from New York Stock Exchange

The calendar may say that it’s officially Spring, but Ocwen Financial’s winter of discontent is nowhere close to being over. Now, the bank is facing delisting from the New York Stock Exchange because of its continued delays in filing its 2014 annual report.



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Realogy promotes two new senior executives

Realogy announced the promotion of Dea Benson to the newly created position of senior vice president of enterprise risk management. Additionally, the company promoted Tim Gustavson to succeed Benson as the company’s senior vice president, chief accounting officer and controller.



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Tulsa expansion completes SecureView nationwide reach

SecureView continues to gain ground in making a difference in blighted communities. The company provided HousingWire its three new locations, opening soon, that complete its nationwide reach.



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Mortgage lenders need to use TILA/RESPA to their advantage

The upcoming TILA/RESPA disclosure integrations and the growing mound of regulatory requirements are causing a lot of concern in the industry, but rather than being focused on staying afloat with compliance, lenders need to change their perspective. The key to capturing new market share might just be around the corner.



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New home sales rebound 25% in February

Tuesday’s report of sales of new single-family houses finally brings some positive new to the housing market after a series of rough reports at the start to the year. Could this finally be the end of the bad news?



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Ocwen speeds exodus from mortgage servicing with latest, massive MSR sale

In what’s becoming a weekly occurrence, Ocwen Financial announced Tuesday that it will sell off another massive agency mortgage servicing rights portfolio. The buyer this time? Nationstar, which is expecting more, similar deals to come.



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The top 5 most and least affordable home markets

It’s a challenging home market but realtor.com is trying to make some sense of it with the new mortgage affordability metric, and what it tells you about a given housing market is surprising.



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Here's how millennials are funding home purchases

Student debt is one of the greatest barriers to millennials trying to jump into the housing market. However, parents are evolving how they financially help their millennial kids afford a home. The days of simply helping with the down payment may be over.



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FHFA: House price growth stalls out in January

New home sales may be up, but home-price growth was flat in January, possibly reflecting the collapse of existing home sales that month, but also because the government-backed mortgages don’t include what happened with jumbos. Here’s what happened.



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Weak home sales, slowing demand hamper housing in March

Spring is rolling in like a lamb, at least in terms of home sales and housing prices, according to the latest projections for this month. Are you worried yet?



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WinWater prepping vanilla jumbo mortgage bond

For the third time this year, WinWater Home Mortgage is preparing to bring a prime jumbo residential mortgage-backed securitization to market. WinWater Mortgage Loan Trust 2015-3 is backed by 382 loans with a total principal balance of $287,742,280.



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U.S. Senator: CFPB is rogue agency dishing out malicious financial policy

It’s clear that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its behavior elicit strong opinions from Capitol Hill and beyond. And now, one U.S. Senator is calling the CFPB a “rogue agency” that needs to be seriously reined in.



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Solar panels: Home sale deal killer?

One couple panicked when selling their home and paid the $20k+ solar panel lease outright. The new owners, no doubt, appreciated the lower electricity bills. Other home sales, with solar panels, aren’t going as well.



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Freedom Mortgage looks to hire more than 75 employees

Freedom Mortgage wants to hire 75 or more new employees to fill its latest office opening in Maryland. Know someone for the position?



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This graphic sums up February’s tepid existing home sales

Monday’s existing-home sales report from the National Association of Realtors didn’t show too much improvement from January’s giant fall. This chart shows just how minuscule the change is.



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Parkside Lending adds Robin Gilmore as EVP of operational strategy

Parkside Lending, a national wholesale and correspondent lender, announced the addition of two industry veterans as part of the company’s “continued, substantial growth.”



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Ocwen fires back at “disingenuous” charges of negligence

Ocwen Financial is doubling down in its fight against a group of mortgage bond investors that accused the nonbank of failing to properly collect payments on mortgage loans and breaching its bond covenants, charging the investors, which include BlackRock, MetLife, and PIMCO, of having a “pro-foreclosure, anti-modification” agenda.



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Fannie Mae: Multifamily gains boost housing

Housing did not start the new year off well, with industry reports painting a flat market at best. But amid the less than positive news, there was one sector that is pulling the housing recovery along.



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24 more MLSs agree to send listing data to Zillow and Trulia

With the real estate listing data provided by ListHub set to disappear from Zillow and Trulia in just over two weeks, the Zillow Group is continuing in its recruitment of multiple listing services to provide direct feeds to the sites to mitigate the loss of the ListHub data. Meet the 24 newest members of the Zillow Group’s listing network.



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3D printing: A game changer for affordable housing

Across the world architects are racing to build the world’s first 3D printed houses. While the cost for these houses is a lot cheaper, they give up a lot of amenities. Could this be the answer to the nation’s lack of affordable housing?



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Existing home sales slightly rebound after last month’s plummet

While existing-home sales did tick back up slightly in February, the National Associations of Realtors’ latest report reveals the housing market still has some headwinds to overcome for the spring homebuying season.



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Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Don’t fight Mother Nature or the Fed

Whether you’re talking the mortgage investment side with agency and non-agency mortgage bonds, or the housing side with mortgage lending and home sales – it’s like everything is frozen and you want to hold, rather than let it go.



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Black Knight: Foreclosure inventory reaches lowest level since 2007

January’s jump in foreclosure starts reversed course - and then some - in February, dropping by 15% to 79,700 for the month, its lowest level since last November, and the third lowest point in at least seven years. Here’s what happened.



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Saturday, March 21, 2015

HOPE NOW: 35,000 homeowners receive loan modifications

Although the number of borrowers receiving loan modifications has declined monthly, this is not necessarily bad news for housing.



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Nasdaq delivers stern warning to Home Loan Servicing Solutions

The storm clouds hanging over Home Loan Servicing Solutions just got a whole lot darker. Late Friday, Nasdaq notified HLSS that the company is no longer in compliance with the stock exchange’s rules for continued listing due to HLSS “not having timely filed” its 2014 annual report with the SEC.



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ListHub renews agreements with Century 21 and Coldwell Banker

Thanks to new agreements with ListHub, Century 21 and Coldwell Banker will continue to receive national-level data from ListHub as members of ListHub’s Real Estate Network, ListHub announced this week.



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VRM Mortgage Services adds Tiffany Fletcher as SVP of compliance

In this role, Fletcher will be responsible for managing risk mitigation, compliance, internal audits, quality assurance and vendor management initiatives.



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Friday, March 20, 2015

Want to live in the clouds? Try Chicago

New York City is surprisingly not the winner of this list. In fact, Chicago is home to majority of the tallest residential buildings in the United States, hosting seven of the top 12.



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4 technology drivers for game-changing customer service in mortgage lending

Let’s admit it, the mortgage lending process can be cumbersome. As a technology executive at a major mortgage lender, I know this. But I believed the process was only flawed at other lenders, that is until this happened.



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Question to Realtors: Do you have what it takes to pull the trigger?

Dear real estate agents: You can’t delegate one of the most basic functions of your life, and you really shouldn’t halfway it either. Self-defense isn’t something to just dabble in.



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Zillow: Existing home sales rebound for spring homebuying?

Existing home sales should hopefully perform better in the upcoming February release after plummeting to the lowest rate in nine months. Could this trend stick around long enough for the spring homebuying season?



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California federal court holds in MERS’ favor

You can’t end-around a beneficiary under a recorded deed of trust, and they are entitled to a right to notice, a federal court in California ruled, chalking up another victory for MERS.



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CFPB plows ahead with public consumer complaint database

The CFPB says publishing consumer complaints is a win-win for the industry and consumers. People in the industry aren’t so sure. In fact, a war is brewing, and it is starting to get ugly.



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KB Home posted 1Q revenues of $580.1M beating expectations

The slowdown impacting so many homebuilders didn’t touch KB Home, which saw strong growth in profits and revenues in its first quarter. Here’s how they beat the freeze.



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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Zillow: Underwater homeowners sink deeper even as home values rise

Rising prices have freed millions of homeowners who owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth. But new Zillow data shows a troubling change in that trend.



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Freddie Mac prepping first high-LTV risk-sharing bond of 2015

Freddie Mac broke new ground last year when it offered even more credit risk with a new risk-sharing deal structure, supported by loans with loan-to-value ratios of 80-95%. Now, Freddie is back with its first high-LTV mortgage bond of 2015, STACR 2015-HQ1.



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Freddie Mac names Daniel Gardner vice president

In this role, Gardner will be responsible for the company’s efforts to responsibly increase the availability of affordable mortgage credit for low- and moderate-income borrowers and underserved communities, Freddie Mac said in a release.



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With HAMP resets looming, Fannie and Freddie authorize further modifications

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are concerned that HAMP interest rate resets could lead to a wave of defaults, so the government-sponsored enterprises are now telling servicers to offer additional modifications to keep more borrowers in their homes.



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Are you planning to buy or sell a home in August?

Right in the middle of the summer selling season, lenders will have to start implementing the CFPB’s new TILA/RESPA rule. And anyone planning to buy or sell a home during that time should take note.



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Lennar CEO: "Disappointing" single-family housing starts will rebound soon

Homebuilder Lennar Corporation reported results for its first quarter, beating earnings expectations despite difficult weather situations and tough housing markets. And according to the CEO, there is good news for the spring buying season.



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Do we really need laws protecting the 30-year mortgage?

Three New England congressmen have introduced legislation designed to protect the fixed-rate 30-year mortgage and, they say, shield American taxpayers from future bailouts by reforming the housing finance system. Think it’s a good idea?



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Judge tosses mortgage bond lawsuit seeking overturn of massive JPMorgan settlement

A lawsuit brought by a nonprofit against the U.S. Department of Justice over its $13 billion toxic mortgage settlement with JPMorgan Chase is no more, after a federal judge ruled that the group lacked standing in the case.



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Reminder: Friday is the first quadruple witching of the year

March 20 is the third Friday of March, and you know what that means – quadruple witching. Does this affect you?



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Armed Realtor freezes during sexual assault

A real estate agent from the suburbs of Phoenix was attacked and groped during an open house on March 12 after the suspect walked in and claimed to be a prospective homebuyer. Now she is fighting back to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else.



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Jobless claims rise again in mid-March

Jobless claims rose again, and the 4-week rolling average is over 300,000 again. Think this bodes well for March?



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RealtyTrac: Foreclosures will soon return to pre-crisis level

This year may finally be the year that we’re able to put the foreclosure crisis behind us. According to a new report from RealtyTrac, foreclosure activity, which includes default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, is on track to return to pre-crisis levels by the end of 2015.



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Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates low for spring homebuying season

Good news for homebuyers. Mortgage rates are staying well below 4% heading into the start of the spring homebuying season.



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Oil price collapse hits Texas jobs and soon Texas housing

Texas job growth is projected to slow to between 1-2% in 2015 from 3.4% last year. It’s an oil thing, and possibly a sign of what’s to come in shale states.



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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Risky housing policies and the slowly inflating bubble

One media report quoted DeMarco as saying that in the past year we have seen a renewed policy focus on questions regarding access to credit, which, in his view can risk repeating the approach that contributed to the financial crisis. There are many other warning signs, as well.



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A Craigslist for mortgage bond traders?

A new company is stepping up to the challenge to open new trading options for investors. Could this be a sustainable second option to The Street?



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Housing groups: G-fees aren't for unrelated federal spending

The fight against the federal government’s practice of using funds raised from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s guarantee fees to cover federal spending just got a loud vote of confidence from the housing industry’s largest groups.



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Did housing starts nosedive because of a labor shortage?

Housing analysts are still trying to figure out why housing starts nosedived in February. Was this a blip, or a bigger problem?



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Mortgage lenders want regulatory relief

Lenders say regulatory relief is needed, or else mortgage lending will continue to falter. Do you agree, or are they asking for another risky environment?



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Is more trouble brewing between Ocwen and HLSS?

It appears that there are storm clouds on the horizon for Ocwen Financial and Home Loan Servicing Solutions. Ocwen said Wednesday that it is delaying the release of its annual report because its still examining HLSS’ ability to fund new servicing advances.



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Mortgage brokers want to educate Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports says borrowers should steer clear of mortgage brokers. Mortgage brokers say Consumer Reports needs to check its facts. Here’s the story.



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FOMC: Dropping the patient, but not impatient to raise rates

The Federal Open Market Committee voted Wednesday not to raise interest rates, but it has dropped “patient” from its guidance, setting the stage for a rate hike in the second or third quarter. Here is the low-down.



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Here’s how to afford homeownership in California

California is notorious for its unaffordable housing market, and yet it is home to some of the top metros, leaving millions of people left wondering: How can anyone live there?



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Ocwen to sell $9.6 billion mortgage servicing rights portfolio to Green Tree

Ocwen Financial’s exodus from agency servicing just took another giant step forward. The company announced Wednesday morning that it intends to sell a $9.6 billion mortgage servicing rights portfolio to Green Tree Servicing, a subsidiary of Walter Investment Management.



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Was Netanyahu’s down-to-the-wire election scare because of Israel’s housing crisis?

Housing policy may seem a dry issue compared to the usual hot buttons, but according to at least one analyst, it may be why Benjamin Netanyahu almost had a close call in Israeli elections Tuesday.



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United Wholesale Mortgage adds new ARM product

United Wholesale Mortgage announced its latest mortgage product serving the high-end borrower. This is just the latest in a string of several new initiatives from the lender.



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Why are mortgage lenders optimistic in the first quarter?

Despite a severe slowdown in mortgage applications, a drop in home sales and a slowing in home price growth, lenders are feeling good. Here’s why.



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The hidden danger to Airbnb renters will cost you big time

Much is made of the risks Airbnb landlords face when using the unregulated short-term rental service. And, until now, the hidden danger to Airbnb renters is not given nearly enough attention.



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Mortgage applications drop again, down 3.9%

Mortgage applications continue to disappoint, dropping again in the second week of March after a rough patch through February. Here’s the break down.



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JPMorgan to buy $45B in Ocwen MSRs

At the end of last year, Ocwen CEO Ron Faris said the company planned to exit agency servicing entirely, and at the beginning of this month, the company revealed that it had one big MSR sale lined up. Now we know that JPMorgan Chase will buy $45 billion of Ocwen mortgage-servicing rights.



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Senators fight back against using Fannie, Freddie fees to cover federal spending

A bipartisan group of Senators, led by two of Capitol Hill’s loudest voices on housing reform, is fighting back against a “budgetary gimmick” that allows the federal government to use funds raised from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s guarantee fees to cover federal spending.



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The future of Zillow and Trulia is here

Anyone who was wondering what the future of Zillow and Trulia was going to look like needn’t wonder any longer. The future of the Zillow Group is here and it’s shared listing data between the sites.



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FHFA watchdog: Another Freddie, Fannie bailout could happen

In what will surely reignite debate on whether to recapitalize or reform the GSEs, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s inspector general says that the good times for Freddie and Fannie may not last, and they may not stay profitable.



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Here’s what Starbucks didn’t think through with #racetogether

Starbucks wants its predominantly white, life-inexperienced hipster coffee makers to talk to customers about race. This isn’t going to go well for anyone except people with a twisted sense of humor. And we’re going to love it.



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iEmergent: 2015 mortgage originations to outpace last year

Overall mortgage origination projections for 2015 are hard to estimate due to rates remaining surprisingly low into 2015. However, iEmergent released its 2015 predictions to help put numbers to its forecasts, and the numbers don’t look too shabby.



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All is not lost in housing starts free-fall, economists say

The report that privately owned housing starts in February plummeted 17% sent ripples of alarm through the housing industry, and while it’s bad, many economists say it’s no reason to panic.



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Auction.com: Investors still flip for flipping

Despite rising rents, investors still prefer fixing and flipping houses as opposed to buying a house for the purpose of renting it out, according to a new report from Auction.com. But results vary depending on whether the house was purchased at a live auction or an online auction.



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Experian: More homeowners going back to paying their mortgage

The first mortgage default rate dropped for the first time since July 2014 after months of steady increases. And as the largest component in the national index, it helped prevent a rise in the national numbers.



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Housing starts see biggest collapse since January 2007

Privately owned housing starts in February plummeted 17%, down to an annualized 897,000 from the revised January estimate of 1,081,000, with drops in the Northeast, Midwest and West leading the collapse. Are you worried yet?



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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

CoreLogic: More than 1 million homeowners regained equity in 2014

The number of homeowners achieving equity rose, and the number underwater, though still high, is falling like the price of West Texas crude. Here’s what’s happening.



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RealtyTrac: What was the average downpayment in 2014?

The more expensive the home, the greater percentage of down payment. And millennials actually put down more than the national average after the Great Recession. Here’s how it breaks out.



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Former CFPB executive highlights hot spots in TILA/RESPA

On August 1 the industry will be forced to comply with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Truth In Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau deputy assistant director helps to process the complexities of the new rules.



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Happy St. Patrick's Day: Boston’s top 7 suburbs

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so it’s time to identify the neighborhoods in Boston with the best home value appreciation. So, drink up (the knowledge)!



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Monday, March 16, 2015

Urban Institute: Are the GSEs still profitable?

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac posted incredible profit in 2013, bringing in $84 billion and $49 billion, respectively. However, in 2014, both enterprises reported a drastic drop. According to the Urban Institute, this decline in revenue will continue.



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Urban Institute: Freddie Mac won't need another bailout

Freddie Mac’s profits are drastically lower than just a couple years ago, causing concern in the industry that it could require another draw from the Treasury. But Urban Institute Senior Fellow Jim Parrott noted three reasons the industry can breathe a sigh of relief.



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Alleged killer of Arkansas Realtor will represent himself in capital trial

They say a man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client, and so the man accused of murdering Arkansas Realtor Beverly Carter is both counsel and fool for his own capital murder trial. Here’s the latest.



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Is leasing the strategy that could help boost Lennar?

Due to more first-time homebuyers struggling to secure home financing, this new strategy from Lennar might be the key to boosting its upcoming earnings. Sterne Agee analyst Jay McCanless gave his forecast for what the market could expect to see from the homebuilder.



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Man facing foreclosure sets house on fire, fakes bomb to keep firefighters away

A Massachusetts man facing foreclosure appears to have decided the best way to deal with an imminent foreclosure was to set the house on fire, and then rig a fake bomb to keep firefighters from putting the blaze out. Here’s the story.



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Has the luxury home market peaked?

There’s never a shortage of news about record-breaking sell prices for luxury homes, but it could be a warning sign when that news is about these ultra-high-end homes slashing prices because they’re not selling. Here’s the scoop.



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Homebuilder confidence takes a big dip in February

Homebuilder confidence dropped in February, and with the West leading the decline with a seven-point drop, it can’t be blamed on the weather. Here’s what happened.



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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Depressing mortgage lending part of the plan?

Why are we so surprised that mortgage credit creation is so flat? According to one analyst it was all part of the plan. Here’s what he means, and a whole lot more.



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Sunday, March 15, 2015

@DevinsChocolate : πŸ‘½πŸ‘½πŸ‘½πŸ‘½πŸ‘½πŸ‘½ @ShawnMendes Shawn I really don’t need tickets I really just want you’re follow 😍😘😚 #StitchesAtMidnight πŸ‘½πŸ‘½πŸ‘½πŸ‘½ x93


March 15, 2015 at 06:31PM

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@_ciciV : I hate when people say Kentucky sucks. I mean you don’t have to like them, but clearly they don’t “suck” or they wouldn’t be 34-0. 😴


March 15, 2015 at 06:31PM

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@MCSportsShow : Wow! He missed one!


March 15, 2015 at 06:15PM

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@FoxxyShyD : @thefishnation he should have passed the ball!


March 15, 2015 at 06:15PM

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@iScORpIOz_SeXy : Just posted a photo @ Blackhaven,Tn https://t.co/xO3DY7DAbd


March 15, 2015 at 06:14PM

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@Tinkkkkk_ : You Telling Me To Let Go Of my Past But Whenever I Try my Past ALWAYS Coming Back To Slap Me In The Face !


March 15, 2015 at 06:14PM

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@jingram901 : Sorry, Louisville is not a 4 seed… #SelectionSunday


March 15, 2015 at 06:13PM

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@365PrayingforU : “@pmission9191: http://t.co/GaHTknpCLe”


March 15, 2015 at 06:13PM

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@yahs_nichole : did we really leave Florida? http://t.co/he25tjKmjO


March 15, 2015 at 06:13PM

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@Cuff_yohoe : “@HorsesN_Forces: Why all these big men wanna be guards”


March 15, 2015 at 06:13PM

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@Snowphia_rider : :) http://t.co/Bkxy4sJ3mV


March 15, 2015 at 06:13PM

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@MCSportsShow : @SainAsylum Good for one thing, and that’s for nothing!


March 15, 2015 at 06:13PM

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@YungWild_Tatted : “@TyFlection: AccurateπŸ’― http://ift.tt/1Ckyl2G


March 15, 2015 at 05:58PM

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@kflash7 : Great people and inspirations to be around @ the So You Think You Can Dance auditions in Memphis. :)… https://t.co/vzn2tN9BsN


March 15, 2015 at 05:58PM

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@JoinStJude : St. Jude Children’s Research Hos… #Pharmaceutical #Job: Research Lab Specialist (#Memphis, TN) http://t.co/syGUSYoyId #Jobs


March 15, 2015 at 05:57PM

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@YungWild_Tatted : @TEE_ALiCiA iight bet I gotchu


March 15, 2015 at 05:57PM

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@katelynann30 : “@WeDressCuter: This ring πŸ˜πŸ’ž http://t.co/oJuzu6UT4u” This is so pretty mY LAWDDDD


March 15, 2015 at 05:56PM

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@jingram901 : Here we go. #MarchMadness #SelectionSunday


March 15, 2015 at 05:56PM

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@NatePackrat : If anyone wants to explore/help me test out my new camera this evening pls holla


March 15, 2015 at 05:56PM

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@first_qveen_ : I’m so fucking BORED


March 15, 2015 at 05:55PM

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@FoxxyShyD : Blake tryna act all hard on a Lil dude..


March 15, 2015 at 05:54PM

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@Feistybre : Eating lunch with my fav ✨.


March 15, 2015 at 05:54PM

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@TheRealJokerNig : @_AmbiSHUN as in my place of residence where l lay my head at night


March 15, 2015 at 05:43PM

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@Taybankin : “@whykidscried: “He couldn’t find his rubber ducky..” – Peyton, TX http://t.co/6xJejJ9k6c” Me as a child


March 15, 2015 at 05:43PM

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@I_birth_Destiny : Who’s working on a Sunday? Me! http://t.co/GAlZU3PcEa


March 15, 2015 at 05:42PM

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