Thursday, April 30, 2015

Dealing with one housing bubble at a time

RealtyTrac predicts that as the average HELOC borrower’s ten-year interest-only period ends, that person’s or family’s monthly bill will perhaps more than double from $133 to $279. This could pose a serious problem. Let’s start with that, first.

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Radian 1Q earnings boosted by stronger mortgage credit trends

Although Radian’s first-quarter net income dropped to $91.7 million, from $146.0 million a year ago, the mortgage insurance company’s CEO says the company has finally turned a corner.

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Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates reverse course, move higher

Mortgage rates increased for the first time in several weeks amid mixed housing industry reports.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Former CFPB senior counsel Richard Andrew Arculin joins Venable LLP

Venable LLP announced the addition of Richard Andrew Arculin as counsel in its Washington, D.C. office. Arculin joins from the the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he recently led a CFPB-wide effort to support implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule.

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Accenture: The key to retaining your mortgage customers

More customers are moving online for additional financial services, potentially moving away from their current banks. But all hope is not lost for banks, according to a new survey. With this key measure, more customers are inclined to stay with their bank for their mortgage.

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Assurant exits health insurance; focus shifts to housing

Assurant is planning to exit the health insurance and employee benefits business and will shift its focus instead to its housing insurance programs, which include renters/apartment insurance, flood insurance, manufactured housing and force-placed insurance.

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New York cracks down on title insurers for kickbacks

The state of New York is cracking down on the title insurance industry after a New York Department of Financial Services investigation found that some title insurers are providing kickbacks in exchange for business and passing those costs along to consumers by significantly inflating title insurance premiums.

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Redfin: Sara Stevens’ new take on homeownership

A year ago Lorraine Woellert was a reporter for Bloomberg, where she told the story of Sara Stevens, daughter of a guy who knows a little about homeownership and mortgages. Now that Woellert is at Redfin, she revisited the issue and the daughter to look at what’s really happening in housing.

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How to read a potential homebuyer's mind

Chase just released a new survey with insights into what goes on in a potential homebuyer’s mind when making the decision to buy a new home. As an added bonus, it shows how intensely relationships play into housing choices.

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CFPB, Maryland AG take action against pay-to-play mortgage-kickback scheme

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Maryland Attorney General took action against the participants in a mortgage-kickback scheme, penalizing and banning several loan officers and title executives from the business. Here’s the low-down.

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MBA's Cosgrove: The importance of nonbanks in the mortgage market

In the wake of the financial crisis, nonbank lenders and servicers have witnessed a significant emergence in the mortgage business. In fact, independent mortgage banks are heavily dominating the single-family market. Yet misperceptions persist about the capacity of these IMBs and other nonbanks.

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Ocwen, Assurant to pay $140 million to settle force-placed insurance suit

Ocwen Financial and Assurant agreed to pay $140 million to settle a massive class-action lawsuit, which accused Ocwen of artificially inflating the cost of force-placed insurance in exchange for kickbacks from Assurant. The settlement agreement, which is awaiting final approval from federal court in Florida, resolves claims of 399,843 homeowners who allege they were overcharged for insurance.

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In defense of Ocwen: Servicer’s track record deserves a second look

When you have a coalition of housing advocates, investors and investment managers singing your praises about how you act as a servicer, there’s got to be a silver lining to the clouds. At least, that’s probably what Ocwen is thinking right now.

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Cornerstone Home Lending surrenders Georgia mortgage license

Cornerstone Home Lending voluntarily surrendered its mortgage lender license in Georgia for violating the Georgia Residential Mortgage Act.

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Do millions of Americans face impending housing peril?

The homeownership rates for younger households, a traditional source of strength for the housing market, have especially registered precipitous declines. What’s behind the plunge?

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HomeStreet sees easy earnings beat in 1Q

HomeStreet saw an outstanding first quarter with an easy earnings beat after it closed the Simplicity merger, saw net interest income expanded, posted a big fee income boost, and saw its efficiency ratio improved again.

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Mortgage applications decline 2.3%

Despite low rates, refinancings dropped off last week, pulling down mortgage applications all around. Here are the details of what’s happening.

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U.S. economic growth just about grinds to halt

Economic growth in the United States is grinding to a near halt, with the first-quarter GDP estimate coming in at just 0.2%. What boosted it? Spending on heating oil and mandatory healthcare spending. It’s not looking good.

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Pending home sales continue upward trajectory in March

Once again, pending homes sales increased, staying at their highest level since June 2013. While demand appears to be increasing, the market is still suffering from a shortage of inventory.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Freddie Mac selling $233 million pool of Ocwen-serviced loans

Freddie Mac announced Tuesday that it is preparing to auction off a $233 million pool of non-performing loans, which are serviced by Ocwen Financial, which said in December that it plans to exit agency servicing entirely. Is Freddie Mac done with Ocwen too?

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Fitch: Even in new forms, GSE risk-sharing bonds remain strong

As Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue in one of their stated missions — reducing taxpayer risk through the offering of credit risk-sharing deals — the performance of the risk-sharing mortgage bonds remains strong, Fitch Ratings said in a new report.

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A2Z Field Services promotes Amie Sparks-Beebe to president/CEO

Ohio-based A2Z Field Services announced the promotion of Amie Sparks-Beebe to president and chief executive officer. Sparks-Beebe replaces Bill McMullen, who is retiring as A2Z’s president.

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Hey Millennials — You know nothing about housing finance

Millennials are on a trajectory to rule the housing market, and yet they know nothing about housing. And apparently, they are completely okay with that. Well. They shouldn’t be.

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Is Ellie Mae headed for another record year?

It’s all coming up roses for mortgage software solution provider Ellie Mae right now, and the good times don’t appear to be ending any time soon, according to a new report from RBC Capital Markets.

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Walker & Dunlop close $152M loan portfolio

Walker & Dunlop has closed a $152,944,000, eight-property loan portfolio with a long-time repeat borrower based in Arizona. Here’s what they accomplished.

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Asset manager and mortgage servicer pleads guilty to $5M fraud scheme

A special servicer for mortgages has pleaded guilty to a mortgage and wire fraud scheme and now faces 20 years in prison.

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Home Loan Servicing Solutions stock craters after investors get paid

Home Loan Servicing Solutions stock fell off a cliff Tuesday morning as the company moves one step closer to completing its sale to New Residential Investment. After closing Monday at $17.18 per share, HLSS is currently trading at $0.68 per share, a drop of more than 96%.

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Obama: Here are 8 lucky communities chosen to build prosperity

After 123 applications from 36 states, the official list of chosen communities is out. Here’s the Obama Administration’s eight new Promise Zone communities.

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Homeownership rate falls to lowest since 1993

The homeownership rate continued its multi-year slide, falling to a rate not seen since 1993. Are we near the bottom and there’s nowhere to go but up, or does the slide continue? Let’s find out.

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FHFA: Mortgage interest rates slightly rise in March

Interest rates on conventional purchase-money mortgages slightly increased from February to March. But despite the slight rise, rates are still significantly down from a year ago.

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Case-Shiller: Home prices rise faster than expected

Home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices that incorporate data through February 2015. But the housing industry has a long way to go. Here’s why.

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Flagstar beats 1Q income expectations on strong mortgage volume

Mortgage volume increases for Flagstar, providing a solid tail wind as the company also sees revenue growth after the company reworked its approach to mortgage origination.

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February distressed sales shares drop to 2008 levels

The share of distressed home sales continues to decline, which in turn is putting additional upward pressure on home prices. But there’s a way to go before the housing market gets back to normal. Here’s what’s happening behind the scenes.

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What’s the impact of Green Tree’s $63 million fine?

Unsurprisingly, Green Tree Servicing could be facing several negative outcomes, including a potential downgrade to its servicer ratings, in the wake of its $63 million fine from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission. A new report by Moody’s details what could be in Green Tree’s future.

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Auction.com adds Lawrence Yuan as senior director of engineering

Auction.com announced the addition of Lawrence Yuan as the online real estate marketplace’s new senior director of engineering. In this role, Yuan will oversee the development of web and mobile products and applications.

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Nautilus Solar CEO: Homeowners warming to solar panels

Homebuyer support for solar energy options is growing, but those who want to go greener still face two main challenges.

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Coming soon: The Tesla home battery

Tesla Motors, the company that plans to revolutionize automobiles with its electric car, is planning a new revolution that aims to transfer how we power the rest of our lives. How will the home battery impact mortgages?

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So, totally color-blind housing policy is now discriminatory lending?

If a policy treats everybody the same, regardless of race, and there’s no intent to discriminate, can it still be labeled “discriminatory” if its results aren’t racially balanced? There’s the sane answer, and then there’s this.

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Tricon American Homes joins burgeoning single-family rental securitization market

There’s a new face in the single-family rental securitization market — Tricon American Homes. The company began acquiring U.S.-based single-family rentals in April 2012, and is preparing its first single-family rental securitization.

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Five ways to avoid marketing compliance violations

As enforcement rules get stricter, companies have no choice but to ensure that how and what they are communicating to consumers follows the letter of the law. But in today’s world where control over your marketing messages is not absolute, this is no easy task.

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American Enterprise Institute: Freddie, FHFA loans getting riskier

FHFA and Freddie Mac loans hit series highs, but the really interesting thing is what’s happening with first-time buyers — and why. Here’s a look at March’s numbers.

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Blackstone: Housing a “good investment”

Even though home prices are not increasing as rapidly as they have been, housing is still a good investment according to one housing executive.

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7 point plan to make Fannie and Freddie something everyone could live with

A conservatorship is supposed to be a temporary thing, but we’re now running on six-and-a-half years since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collapsed — it’s time to get something going.

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Gallup: Americans not as optimistic about homeownership

Although Americans are generally more positive about homebuying, they remain less optimistic than they were during most of the past two years. But the reason for the trepidations could be going away.

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Ocwen’s road ahead: Well, can't get any worse

How close is Ocwen to extricating itself from the mess of its own making, and can it alter the course enough to ride out the rest of the storm? On Thursday, we’ll see how they did in their first post-Erbey quarter, and if things are going to plan.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Moody’s: Super-priority lien warning positive for Freddie Mac’s latest securitization

The FHFA issued a statement warning last week that federal law prohibits state courts from involuntarily extinguishing Fannie and Freddie liens to give precedence to so-called “super-priority” liens. This will have an impact, but maybe not on everything you want it to. Read on to find out the limits.

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Realtor kidnapped at gunpoint in Arkansas

In a case chillingly similar to one from fall 2014, an Arkansas Realtor was lured to a property by a suspect posing as a buyer, who then kidnapped the Realtor at gunpoint.

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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: What’s the diagnosis for the "sick" housing market?

With 1.2 million buyers missing from the marketplace, something is wrong. But where is the real problem? Also, the interest rate and mortgage bond outlook, home prices, industry confidence and more.

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Black Knight: Home prices tick up slightly in February

Colorado leads in gains while Connecticut saw the biggest decline. How did your housing market fare? Read on to find out.

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Investors still bullish on single-family rental market

While some recent downward pressure on yields experienced by the much larger institutional investors has somewhat tempered the enthusiasm surrounding single-family rentals, investors are still bullish on the performance of the new asset class.

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NASDAQ to delist Home Loan Servicing Solutions

The next shoe has dropped in New Residential Investment’s acquisition of Home Loan Servicing Solutions. The company announced late Friday that it received a letter earlier in the week from NASDAQ, which stated that the stock exchange is delisting Home Loan Servicing Solutions, effective at the opening of business April 29, 2015.

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Five Oaks breaks into jumbo mortgage bonds

After participating in two jumbo mortgage bond offerings brought by other issuers in 2014, Five Oaks Investment Corp is launching a jumbo mortgage bond of its own. The offering, which will be issued as Oaks Mortgage Trust Series 2015-1, is backed by 383 mortgages with a total balance of approximately $267.2 million.

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Impac comes roaring back

A tremendously positive earnings report sent Impac Mortgage Holdings’ stock soaring on Friday. The company isn’t back to its pre-crisis heights, but it’s on its way.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

MBA: Here’s the trend for purchase applications by loan size

Modest-size mortgage applications shrink even as mid-level and jumbo applications have seen growth in the first quarter of 2015.

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BAML hosts 24th annual low-income housing challenge in California

In May, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch is holding its 24th Annual Low Income Housing Challenge in California challenging students to come up with a business plan to meet the needs of those most in need of affordable housing. Here’s why this matters.

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First-time buyer GSE mortgage loans are getting far riskier

Agency loans for first-time buyers are as risky as they’ve been since the AEI started tracking mortgage risk. With pressure on to loosen credit standards even more, are you worried?

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Export-Import Bank loan officer pleads guilty to taking bribes

The Export-Import Bank is in the cross-hairs on Capitol Hill, and the latest news that a loan officer was taking bribes isn’t going to help defenders.

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Dr. HousingBubble: Return of the broke homeowner

Homebuyers burned in the housing crash are itching to buy again and the pressure is on from the industry to get them in there. It’s been seven years – so what housing crash, Dr. HousingBubble asks sarcastically.

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FHA beefs up foreclosure prevention initiatives

The FHA and HUD are taking steps to amp up foreclosure prevention, and some housing advocates like what they’re hearing.

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Why are foreclosures not making it to the market?

As home prices continue to increase, fewer homes are now heading into foreclosure. While this might be disappointing news for home shoppers, Auction.com Executive Vice President Rick Sharga cites four reasons for this trend.

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Whalen: Why the Fed must raise interest rates, but it won’t

For more than a year, almost everyone in and around the industry has been saying that the Federal Reserve will be raising interest rates by mid to late 2015. One man in the know thinks everyone is wrong.

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Sterne Agee raises estimate and price target on Altisource Portfolio Solutions

Sterne Agee analyst Henry Coffey is raising the estimate on earnings and price target on Altisource Portfolio Solutions after seeing the company’s first-quarter results posted Thursday. Here’s why.

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Radian now offering an industry first – job loss insurance

Radian Guaranty is offering a new program that’s the first of its kind in the industry – job loss insurance. The new program, called Radian MortgageAssure, will pay a borrower’s mortgage if they suffer an involuntary job loss and fall behind on their mortgage payments. And it comes at no cost to the borrower.

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Impac first-quarter origination volume skyrockets 106%

Impac mortgage turned around its financial situation in its latest first-quarter earnings report. Key drivers of the growth? For starters, higher origination volume.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Will former risky borrowers ever get back into homeownership?

“Not only do owners of formerly distressed homes have damaged credit for an extended time, but to purchase again, mortgages must now be obtained amidst an abundance of new, more stringent credit restrictions,” said Piegza.

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Fannie, Freddie: Simplifying loss mitigation is a 2015 priority

Simplification and streamlining – those are the watchwords as Fannie and Freddie move forward in 2015 in terms of mortgage servicing. And not surprisingly, the two enterprises’ plans are not too different.

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U.S. sues Quicken Loans for FHA loan violations

The United States government is suing Quicken Loans, accusing the lender of improperly originating and underwriting loans that were insured by the Federal Housing Administration. According to an announcement from the Department of Justice, the government alleges that from September 2007 through December 2011, Quicken “knowingly submitted, or caused the submission of, claims for hundreds of improperly underwritten FHA-insured loans.”

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Low interest rates drive First American revenue up 10%

Driven by a 15% increase in direct title orders closed and a 62% increase in refinance title orders, First American Financial saw its revenue grow by 10% in the first quarter. According to First American, its total revenue rose to $1.11 billion in the first quarter of 2015, up from $1.01 billion in the same time period last year.

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PulteGroup 1Q net income drops to $55 million

PulteGroup’s latest earnings surprisingly slid after home sales fell 28% in the pricey U.S. Northeast due to construction delays.

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Servicers, don’t let your lawyers handle all the legal work

It’s critical to let lawyers review proposed industry rules when comments are sought, but don’t rely on them to handle it alone because they don’t know the business.

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DocMagic launches TRID compliance solution

DocMagic launched a new compliance tool for the mortgage industry to help lenders comply with the new TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule that goes into effect on Aug. 1.

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Altisource Portfolio Solutions' net income plummets 91%

Altisource Portfolio Solutions saw its net income plummet by 91% in the first quarter of 2015. According to Altisource’s CEO, William Shepro, the drop in income was due in part to $13.6 million in expenses “related to terminated employees and contractors and other out-of-the-ordinary items.”

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Redfin: Home inventory shortage worse than it looks

As the spring selling season gets into full swing, Redfin examined 50 markets to see if fresh inventory is growing, and whether it’s growing enough. What they found looks troubling.

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6 secrets to dealing with regulations for mortgage servicers

Here are the six things to consider in dealing with the government, courtesy of Peter Carroll, executive vice president of Mortgage Policy at Quicken Loans, and Katherine Porter, professor of law at UCI. At least one you shouldn’t take literally.

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New homes sales tumble 11.4% in March

Sales of new single-family homes in March 2015 tumbled back down after last month’s positive news that the market was ready for this year’s spring buying rush. However, looking at analyst comments, the news isn’t as bad as it may appear.

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Fannie Mae: Lenders expect boost from GSE 97% LTV products

The latest lender sentiment survey from Fannie Mae shows that mortgage lenders expect they will get a boost in business from changes at the GSEs and at FHA. Here’s what they think.

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Mortgage rates decline again, hover at 2015 lows

Average fixed mortgage rates moved down slightly this week and remained near their 2015 lows as the spring homebuying season continues. Here’s how it breaks out.

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Lender Privlo moves into Illinois

Once again, Los Angeles-based Privlo announced it is expanding into a new state. This time around the lender is working to help Illinois’ small business owners, self-employed workers, entrepreneurs and contractors.

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RealtyTrac: Share of seriously underwater homes rises

The share of seriously underwater homeowners increased 0.4 percentage points from fourth quarter 2014, and while it is only a slight increase, it marks the first quarterly increase since the second quarter of 2012.

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Agent Ace adds Jason Nierman as head of business development

Santa Monica, California-based Agent Ace announced the addition of Jason Nierman as the company’s new head of business development. At Agent Ace, a startup that uses data to match homebuyers and sellers with the best agent for their deal, Nierman will work to forge new strategic partnerships, as part of an effort to drive revenue and growth.

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Market demand causes Freddie Mac to upsize first actual loss STACR deal

Citing market demand, Freddie Mac increased the size of its latest Structured Agency Credit Risk series offering, which gives investors the opportunity to secure actual loss positions for the first time. Here are the details.

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Fitch: GSE non-performing loan sales will help banks too

The recent push by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to offload pools of non-performing loans could help more than just the GSEs, according to a new report from Fitch Ratings. The non-performing loan market could be poised for a surge.

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Auction.com: April existing-home sales forecasted to continue rising

Existing-home sales for April are forecasted to continue to increase. However, this time around, the increase might not be as grand.

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CoreLogic first-quarter revenue jumps 12%

Due to sustained growth in its data and analytics division, CoreLogic reported net revenue of $364.8 million in the first quarter, up 12% over the same time period last year. According to CoreLogic, the revenue growth was primarily driven by higher demand for property data, analytics and underwriting solutions.

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Direct-to-consumer title insurer OneTitle secures $13 million investment

Direct-to-consumer title insurer OneTitle National Guaranty Company announced that it secured a $13 million investment from White Mountains Insurance Group, which it plans to use to expand beyond New York.

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Here's proof California's housing market is now booming

California is finally ramping up for the spring homebuying season. After a tepid start to the year, this new report from PropertyRadar shows that pent-up demand, mild winter weather and attractive interest rates have created a wellspring of California housing market sales.

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How much does a Realtor spend on technology?

Spring is the busy season for Realtors across the nation. So how much does the average Realtor spend on technology in order to stay competitive in this tight real estate market?

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Existing home sales explode as spring homebuying season officially arrives

Spring has indeed come in like a lion. In what should come as welcome news at a critical time of year, existing home sales exploded in March, hitting the highest level in 18 months.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

FHFA house price index nearly flat for February

House price gains weren’t strong on a monthly basis, and one of the biggest declines came in the South, so it’s unlikely weather played a part. But the annual gain was 5.7%.

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Bombshell: Treasury now claims Fannie, Freddie bailout wasn’t loan

In a letter that’s going to raise more questions than it answers, the Treasury Department replied to an interrogatory from a U.S. Senator on its “third amendment sweep” of profits from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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Black Knight: March foreclosure starts skyrocket 18% from February

The March delinquency rate dropped 12% month-over-month, the largest monthly decline in nine years, but at the same time foreclosure starts skyrocketed 18% in March. Here’s what happened.

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Mortgage applications tick up in latest MBA survey

Purchase applications increased for the fourth time in five weeks as we proceed further into the spring home buying season, but refis are lagging. Here’s what’s happening.

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D.R. Horton reports $147.9M net income in 2Q on strong orders

The nation’s largest homebuilder surprised in its first quarter with gains and now with its second quarter report it beat analyst expectations and will please its shareholders. Here’s what happened.

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Moody’s: New FHFA rules are credit positive for mortgage insurers

Private mortgage insurers, especially legacy insurers, are well positioned for success under the newly announced Private Mortgage Insurer Eligibility Requirements from the Federal Housing Financing Agency, according to a new report from Moody’s. Click on through to find out why.

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Affordable housing "Poor Door" creates inequality issue in NYC

A recently approved Manhattan luxury condominium is generating a lot of buzz in the city since the building will have a separate door for its low-income residents. Who thought this was a good idea?

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The Mortgage Collaborative continues building management team

After recently naming a new vice chairman of the board, secretary of board and chief executive officer, The Mortgage Collaborative, an independent lending cooperative serving small and mid-sized mortgage lenders and community-based lending institutions, announced the additions of Rich Swerbinsky and Nancee Mueller to its growing senior executive team.

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Freddie Mac targets smaller investors with new non-performing loan sales

Freddie Mac announced a new program for auctioning off pools of deeply delinquent non-performing loans from its mortgage investment portfolio. The new program will target smaller investors by making smaller pools of non-performing loans available.

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Exclusive: Mortgage lender loanDepot will soon offer personal loans

loanDepot CEO and Founder Anthony Hsieh’s goal to be the No. 1 nonbank consumer lender might not be too far from reality. The lender announced it will begin offering personal loans in the next month, marking the beginning of more growth outside the world of housing. Is this the new way of nonbank lenders?

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Forum: If housing is to break stagnation, it needs regulatory reform

Home prices are rising roughly twice as fast as wages, putting pressure on potential homebuyers and heightening the risk that any uptick in interest rates could be a setback. What can be done to fix this?

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CFPB and FTC fine Green Tree $63 million for “mistreating borrowers”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission are taking action against Green Tree Servicing for “mistreating borrowers” who were attempting to save their homes from foreclosure. According to the CFPB and the FTC, Green Tree failed to honor modifications for loans transferred from other servicers, demanded payments before providing loss mitigation options, delayed decisions on short sales, and harassed and threatened overdue borrowers. Here is Green Tree’s response.

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Will this $69 door-security solution halt REO break-ins?

Vandalism and break-ins can be a big problem for investor-owned and REO portfolios, and one former home flipper developed a solution after he realized that alarm systems don’t really offer any protection.

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Safeguard Properties promotes Michael Greenbaum to chief operating officer

Safeguard Properties, the mortgage field services provider, announced the promotion of Michael Greenbaum to the position of chief operating officer. Greenbaum, who joined Safeguard in 2010, previously served as vice president of operations.

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New FICO program reveals credit score to risky borrowers

FICO isn’t done making waves in the industry. After announcing a new credit program for risky borrowers at the beginning of the month, it is working to make sure those same type of borrowers are also financially educated.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

MGIC beats 1Q estimates with $133.1M profit

MGIC Investment Corporation today reported net income for the quarter that beat analysts expectations, with a big gain in net insurance written in the first quarter. Here’s where they took off.

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The Mortgage Collaborative names new board members, CEO

The Mortgage Collaborative announced several changes to its board of directors and executive management team. After the changes, David Kittle will serve as vice chairman of the board, Debra Still will serve as secretary of board and Jim Park will serve as the Mortgage Collaborative’s chief executive officer.

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Home Point Financial expands into retail mortgage lending

Home Point Financial, a subsidiary of Home Point Capital, a financial services holding company founded in 2014 and owned by members of management and by investment funds managed by Stone Point Capital, is launching a mortgage banking business. Here’s the skinny.

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Loan officer indicted for six counts of mortgage fraud

A mortgage loan officer in California was indicted by a federal grand jury on six counts of bank fraud relating to a mortgage fraud scheme wherein he allegedly submitted false and fraudulent loan applications to lenders.

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Housing advocates say FHFA g-fee adjustment not enough

A housing advocacy group says that the adjustments the FHFA is making to the fees it charges lenders on loans guaranteed by the GSEs doesn’t go nearly far enough.

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Morgan Stanley could pay $500 million in mortgage pact

Morgan Stanley is in talks to possibly pay about $500 million to settle a probe by New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman into whether the firm misled investors in mortgage bonds that cratered during the financial crisis.

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Six indicted in international, multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme

Six individuals in Florida and Brazil, including a mortgage banker, were indicted in an international, multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Fannie Mae integrates Collateral Underwriter with Desktop Underwriter

Collateral Underwriter continues to take shape. In the latest update, Fannie Mae announced it integrated Collateral Underwriter with Desktop Underwriter and EarlyCheck in order to help lenders more effectively manage risk and underwrite stronger loans.

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SunTrust earnings rise in first quarter

SunTrust experienced a good start to the year, with its first-quarter profit rising thanks to growth in noninterest income. SunTrust posted a fourth-quarter net income of $378 million, or $0.72 per average common diluted share, which included a $145 million mortgage-related legal provision.

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Private mortgage insurers see gains as FHFA PMIERS, g-fee changes sink in

Mortgage insurers took a hit late last week after the FHFA announced its PMIERS and g-fee adjustments. Now that the Street has absorbed the changes, a couple are big gainers. Here’s what’s happening now.

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Is this any way to run a mortgage market?

In spite of their Achilles heel status in the U.S. housing market, the GSEs have been intentionally left vulnerable to the slightest hiccup in either the market or their financial performance and/or the most insignificant miscalculation in their hedging strategy.

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Auction.com: Flipping momentum grows in first quarter

The flipping trend seen throughout the fourth quarter of 2014 is still going strong – and building momentum in nearly every market surveyed. That’s what Auction.com reports.

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Has the mortgage market turned a corner?

The mortgage market has been as weak as the jobs market and the economy as a whole so far this year. Is it ready to turn a corner, or will it miss and continue right off the road?

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Fannie Mae economist: Economic momentum will boost housing markets

Economic activity was suppressed in the first quarter due largely to the West Coast port disruptions and difficult weather patterns across the Northeast, but the economy is expected to gain momentum for the rest of the year. Here’s why Fannie Mae thinks so, anyway.

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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: FHFA g-fee, PMI shift too much or too little?

Things are looking rough for housing with a sluggish start to the spring buying season, and that trickles all the way up to the outlook for agency MBS. Plus, Move takes off the gloves in its ads, and the industry reacts to recent FHFA moves. Read on.

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Quicken Loans sues DOJ, HUD for “shake down”

Quicken Loans says it has had all it can stand, and it can’t stand anymore. So they’re taking the government to court over what it says is a blatantly unfair federal investigation and threats of a lawsuit. Do they have a chance?



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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ocwen announces amendment to its senior secured term loan

Ocwen Financial announced late Friday that it entered into an amendment on its senior secured term loan that will go into effect on Monday, April 20. According to Ocwen, the amendment “removes, with respect to the 2014 fiscal year, the requirement that Ocwen’s financial statements and the related audit report must be unqualified as to going concern.”



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Green Tree earns top marks in Fannie Mae mortgage servicer ratings

Green Tree Servicing announced Friday that it received a superior five STAR designation as part of Fannie Mae’s Servicer Total Achievement and Rewards program for 2014. Green Tree also said that 2014 is the third consecutive year the company has earned the top performer distinction within its STAR peer group.



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FHFA leaving g-fees alone, revising primary mortgage insurance requirements

The Federal Housing Finance Agency is leaving g-fees largely alone but it is revising requirements for private mortgage insurance companies that insure mortgage loans either owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Here’s the rundown.



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Will unprecedented mortgage lending finally save Detroit?

A newly created program, called the “Detroit Neighborhood Initiative,” is based on a partnership between the city of Detroit, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, the Opportunity Resource Fund and Bank of America, and the program goes to unprecedented lengths to help restore the city to its former glory.



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SWBC Lending Solutions adds two vice presidents

SWBC Lending Solutions announced the additions of two new vice presidents, Allen Lavelle as vice president of commercial/residential appraisal management and Brandon O’Briant as vice president of business development.



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Mass. Appeals Court rules for MERS in mortgage assignment

The Appeals Court of Massachusetts found in favor of Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc. and upheld the validity of its assignment of a mortgage.



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Friday, April 17, 2015

Hey Yahoo, 2005 called, and it wants its mortgages back

“A man who spent years sleeping in a cardboard box by a bus stop found a bank account he had forgotten - with enough money for the deposit on a house.” If correct, that means he needs to get a mortgage. Truth is, no one is going to give this guy a mortgage.



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Equity National Title hires Travis Cline and Jonathan Hill

James O’Donnell, Equity’s president, said that the company’s recent rollout of several new services has resulted in a significant increase in new business and new business inquiries, necessitating the additions of Cline and Hill.



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Second look: Here's where Fannie got it right

Under the program, qualifying first-time homebuyers can receive up to 3% of the purchase price of the subject property in closing cost assistance toward the purchase of a HomePath property. It’s time to set the record straight on the wisdom of the program.



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Housing advocacy groups call on FHFA, CFPB to investigate “pro-foreclosure” tactics

A consortium of housing advocacy groups is calling on the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to investigate “pro-foreclosure campaigns,” which the groups say are being perpetrated by “Wall Street giants including the largest hedge funds, mortgage bond traders, and insurance companies.”



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Wells Fargo breached national mortgage settlement

A federal judge has found that Wells Fargo breached a nationwide 2010 legal settlement involving adjustable-payment mortgages, finding that the bank did not properly judge and evaluate borrowers who applied for help to avoid foreclosures.



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Lack of equity drags down existing home sales

Home equity is returning but it’s way below norms in most markets. This means tightening inventory, which means a drag on existing home sales. At least that’s what First American is finding. Here’s why.



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Here's why force-placed insurance continues to get bad press

On the surface of it, most any reasonable person would understand that a mortgage lender has the right to protect its asset if the borrower is not adequately covered by homeowner’s or flood insurance policies. But here’s where the controversy comes in.



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Police arrest man in sexual assault on Arizona Realtor

Police in Arizona have arrested a suspect in a sexual assault on an Arizona Realtor in March. The man allegedly targeted the Realtor during an open house. Here’s how it all went down.



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Weakness in the economy may push back rate hike pressure

Growth is tepid for the index of leading economic indicators. With softness in consumer price inflation, will the Fed really want to raise interest rates in the third quarter, or hold steady?



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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Court filing reveals name of anonymous whistleblower in Zillow/Move lawsuit

A new filing in the ongoing lawsuit between Zillow and Move names the anonymous whistleblower: the former Zillow Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. Want more? Read on.



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Homeless man discovers forgotten bank account

After spending years sleeping in a cardboard box, this homeless man can afford to make a downpayment on a house, thanks to a forgotten bank account.



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How to win a bidding war in today’s outrageous housing market

The spring homebuying season is in full effect. But there is just one problem: The majority of America is reporting a tight supply of homes. So how are buyers supposed to lock in their dream home? This is how.



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Is it really risky business at Fannie, Freddie?

A little risk in life is a good thing, and everyone deserves a chance to prove they can do better than they have. But some say the housing policies being pursued may sound awfully familiar. Maybe, just maybe, the GSE are on to something good.



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Here’s how housing market corrections drag on GDP

Housing market corrections coincide with a country’s GDP being 6% lower on average than if it had continued on its growth path before prices peaked. Surprised? Or worried?



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George Lucas to create massive affordable housing project

George Lucas won’t let his neighbors stop him from his dreams. After shutting down his original attempt to develop his land in California with a studio, Lucas came up with a better plan. This time around, his focus is on helping others find housing.



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Zillow Group offering free public data access to MLS partners

Shoring up its listings losses, Zillow Group is getting innovative in its approach to bringing in new listings with an offer to MLS partners — data, data, data. The war continues.



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Mortgage rates unchanged and remain near 2015 lows

Mortgage rates remain near lows for the year, but they haven’t spurred a rush to buying yet. Here’s what’s happening.



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Citigroup net income jumps $4.45 billion in 1st quarter

Citigroup reported net income for the first quarter 2015 of $4.8 billion, or $1.51 per diluted share, on revenues of $19.7 billion. The results of the first quarter were a dramatic reversal from 2014’s fourth quarter when Citigroup reported a net income of $350 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, on revenues of $17.8 billion.



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OpenClose names Ken Ellis director of business development

OpenClose, a provider of end-to-end loan origination systems, announced the hiring of Ken Ellis as the company’s new director of business development. In this role, Ellis will be responsible for selling the company’s multi-channel LenderAssist loan origination system platform to lenders, banks and credit unions.



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Attention lenders: Zillow Mortgages are now available on Trulia

Zillow Group’s transition from two sites with two different operating structures into one unified operation took a big step forward Thursday, when the Zillow Group announced that Zillow Mortgages is now available on Trulia.



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Jobless claims rise well above expectations

Jobless claims were expected to decline last week, but they rose against analyst expectations. Here’s where the trouble was.



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Goldman Sachs just had its best quarter in 4 years

Business appears to be booming at Goldman Sachs. The investment banking, securities and investment management giant reported net revenue of $10.62 billion in the first quarter, its best quarterly performance in four years.



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Housing starts and permits show deep weakness in March

Homebuilder confidence rose in April but builders took a big hit in March, demonstrating a weakness in the housing economy.



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These are the top 5 single-family home markets in America

Based on rising home prices, favorable affordability, strong housing demand, and excellent economic and demographic conditions pointing to future demand, Auction.com has named the five top single-family housing markets. Did your market make the cut?



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Realtors urged to take safety beyond their smartphones

When in danger, most people turn to this one device to stay safe. The only problem is that it can easily be turned into a weapon against you. So how much are you relying on your cell phone for safety when showing houses?



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RealtyTrac: Foreclosures see first year-over-year increase since 2010

Foreclosure activity — which includes default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — rose in March, marking the first year-over-year increase in foreclosure activity since September 2010. But the news wasn’t all bad.



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Carrington aims to revolutionize borrower education

Carrington Mortgage Services is launching a new borrower-education tool that’s designed to remove any and all ambiguity from the lending process and is making the tool mandatory for all its borrowers.



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Is Fannie’s new homebuyer assistance another step toward GSE bailout?

Is it really a good idea to be pushing people who may be on the margin into a mortgage commitment? Especially given the state of the GSEs and how fragile the economy is? Fannie says not just yes, but heck yes.



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Beige Book: Housing ready for spring home buying

A majority of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts recorded growth in the latest Beige Book, and although there was some slowing in housing starts due to abnormal seasonal patterns, things are looking good for the spring.



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CFPB issues final rule on providing housing counseling information

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a final interpretive rule establishing lenders’ requirements for providing mortgage applicants with a list of local homeownership counseling organizations. Lenders, here’s what’s now required of you.



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Survey says: Mortgage lenders woefully underprepared for TILA-RESPA

Capsilon Corp. polled more than 100 executives from leading mortgage lenders, and revealed that four out of five of the respondents believe that their mortgagee origination costs will jump once TILA-RESPA comes into force.



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Overwhelming majority in House vote to expose CFPB activity

The bureau that turns its spotlight on the American economy may be getting the spotlight turned on it, as Democrats and Republicans came together Tuesday to open the CFPB to much greater scrutiny. Have a look behind the curtain.



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SEC puts an end to Carrington Capital investigation

After an 18-month investigation, the Securities and Exchange Commission will not issue any penalties or pursue any enforcement action against Carrington Capital Management over its acquisition of New Century Financial.



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Homebuilder confidence rises in April on spring weather

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes in April rose significantly. Rose-tinted glasses, or a knowing confidence? We’ll see soon.



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Canaccord lowers Zillow target to $115; Barclays lowers to $95

Canaccord Genuity has lowered its target for Zillow Group to $115 from $125, while Barclays is saying $95, both citing concerns raised in an investor call Tuesday over the weakness from the recently acquired Trulia. But that’s not the whole story.



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Mortgage lending and finance industry get boost in housing regulatory reform bills

The home lending and mortgage finance industry saw big gains this week on Capitol Hill, as a number of bipartisan bills from the House Financial Services Committee were passed during “Financial Independence Week.” Here’s the rundown on the goods.



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Mortgage applications down 2.3% led by drop in purchases

It’s been a weak time for mortgage applications despite news last week from MBA that new home purchases were up 17% in March. Here’s what happened.



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Bank of America 1Q net income rises amid stronger mortgage levels

Bank of America reported first-quarter net income of $3.4 billion after a net loss of $276 million last year. The surge in growth can be attributed to stronger mortgage origination levels.



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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Court seals letter from anonymous whistleblower in Zillow lawsuit

The battle over trade secrets between Zillow and Move took an ironic turn Tuesday, with the judge saying the anonymous source letter filed by Move and NAR contained and violated Zillow’s trade secrets.



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Houses passes Mortgage Choice Act of 2015 by 286-140

A bill to reform mortgage industry regulations was approved by the House of Representatives late Tuesday afternoon by a substantial bipartisan majority. Here’s what happened, and what happens next.



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Huge Mortgage Choice Act critic was supporter in August

The ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee took to the House floor to strongly oppose a measure the mortgage industry says is critical. But the thing is, just nine months ago, she just as strongly wanted it passed. Read on.



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It’s over: SEC settles with Freddie Mac executives

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s high-profile case against several former Freddie Mac executives over allegedly misleading investors about the quality of subprime mortgages is now over, and it ended rather quietly.



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Safeguard Properties launches new fast-track legislation tool

Safeguard Properties launched a new resource to fall in line with the growing trend of fast-track legislation for vacant and abandoned properties in order to provide industry professionals with a new tool to stay above growing legislation.



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BuildZoom: Losing Listhub cost Zillow big time, geographically speaking

Last week Zillow Group and Trulia had to remove pretty much all of the real estate listings provided by Move-owned ListHub. How big a hit was it? Bigger than the national numbers would suggest.



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Fannie Mae launches major first-time homebuyer assistance program

Having already begun buying mortgage loans that allow borrowers to put 3% down, Fannie Mae is launching a new program aimed at attracting more first-time homebuyers.



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Homeowner value perceptions don’t mesh with appraisal realities

Even as home values fall, homeowners have rose-colored glasses as regards their home values – rating them higher again last month than appraisers would.



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MBA adds Bradley Padratzik as director of member engagement

In this role, Padratzik will support the sales and member engagement activities of MBA, “ensuring deeper engagement with existing and new members through both volunteer activities and purchases of MBA products and services,” the MBA said.



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Zillow CEO: 2016 can’t come quickly enough

In the months since Zillow first announced its plans to acquire Trulia, a chorus of industry observers questioned how quickly the once-fierce competitors would be able to integrate their businesses. According to Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff, 2015 is a “year of transition” and that 2016 “can’t come quick enough.”



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Mortgage Choice Act goes to House floor today

A bill that mortgage lenders and housing advocates say is critical to the industry goes to the floor of the House of Representatives today. Does it go far enough, and will it make it past opponents who warn of a return to the days of high risk?



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Altisource Residential slammed with two class action lawsuits

Investors are gathering to launch two salvos at Altisource Residential in the form of class action lawsuits that allege the beleaguered Ocwen affiliate failed to disclose the kinds of risks and losses it to which it was exposing shareholders.



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New HUD funding helps more than 1.5 households

Housing will become much easier for more than 1.5 million households thanks to $36 million in grants to hundreds of national, regional and local organizations.



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CoreLogic: Foreclosure inventory down 27.3% since February 2014

Foreclosures and delinquencies are way down from last year and from their peaks right after the housing crash. Fewer opportunities for investors, but what does it mean for the economy as a whole?



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JPMorgan Chase mortgage banking income more than doubles in Q1

JPMorgan Chase saw a sharp increase in net income derived from mortgage banking in the first quarter, with income rising to $326 million from $132 million in the first quarter of 2014.



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Ocwen reports loss of $546 million in 2014

Ocwen Financial spent the last few months preparing its investors for the bad news. And the bad news finally came early Tuesday morning. After delaying its fourth quarter and year-end financial results on multiple occasions, Ocwen disclosed Tuesday that it recorded a preliminary net loss of $546 million in 2014.



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Wells Fargo posts $5.8 billion in net income

Wells Fargo reported net income of $5.8 billion in the first quarter, a slight drop from $5.9 billion in the first quarter of 2014. While Wells Fargo’s net income did drop slightly year-over-year, the bank’s net income rose over the fourth quarter of 2014, when the bank reported net income of $5.7 billion.



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Mid America Mortgage adds Adam Rieke as director of national TPO lending

Mid America Mortgage announced that Adam Rieke joined the company as director of national third-party origination lending. One of Rieke’s main goals in his new role is “restore the human element” to the review process, Mid America Mortgage said.



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Altisource opens real estate investor cooperative

Altisource Portfolio Solutions, a provider of real estate technology, announced its latest housing venture, this time to ease the financial burdens and struggles rental investors face, especially mom-and-pop investors.



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Ocwen is no longer the nation's largest mortgage servicer

The impact of Ocwen Financial’s exit from agency mortgage servicing is beginning to materialize. According to a recent report from Fitch Ratings, Ocwen is no longer the country’s largest prime mortgage servicer. How far have the mighty fallen?



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HSBC, Assurant offer $1.8M to end force placed kickback lawsuit

Homeowners sued HSBC and Assurant for steering them into unneeded and expensive policies in return for kickbacks. Now HSBC and Assurant are offering $1.8 million to make it go away.



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Here's why mortgage lending at Navy Federal is booming

Navy Federal is having a great year so far, announcing mortgage closing surpassed $1 billion in March. And the key to this success is knowing exactly what potential homeowners want, and what you are willing to give them.



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NewDay Financial fined for widespread cheating on licensing exams

NewDay Financial, which was already in hot water with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over its business practices, is now in the crosshairs of another financial regulator, this time for rampant cheating on mortgage loan originator license testing.



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Real estate investor jailed for $5M Ponzi scheme

A real estate investor was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison for running a scheme that promised victims big returns on reselling foreclosed properties. But as the snake ate its tail, authorities closed in on the high-living investor.



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Collateral Analytics now automatically assigns appraisal property ratings

Collateral Analytics developed a new tool to assist appraisers in assessing the value of a home. The tool is based on historical and current property condition ratings for approximately 10 million single-family homes around the U.S.



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Urban Institute: 6 benefits to alternative credit scores

Millions of previously “unscoreable” consumers are finally able to receive credit scores due to recent advances in alternative data and credit scoring methods. And thanks to these advances, industry experts found these significant positives for the housing market and future of lending.



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Why "fast" mortgage servicers crush the TBA bond market

A new segment of lenders and servicers that specialize in quicker prepayments is costing the TBA market “several hundred million of dollars a year,” analysts from Deutsche Bank Markets Research said in a new report. Prepayments are a new kind of problem now.



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Trouble ahead: Tidal wave of HELOC resets about to hit

Home equity lines of credit taken during the big housing bubble just before the crash may result in a dramatic spike in payments for millions of homeowners with HELOCs. Will it upset a fragile economic recovery?



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Waterstone Mortgage opens two new regional headquarters

Waterstone Mortgage announced it is opening two new branches, along with a new Florida regional headquarters. And this could just be the start.



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Lawsuit: Ocwen sent false reports to consumer credit agencies

A homeowner in California is asking the Ninth Circuit to revive his putative class action lawsuit against Ocwen Loan Servicing for submitting false information to credit agencies. Judges seemed skeptical, suggesting Ocwen technically stayed in the confines of the law. You decide.



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Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Let the good times roll (because they won’t last)

You now the joke about the guy with the positive attitude who falls off the tall building and on the way down at every window he can be heard saying “So far so good, so far so good…”? Yeah, that may be the economic outlook. Read on.



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Friday, April 10, 2015

MCT Trading adds Joel Dulmage as regional sales director

In this role, Dulmage will be responsible for new business development and client service management in the Midwest territory.



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Move: Anonymous whistleblower appears to confirm fears of data theft by Zillow

Move and the National Association of Realtors appear to have just dropped a bomb on Zillow, saying in a court filing that it received a letter from an anonymous whistleblower who “appears to confirm” their belief that Errol Samuelson, now the chief industry development officer for Zillow, stole “multiple documents and entire databases” when he worked at Move, and that Zillow is using the stolen information, and is hiding evidence on non-Zillow electronic services.



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Mortgage broker pans for gold on ‘Shark Tank’…literally

Inventors and entrepreneurs often go on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ and pan for gold, but an Oregon mortgage broker took it to a whole new level when he appeared on the show in February.



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First Horizon continues to exit mortgage lending

First Tennessee Bank reached an agreement in principle with housing regulators to try and finally settle an issue that dates back to the mortgage business the company sold in 2008.



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Popularity of Florida first-time homebuyer tax credit program exploding

The number of first-time homebuyers in Florida who are taking advantage of a little-known program that pays them $2,000 a year to buy a home tripled in the last year.



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FTC orders Wealth Educators to halt mortgage relief services

The Federal Trade Commission ordered Wealth Educators and its president to stop offering mortgage relief services since it was accused of failing to provide the help they promised homeowners.



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GE sells $23 billion in real estate assets

General Electric Capital Real Estate is exiting a significant portion of its commercial real estate platform, as Blackstone and Wells Fargo announced they are purchasing a total of $23 billion in assets.



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The real impact of Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter

After all the anticipation and skeptics discussing how much Collateral Underwriter will make our lives miserable, it’s just not the case. That’s not to say there aren’t small bumps, such as the following, in the road.



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Nomura and RBS await judge ruling on FHFA mortgage lawsuit

All sides have given their closing arguments in the FHFA’s trial against Nomura Holdings and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Now it’s up to the judge to decide if mortgages sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were misrepresented when packaged into securities.



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Nomura and RBS: Don’t blame us, blame the housing crash

With $1 billion at stake, two banks facing a government lawsuits over toxic mortgage bonds are pointing – perhaps giving – the finger all over the place.



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MBA: Job creation problem lies at nexus of hirings, opening and quits

Over the last year, both job openings and the rate at which individuals voluntarily quit their job have been increasing at a faster rate than firms can hire. Here’s what that means for the economy as a whole.



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Freddie Mac purchasing largest single-property loan

Shortly after Fannie Mae announced it was entering new territory with a loan portfolio sale, Freddie Mac said Thursday that it has struck a deal to buy its largest single-property loan ever with the $878 million note. Here’s how they broke new ground.



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MBA's Stevens: Time for a clarification on Fannie, Freddie reform

Right now, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are providing liquidity in the secondary market for residential mortgage in the absence of private capital. The unbalanced dependence here puts the entire system on untenable ground and presents enormous risks to taxpayers.



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BankMobile announces app for Apple Watch

BankMobile is one of the initial companies to join the Apple Watch bandwagon and announced it will have its app available on the device when it becomes available on April 24.



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Kroll: Regulators, policymakers need to get with the times on originating, servicing

The banking industry continues a wholesale retreat from mortgage origination and servicing, but much of the focus from regulators and policymakers is on the landscape of five years ago, and investors are worried. That has to change, KBRA says.



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Lending is worse than rocket science

During an ABA Real Estate Lending conference in Baltimore on how banks can do more mortgage lending business, a rocket scientist from NASA, who is now in housing, says what we’ve all been thinking.



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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Nearly 1 of 3 banks don’t require vendors to report data breaches

There’s a significant potential cyber security vulnerability that one in three banks harbors – and it had to do with banks’ third-party vendors. Banks may have shields up, but a third of them have an Achilles Heel. Worried?



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Is Boston headed toward a housing bubble?

Boston is showing the common symptoms of a housing market on the verge of a housing bubble. Is this where the market is headed?



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CFPB fines mortgage lender $250K for claiming government affiliation in ads

A California-based lender led consumers to think that they were affiliated with the FHA and the VA, the CFPB alleges. CFPB hit them with a quarter million dollar fine, and then some.



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Cash home sales share drops to 38.9% in January 2015

Cash sales made up 38.9% of total home sales in January 2015, down from 41.4% in January 2014, down from the peak of 46.5%. Here’s what’s happening.



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