Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goldman Sachs: Will homebuilding remain the fastest-growing sector?

Will homebuilding remain the fastest-growing sector? Will growth stay above trend? Will the consumer stay strong? Will the FOMC deliver more than two hikes in 2016? You asked, Goldman Sachs answers.

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Millennials can only afford 135 square feet of housing in San Francisco

San Francisco is infamous for being overly competitive and obscenely expensive, and the reality of how expensive it is for Millennials just sunk in thanks to a new report.

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Wall Street Journal op-ed ethers 'toxic twins' Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

For the second time in the last ten days, the editorial section of a major national newspaper has taken on the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Washington Post recently weighed in on the recapitalization and release of Fannie and Freddie, calling it a “recipe for housing disaster.” But that’s nothing compared to the editorial that showed up in the Wall Street Journal.

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Jobless claims beat analyst expectations

It was a surprisingly strong week for jobless claims, with filings rising by 20,000 for the week ending Dec. 26. However, data in this report can be volatile during the holiday weeks.

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Want to be the chair of the Federal Reserve? Here’s your chance [Quiz]

As we all count down the hours until the New Year’s Eve festivities officially begin, here’s a nice little distraction that might keep you entertained, educate you, or confirm that you are a true financial ninja.

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Tour the farmhouse of the stars of HGTV's Fixer Upper

They’re America’s favorite HGTV duo and the team everyone wishes they could have their home redesigned by. So what does the home of the renowned design duo look like then? An article in House Beautiful gave a full tour of the home, and it’s everything you would expect and more.

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Why are there almost no new banks since the crisis?

In the aftermath of the economic crisis of the late 2000s, the federal government passed a number of sweeping laws that irrevocably changed the financial landscape of this country, but just how much?

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Here are the 6 most popular HousingWire stories of 2015

On behalf of the editorial department at HousingWire.com, thank you for another banner year. So what were the stories most of you read in 2015? For no particular reason, here are the top 6, along with a blurb to help explain more.

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Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates finally break above 4%

Right as the year comes to a close, the average mortgage rate finally surpassed the 4% threshold for the first time in five months. However, this shouldn’t come as surprise since after the Fed raised interest rates Freddie Mac said it expected an increase in mortgage rates, which have hovered near or below 4% for much of this year. Click the headline to read more.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

If you're an adventurer, this pro skier’s tiny home wins

Tiny homes are quickly becoming a growing craze, and while they might not be for everyone, this professional skier makes it look perfect for any person who lives for the outdoors. If any part of you craves nature, this is the perfect home for you.

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Freddie Mac: Housing posts strongest improvement in nearly a year and a half

Housing markets across the country are steadily making their way into the stable range. Most of the improvement can be attributed to mortgage delinquencies continuing to decline at a steady pace, especially in those hardest hit markets.

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Meet the real estate agent who lands celeb clients thanks to her Air Jordans

Realtors and real estate agents have long been known to go the extra mile to land a client, and for one Los Angeles real estate agent, it’s what she wears on her feet when she’s going that extra mile that helps her land celebrities and professional athletes as her clients.

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Is Nationstar about to completely rebrand itself?

2015 turned out to be a tough year for Nationstar. But does the company have big plans to turn its fortunes? It certainly looks that way. Buried deep on Nationstar’s website in a most unlikely place is a look at what the company could be planning for 2016. And it’s big…as in reshaping the company’s entire public image big.

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CFPB pushes to expose anonymous companies that sue it

Arguing that companies that sue it should not be granted anonymity, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is asking a federal judge to reveal the names of several companies that are anonymously suing the agency after a lawyer representing the group was denied entry into a investigative hearing.

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Man at center of Peyton Manning HGH scandal is an alleged real estate fraudster

In case you’ve been living under a rock, or don’t care about such things, the biggest scandal in the sports world right now is whether Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning used human growth hormone (also called HGH) when he was rehabbing from a neck injury in 2011. Now, more about the past of Liam Collins, the man at the center of the scandal, is also coming to light, including reports of Collins getting into some legal trouble in England for real estate fraud.

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CoreLogic: Distressed home sales dip lower in October

Distressed home sales, which include real estate-owned properties and short sales, continued to trend lower in October 2015. If the current year-over-year decrease in the distressed sales share continues, it will reach the “normal” mark of 2% in mid-2019.

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Appraisal Institute names 2016 president

In light of the New Year, the Appraisal Institute named its newest president. Scott Robinson, of Salisbury, North Carolina, will begin his one-year term on Jan. 1.

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Beverly Carter’s accused murderer changes plea, wants evidence tossed

As the pre-trial portion of the prosecution of Arron Lewis, the man who stands accused of abducting and killing Arkansas Realtor Beverly Carter in 2014, comes closer to ending, Lewis and his attorney are pushing to have several pieces of evidence tossed out. Lewis also recently changed his plea.

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Pending home sales struggle to overcome housing headwinds

Pending home sales once again struggled to overcome housing headwinds and slightly declined for the third time in four months. And according to the National Association of Realtors’ chief economist, the struggles will continue when spring buying season begins.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

CFPB to relax TRID enforcement actions

After a recent letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Mortgage Bankers Association released a response from CFPB Director Richard Cordray that should bring some much-needed clarity to the industry on the current expectations for lenders in implementing the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclose rule. Click headline to read more.

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Can’t afford your home anymore? Do this

So the British Broadcasting Corp has a website called BBC Capital. Despite the lofty name, it’s mainly dedicated to personal finances. But does the advice stack up? Judge for yourself.

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Consumer confidence beats expectations in December

Consumer confidence in December beat expectations as more Americans became more optimistic about the current state of the economy and job market.

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Here are the 20 hottest housing markets to close out the year

As the year comes to a close, the residential market is going through its typical seasonal slowdown. But despite the holiday cool down, these 20 markets are still shining through as the 20 hottest markets in the nation.

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Industry reaction to Case-Shiller shows what to expect in 2016

The latest home price report from Case-Shiller posted much of the same, with home prices trending higher in October. Several industry experts weigh in on what they think this means for the future of housing and what upcoming first-time homebuyers can expect.

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Appraisal volume survives winter slowdown

Appraisal volume managed to stay afloat amid a winter slowdown, coming in slightly better than every holiday week since 2006.

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Real estate stocks set for S&P break out

According to the Wall Street Journal, after a ho-hum 2015 which saw investors crammed by market compartmentalization, the people behind the S&P 500 think they have an idea to put a little surge back into the stock market.

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Case-Shiller: Home prices continue upward trend

Home prices once again trended higher on a monthly and a yearly basis. According to David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, “Generally good economic conditions continue to support gains in home prices.”

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Single female homebuyers making a comeback

Ever since the financial crisis, the amount of single female homebuyers has significantly slumped due to lenders making it more difficult to qualify for a mortgage. But now thanks to two new factors females should finally be able to jump back in.

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Is living with your parents now a cultural norm?

When Millennials decide to return home to save money to help pay of their massive pile of student debt, it’s usually under the assumption that they will move out once they get a secure job. However, according to an article in TIME, this may not be the case anymore.

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Buying still more affordable than renting for most of country

Rapidly rising rents are ensuring that it makes more sense to buy in much of the country, a new report from RealtyTrac showed.

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Looking for work-life balance? Check out these companies

Looking for a great place to work in the industry? Or want to find out what your competition is offering? These companies are going above and beyond to ensure employee satisfaction.

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Here are the best and worst rental markets for Millennials

Despite it making more financial sense to buy than rent in many markets, many Millennials are choosing to rent. But where does it make sense to rent? A new report from RealtyTrac shows the best and worst rental markets for Millennials.

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Actor Tom Cruise lists UK estate for $7.4 million

Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise is reported to have listed his home in the U.K. for $7.4 million. Cruise and his ex-wife, Katie Holmes, purchased the property in 2006 for somewhere around $4.75 million.

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What Fed rate hike? Interest rates hold steady for 2nd straight week

Despite some declarations that the Federal Open Market Committee’s recent decision to raise the federal funds rate for the first time since June 2006 was a “disaster,” the FOMC’s decision is having a limited impact on mortgage interest rates thus far.

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2016: A look into the crystal ball for mortgages next year

Heading into 2016, the industry will be required to go another step further in implementing technology into the mortgage process. Here are 5 predictions for what you can expect next year and how technology will seep further into the industry.

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2015 marks worst year for investor agility

Ideally, asset relocation allows investors to jump into another thriving market when one market struggles. However, this wasn’t the case in 2015.

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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: No-down mortgages making a comeback?

Are zero-down mortgages making a comeback? Plus, Commerzbank sued four U.S. banks, claiming that they failed to properly monitor billions of dollars in mortgage-backed securities acquired by the German lender before the 2008 financial crisis. And, which seven movies tell the real story of the housing crisis? All that and more in your Monday Morning Cup of Coffee.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Nassau County real estate fee hikes delayed until Jan. 4, 2016

Earlier this month, Nassau County, New York, which includes Long Island, enacted a series of significant real estate fee increases that were put in place to offset a budget shortfall. Now, thanks in part to lobbying efforts by the New York State Land Title Association, the Nassau County Legislature elected to delay the implementation of the new fees until Jan. 4, 2016.

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Baltimore accountant pleads guilty for role in $1.4M mortgage fraud scheme

A Baltimore-area account pleaded guilty earlier this week to charges stemming from his role in a mortgage fraud scheme that used straw buyers to purchase seven properties in Baltimore, resulting in losses of more than $1.4 million.

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Here are Freddie Mac's five housing predictions for 2016

With just a few days left in 2015, Freddie Mac is looking towards 2016 and trying to predict just what’s going to happen in housing over the next 12 months. Here are five housing predictions for 2016, courtesy of Freddie Mac.

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LeaderOne Financial Corporation promotes Steven Light to executive vice president

LeaderOne Financial, a Kansas City area-based mortgage banking company licensed in 38 states, announced the promotion of Steven Light to the newly created position of executive vice president and chief strategy officer.

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Bernie Sanders: Fed's decision to raise interest rates is a disaster

Count Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, among those who think the Federal Open Market Committee’s recent decision to raise the federal funds rate for the first time since June 2006 was a bad decision. In fact, in a scathing editorial published by the New York Times, Sanders lambastes the Federal Reserve, its decision-making, its policies, and its sheer existence.

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Which 3 major housing markets might be in trouble?

Home prices are closing in on their records of the last decade, reigniting fears of bubbles. Time to panic? In most markets, probably not. A few look overvalued, but that may not necessarily be the same thing as a bubble.

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Is there more trouble hidden in November’s new home sales data?

Wednesday’s new home sales report had a positive headline. But a deeper dive into the new home sales data shows that November’s increase over October isn’t quite as promising as it appears.

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CFPB's $200 million headquarters renovation moves one step closer to reality

The controversial renovation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s headquarters, which rankled some Congressional Republicans thanks to its estimated $216 million price tag, is one step closer to reality.

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New homes sales rise in November

Sales of new single-family houses in November 2015 printed at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 490,000, according to estimates released jointly Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Fewer homes getting connected mean more smartphone home sales

Home searching is moving more and more to smartphones, whether we accept it or not. Therefore, it’s only a matter of time before qualifying and locking a mortgage follows in those footsteps. Will your business be ready?

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MBA: Mortgage applications jump 7.3%

After two weeks of remaining relatively stagnant, mortgage applications rose by more than 7% or the week ending Dec. 18, the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed.

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Black Knight: Foreclosure starts fall to lowest since April 2006

The number of homes that had foreclosure proceedings started against them hit the lowest level in nine years in the month of November, a new report from Black Knight Financial Services showed.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Freddie Mac backstops more loans with massive insurance policies

Freddie Mac announced Tuesday that it obtained two more insurance policies designed to cover much of the remaining credit risk associated with two of its Structured Agency Credit Risk transactions from earlier this year.

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Mid America Mortgage: We’ll buy your defective TRID loans

Since the implementation of the CFPB’s TRID rule, a trend has begun to emerge for some smaller lenders – investors and aggregators rejecting loan purchases because the loans are not 100% certifiably compliant with TRID. One mortgage company that plans to be there for its fellow lenders is Mid America Mortgage, which stated that its interested in buying “Scratch & Dent” loans with TRID compliance violations.

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Here’s everything you need to know about TRID from JPMorgan Chase

In an effort to help the industry deal with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule , JPMorgan Chase put out a “frequently asked questions” about TRID, all that it entails, and how Chase is dealing with it.

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CFPB: Complaints about Ocwen keep falling

Long the target of regulators and consumers due to its mortgage servicing practices, Ocwen Financial finds itself in a unique position in a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Complaints against the much-maligned nonbank keep falling.

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FHFA home price index ticks up slightly

The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The good news? From October 2014 to October 2015, house prices were up 6.1%.

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This is what the latest housing data is doing to the stock market

According to The Wall Street Journal Morning MoneyBeat, this is what the latest housing data is doing to the stock market. Here is what reporter Kristen Scholer has to say.

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The TRID effect is real: Existing-home sales fall sharply in November

First there was anecdotal evidence that the implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule in October had caused issues with the housing industry, but now, concrete data is beginning to show just how much the impact of TRID is being felt - and the news isn’t great. Click the headline to read more.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

New Yorker threatens to become war journalist to stop mother selling his home

A New York man is currently fighting to retain his ownership of a well-known building that he inherited from his mother, but not before allegedly threatening to go to extreme lengths to keep her from selling the building, reportedly telling her that the sale of the building would leave him homeless, drive him to commit suicide, or perhaps even worse, to become a journalist.

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Congress eases curbs on foreign real-estate investors

The current law, known as the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act, subjects foreign investors to income tax when they sell U.S. property. It was initially passed in 1980, a time when there were fears that foreign investors including the Japanese might buy up large swaths of the country and its farmland. Is this era over?

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Vantage Production adds Tim Murphy as executive vice president of sales

Vantage Production, a provider of advanced automated marketing and sales acceleration solutions for mortgage lenders, announced the addition of Tim Murphy as executive vice president of sales.

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Real estate agent held at gunpoint after being confused for burglar

Entering into strange places with strange people places real estate professionals in harm’s way, and a new story from Athens, Georgia details a new concern that agents have to be aware of – the armed homeowner.

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Are real estate agents the most unprofessional professionals?

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned unchecked and unverifiable generalization on an entire industry, based on a personal experience, to get people riled up. And right now the professionalism of hundreds of thousands of real estate agents is being called into question.

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Washington Post: Recapitalizing Fannie, Freddie is a ‘recipe for housing disaster’

Count the Washington Post’s editorial board among those who think ending the government’s conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by allowing them to rebuild their capital reserves is a bad idea.

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Freddie Mac sells first pool of non-performing loans to non-profit buyer

Freddie Mac announced Monday that it sold its first pool of non-performing loans to a non-profit buyer, Community Loan Fund of New Jersey, Inc. The non-performing loan sale was initially announced in November, as part of a larger offering of $1.2 billion in “deeply delinquent” loans that were currently being serviced by Wells Fargo.

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CoreLogic: Cash sales share continues trend back towards 'normal'

The percentage of home sales conducted in cash continued its trend back towards pre-crisis levels during the month of September, a new report from CoreLogic showed.

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BofI Federal launches Fannie, Freddie wholesale lending program

BofI Federal Bank has expanded its product suite for its wholesale customers to include loans that are eligible for sale to both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, BofI Federal said Monday.

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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: The Fed's optimism, alternative credit scoring and more

Our look at this weekend’s news covers everything from alternative credit scoring to the real blockbuster movie you need to see over the holidays. Read on.

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TRID will not threaten California’s housing recovery

A quick glance at the latest housing data for California doesn’t look too positive. But after digging into the numbers, it appears TRID may have something to do with this. The impact, though, isn’t predicted to be severe.

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Portland Mayoral candidate proposes 'Robin Hood' program to fix housing crisis

A candidate for mayor in the city of Portland is building his campaign around a promise that he can fix the city’s affordable housing crisis – by taxing the city’s millionaires and using the money to build more affordable housing.

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BOK Financial hires Zachry Parrott to lead correspondent operations

BOK Financial Correspondent Mortgage Services hired Zachry Parrott as its correspondent operations leader, bringing 28 years of experience that span all facets of mortgage operations, risk management, business strategy, sales and process improvement.

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Inventory shortages will continue to dent housing well into 2016

While this past year struggled to keep a high level of inventory on the market, it’s looking like next year won’t be any better. And despite demand slowly recovering, low inventory levels have weighed on home sales and put upwards pressure on house prices. So just how tight will next year be?

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Short sale tax break on verge of being extended until 2017

Homeowners who had short sales in 2015 are about to get big break on their taxes, thanks for a massive federal spending bill that’s about to be signed into law by President Obama.

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PulteGroup buying $450 million portfolio of houses, land from Weiland Homes

PulteGroup, Inc. announced earlier this week that it plans to purchase a massive portfolio of land and houses from John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods for between $430 million and $450 million.

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This actress trumps all other celebrity home listings in NYC

Curbed looked back at the biggest celebrity real estate moves of 2015 in New York City and found that one actress stood out above the rest, listing her home in the Big Apple for $75 million.

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Key takeaways for homebuyers now that interest rates are rising

As the industry adjusts to the news that interest rates are rising, homebuyers also need to asses what this means for them. One industry expert explains how homebuyers should interpret the news, along with what lenders should be cognizant of when talking to potential borrowers.

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These are the top and bottom 10 housing markets right now

As the year comes to a close, Pro Teck Valuation Services’ latest home value forecast of the top 10 best and 10 worst performing metros ended the year on the same note, fluctuating little over the year. However, this could start to change next year.

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BofA, Chase, Citi, Ditech, SunTrust, Wells Fargo pass servicing compliance tests

Nearly all of the mortgage servicers that are subject to the terms of the National Mortgage Settlement achieved complete compliance with the NMS’s servicing rules in the first half of 2015, according to a new report from Joseph Smith, the Monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement.

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Bank of America to continue outsourcing Merrill Lynch mortgages to PHH

Under the terms of a new agreement between PHH Corp. and Bank of America, PHH will continue to provide mortgage origination services to Merrill Lynch clients. The agreement, which was announced Thursday, renews a deal between PHH and Bank of America that outsources the origination of Merrill Lynch’s mortgages to PHH.

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Here’s how TRID is impacting the real estate process

Now that more than two months have passed since the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule went into effect, HousingWire followed up with Sharon Voss, president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, to discuss how the new rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is impacting real estate transactions so far.

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CoreLogic snaps up FNC for $475 million

In what marks its second substantial acquisition in the field of property valuation in 2015, CoreLogic announced Thursday that it plans to acquire FNC, Inc. Earlier this year, CoreLogic purchased LandSafe Appraisal Services from Bank of America for $122 million. The purchase price for FNC is far beyond the price for LandSafe.

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Mortgage industry pioneer Richard Solheim passes away at 68

Richard Solheim, who spent more than 47 years in the mortgage business, passed away recently at the age of 68. Solheim spent the last 11 years of his career with LenderLive, where he most recently served as chief administrative officer.

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FHFA releases 2016 goals for Fannie and Freddie

The Federal Housing Finance Agency released the new 2016 housing scorecard, which outlines specific priorities for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their joint venture, Common Securitization Solutions. The scorecard is broken up into three main sections: maintain, reduce and build. These are some highlights for each section.

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PACE Loans: Are energy efficient improvements financially worth it?

PACE programs have been very controversial and the market has been slow to develop because of FHFA regulatory concerns over the issue of lien priority.The programs are designed to give homeowners new ways to finance energy efficient home improvements. But the question most people ask is whether or not it’s financially better. Here’s your answer.

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Freddie Mac: Despite Fed rate hike, interest rates will stay at "historic" lows in 2016

The Federal Reserve ended its nearly decade-long period of zero interest rate policy. Yet, the move still sent shockwaves through the financial markets. At any rate, according to Freddie Mac’s chief economist interest rates should remain at “historically low levels” throughout 2016.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Federal spending bill makes recapitalization of Fannie, Freddie far less likely

Bad news for those hoping for the “recap and release” of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Included in the newly agreed upon federal appropriations bill is a provision that prohibits the Administration – be it the Obama Administration or the next President’s Administration – from selling off its stake in Fannie and Freddie without the approval of Congress, for at least two years.

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TRID grace period bill looks for a plan B

The original plan for the Homebuyers Assistance Act was to be added into any year-end spending legislation in order to give it a greater chance of passing. However, the year-end spending bill was announced late Tuesday, and Homebuyers Assistance Act failed to make the list.

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Fannie Mae: Expect 3 more Fed rate hikes in 2016

December 16, 2015 will forever be known as the day that the Federal Open Market Committee increased the federal funds rate for the first time since June 2006, but one housing industry insider expects that this rate hike won’t be the last one — far from it, in fact.

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Ellie Mae CEO: Impacts of TRID starting to show

In Ellie Mae’s last report, Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae, said that it was still too early to see the full impact of TRID. However, now that over two months have passed since the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclose rule went into effect, the impact started to show in the closing data.

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It’s official: Fed raises interest rates for first time in nine years

After punting in October, the Federal Open Market Committee announced in its December meeting that it’s officially raising the federal funds rate for the first time since June 2006.

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What kind of leadership should we look for in Washington?

Even though voters seem to want to elect an outsider this year, it’s unlikely that dark horse Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com, or anyone else with front-line housing industry experience, will be elected to the nation’s highest office in 2016.

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac switch gears and increase foreclosures

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, conservator to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, released the third-quarter “Foreclosure Prevention Report” showing that efforts to do just that reversed trend. Get ready for some staggering data.

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Housing starts bounce back in November

In light of the upcoming Fed announcement, one housing economist said, “The choppy monthly numbers have been on a gradual trend in a positive direction and the strong monthly permits bodes well as we enter the new wave of interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve.”

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Housing starts bounce back in November

In light of the upcoming Fed announcement, one housing economist said, “The choppy monthly numbers have been on a gradual trend in a positive direction and the strong monthly permits bodes well as we enter the new wave of interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve.”

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What kind of leadership should we look for in Washington?

Even though voters seem to want to elect an outsider this year, it’s unlikely that dark horse Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com, or anyone else with front-line housing industry experience, will be elected to the nation’s highest office in 2016.

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Fed will absolutely raise interest rates – despite being "too late"

With the imminent raising of interest rates by the Federal Reserve later today, one industry expert weighed in on their thoughts, saying the Fed is just too late. Because the Fed waited too long to raise rates, hoping that a “real” economic recovery was in play, which it absolutely, indisputably has not, they boxed themselves into a corner to have to raise rates now.

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MBA: Mortgage applications remain stagnant

Mortgage applications once again posted little change, rising 1.1% for the week ended Dec. 11. Similarly, mortgage rates barely moved, with the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) staying frozen at 4.1%.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Q&A: The next step for digital mortgages in 2016

The more the industry gets accustomed to digital mortgages, the more areas it will need to expand into. After largely achieving compliance with TRID this year, lenders are pivoting to focus on customer centricity. Here are the challenges the industry faces and the next steps to compete in the digital world.



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How mortgage lenders can manage changing interest rates

Predicting what comes after an interest rate change may seem like a high-stakes guessing game, but mortgage lenders using Alight’s dynamic analysis can get critical visibility into their breakeven point and know what funding levels they need to maintain profitability. These executives can also forecast general and administrative expenses and branch profitability with every change.

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It's not just MSAs: Barclay's warns CFPB is looking at all referrals

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has sharpened its enforcement of marketing services agreements this year, may be expanding its definition of a kickback to include any type of referral, according to a report from Barclays.

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'Tis a great season to buy and sell your home

Along with enjoying holiday festivities and spending time with your family, you might want to add shopping for a home and even selling your home to your list of things to do right now. Here are four reasons for both sides from the Orlando Regional Realtor Association.

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Can appraisal volume survive a Fed hike in interest rates?

Appraisal volume continued to struggle to recover from the loss it witnessed due to Thanksgiving. And with a looming rate hike ahead, the future of appraisal volume is in question.

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Will a Fed interest rate hike slow the housing recovery?

One economist says the price of mortgages could go up by double digits and potential homeowners need to move quickly to take advantage of favorable rates today. Do you agree with him?

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Fannie and Freddie called upon to securitize more low-income loans

The proposed rule would require the Enterprises to adopt plans to improve the distribution and availability of mortgage financing in a safe and sound manner for residential properties that serve very low-, low-, and moderate-income families.

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Mötley Crüe lead singer finally close to selling his home in California for $2.58M

Lead singer of Mötley Crüe Vince Neil is finally about to close on his home in Danville, California that he has tried to sell since October 2012, although he hasn’t even lived there for the past five years. Interestingly enough, this same house recently came up as one of the homes in California that is wasting water.

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Chronos Solutions acquires Cogent Road

Chronos Solutions has acquired Cogent Road, a San Diego-based mortgage technology company. As a result, Chronos can now further expand its suite of products and services in mortgage technology.

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Monday, December 14, 2015

California house prices about to get even pricier

The State Supreme Court in California recently put a stop on a building project meant to offer a new, suburban community outside of Los Angeles. The reason? The development isn’t green enough. Yes, urban sprawl drives climate change, the justices ruled.

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OCC: Snapshot of the strengthening mortgage market

It was a good year for mortgage performance and foreclosure activity. The positive news can partially be attributed to improved economic conditions and aggressive foreclosure prevention assistance.

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Community lender confidential: Why TRID is far worse than anyone thought

In order to get an understanding for just how far apart the CFPB’s opinion of TRID is from the industry itself, especially away from Wall Street, HousingWire conducted a series of interviews, delivered here in longform, with community lenders about how TRID is impacting their mortgage business. Warning: the news isn’t good.

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3 Christmas wishes for housing joy

With Christmas only days away, it’s time to fire off my “housing wish list” to the North Pole. I know from good sources that Santa and the elves are exceptionally fast workers, so it’s never too late, even when making requests on a subject as complex as our nation’s housing system.

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The 3 real estate stocks dragging markets down

It’s true that major stock exchanges are down in today’s trading. But can you really blame this on three key players in real estate? Apparently, you can if you write for The Street.

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Here's why 2016 will bring good news for potential homebuyers

Next year isn’t predicted to bring any giant hoopla to set off the market. However, moderate growth is more sustainable, and better for buyers. According to Redfin’s forecast for 2016, you can call it a slowdown, but it’s not bad news. Here are five things it expects to see in 2016.

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Lenders: Here’s what you’re working with to get Millennials a mortgage

While putting Millennials into homes is a major objective for 2016, let’s figure out what you’re working with money wise when trying to get them a loan. For starters, they are not making as much as their parents were when they were young, and on top of that, they are dealing with an overload of student debt.

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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Will Fed raise interest rates in December?

It’s finally here. It’s the week of the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting. The question up for debate: Will the Federal Reserve interest rates? According to most sources, the answer is yes. Also, ever tried to explain what you do for a living to your friends? Make them what this Hollywood motion picture.

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Feds bust Rhode Island real estate fraud conspiracy

A real estate attorney, a real estate agent, a licensed loan originator, a former loan officer, a loan processor and a real estate investor were all indicted Friday on charges of participating in a wide-ranging real estate fraud conspiracy that reportedly involved mortgage fraud, bank fraud and identity theft.

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This MBA chart shows the drop in retail origination volume

The latest chart of the week from the Mortgage Bankers Association puts the reality of today’s retail origination volume into perspective, along with explaining what the driving forces behind the drop could be.

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Friday, December 11, 2015

Ally Financial getting back into mortgage business

Two years after being completely driven from the mortgage business due to the losses suffered by its former subsidiaries, GMAC Mortgage and Residential Capital, also known as ResCap, Ally Financial is getting back into mortgages. Click the headline to read more.

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China’s disturbing treatment of bankers in wake of economic crisis

The billionaire chairman of a Chinese conglomerate is the latest in a long list of suspended or “disappeared” Chinese bankers and finance heads, after President Xi Jinping’s sweeping anti-graft campaign spread to the financial sector this year.

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Affordable housing advocates on why conservatorship of Fannie, Freddie must end

The best option for communities at this juncture is to recapitalize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, end their conservatorship, and allow Fannie and Freddie to preserve the public mission in their charters, and their affordable housing goals, John Taylor, CEO of National Community Reinvestment Coalition, writes in an editorial. Click to read Taylor’s plan for the future of Fannie and Freddie.

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HomeUnion expands rental-investment footprint in South Carolina

HomeUnion added Columbia, South Carolina, to its list of active investment markets. The market’s continued growth and stability make it a solid economic base for SFR investments.

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How much is too much for a closing gift from a real estate agent?

Closing gifts are almost as important in the real estate world as securing a home, at least it is if you want your clients to come back. Are you thinking about buying a simple welcome mat and flowers for the family’s new home? You better think again. And a lot bigger.

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Consumer spending reaffirms likelihood of December interest rate hike

Consumer spending reported solid growth in November, giving another positive sign to the industry that the Federal Reserve will likely raise interest rates next week for the first time in nearly a decade.

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Star of 'The Big Short' backs new mortgage venture

Until the motion picture The Big Short came closer to becoming a reality, the name Michael Burry, played by Christian Bale, was probably unfamiliar to most people. Now, Burry, who was one of the featured stars in the best-selling book of the same name by Michael Lewis, is getting back into mortgages.

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Tom Wind hired as president of U.S. Bank Home Mortgage

Tom Wind is the new president of U.S. Bank Home Mortgage, replacing Rick Aneshansel, who announced his retirement earlier this year. Wind has held executive positions with several other lenders, including EverBank Financial Corporation, Lehman Brothers/Aurora Loan Services and JPMorgan Chase.

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Morgan Stanley reaches $225 million settlement with NCUA

The National Credit Union Administration announced its latest move in pursing recoveries on behalf of corporate credit unions that were hit with big losses due to the corporate credit unions’ purchase of faulty residential mortgage-backed securities. Now, Morgan Stanley becomes the latest to pay up.

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New House bill would end 'FICO monopoly' at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

A bill introduced Thursday in the House of Representatives would allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to consider alternative credit-scoring models beyond the FICO credit score the government-sponsored enterprises currently use when determining what loans to purchase.

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Houston couple wins $5.4 million in foreclosure fraud suit against Wells Fargo

It’s a story that has been seen hundreds, if not thousands of times since the housing crisis. Homeowners fight back against foreclosure, saying that the lender or servicer has no legal authority to foreclose on their home. And it usually ends the same way, with the little guy losing. But one Houston couple took on one of nation’s biggest banks – and won. Big.

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Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac suspend foreclosure evictions during holidays

As the government-sponsored enterprises have now done for several years, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that they will suspend foreclosure evictions during the holiday season.

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MBA: New home purchases fall 6% in November

Despite posting a 6% decline, mortgage applications for new home purchases still came in better than expected considering the time of year. In fact, this is the highest November reading since the index began in 2012.

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Moody’s: TRID violations found in 90% of recently reviewed mortgages

Despite CFPB Director Richard Cordray’s recent proclamation that the implementation of the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule was akin to the unfounded panic that surrounded Y2K, a new report from Moody’s finds the opposite may be true. Are TRID compliance violations running rampant?

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Golden Globe nominations prove you need to see The Big Short

The financial crisis struck a chord with Hollywood this year as two major motion pictures were listed in the nominations for the 73rd Golden Globe Awards. If you weren’t motived already to see these movies that have an All-star cast that includes Steve Carell and Christian Bale, then you should be convinced now.

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Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates inch higher on positive jobs report

The economy added 211,000 new jobs in November exceeding analysts’ expectations. As a result, mortgage rates to started to increase and edged closer to 4%.

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Here's the current status of the top three housing markets

Although the buyer traffic index did improve, it is still below agent expectations as persistent issues with short supplies of quality inventory and buyer resistance to higher prices remain significant concerns. This is the latest update on the top markets in the nation based on single-family building permits.

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Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac roll mortgage modification interest rate back to 4%

Last month, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dropped the benchmark interest rate for the standard mortgage modification programs below 4% for the first time since the programs began in Jan. 2012. But that’s looking like a singular occurrence.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Leader of massive mortgage modification fraud scheme gets 18 years

One of the “ringleaders” of a massive mortgage fraud scheme will spend the next 18 years in federal prison for her role in a scam that bilked more than 4,000 struggling homeowners out of more than $7 million.

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FHA announces 2016 loan limits

The Federal Housing Administration announced its loan limits for 2016, with the loan limits in 188 counties set to increase due to changes in housing prices. Click here to learn more about where the FHA raised its loan limits for 2016.

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Moody’s acquires data and analytics assets of BlackBox Logic

Seeking to boost the capability of its Structured Analytics and Valuations unit, Moody’s Corporation announced the acquisition of the residential mortgage-backed securities data and analytics assets of BlackBox Logic.

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[Watch] The one Christmas light show to rule them all

This family not took only surpassed the standard Christmas lights and reindeer decorations, but it even took Christmas light shows to a whole new level. The music is all a custom sound track composed of Dubstep, movie clips and more, and the pixel lights are are similar to what you would see in a stadium Jumbotron. Combine this all together and you get a Christmas light show turned dance party.

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TransUnion: Mortgage market will completely recover next year

The long, steady recovery from the housing crisis and the recession that followed is nearly over, with the consumer lending market expected to recover completely in 2016, according to a new report from Transunion.

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What will the looming Fed rate hike do to housing?

It’s now less than a week until the next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, during which many analysts expect that the FOMC members will vote to raise the federal funds rate for the first time since June 2006. So what would be the impact of a Fed rate hike on housing?

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MGIC: Primary new mortgage insurance falls again in November

Once again, primary new mortgage insurance declined, falling to $3 billion in November. Additionally, its primary delinquent inventory dropped to 62,445 by the end of the month.

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MBA: Mortgage applications edge up 1.2%

Mortgage applications continued to hover around the same level this past week. The 1.2% increase follows a 0.2% decline last week and a 3.2% decline the week before that.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

$6 billion Fannie, Freddie bulk servicing portfolio available for sale

Buyers looking to get their hands on some Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage servicing rights have that opportunity, as a $6 billion bulk residential mortgage servicing rights portfolio that features loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is available for sale.

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Fannie Mae updates tech to spur more mortgage modifications

As part of an effort to allow more struggling borrowers to receive a mortgage modification, Fannie Mae announced updates to its procedures, which it says will increase both the number of mortgage modifications it supports and the speed in which those modifications are completed.

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San Francisco Federal Credit Union unveils zero-down jumbo mortgages

Citing the struggle to save money that many San Francisco residents face due to the city’s skyrocketing housing costs, one local lender is going to extreme measures to try to help area residents buy a home. San Francisco Federal Credit Union’s new loan program will allow San Francisco-area borrowers to finance up to 100% of their mortgage – with no requirement for mortgage insurance – on loans up to $2 million.

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Here's what the housing and mortgage industry will look like in 2016

Since next year is shaping up to be a potentially chaotic, unstable and unprecedented year of upheaval around the world, it’s hard to paint a good picture of what housing will look like. That being said, here are five predictions for the housing and mortgage industry-related for 2016.

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Ex-NFL star and his 74-year-old mother ordered to repay $615K for mortgage fraud

Irving Fryar, who spent 16 years in the National Football League, starring for the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles during his career, and his 74-year-old mother were ordered to pay $615,600 in restitution to five lenders that were targets of a scheme that saw Fryar allegedly take out six home equity loans his mother’s home – at the same time.

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It’s still profitable to originate mortgages

While mortgage profits were slightly down and costs were marginally higher in the third quarter when compared to the second quarter, levels were still strong compared to last year. The latest numbers from the Mortgage Bankers Association dig into the minute details of how the business is holding up, and looking at the numbers, it wasn’t a bad third quarter. But will these levels stay?

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Appraisal volume recovers some of last week’s drop

While this week recovered some of the giant loss in volume from Thanksgiving, it fell a bit short of bringing the volume up to the levels seen the weeks before the holiday.

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Freddie Mac sells off $1.1 billion in non-performing loans

Freddie Mac announced Tuesday that it sold off 5,311 seriously delinquent loans from its investment portfolio. The loans carry an unpaid principal balance of approximately $1.1 billion. The sale, which was initially announced last month, had five pools of loans being sold to several different buyers, including one that has become familiar in sales like these.

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Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift won big in 2015 housing

Off the stage and away from the camera, these celebrities are also conquering the world of housing, slowly building up substantial portfolios of real estate properties. On the flip side, the list also includes a few celebrities that aren’t doing so well.

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Freddie Mac publishes single-family loan-level data for all fixed-rate mortgages

Freddie Mac announced Monday that it is making single-family loan-level data publicly available for all fixed-rate mortgages as part of an effort to provide investors with more information about its credit risk-sharing deals.

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Realtor brazenly offers services to embattled Cleveland Browns coach

The Cleveland Browns are bad. There’s not much gray area there. It’s a near certainty that the team’s head coach won’t be back with the team next year. One Cleveland Browns’ fan - a Realtor - showed up at Sunday’s game and boldly offered up her services to help Pettine on his way out of town.

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Luxury home prices drop for the first time in three years

According to the Redfin chief economist, the luxury market was the first to recover from the housing downturn, and now it’s a bellwether of slowing price growth for the rest of the market.

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New Mexico homeowners targeted by fake 'Ocwen' loan modification scam

New Mexico’s Attorney General issued a warning to the state’s citizens recently, advising them to be on guard for a “dangerous new scam” that supposedly offers a “Making Home Affordable” mortgage modification from Ocwen Financial. But the letters are not from Ocwen – and there are no modifications to be had.

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'Ringleader' of massive mortgage fraud scheme gets 5 years for targeting Hispanics

The leader of a massive mortgage fraud scheme that generated nearly $7.4 million in fraudulent proceeds and cost lenders more than $15 million will spend the next 66 months in prison for her role in a scam that preyed on hundreds of victims in the northern Virginia Hispanic community.

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Which celebrity owned the top home in 2015?

This year brought a new group of celebrities to the top of the list for the best celebrity homes. While in past years Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, Portia De Rossi, usually topped the list, a group of comedians, actors and a former Olympic gold medalist dominated Zillow’s latest list of celebrity homes that racked up the most views on the real estate website.

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Network Funding hires Matt Kiker as president

Kiker has nearly 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry, most recently serving as director for the mortgage-consulting firm, Garrett, McAuley & Co. In his new role as president of Network Funding, Kiker is responsible for overseeing various facets of the business, including day-to-day operations, enhancing production and overseeing development of the business.

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Louisiana man arrested for cyberstalking Realtors

In a stark reminder of the danger that Realtors and real estate agents face as public figures whose personal information is easily accessible, a Louisiana man was arrested recently for cyberstalking several Realtors. Authorities said that the man sent multiple “harassing, sexually explicit” text messages and attempted to arrange one-on-one meetings with the Realtors.

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[Webinar] Hispennials: The lending group you’re missing but need

What happens when you combine two of the largest segments of potential borrowers? You get Hispennials. Right now, they are a largely unreached market that needs lenders help on how to better fit their needs. Hurry and sign up for HousingWire’s latest webinar in order to learn more. Registration ends Wednesday.

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Executive Conversation: Mark McElroy on the benefits of eClosings

In addition to facilitating the closing transaction, Pavaso has built in additional functionality to keep the consumer engaged within the platform throughout their homeownership lifecycle and connected with all the various stakeholders from the original transaction, not just the lender.

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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Are Fannie and Freddie too-big-to-fail?

Is the Federal Reserve failing at its own stress tests? According to its own watchdog, the answer is yes. One man pays his mortgage a little too quick for some. And the cost of buying and selling a house just outside New York City is about to skyrocket.

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Black Knight: Consumers aren’t getting Fannie, Freddie 3% down mortgages

For all the uproar that surrounded Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac introducing loan programs that allowed buyers to put down as little as 3% around this time last year, not many buyers are actually taking advantage of the low down payment loans. This is why.

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Nomura: Non-performing loan sales hit post-crisis high, and they’re not going away

In recent months, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have all participated in the sale of non-performing loans, but even with those sales, the volume of non-performing loans on each agency’s books means that NPL sales aren’t going away anytime soon.

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Trulia: 3 predictions for housing in 2016

With 2016 less than a month away, Trulia published a blog on what it predicts will happen in the housing market over the next year. One of these predictions is that buying will still be a more financially wise decision compared to renting.

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House members try end run for TRID grace period bill

The Homebuyers Assistance Act is languishing in Congress, waiting to go to the Senate for consideration, but still under a veto threat from the president. Will a new plan by some in the House get it approved by the end of the year?

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Here are 7 tips to secure a home when inventory is low

Despite strong buyer demand, a giant lack of inventory in the housing market is creating a roadblock, and this isn’t expected to change anytime in the near future. To help still secure your dream home in a tight inventory environment, Sharon Voss, president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, gave a few tips on what home shoppers can do.

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$3 billion bulk Ginnie Mae mortgage servicing rights portfolio hits market

Buyers hoping to get their hands on some Ginnie Mae mortgage servicing rights have that opportunity, according to Interactive Mortgage Advisors, which announced Friday that it is acting as the exclusive broker for the sale of a $3 billion bulk Ginnie Mae mortgage servicing rights portfolio.

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Does November jobs report signal December interest rate hike?

Job creation increased again in November. Industry economists commented on the report saying these results should finally put to bed any doubts about whether the Fed will announce a rate increase later this month.

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Obama Administration considering extension of HAMP servicing rules

Despite the fact that the federal government’s Making Home Affordable program is currently set to expire at the end of next year, one Obama administration official says that the mortgage servicing rules that were adopted as part of the Home Affordable Modification Program may be sticking around — permanently.

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HLP, Freddie Mac, NFL legend Tim Brown partner to help minority families become homeowners

HLP, Freddie Mac, the Hispanic Action Outreach Network, and NFL Hall of Famer Tim Brown announced a partnership designed to help low and moderate-income African-American and Hispanic families buy their own homes.

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RealtyTrac: Home prices in 35% of major metro areas hit all-time high in 2015

For more than a third of the nation’s major metro areas, home prices have reached all-time highs in 2015, a new report from RealtyTrac shows. RealtyTrac’s report also shows that there were more single-family homes and condos sold in the first 10 months of 2015 than in any of the last nine years.

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Why Quicken Loans is the Taylor Swift of the mortgage industry

Before you write this idea off as being too far fetched, let me explain. You won’t hear the words mortgage and music used in the same sentence often, but with everything going on in the lending industry with FHA loans, the two overlap more than usual. One key difference, though, is that Swift was successful. Can the same be said for Quicken Loans?

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Franklin American Mortgage fined $70 million for False Claims Act violations

Franklin American Mortgage Company will pay the United States $70 million to settle allegations brought against the lender by the Department of Justice, which accused Franklin American of violating the False Claims Act by originating substandard Federal Housing Administration loans.

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CFPB Director: Panic over TRID looks just like Y2K

Depending on what you read and hear and who you believe, the implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TRID rule in October was either no big deal or a really big deal. Count the CFPB’s director, Richard Cordray, as one of those who thought the implementation of TRID was no big deal.

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Don't miss it: HW Tech100 awards close tomorrow

Reading through entries for this contest blows our editorial mind, and we love to discover the myriad ways that companies are adapting their technology to meet real needs. What we don’t love is telling companies that have incredible, amazing, unbelievable solutions that they have missed the deadline to apply.

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American Homes 4 Rent announces merger with American Residential Properties

In a move that will create the largest publicly traded single-family rental home company, American Homes 4 Rent announced Thursday that it will merge with American Residential Properties. The merger will increase American Homes 4 Rent’s total single-family rental portfolio to 47,315 homes.

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4 ways to jump-start a real housing recovery in 2016

These four actions will help lead us to a stronger economy in general and a real housing recovery in particular. And while these aren’t the only things that need to happen to facilitate this, they do represent a solid foundation onto which said recovery can be built.

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Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie slash price of their NOLA mansion

Celebrity power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reduced the asking price of their New Orleans home, slashing the price by $850,000, bringing it to $5.65 million. But this isn’t last the city will see of the couple.

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Yellen: Economy still on track for December interest rate hike

There are less than two weeks until the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting. And the latest speech from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen hints that a rate hike in December is still likely.

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Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates drop further below 4%

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased again after Treasury yields ticked down 3 basis points after weak manufacturing data. This marks the third consecutive week of declines.

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Exclusive: Josh Rosner and Glen Corso on why it's time for true GSE reform

In an exclusive commentary, Graham Fisher & Co.’s Josh Rosner and Glen Corso, the executive director of the Community Mortgage Lenders of America, discuss why now is the right time for comprehensive reform to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mae, and plot a roadmap for the future of the GSEs.

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Freddie Mac completes 8th STACR deal of 2015, plans 8 more in 2016

Freddie Mac announced Wednesday that it completed its eighth Structured Agency Credit Risk Series credit risk-sharing deal of 2015. It also announced plans to offer eight more STACR deals in 2016.

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Sen. Corker’s real estate investments in question

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) is in the spotlight for alleged insider trading involving one of the biggest shopping mall REITs in the country after the Wall Street Journal started asking questions. Turns out, it was just the tip of the iceberg.

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Millennial wish list: The top 5 trendy housing markets for 2016

Next year is the year for Millennials to dominate the housing market, at least that’s what realtor.com predicts in its 2016 housing forecast report. In light of this, these five housing markets are expected to be some of the most sought-after areas due to their large numbers of Millennials, strong employment growth and relative affordability.

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[Webinar] Hispanics want to own homes, but are lenders ready?

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, there will be nearly 6 million more Hispanic households in 2024 than in 2014. Do you have the right tools and procedures in place to meet the needs of this diverse group of borrowers? These three expert panelists will fill in the gaps.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

CoreLogic: Distressed home sales continue to trend lower

Distressed sales, which include real estate-owned properties and short sales, continued to drop in September 2015. If this current pace continues, the market will reach that “normal” 2% mark in mid-2018.

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Construction spending near eight-year high

Construction spending jumped more than expected in October as outlays rose across the board and brought spending to the highest level since December 2007.

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Sage Bank fined $1.2 million by DOJ for discriminatory lending

Massachusetts-based Sage Bank will pay nearly $1.2 million to settle charges brought against the bank by the Department of Justice, which accused the Sage Bank of “engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of race and national origin in the pricing of its residential mortgage loans.”

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Quicken Loans considers quitting FHA loans

The contentious legal battle between Quicken Loans and the Department of Justice over the DOJ’s allegations that Quicken violated the False Claims Act by “knowingly” submitting hundreds of “improperly underwritten” loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration may just be enough to drive Quicken Loans out of FHA lending completely.

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Here are the top 10 housing markets for 2016

With next year right around the corner, realtor.com decided to go a step beyond its usual month-to-month hottest housing markets list and figured out where the hottest housing markets for 2016 will be. However, unlike some past lists, this one doesn’t include common winning cities like Denver and Dallas.

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MBA: Mortgage applications post little change

It was a quiet week for mortgage applications. After last week’s 3.2% decline in applications, this week’s results didn’t appear to change much.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Appraisal volume tumbles amid Thanksgiving holiday

Appraisal volume significantly tumbled after last week’s slight rise. However, according to Kevin Golden, director of analytics with a la mode, “This apparently dramatic drop is not something to be concerned about.”

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LenderLive adds Scott Banks as senior vice president of finance

In this newly created role, Banks will be responsible for overseeing the investor reporting, treasury and bank reconciliation functions, as well as the development of budgets, forecasts, financial reporting, and analyses to support new business initiatives and show return on investment, the company said.

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Congress reaches highway deal without controversial use of Fannie, Freddie fees

Thanks to a landmark agreement between the Democrats and Republicans in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, it’s looking increasingly likely that the fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to guarantee loans will not be used to fund new roads.

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Genworth survey: Compliance with TRID still weighs heavily on housing industry

As the two-month anniversary of the implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule approaches, concerns over complying with the TRID rules are still weighing heavily on mortgage industry professionals, a new survey showed.

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Network Funding unveils several non-QM lending programs

Network Funding, a private residential mortgage lending company, announced a series of new lending programs designed to “help people achieve financing that wouldn’t typically qualify for a mortgage due to typical guideline restrictions.”

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HW Vanguard Awards: Leadership has never been more important

We created the HW Vanguard Awards to highlight the leaders in every sector of housing who are forging a new path toward profitability and sustainability. We received a lot of outstanding nominations, but every one of the 27 executives we chose in this first year were clear winners.

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[Report] The housing market can withstand a Fed interest rate hike

Despite some concerns that an interest rate hike could devastate the housing market, a new report from Capital Economics said that housing looks well placed to withstand a rate hike. However, there are more issues that the industry needs to overcome other than just rising interest rates.

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HomeUnion expands again; begins lending to single-family rental investors

HomeUnion, an online real-estate investment management firm, is expanding from helping investors identify single-family rental properties to purchase to actually helping them buy the properties. HomeUnion announced Tuesday that it is launching a new division, HomeUnion Lending, which will focus on lending to single-family rental investors.

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CoreLogic: Home prices rise 6.8% in October

According to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic, home prices continued to post “healthy” gains in the month of October. And CoreLogic expects that prices are going to continue to trend in the same direction as we head into 2016.

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loanDepot closes first $150M securitization of personal loans

The online mortgage lender officially moved into marketplace lending on May 13, becoming the first national nonbank lender to offer both home and personal loans nationwide. Since then, loanDepot has funded more than $250 million in personal loans, leading to the company’s first $150 million securitization of unsecured personal loans.

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Hot Seat: Patrick Nackley of Superior Home Services

We don’t want servicers to get shorted on pricing, depreciation, being paid overhead and profit. If you are maximizing the value of each settlement and anticipating using that money to repair, you are reducing the incidents of corporate contribution.

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What's driving mortgage lending behavior?

That lenders may be holding back a bit is not surprising as lessons from behavioral finance studies suggest that individuals tend to weight recent experience more than the past. Applied to the mortgage business and compounded by rising compliance costs, recent experience with heavy credit losses of the crisis could be dampening management enthusiasm for credit expansion in an otherwise expanding, albeit tepid economy.

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2015 Trailblazers: Arch MI

With its commitment to real innovation, including Arch MI RateStar and Arch Mortgage Guaranty Company, Arch MI has proven itself to be the partner that can transform and expand lending horizons.

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Embracing the science of income analysis

Despite the ever-increasing pressures in this area, most lenders still approach income by leaving it up to the underwriter to pull everything together. If technology can improve processes in so many areas of mortgage banking, why can’t it add efficiency to one of the most traditional aspects of the loan process, income calculation?

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2015 Trailblazers: Black Knight Financial Services

To support lenders and their network of settlement agents with their efforts at TRID compliance, Black Knight’s Closing Insight solution offers online integrations with major title and settlement platforms to facilitate lenders’ efforts to generate the new closing disclosure forms and enable lenders and settlement agents to reconcile fees within mandated timelines.

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2015 Trailblazers: Equifax

Today, many lenders verify an applicant’s employment and income themselves, often by having consumers provide W-2s and pay stubs. This is not only a time-intensive process that relies on consumers, but it also increases the risk to lenders due to a potential for fraud because the employer is removed from the process.

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5.8 million foreclosures, and counting

Over the past eight years, housing counselors and the mortgage servicing industry have learned a lot, and it’s our joint responsibility to avoid the mistakes of the past, to maintain momentum, and to create new pathways for homeowner-centric loss mitigation practices that have sustainable homeownership as the No. 1 objective.

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2015 Trailblazers: Alight Mortgage Lending

Alight Mortgage Lending helps answer key questions like: What happens if mortgage rates skyrocket? Will it be better to open a new branch this quarter or next? Is there enough cash to build franchise value by retaining servicing? Using Alight, lenders can make this kind of scenario-driven analysis a critical part of day-to-day business for all teams across their enterprise.



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The next big thing in SFR: Lending to landlords

Tighter regulation and higher risk aversion — both to actual risk and to headline risk — in the world of mainstream lending mean that despite the opportunity available with SFR investors, traditional lenders have by and large not jumped on this opportunity. That leaves these nontraditional national lenders a bigger share of the pie in a market that in the past has been largely the domain of local and regional hard-money lenders.

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2015 Trailblazers: Global DMS

Global DMS has developed an appraisal work-flow engine — eTrac Enterprise — that gives users a single-source valuation management platform to centralize all aspects of the appraisal process. This work-flow engine eliminates the need for manual intervention within specified processes because all of the steps and notifications are automated.

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2015 Trailblazers: Mason-McDuffie Mortgage Corp.

Mason-McDuffie utilizes the Kaizen philosophy of continuous improvement, which places a high value on each employee and empowers them to spot and eliminate waste. From a practical standpoint, it means that the company’s collaborative structure is focused on making changes, monitoring results and adjusting accordingly.

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2015 Trailblazers: National Real Tax Tracking

National Real Tax Tracking provides lenders, servicers, investors and title companies with the information they need for research, due diligence and compliance. By functioning as an outsourced tax division, NRTT empowers companies to research, monitor and manage everything they need related to property tax status, in a compliant and transparent way.

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Tech Innovator: Centric Technology Solutions refines the appraisal process

For appraisers, the platform’s embedded guidelines mean fewer revisions, so they can not only complete more valuations, but do so with greater clarity. New appraisers can be brought on board quickly with educational opportunities built into the platform, which could shorten the appraiser’s learning curve by 60% to 80%.

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