Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Specialized Loan Servicing expands into prime mortgage subservicing

Specialized Loan Servicing, a third-party mortgage servicer that is owned by Australia’s Computershare, announced this week that it plans to expand its offerings to include subservicing for prime and non-performing loans.

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March interest rate hike? Odds are now up to 50%

Expectations for a rate hike in March are up significantly from last week as traders place an over-50% chance on an increase of interest rates in March. And one expert explains this increase in expectations could turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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10 best and worst markets for first-time homebuyers right now

As the industry gears up for the spring homebuying season, first-time homebuyers are once again stuck trying to gauge exactly how affordable their market is, along with if it’s even one they are able to jump into. This new report from Bankrate shows what markets are ideal for first-time homebuyers. Does yours rank at the top of the list?

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RealPage continues expansion with $300 million acquisition of Lease Rent Options

Earlier this year, RealPage, a provider of software and data analytics to the real estate industry, announced plans to expand its apartment data offerings with the $75 million acquisition of Axiometrics. Well, it turns out that RealPage isn’t done expanding yet. The company announced Monday that it reached an agreement to acquire Lease Rent Options and related assets from The Rainmaker Group for $300 million in cash.

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Consumer Confidence hits 15-year high in February

Consumer confidence took off in February, reaching its highest point in 15 years, according to The Conference Board. However, now every measure of consumer optimism showed an increase on consumer sentiment in February.

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Massive single-family rental merger: Tricon Capital to acquire Silver Bay Realty Trust for $1.4 billion

In a deal that will shake up the single-family rental industry, Tricon Capital Group announced this week that it plans to acquire Silver Bay Realty Trust in a $1.4 billion deal that will create one of the country’s largest operators of single-family rental homes.

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[Watch] Hensarling: Dodd-Frank reform is a this-year priority

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, is at the forefront of reforming Dodd-Frank, spearheading one of the most prominent options to change the controversial act. His position of authority brings a lot more weight to his recent comments during a CNBC interview where he stated that dealing with Dodd-Frank is a this-year priority.

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Will you be successful this spring homebuying season? This is what economists predict

Mortgage interest rates are increasing and could increase even more if inflation rises. Experts explain that while this should mean a deceleration in home prices, that has not been the case. An increase housing inventory remains the only factor that could fulfill home buyer demand and settle rising home prices.

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Wells Fargo commits $60B lending goal toward African American Homeownership

America is projected to become drastically more diverse over the next several decades. By the year 2024, 75% of the expected 14 million new households in the U.S. will be diverse, and Wells Fargo is stepping up to meet that need. The bank announced on Tuesday a $60 billion lending commitment to African American homeownership.

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Second estimate keeps GDP at 1.9% growth in Q4

The second estimate for the fourth quarter’s GDP remained at 1.9%, but one expert says the real story is the increase in GDP from the first half of 2016. While GDP decreased from the third quarter, this was due to a spike in soybeans the faded in the fourth quarter.

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Radian: Here's where our federal mortgage insurance competition is growing

“If we do not appropriately manage the strategic decisions required in this environment, our franchise value, business prospects, results of operations and financial condition could be negatively impacted,” Radian stated.

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Case-Shiller: Home prices set 30-month high in December

Home prices rose to their 30-month high in December and at their fastest pace in over 2.5 years, according to the latest Case-Shiller results. The Indices’ chairman explains why rates are rising so rapidly and if the speed of increase is a reason for alarm.

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Bank fights for stake in PHH case to battle CFPB authority

State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas won’t back down easily. The bank continues to try and weigh in on the landmark case between PHH and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Despite motions from other parties being denied, Competitive Enterprise Institute General Counsel Sam Kazman said they are “cautiously optimistic” that their recent motion to intervene will be approved.

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Fired HUD aide to Ben Carson softens stance on Trump

After being fired earlier this month for being critical of President Donald Trump during the campaign, Shermichael Singleton, who was one of Ben Carson’s top aides at HUD, went on CNN for an interview as a follow-up to his controversial op-ed. For Singleton, time has helped change his stance on Trump.

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December becomes first month to feel impact of rising interest rates

Affordability dropped in December as rising interest rates finally took their toll on home buyers. In fact, First American’s Real House Price Index showed the first year-over year decline in consumer house buying power in over two years.

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SoFi officially locks in $500 million investment led by Silver Lake

SoFi locked in another massive funding deal, being it’s total equity funding to $1.9 billion. While the deal includes a familiar name, it’s private-equity firm Silver Lake that led the deal. Mike Cagney, SoFi co-founder, chairman, and CEO, touches on where the online lender plans to go from here.

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Ten-X predicts fall in February’s existing home sales

Existing home sales shot up in January, but don’t expect the following months to follow suite. At least, not according to Ten-X’s Nowcast prediction. And from the looks of January’s pending home sales, the report is on the right track. As one expert put it: you can’t buy a home that’s not for sale.

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NAFCU to CFPB: Pull credit unions out from under your authority

Credit unions got looped in with the rest of the industry after the financial crisis, falling under the new industry watchdog dubbed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to ensure such extreme lending would never happen again. The only problem is that credit unions believe they never contributed to the crisis.

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Warren Buffett gives us all an update on his stake in affordable housing

Every year billionaire investor Warren Buffett releases an annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, unraveling the inner workings of his conglomerate’s performance. The 29-page document details the status of Clayton Homes, which specializes in manufactured homes, a key industry in fixing the affordability crisis.

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Property cash sales to hit pre-crisis levels this Summer

Cash sales decreased annually in November at a pace which, if it continues, could bring the market to its pre-crisis state much earlier than originally predicted. CoreLogic now forecasts that both cash and distressed sales could reach pre-crisis rates in 2017.

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President Trump: Dodd-Frank keeps banks from lending

Trump is making good on his promises to cut back on regulatory reform, stating that Dodd-Frank hinders banks from lending. However, not everyone agrees with the president, saying the numbers simply don’t support his claim.

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Pending home sales hit lowest level in a year

Pending home sales dropped in January to its lowest level in a year as the lack of housing supply fought against the increasing buyer demand. While demand for homes is at its highest point since the Great Recession, affordability may force buyers into less expensive locations or smaller homes.

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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Trump targets CFPB funding for greater control

President Donald Trump’s budget proposal reportedly includes a big change for the CFPB. We have the details for you. Plus, will the Fed raise rates in March? Here’s one way to get a clue. Also, did the Oscars get its first HUD joke? Twitter thinks so. And Trump’s election appears to be costing California some much-needed affordable housing.

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First American: Mortgage lending takes riskier turn in 2017

Refinance mortgages are decreasing as interest rates increase, leaving purchase markets to dominate the market. First American’s chief economist explains this shift is leading towards a higher risk of potential defects, fraud and misrepresentation.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Fannie Mae announces new front-end credit risk-sharing deal

Fannie Mae announced Friday that it executed its second front-end credit risk-sharing deal through its Credit Insurance Risk Transfer program. The deal provides insurance coverage on a maximum coverage of approximately $375 million from pools of single-family mortgages that carry a combined unpaid principal balance of approximately $15 billion.

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[Video] MBA CEO: The future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform

After nearly 10 years under conservatorship, reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is finally high up on the President’s priority list. However, there is still no official plan around what exactly this reform will look like. The CEO of the largest trade group in the mortgage finance space gives his take on what the future for reform will likely look like.

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Trial date set for former LandCastle Title CEO Nat Hardwick

Exactly one year ago, federal authorities arrested Nathan (Nat) Hardwick, the former chief executive officer of LandCastle Title and former managing partner of Morris Hardwick Schneider, on charges that he embezzled millions of dollars from his former companies. And exactly one year from now, Hardwick will stand trial for allegedly conspiring to steal more than $20 million from the attorney escrow accounts and operating accounts of Morris Hardwick Schneider and LandCastle Title.

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Teresa Bryce Bazemore to step down as Radian Guaranty president

After 10 years at the mortgage insurance company, Radian Guaranty President Teresa Bryce Bazemore announced she plans to retire at the end of April. Bazemore joined the company in 2006 as one of the first hires under Radian CEO S.A. Ibrahim.

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U.S. to continue investigating money laundering by foreign real estate buyers

The federal government will continue investigating whether foreign buyers are using high-end U.S. real estate to launder money after an expanded investigation found that potentially illicit activity is behind as many as one in three cash purchases from foreign buyers in select markets.

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Independent voters growing more optimistic about economy

The divide between Republicans and Democrats is growing wider as Republicans’ optimism hits new highs and Democrats’ pessimism hits new lows. Independents, however, are growing more optimistic about the future and present state of the economy.

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President Trump signs another executive order to slash regulation

Shortly after speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland on Friday, President Donald Trump signed another executive order on regulatory reform, reinforcing his push to significantly cut regulations by 75%.

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Rising Stars entry deadline extended!

A favorite saying of ours is “deadlines spur action,” and in the case of our Rising Stars awards program, it’s proving true. Quite a few of you are waiting until the last minute to get your nominations in. We’ve heard from quite a few folks that are feeling the pressure of that impending deadline, and we feel you. We get it. And we’re not monsters around here. We’re here to help.

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New home sales are up, but pace disappoints

New home sales increased in December, but industry experts are not impressed. Given the unusually high temperatures throughout the winter and the high demand for housing, experts expected new home sales to come out with much stronger numbers.

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Here’s how first-time homebuyers in U.S. stack up to their Canadian neighbors

First-time homebuyers in Canada and the U.S. both seem to be putting off buying a home amid rising home prices. However, the similarity between the two countries ends once these first-time buyers decide to make their purchase. While homebuyers in the U.S. are increasingly looking to lower down-payment options, down payment amounts in Canada reached an all-time high.

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Redwood Trust CEO: We're ready for Trump to bring private capital back to mortgages

During an interview with CNBC on Thursday, Steven Mnuchin, the newly minted Secretary of the Department of the Treasury, reiterated the Trump administration’s pledge to pursue reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And if that happens, Marty Hughes, the CEO of Redwood Trust, says that the real estate investment trust will be ready and willing to step further into the market.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Embrace Home Loans expands into Texas

Recent reports from the Texas Association of Realtors and Fitch Ratings call out how hot Texas real estate right now, as more homes were sold last year than ever before. Seeking to strike while the iron is hot, Embrace Home Loans announced this week that it is expanding into Texas and opening its first office in the state.

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Ocwen SEC filing reveals details of CFPB mortgage servicing investigation

During Ocwen’s investor call, CEO Ron Faris was asked about the company’s disclosure in its fourth-quarter earnings that it set aside $12.5 million for “potential” regulatory settlements. Faris responded by directing observers to the disclosures in the company’s upcoming 10-K filing with the SEC. Well, Ocwen filed its 10-K on Thursday, and as it turns out, that $12.5 million is for a potential settlement with the CFPB.

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Impac reports best year in more than a decade

Impac Mortgage Holdings locked in a record financial year on Thursday, recording adjusted operating income of $96.9 million, or $6.52 per diluted common share, for all of 2016. This is significantly up from a year ago and a big contributor to this growth was purchase originations.

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This is how much you need to buy a home in these top 10 cities

Home prices are on the rise in cities across the U.S., and hit new highs in many cities throughout 2016. New data from SmartAsset shows exactly how much income is needed in the top 10 U.S. cities to afford a home.

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Here are 5 easy tips to rebuild your credit score

Credit score provider VantageScore Solutions recommends taking these actions to help improve your score but be advised, the results aren’t instant.

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loanDepot promotes Dan Hanson to chief retail production officer

loanDepot hasn’t let up on the gas since it launched into the housing finance market after the financial crisis. Now the company announced it promoted Dan Hanson to chief retail production officer, where he will be charged with fulfilling the team’s mission to become America’s lender of choice.

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Fitch: Is there a housing bubble in these hot, hot markets?

Housing in the state of Texas was hotter in 2016 than it’s ever been before, but is real estate in the Lone Star state getting too hot? A new report from Fitch Ratings suggests that Texas is one of a few states where home prices are not only unsustainable, they’re overheating.

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Game-changing real estate technology makes its way to Dallas

Remine announced its new partnership with the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems, which will bring game-changing technology to more than 30,000 Dallas-area Realtors. Remine will allow Realtors to identify and market to would-be homebuyers at a time when real estate in Texas is hotter than ever.

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JPMorgan pumps $1.2 million into Detroit to revitalize housing

Thanks to companies like JPMorgan Chase donating millions of dollars to Detroit to help it recover, it’s made steady progress since the financial crisis. But, since it fell so low after the crash, there remains a long way to go. Here’s the latest positive news for the Motor City.

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John Peyton named president and CEO of Realogy Franchise Group

Realogy Holdings named a new leader over its Realogy Franchise Group, which includes prominent brands such as Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21 and Coldwell Banker. The company welcomes a familiar face to the position, promoting John Peyton, its current president and COO, to CEO of RFG, effective April 1, 2017.

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FHFA: Rising interest rates not slowing down home prices…yet

Home prices continued their strong growth in the fourth quarter despite rising interest rates. Although interest rates are up, housing inventory is down, causing home prices to increase. However, the FHFA’s deputy chief economist explains it may simply be too soon to see an effect on the market from increasing interest rates.

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Freddie Mac: Market uncertainty disorients mortgage rates

Mortgage rates increased slightly, once again breaking from the 10-year Treasury yield which saw a more significant decrease. Freddie Mac’s chief economist explains the divergence between the two numbers stems from rising uncertainty in the market.

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[WATCH] Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says expect GSE reform during Trump administration

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sat down with CNBC for his first television interview since being confirmed to lay out some of the administration’s economic priorities. Among the items discussed, Mnuchin mentioned GSE reform, confirming that a change in Fannie and Freddie’s current status is still high on the administration’s list of priorities.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ocwen expects another loss in 2017 thanks to NYDFS, CFPB regulatory issues

Despite the California Department of Business Oversight removing the state’s mortgage servicing restrictions on Ocwen Financial, the nonbank is still prohibited from acquiring mortgage servicing rights in bulk, thanks to the company’s previous settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services. And those restrictions and other “regulatory challenges” will likely lead to another yearly loss for the nonbank.

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CoreLogic fourth quarter and full-year revenues surge at double-digit rates

CoreLogic wrapped up 2016 with double-digit revenue growth for the fourth quarter and full year due to success in two of its key segments. And looking ahead to 2017, the company is very positive about what the future holds.

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Ocwen falls back into the red in Q4, but results are much better than last year

Ocwen Financial surprisingly returned to profitability in the third quarter of 2016, breaking a four-quarter streak of losses, but the company’s time in the black appears to be short-lived. The nonbank reported Wednesday that it posted a net loss for the fourth quarter of 2016, but the loss is far smaller than the company reported during the same time period last year.

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B. Riley Financial acquiring FBR & Co. in $160 million deal

B. Riley Financial, a financial services firm, announced Wednesday that it is acquiring FBR & Co., an investment banking and brokerage firm, in a deal that values FBR at $160.1 million. “B. Riley Financial and FBR combined will become a clear leader in small cap investment banking and brokerage in the U.S. with 600 names under research coverage,” the companies noted in a release.

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Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration could drop home prices

President Donald Trump’s policies cracking down on immigration could mean drastic changes to the housing market once the policies start taking effect. Even legal immigrants are showing more caution when it comes to buying a home, saying they are unsure about their future in the U.S.

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Here's the inventory crisis smothering Millennial homebuying

Regardless of whether Millennials want to buy a home or not, there first must be a home available to purchase. In an interview with HousingWire, Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions, identified three key factors keeping housing inventory in a drought, barring entrance for aspiring young homeowners.

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BurkeyLoan to offer 120% LTV mortgage that also pays student loans

A mortgage lender announced its new program that allows potential homebuyers to lump in their student loan balance to their mortgage. BurkeyLoan claims the new product will build access to capital for the Millennial generation.

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Want to be on the cover of HousingWire Magazine? Here's your chance

Have you ever wanted to be on the cover of a magazine? You get to show off to all your friends, family, and colleagues – many of whom will likely come traipsing into your office and begrudgingly ask for your autograph. Have you ever wanted to the envy of the entire housing industry? Well, here’s your chance to do both.

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Texas housing is now hotter than ever

It was another record-setting year for Texas real estate, as home sale and home prices both hit all-time highs – for the second year in a row. According to a new report from the Texas Association of Realtors, there were more homes sold in the Lone Star State in 2016 than in any other year, eclipsing the previous high, which stood for all of one year.

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Existing home sales increase to fastest pace in a decade

Existing home sales increased to the highest rate in nearly a decade in January, beating out experts’ expectations. However, the market continues to struggle with dwindling inventory and affordability.

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Nationstar revenue increases 45% in Q4

Nationstar finished 2016 with a bang, increasing its revenue by 45% and its net income by nearly 500%. But those aren’t the only increases the company saw during the fourth quarter. Nationstar’s CEO explains what this means for the company in 2017.

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MBA: Mortgage applications continue to decline

This week’s mortgage application data looked similar to the previous week’s report as applications fell once again due to a drop in refinance demand. This time around the refinance share of mortgage activity sank even lower, falling to the lowest level since November 2008.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

PHH adds Stephen Staid as senior vice president of servicing

PHH will soon have a new senior vice president of servicing, as the company announced Tuesday that Marty Foster plans to retire after spending 20 years with the company. Replacing Foster as senior vice president of servicing will be Stephen Staid, a 25-year veteran of the industry.

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Fannie, Freddie stock plummets after court decision dents shareholders' prospects

Shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went into free fall on Tuesday after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that Fannie and Freddie shareholders cannot pursue many of their claims related to the so-called “Third Amendment sweep.” But despite the drop, both Fannie and Freddie are still trading above where they were prior to the election of President Donald Trump.

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Can this small Texas bank jump in on PHH's fight with the CFPB?

Even though PHH’s battle with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau takes up the majority of the discussion around the fate of the bureau, it’s not the only entity fighting against the independent agency. Battling alongside PHH is State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas. The bank harbors a similar grudge against the CFPB, with a lot of its fate resting in the outcome of the PHH case. But will it be able to fight its own battle?

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Another Republican senator introduces bill to "dismantle" CFPB

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, introduced a bill repealing Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, which established the CFPB. But Cruz wasn’t alone last week in launching a full-scale assault on the controversial governmental agency. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, also introduced a bill last week that would kill off the CFPB, albeit in a different way than Cruz’s bill.

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Wells Fargo fires four senior managers over fake account scandal

Wells Fargo announced Tuesday that it fired four senior managers as the fallout continues from the fake account scandal that led to a $185 million fine from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the city and county of Los Angeles.

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Court rejects hedge funds claims in Fannie, Freddie profit sweep

Fresh off handing down a significant ruling in the battle over the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit just dealt a sizable body blow to the investors who claimed that the government’s decision to sweep all the profits from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into the government’s coffers was not only unnecessary, but illegal as well.

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myCUmortgage gets into mortgage servicing business

Credit unions that want to keep their mortgage servicing within the credit union family now have a new option, as myCUmortgage announced Tuesday that it is launching a mortgage servicing operation. As for why myCUmortgage is getting into the servicing business, the company’s president said that most credit union members don’t get a mortgage loan from a credit union expecting that the servicing will be transferred away.

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Mortgage defaults slightly rise, but no need to be concerned

The first mortgage default report is out for the year, and so far, rates are only slightly increasing. The report comes off the heels of a low default rate environment in 2016, which is likely to be tested in 2017 as interest rates start to rise.

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Home Depot beats earnings estimates as revenue surges to $22B

Home Depot proved there is definitely still demand for home improvement. The company announced on Tuesday that revenue climbed 5.8% to $22.2 billion in the fourth quarter, beating earnings estimates.

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Guess who just joined the HousingWire free Appraisal webinar?

HousingWire is hosting a free webinar next week on the state of the appraisal industry in 2017. We are already getting flooded with questions and, lucky for all of us, Zach Dawson, the director of collateral strategy at Fannie Mae, will join us. Here’s how to sign up!

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Hensarling compares CFPB to a tyranny

It’s probably safe to say that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, is no fan of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And as Hensarling told the Dallas Morning News in a recent interview, there are plenty of good reasons to change the CFPB.

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California home sales start 2017 on a strong note

While winter usually means a decline in home sales, California just saw its first increase in home sales between December and January since 2012, a sign that the Golden State could be in for a strong housing year.

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Hawkish Fed official comfortable with raising rates in current economy

One Federal Reserve member explains why she is comfortable with raising rates under the current economic conditions. However, the Cleveland Federal Reserve’s president did not put a timeline on a rate hike, and some experts wonder if the Fed could be looking at raising rates as soon as March.

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Here are the top 10 states with the highest mortgages rates

Mortgage rates are increasing from last year’s all-time lows. However, despite the increase, rates remain near historic lows. Read this to see if your state is among the top 10 with the highest interest rates.

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Waterstone Mortgage to ring opening bell at Nasdaq

More than 40 of Waterstone Mortgage Corporation’s personnel will ring the opening bell at Nasdaq on Feb. 21, 2017 as part of a ceremony honoring the company’s top loan originators.

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What does Trump's SEC chair choice think about deregulation?

President Donald Trump recently selected a new leader for one of the government’s top financial regulators, nominating top Wall Street lawyer Jay Clayton to serve as the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission. But what does Clayton think about the current state of financial regulations? Here’s a glimpse.

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California regulator reveals what Ocwen did wrong

Ocwen Financial announced late last week that it successfully extricated itself from the mortgage servicing restrictions placed on it by the California Department of Business Oversight. The final settlement total included $198 million in debt forgiveness. So why was the settlement so big? Turns out that Ocwen’s operations weren’t exactly squeaky clean for the last few years.

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Apartment landlord sues Airbnb for encouraging tenants to break lease

Airbnb is now facing a lawsuit from one of the largest landlords in the U.S. The landlord claims Airbnb is purposefully encouraging tenants to break their lease, and creating an unsafe environment for the complex. Airbnb, however, does not agree, and says it plans to fight back against the lawsuit.

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Household debt to hit new record in 2017

Household debt is set to hit an all-new high in 2017 after showing the largest increase in over a decade. Mortgages made up the majority of household debt in 2016, however student debt is also on the rise.

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Was TRID worth it?

For businesses in the mortgage space, there’s some optimism of late thanks to the Trump administration’s emphasis on deregulation. And that’s understandable. But what about all the time, energy, and money that the industry spent over the last few years dealing with a glut of new regulations? Was it all worth it?

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Ocwen reaches $223 million settlement with California over servicing violations

Ocwen Financial announced late Friday that it reached a $223 million settlement with the California Department of Business Oversight, ridding itself of the restrictions that hampered its mortgage business in California for more than two years. The settlement includes a cash payment of $25 million. Ocwen is also required to provide an additional $198 million in debt forgiveness.

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Altisource Portfolio Solutions to pay $32 million to settle class action suit over Ocwen relationship

Altisource Portfolio Solutions revealed recently that the CFPB is looking into the company’s relationship with Ocwen Financial. But that wasn’t the only Ocwen-related revelation of the week. The company also reached a $32 million settlement in a class action lawsuit brought by Altisource investors who claimed financial harm after Altisource’s stock plummeted after the New York Department of Financial Services began investigating the company’s relationship with Ocwen in early 2014.

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Freddie Mac selling off $759 million in non-performing loans

Recently, Fannie Mae announced its first non-performing loan sale of 2017, stating that it plans to sell 10,000 delinquent loans with a total unpaid principal balance of $1.76 billion from its portfolio. Fannie Mae’s fellow government-sponsored enterprise announced a NPL sale of its own on Friday.

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What will come first: July 2018 or new plans for the CFPB?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit finally ruled on the landmark case between the Consumer Financial Projection Bureau and PHH in favor of the CFPB. The decision significantly lengthens the timeline for knowing the fate of the bureau and its director, Richard Cordray. So what’s likely to happen now? Alan Kaplinsky, partner and leader of Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, explains what he thinks will happen.

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Goldman Sachs: Mortgage interest rates will rise to 5.5% by 2019

The most recent data from Freddie Mac shows that the average interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage is around 4.15%, but interest rates are going to increase by a significant margin over the next few years, analysts from Goldman Sachs said in a new report. Here are the details.

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White House spokesperson: Trump believes CFPB is "unaccountable"

Given the Trump administration’s recent maneuvering to fire Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, it’s probably not a surprise that President Donald Trump disagrees with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s decision to rehear a challenge to the CFPB’s constitutionality.

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Fannie Mae keeps growth prediction conservative amid rising policy uncertainty

Fannie Mae reported its economic forecast for 2017, which remains conservative due to rising concerns about the new administration’s policies. However, consumer confidence remains strong and home sales are high.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

MBA appoints two new members to MISMO board of directors

The Mortgage Bankers Association named two new industry veterans to the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization board of directors. Read for more about the new members: Quicken Loans’ executive vice president and Black Knight’s senior vice president.

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CFPB seeks increased lending to "credit invisible" borrowers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is joining the growing chorus of groups trying to expand access to credit for consumers who lack enough credit history to obtain a credit score, also known as the credit invisible. During a field hearing in Charleston, West Virginia on Thursday, CFPB Director Richard Cordray said the bureau is officially is seeking public feedback on the benefits and risks of tapping alternative data sources. Do you have any comments you want to submit?

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Veros partners with Ellie Mae to offer AMC valuation option

Veros partnered with Ellie Mae in order to bring more control to lenders through the appraisal process. Now, lenders can go through the new solution in place of using AMCs. Veros explains this software will help improve efficiency in the loan origination process.

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Judge rules that CFPB can investigate seller-financed home sales

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau earned a big victory in court Thursday when the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of the CFPB in its fight against PHH. And that wasn’t the only positive result the CFPB got in a federal court this week. A federal judge also ruled that the CFPB can pursue an investigation into seller-financed home sales and the operations of Harbour Portfolio Advisors.

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SoFi to lock in $500 million investment led by Silver Lake

SoFi is at it again and reportedly nearing a deal to raise $500 million in fresh funds from an investor group led by private-equity firm Silver Lake. This marks another major investment for the online lender after its $1 billion in funding led by SoftBank back in 2015.

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Ellie Mae: Adjustable rate mortgages see uptick in 2017

As interest rates rise, homebuyers and homeowners are locking in their loans – both for purchase and refinance. As a result, FICO scores dropped on all loan types and interest increased in adjustable-rate mortgages, a trend that Ellie Mae says it will continue to watch.

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Fannie Mae CEO: G-fee pricing is in the "right zone"

One of the larger shifts this quarter, although profits remain flat, is earnings from guarantee-fees now outpace portfolio investments. In other words, Fannie Mae is now making more money off of business it is doing rather than business it once did.

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Fannie Mae reports annual net income of $12.3 billion

For the fourth quarter of 2016, Fannie Mae reported net income of $5 billion and comprehensive income of $4.9 billion. As a result, the company expects to pay Treasury a $5.5 billion dividend in March 2017.

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Freddie Mac CEO: 4 ways to turn around the supertanker

One thing that gets little coverage is how effective Freddie Mac CEO Donald Layton managed his team, which runs $2 trillion in assets. So, it seemed appropriate to find out his formula for retaining top staff and keeping the foot soldiers motivated. Layton puts it down to 4 ways they helped turn around this “supertanker.”

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Confused about the CFPB? Don't stop implementing mortgage regulations

The future of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is as clear as mud right now. There are at least four different situations at play currently, all of which could completely change the agency. Meanwhile, the housing industry is left to conduct business in the middle of this storm. So, the question is: What should you do now?

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Altisource Portfolio Solutions reveals CFPB probe into relationship with Ocwen

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is looking into the relationship between Altisource Portfolio Solutions and Ocwen Financial, Altisource revealed on Thursday. According to Altisource, the CFPB is “considering a potential enforcement action against Altisource relating to an alleged violation of federal law that primarily concerns certain technology services provided to Ocwen.”

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Top aide to Ben Carson fired from HUD, reportedly for criticizing Trump

One of Ben Carson’s top aides is reportedly out of a job at the Department of Housing and Urban Development for being critical of President Donald Trump during the campaign. Here are the details, courtesy of the New York Times.

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New York unveils final cybersecurity regulations

Last year, the state of New York announced a series of sweeping regulations that require banks, insurance companies, and other financial services companies to significantly increase their cybersecurity programs. The rules are set to take effect on March 1, 2017, and now, with less than two weeks until the rules take effect, New York is releasing the final version of the regulations.

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Servicers: Here’s how you can control mounting operation costs

Servicers face mounting operational costs due to increasing compliance. But while compliance costs are necessary, there are other ways to use technology to reduce inefficiencies in the process. A panel of experts at MBA’s National Mortgage Servicing Conference in Dallas explain how technology can help.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Court of Appeals agrees to rehear CFPB case, agency to fight "unconstitutional" ruling

If President Donald Trump wants to fire Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, he’s going to have to wait a little longer to do it, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Thursday in favor of the CFPB. The ruling allows the embattled agency to defend the constitutionality of its leadership structure.

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Chase moves into digital mortgages with help from Roostify

Chase is adding its name to a growing list of mortgage lenders going digital, as the housing industry steps up its game to meet the needs of consumers. Chase announced on Thursday it’s launching a digital mortgage platform, allowing customers to track a loan application through closing entirely online and from any mobile device.

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MBA predicts 2017 will bring steady, modest economic growth

The Mortgage Bankers Association projected its forecast for the year at the National Mortgage Servicing Conference in Dallas. MBA’s Lynn Fisher explained growth will be steady and modest, but explains why a rate hike in March is a growth possibility.

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LenderLive takes PHH private-label mortgage operations

Earlier this week, PHH announced that it plans to exit its joint mortgage venture with Realogy Holdings, ceding the business to Guaranteed Rate as PHH continues to shift its business focus. But that’s far from the only change for the company. LenderLive is now set to take over PHH’s private-label mortgage operations.

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Housing starts begin year slightly lower

While last year posted the best year for housing starts since 2007, this year didn’t quite keep up the trend. Looking at the latest release from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, housing starts began the year off slightly down.

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Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates suddenly stopped following 10-year Treasury yield

Mortgage rates decreased once again this week, contrary to the 10-year Treasury yield. Freddie Mac points out that that while mortgage rates followed the Treasury yield for 46 years, this year has been different. But will the 30-year mortgage fall in step, or will this year be a year of surprises?

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Freddie Mac profits again on higher g-fees, smart market plays

Higher g-fee income helped drive $3.9 billion in fourth-quarter income. This also includes $2.3 billion of market-related gains, primarily driven by a significant increase in longer-term interest rates during the quarter.

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Senate Republicans unveil bill to rein in CFPB spending

The sharks swimming around the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau now appear to smell blood in the water. Now, those who defend the CFPB face another battle, as several Senate Republicans unveiled a bill this week that would give Congress oversight of the CFPB.

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"Rocket Mod": The future of mortgage default servicing?

Over the last few years, technological advancements took mortgage originations from the fax machine to the smartphone — and from months of waiting to approval in minutes. Could the same thing be coming for mortgage modifications?

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Realogy, Guaranteed Rate announce new mortgage venture as PHH backs out

In a giant change of hands for the mortgage industry, Realogy Holdings and Guaranteed Rate announced on Wednesday a new joint venture, Guaranteed Rate Affinity, which is expected to begin doing business in June 2017. But as Guaranteed Rate moves in to work with Realogy, PHH announced it is exiting its existing joint venture with Realogy.

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SoftBank to take over Fortress Investment Group

In a major acquisition play for the industry, SoftBank Group Corp. announced a definitive merger agreement to purchase real estate investment powerhouse Fortress Investment Group for $3.3 billion in cash. Neither of the companies are new names to industry as both are heavy investors in top housing companies.

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Unconscious bias in the workplace – what if the experts got it wrong?

One expert, who spoke at the Mortgage Banker’s Association national mortgage servicing conference and expo in Dallas, pointed out how mortgage professionals can avoid bias in the workplace. However, while she points out interesting facts, could she be looking at it from the wrong angle?

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

CFPB analyst: We use consumer complaint database as insider guide for exams

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s consumer complaint database has been a source of controversy since its inception, as many industry participants took issue with the fact that the complaints were made public, despite potentially being unverified and unproven. And based on what one CFPB analyst said Wednesday, you can see why the complaint database is the bane of the financial industry’s existence.

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Tech professionals on servicing rule: We don’t know what we don’t know

The Mortgage Bankers Association servicing conference is in full swing, and technology experts held a panel to discuss the changes in technology coming to servicers after the implementation of the CFPB’s new servicing rule. As companies develop these new technologies and dig deeper into the new rule, panelists explained their greatest setback: they don’t know what they don’t know.

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Mortgage delinquencies edge slightly higher from record lows

Despite a rise in the mortgage delinquency rate in the fourth quarter of 2016, the slight uptick follows a record-low third-quarter report. Marina Walsh, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s vice president of industry analysis, explains the mixed set of results in the most recent survey.

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Ted Cruz introduces bill to abolish CFPB

While there appears to be some in the Republican Party who simply want to reform the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, there are at least two Republicans on Capitol Hill who want to kill the agency altogether. The bills, introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, would repeal Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, which would abolish the CFPB entirely.

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MBA welcomes industry to Dallas mortgage servicing conference

The Mortgage Bankers Association welcomed the industry to its national mortgage servicing conference with good news: Now is a great time to be in the servicing industry. Helping kick off the conference Wednesday, experts explained the current state and future of servicing.

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Homebuilder confidence slightly declines, moves closer to normal levels

Posting its second report for the year, the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo Housing Market Index found that builder confidence continued its steady decline in February, gradually falling back to a normal range. Despite the optimism, builders still cited areas of concern.

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MBA: Mortgage applications drop as refi demand reaches record low

Mortgage applications continued their recent seesaw as refinance demand dwindled to another record low. Plus, refinance applications aren’t alone in the decrease in demand, with purchase applications also dipping for the week. Here’s the latest.

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Top 10 most toxic zip codes for homeowners

An annual report from ATTOM Data Solutions shows the most dangerous zip codes in the nation for homeowners. The report scores zip codes based on four environmental hazards: superfunds, brownfields, polluters and/or poor air quality.

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Say goodbye to the controversial CFPB consumer complaint database?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s controversial consumer complaint database might not have much life left. Last week, a memo reportedly from the House Financial Services Committee Chairman revealed plans for an even more aggressive version of the Republican-crafted Financial CHOICE Act, and one item included in the plans is the elimination of the consumer complaint database.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Better Mortgage raises $15 million to fund expansion

Since launching in roughly one year ago, online mortgage lender Better Mortgage funded more than $500 million in loans, and now the company plans to expand thanks to a $15 million round of funding. The company announced recently that it completed Series B funding from three investors, including Goldman Sachs, which is increasing its investment in the online lender.

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Finance of America expands, brings B2R Finance, Jordan Capital Finance into fold

Finance of America, a Blackstone Group portfolio company, made quite a splash in recent years as the nonbank revealed a serious growth plan with a series of acquisitions. Now, details of Finance of America’s latest expansion are being revealed, as the company announced that it is launching a new division that will focus on lending to real estate investors, bringing two well-known companies into the fold.

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Mixed reaction to Mnuchin officially taking over as Treasury Secretary

Considering the contentious nature of the confirmation process, it’s not a surprise that reaction to Steven Mnuchin officially being sworn in as the next Secretary of the Department of the Treasury varied wildly. As you might expect, Republicans celebrated Mnuchin’s confirmation, while Democrats decried it.

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Quicken Loans: Homeowners and appraisers disagree on value of homes

After coming closer to agreeing on home prices for six months, the gap between appraised values and homeowner estimates widened for the second month in a row. Quicken Loans’ chief economist explains how tight housing inventory could open up opportunities for homeowners.

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OrangeGrid changes up leadership team with four new hires

This software solutions company made some changes to its executive team as it brought on four new hires. Here’s a little more on the new team members, their backgrounds, and their new positions.

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Fannie Mae selling off $1.76 billion in non-performing loans

Fannie Mae announced Tuesday that it plans to sell off $1.76 billion in non-performing loans, the latest in the government-sponsored enterprise’s efforts to rid itself of deeply delinquent mortgages. Here are all the details.

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Completed foreclosures drop 40% in December

Foreclosures decreased substantially at the end of 2016, as completed foreclosures sank 40% and foreclosure inventory dropped 30%. In fact, homes in serious delinquency dipped to its lowest level since 2007. CoreLogic’s president and CEO talks about what turn foreclosure trends will take in 2017.

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HomeBridge completes purchase of operating assets of Prospect Mortgage

After first announcing the move in November of last year, HomeBridge Financial Services, a national independent mortgage lender, officially completed the purchase of the operating assets of Prospect Mortgage. The purchase brings HomeBridge to the next level, making it one of the largest nonbank mortgage lenders in the country, with retail branches nationwide and two wholesale divisions.

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Arch MI finishes off 2016 with a boom

Arch MI’s strong third quarter results carried into the fourth quarter as the company finished the year off strong. Arch increased its mortgage insurance written just slightly from the previous quarter and by more than 50% from the prior year.

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It's official: Steven Mnuchin sworn in as Treasury Secretary

Despite all the bluster, attempted parliamentary maneuvering, and name-calling from the Democratic party, the Senate voted Monday evening to approve Steven Mnuchin to serve as the next Secretary of the Department of the Treasury. As expected, the Senate approved Mnuchin in a partisan vote of 53-47, with one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, splitting from his party and voting with the Republican majority.

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Second time a charm? Democrats again defend CFPB in battle with PHH

Key Democratic parties aren’t ready to back down from defending the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just yet. In a last-second twist before the D.C. Circuit panel releases its decision on the CFPB’s petition for rehearing en banc, three Democratic groups filed requests for the full court to reconsider the panel’s denial of the motions to intervene in the government regulator’s case against PHH.

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End of an era: Trulia co-founder Pete Flint leaving Zillow Group board

In a matter of months, Pete Flint’s only direct connection with the online real estate pioneer he helped found will be the stock he owns in the company that was once his fiercest competitor. Zillow Group, which bought Trulia for $2.5 billion in 2015, disclosed Monday that Flint will be stepping down from Zillow Group’s board later this year, leaving behind the company he and Sami Inkinen founded nearly 12 years ago.

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Quicken Loans begins long journey with DOJ over FHA violation charges

Monday marked the first of what will likely be many hearings between Quicken Loans and the Department of Justice before a U.S. district judge over FHA lending violation charges. If the first hearing on Quicken Loans’ request to have the case dismissed is denied, the trial will begin in a little more than two years. Here’s an update to one of the biggest wars brewing in mortgage finance.

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[Photos] Meet Aspen’s highest priced home sale since 2015

Aspen, Colorado just saw its highest priced home sale since the end of 2015. The price tag? $24.4 million. These pictures provide an inside look on the home, and the mountainous scenery that surrounds it. Simply stunning, sure, but is it a bargain?

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HUD offers assistance to Louisiana tornado victims

Tornado victims in the Louisiana area are about to receive relief after President Trump issued a disaster declaration for the area. HUD explains what options are available to homeowners and low-income renters.

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It's confirmed: CFPB doesn't need to follow Trump's executive order on regulations

President Trump’s recent presidential memorandum and executive order regarding financial regulation reform left more questions than answers in the short-term. So what does the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau need to do different now? Truth be told, not much.

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Vote for Trump's Treasury pick heads to Senate

The road leading up to the confirmation of President Donald Trump’s Treasury pick Steven Mnuchin was less than smooth, however all signs point to his successful nomination as the vote moves to the Senate floor. The vote is expected to take place around 7 p.m. Eastern on Monday, and Republicans control just enough votes to confirm Mnuchin.

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Regulators deny JPMorgan Chase, Redwood Trust securitization innovation

Last year saw a bit of innovation in the private-label securitization market, as JPMorgan Chase launched a new securitization option where some of the risk on non-agency mortgages is transferred to the private market through a risk-sharing deal. But, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency rejected the innovative securitization structure. What does it mean going forward?

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Realtor.com: These are the top 10 suburban housing hotspots

As home prices continue to increase, more homebuyers are being pushed out of urban areas and into the suburbs. In fact, about 50% of all homebuyers planning to buy a home this spring said they will purchase a home in the suburbs. In that spirit, here are the top 10 suburbs in the nation.

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Executive Conversation: Caroline Reaves on being a proactive partner

HousingWire sits down with Caroline Reaves, CEO of Mortgage Contracting Services, to discuss the company’s substantial growth and the importance of being proactive for clients.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: An "inside" look at Gary Cohn's role in Trump administration

Two of New York’s biggest newspapers happened to publish competing (and somewhat similar) articles over the weekend that delve into the growing role within the Trump administration of Gary Cohn, the White House National Economic Council Director and a former top executive at Goldman Sachs. So what is Cohn’s role? The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are happy to tell you more.

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Urban Institute: Where have all the borrowers gone?

A recent report from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that mortgage credit availability is increasing, meaning it’s getting easier to get a mortgage and has been since 2011. Or so it would seem. A new report from the Urban Institute suggests that it’s actually more difficult to get a mortgage now than it was before the crisis.

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Jury awards VHT $8.32M in battle with Zillow

After nearly a year and half legal battle between VHT and Zillow Group over copyright infringement complaints, the court award VHT $79,875 in actual damages and $8.24 million in statutory damages, but the court battle isn’t getting put to rest yet. Zillow Group said in a statement that it plans to “vigorously pursue all options to overturn their verdict.”

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Home loans seriously underwater hit new low

In 2016 the number of homes that are seriously underwater dropped by 1 million homes to a new low. Rising home prices and low inventory prices is causing home buyers to struggle, however current homeowners are reaping the benefits of this increasing equity.

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Former AIG CEO finally admits to two terrible things he did

Maurice Greenberg, the former CEO of American International Group, denied he misrepresented loss reserves when selling reinsurance to mortgage bond investors. Twelve years later, we finally get something back, an admission of wrongdoing.

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For consumers seeking credit scores, VantageScores are no substitute for FICO scores

[Guest commentary] Consumers today are being bombarded by offers to get their credit score for free. These lead generation websites don’t provide the FICO Scores used by nearly all lenders – but some experts say that doesn’t matter. They believe that if you rank high on one score, you’ll rank high on another score and all these scores move up and down together. This is simply not true and new research confirms it.

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Mark Calabria to serve as chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence

Mark Calabria, a long-time housing reform advocate, will serve as the chief economist to Vice President Mike Pence. In his role within Pence’s office, Calabria could play a big role and be a sizable voice for housing finance reform, which he has spoken about frequently in his career.

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Consumer sentiment shows concerning partisan gap

Consumer sentiment dropped slightly at the start of February. While consumers are still optimistic historically, there is a concerning partisan divide among Americans over the state of the current and future economy.

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The most powerful man in banking just quit on President Trump

The Wall Street Journal once referred to Daniel Tarullo as “The Most Powerful Man in Banking”. Come April 5, that statement will no longer apply. Tarullo submitted his resignation as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, in a letter to President Donald Trump.

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Software company introduces game-changing technology for Michigan Realtors

A new integration of software with multiple listing services could supplement NTREIS in the real estate market. This new software shows homes on a map, instead of in a list, and includes functions that quickly allow Realtors to see who is most likely to sell their home.

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Quicken Loans names new CEO, Bill Emerson promoted

Quicken Loans is switching up its leadership team, announcing three executive-level promotions on Friday, which includes longtime CEO Bill Emerson, effective immediately. In his 24 years with the company, Emerson not only oversaw the growth of the Quicken Loans, but he has also been a major spokesperson for the mortgage industry. And according to Quicken Loans, Emerson is only going to be a more prominent voice in the industry from here.

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White House eyes Fannie Mae exec to lead CFPB if Trump fires Cordray

With Richard Cordray’s tenure as the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is looking shorter and shorter with each passing day, the White House reportedly has its eyes on a Fannie Mae executive to take over at the CFPB if/when Cordray is fired.

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Fed's Bullard says GSE reform could lead Fed to dump Fannie, Freddie holdings

While it’s clear the Trump administration plans to move on GSE reform, what isn’t known yet is just what those plans will look like. Further, what impact will those plans put on the country’s financial system? One area where the Trump administration’s GSE plans could reverberate is on the Federal Reserve and its mortgage bond holdings.

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High-velocity housing market in Northwest continued during January

Housing inventory continues to slip in the Northwest, pushing home prices even higher. But experts say this high velocity market is unlikely to end anytime soon, citing the combination of new jobs, a shortage of new homes, and a reluctance of sellers to list their home for fear of not being able to find their next one.

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Lennar finalizes $643 million acquisition of WCI Communities

Lennar is officially growing its business as the company announced Friday that it completed the acquisition of WCI Communities, a “lifestyle community developer and luxury homebuilder” headquartered in Florida. The companies first announced the deal back in September 2016, and after some financial due diligence, the deal is now complete.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hensarling plan for drastic overhaul of CFPB and Dodd-Frank revealed?

A new memo about future plans reportedly from House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, reveals an even more aggressive version of the Financial CHOICE Act, the Republican-led effort to repeal and replace Dodd-Frank. The memo, obtained by CNBC’s by Ylan Mui, shows the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is slated to face some of the most drastic changes. Is this finally the end for CFPB Director Richard Cordray?

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Ellie Mae adds John Abel as senior vice president, chief information officer

Fresh off another strong quarter and year, Ellie Mae is adding a seasoned executive to it ranks to oversee the company’s internal information technology and systems. Ellie Mae announced recently that John Abel will be joining the company as senior vice president and chief information officer.

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Ellie Mae just misses second straight $100 million quarter

It was another strong year for Ellie Mae, as the company reported Thursday that it saw solid financial results in 2016. And while the company didn’t see a third straight record-breaking quarter from a revenue perspective, the fourth quarter was another solid one for Ellie Mae.

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Here's a snapshot of the CFPB’s monthly mortgage complaints

Each month the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau releases a monthly complaint snapshot generally highlighting all the complaints it receives. This month’s report, however, spotlighted the mortgage industry, giving extra insight to what feedback the bureau is getting from angry homeowners.

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Franklin First Financial fined $1.25 million for FHA loan violations

Franklin First Financial is set to join a list of mortgage lenders that settled with the Department of Justice for violating Federal Housing Administration lending standards, but unlike Wells Fargo, Walter Investment, and a host of others, Franklin First isn’t settling allegations. Rather, the government accused Franklin First of paying borrowers mortgages to keep them from defaulting, thereby concealing the lender’s default rates.

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Are you one of housing's top young leaders? Prove it

Well, it’s that time of year again. HousingWire is proud to announce the fourth annual HousingWire Rising Stars award program, which honors the next generation of leaders in lending, servicing, investments, and real estate. If you, or someone you know belongs on the 2017 edition of Rising Stars, now is the time to prove it.

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Fitch: Trump tax cuts could force another Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac bailout

Speaking before a meeting with airline executives, President Donald Trump said Thursday that his administration plans to unveil a tax reform plan in the coming weeks, with changes to corporate and personal taxes likely on the agenda. While those changes would likely be well received by corporate America, a new report from Fitch Ratings suggests that cutting corporate tax rates by as much as the president suggested could lead to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac needing another bailout from the government.

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Radian Group CEO steps down, names his successor

Radian Group’s CEO is stepping down and passing the reigns on to a new leader as the company comes off its record-setting year. However, the new appointment comes sooner than expected as CEO S.A. Ibrahim previously announced he would step down after the fulfillment of his contract in December 2017.

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Fire CFPB director? Cordray responds to calls for his head

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray is caught in the crosshairs of one of the biggest battles in Congress, as Democrats run to his aid and Republicans tear him and his agency apart. But despite all this quickly growing controversy, Cordray appears to be conducting business as usual.

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Realtors: Majority of metros hit peak levels in 2016

In 2016, the housing market saw existing home prices hit new highs in many markets, and housing inventory hit new lows. While this sounds great for sellers, homebuyers struggle to find an affordable home. NAR explains when homebuyers should start searching for a home to avoid competition and get the best price.

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Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates drop after week of mixed economics reports

Mortgage rates dropped slightly this week after a round of mixed economics reports and rising uncertainty in the administration’s fiscal policies. Freddie Mac’s chief economist talks about the holding pattern, and why rates hovered within 2 basis points for the past three weeks.

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Executive Conversation: Art Castner on robust, dynamic property insurance solutions

HousingWire sits down with Art Castner, president of National General Lender Services, to discuss how dynamic property insurance solutions can adapt to servicers’ growth while helping them stay compliant.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A private mortgage insurer’s view on the FHA mortgage insurance premium suspension

When the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it suspended the reduction of FHA mortgage insurance premiums, it helped the private mortgage insurance market retain $10 billion in volume. Duane Duncan, head of Government relations at Genworth, gave an inside perspective of how the move impacts the private sector, whether it’s reenacted or forever off the table.

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Here’s the easiest way for Trump to fire CFPB Director Cordray

The fight continues for CFPB Director Richard Cordray’s job. While Democrats stand behind him, insisting he won’t leave quietly, Republicans call for his termination. As it turns out, there may be one very simple way that the administration could fire the director under full protection of the constitution, and it would only require one presidential order.

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Mortech, Resitrader partner to provide real-time pricing data for whole loan trading

Mortech, a Zillow Group company that provides mortgage technology solutions for mortgage bankers and the secondary market, announced Wednesday that it is partnering with Resitrader to offer real-time pricing data within Resitrader’s whole loan mortgage trade management software.

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Renters Warehouse, 5 Arch Funding team up to target rental property investors

Aiming to capitalize on the growing single-family rental market, Renters Warehouse, a property management company that specializes in managing rental houses, announced Wednesday that it is partnering with 5 Arch Funding to offer increased funding options for rental property investors.

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Ellie Mae: Millennial women more likely to leverage FHA loans

Millennial women hold a stronger presence in the FHA loan market than men, but experts aren’t sure of the cause. With nearly equal loan-to-value, debt-to-income and loan amounts, Ellie Mae’s experts are at a loss to explain the cause of the higher rates among women.

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House reintroduces bill to end "FICO monopoly" at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

After a little more than a year, three representatives are reigniting the fight to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to consider alternative credit-scoring models beyond the FICO credit score the government-sponsored enterprises currently use. If passed, the bill would finally allow competition in the government’s credit approval process.

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Seattle cuts ties with Wells Fargo over controversial oil pipeline, etc.

Seattle announced it will cut ties with Wells Fargo as soon as its contract ends in 2018, and is taking bids for the bank’s replacement. City council members explain the banks controversial role in the Dakota Access Pipeline and its recent fake accounts scandal pushed Seattle to break all ties.

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Nationstar officially begins transition to Mr. Cooper

When HousingWire sat down late last year with Nationstar Mortgage CEO Jay Bray to discuss the company’s transformation into Mr. Cooper, Bray said the rebrand is much more than just a new name for the company. Now, it appears that the transition is officially underway, as some of Nationstar’s customers recently began receiving letters notifying them that the company plans to rebrand as Mr. Cooper “later this year.”

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Reuters: Justice gunning for Deutsche Bank mortgage bond staffers

While author Joy Wiltermuth refers to targeted staffers as those “who worked in Deutsche Bank’s mortgage unit in the run-up to the financial crisis,” the indication is that Justice is going after former mortgage bond salespersons.

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Housing shortage and high home prices hit these 10 markets hardest

Inventory shortages and high home prices plague the housing market as homebuyers struggle with the competition to find a home. Many markets have a surplus of premium homes and a shortage of starter and trade-up homes. Trulia outlines the nation’s top-10 metros with the most mismatched housing markets.

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Bill reintroduced to permanently bar using Fannie, Freddie g-fees for federal spending

For the second time in as many years, the House of Representatives will consider a bill that would permanently ban the use of funds raised from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s guarantee fees to cover federal spending in areas outside of the mortgage market.

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MBA: Mortgage applications slightly increase

After barely dropping in the prior report, mortgage applications ticked back up and increased 2.3% from one week earlier. Most notably, the refinance share of mortgage applications fell to its lowest level since June 2009.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Will debt-free college education in San Francisco aid homeownership?

Student debt is one of the major barriers to homeownership among Millennials, but in one city that may no longer be a problem. San Francisco just created an option for students to attend college tuition free. Will this free up income for homebuying? Let us know your thoughts.

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Lawyers say Trump executive order does not overhaul Dodd-Frank

President Donald Trump’s executive order to begin the rollback of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act doesn’t do much by itself, lawyers say. Rather than an outright demolition of existing financial regulations, the order mostly points to an ongoing legislative effort championed by the House Financial Services Committee chairman to replace Dodd-Frank with a Republican alternative.

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Why investors could see a $100 billion windfall from Dodd-Frank reform efforts

A recent report from Kroll Bond Ratings Agency suggested that one area that the Trump administration should focus on in its regulatory reform efforts is the requirement that financial institutions hold capital to prevent the need for a bailout in a financial downturn. As a result of those requirements, the country’s six largest banks currently hold more than $100 billion in excess capital. So, what happens to all that money if the capital requirements are overhauled or eliminated?

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CoreLogic: Home prices jump 7% in December

Home prices finished 2016 with a bang, increasing over 7% annually. However, CoreLogic forecasts home price increases in 2017 to continue due to low inventory and high demand, but they will be more subdued.

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Here’s why Blacks should buy homes during the Trump administration

The homeownership rate for African Americans dropped in 2016, but one expert, covered in the publication Black Enterprise, explains why they should buy real estate now. He explains why Trump’s policies make now the best time to invest in a home.

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FBR: We're bullish on Flagstar-Stearns Lending correspondent lending deal

After announcing late Monday that it intends to acquire Stearns Lending’s delegated correspondent lending business, Flagstar Bancorp is positioned to grow its already sizable footprint in the mortgage business, FBR & Co. analysts said in a note to clients. Here’s their take on the deal.

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Former Ginnie Mae president: An open letter to Dr. Carson

[Guest commentary] While political pundits and talking-heads focus on your views on affordable housing and plans for urban renewal, very little has been said about an institution which has become a driver in the American economy—and one which will fall under your oversight shortly: Ginnie Mae. This is certainly not to belittle any of the other matters discussed in your recent testimony before the U.S. Senate. However, I hope you’ll agree that you’re inheriting an important entity of which too little is understood by far too many.

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SoFi bets big on Super Bowl overtime commercial and wins

The New England Patriots weren’t the only ones to win big in the Super Bowl, as four advertisers who took a bet on overtime ads scored a deal of a lifetime in the advertising world. And one of those lucky four advertisers is online lender SoFi.

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Stearns Lending sells delegated correspondent lending business to Flagstar

Flagstar Bancorp is about to grow its correspondent lending business, as the bank announced Monday that it plans to acquire Stearns Lending’s delegated correspondent lending business. Upon the completion of the deal, Flagstar will become the 4th largest correspondent loan originator in the country, the bank said.

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[Video] Barney Frank: Dodd-Frank financial reform law isn’t restrictive

The co-sponsor behind the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act told CNBC in an interview on Monday that the controversial law doesn’t actually restrict lending. And he wasn’t the only one in the interview to think so.

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Monday, February 6, 2017

KBRA: This should be the focus of Trump's regulatory reform

President Donald Trump held to another one of his campaign promises last week, when he signed an executive order that is expected to begin the process of revamping (or replacing) the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. The specific details of the Trump administration’s plan for financial reform were not contained in the executive order, but what should the Republican-led regulatory reform efforts focus on?

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5 metros with new home price peaks in 2016

As home prices soared in 2016, five metros stood out with their new peaks. In fact, the National Association of Realtors explained that 44% of metros with populations over 200,000 saw all new highs in 2016.

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U.S. Bank promotes new CEO after 10 years of company leadership

After working for the bank since 1985, Andrew Cecere will presume the role as the new CEO. He will take over for his mentor Richard Davis, who led the bank as CEO for the past 10 years. Here’s more about the transition, and what Davis will do next.

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Ellie Mae releases latest update to Encompass mortgage solution

Ellie Mae’s flagship product, Encompass, its mortgage management solution, just got another makeover. The new version improves workflow with the GSEs, along with extensive updates to support construction loans.

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Realtors ask Trump to reinstate FHA mortgage insurance premium cut

The National Association of Realtors believes that the Trump administration’s recent decision to suspend a reduction in the Federal Housing Administration’s annual mortgage premiums will keep as many as 40,000 potential homebuyers from becoming actual homebuyers in 2017, and wants the premium cut reinstated “as soon as possible.”

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