Read the latest news about mortgages, foreclosures, servicers, loan modifications, HAMP, Dodd-Frank, Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM), mortgage brokers and more.
- Owner of AZ Mortgage Firm Settles Fraud Cause With AG's Office
Phoenix Business Journal 06 Nov 2013
Stan Nii-Addo Allotey Jr., the owner of Arizona-based Mortgage Relief Group, has settled a consumer fraud case with Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne for $90,000. Under the terms of the agreement, he has been barred from conducting related business operations. Allotey and Mortgage Relief allegedly misled consumers into paying loan-modification service fees that ranged from $995 to $3,245, as well as upfront fees, by misrepresenting the ability to prevent foreclosure.
- Richmond's Program to Prevent Foreclosures Spreads
Richmond Confidential (CA) 06 Nov 2013
A controversial plan to fend off foreclosures in Richmond, Calif., has piqued the interest of municipal officials in Oakland and other markets across the state. And, according to Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, as many as 18 cities nationwide -- including Seattle, Baltimore, and New York -- are exploring similar "eminent domain" strategies for combating foreclosures.
- MortgageIT to Pay $12.1 Million in Mortgage Discrimination Settlement
American Banker 06 Nov 2013
MortgageIT, a former Deutsche Bank unit, has reached a $12.1 million settlement to resolve claims that it discriminated against African-American and Hispanic home loan applicants. The Department of Housing and Urban Development alleged that MortgageIT charged black and Hispanic borrowers higher interest rates and fees, while also rejecting a disproportionate number of their mortgage applications -- a violation of the Fair Housing Act.
- U.S. Takes Aim at 'Forced' Insurance
Wall Street Journal 05 Nov 2013
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will bar mortgage companies from accepting payments to arrange force-place homeowners' insurance, government officials have announced.
- Banks Offering Mortgages With Only 5% Down Payments
CNN Money 05 Nov 2013
Banks like TD Bank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo are loosening their purse strings and are offering loans with down payments that are as low as 5 percent.
- Lenders Say Foreclosure Mediation in R.I. Has No Limits on Expense, Time
Providence Journal (Rhode Island) 04 Nov 2013
In Rhode Island, people living in their houses while they fight foreclosure have paid nearly $4.5 million in "use and occupancy" fees, according to a new report on a federal court plan established to mediate the state's foreclosure crisis.
- FHFA Nominee Is Blocked, But Reform Debate Inches Forward
American Banker 01 Nov 2013
Senate Republicans have blocked the nomination of U.S. Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, plan to continue the fight to confirm Watt.
- Young and Smart, But Millennials Face Homebuying Hurdles
CNNMoney.com 31 Oct 2013
The percentage of 18-to-32-year olds heading their own households was 34.3 percent this past March, compared to 36.1 percent in 2007, according to a recent Pew survey. And for the first time, the homeownership rate among college graduates was less than that of non-graduates, reports the New York Federal Reserve. High debt levels and the weak job market have made it more difficult for young Americans to get mortgages; and more grads are returning to their parents' home to live, which limits their ability to build credit histories.
- Foreclosure Rescue Scam Complaints More Than Double
Housing Wire 30 Oct 2013
Data collected by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and other federal regulatory agencies shows that foreclosure rescue schemes have more than doubled in the past three years. Such scams have become more complex, too, involving lawyers and the bankruptcy code, among other intricacies.
- Senate Hears Testimony on Housing Finance Reform
Mortgage News Daily 30 Oct 2013
The Senate Banking Committee heard testimony from six witnesses Oct. 29 on the matter of overhauling the country's housing-finance system.
- Federal Help Slow to Homeowners
USA Today 29 Oct 2013
Three years after the Hardest Hit fund launched, only 22 percent of the money set aside to help homeowners dodge foreclosure has been disbursed. A report from the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program also noted that the $7.6 billion federal initiative, initially slated to help nearly 550,000 borrowers, now is likely to reach only about 370,000.
- Warren Backs Firmer Mortgage Rules to Bar Return to Lax Lending
Bloomberg 29 Oct 2013
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said in an Oct. 29 speech that Congress should consider fortifying mortgage servicing standards to ensure that banks do not backslide on higher-risk lending in the future. She said the qualified mortgage (QM) rule, which requires lenders to verify a borrower's ability to repay by confirming income and assets, needs to be strengthened because the version going into effect on Jan. 10 has skimpy penalties.
- Coakley: Supreme Court Must Allow Housing Claims
WGGB Fox News 6 (MA) 29 Oct 2013
With backing from 11 other states, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of "disparate impact." In it, she urged the justices to uphold the use of this principle as a tool for maintaining equal access to housing and for uncovering bias.
- Regulators Vow to Work With Industry on Mortgage Rules
The Hill 28 Oct 2013
Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, will work together with the lending industry to implement new mortgage regulations that will help guard against another foreclosure crisis. The pledge came during the Mortgage Bankers Association's 100th annual conference.
- CFPB Accuses Title Settlement Firm of Illegal Kickbacks
American Banker 25 Oct 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is taking action against Louisville, Ky.-based law firm Borders & Borders PLC, alleging that it received illegal kickbacks from certain charges on real estate settlements. The firm and its three principals allegedly created a network of shell companies to profit from kickbacks through real estate settlement referrals.
- Home Equity Loan Revival Expected as Home Prices Rise
Investor's Business Daily 25 Oct 2013
New Inside Mortgage Finance research shows that home equity loan originations in the United States topped $14 billion in this year's second quarter -- an increase from $12 billion a year earlier and the best quarter since 2009.
- Home Loans Become a Little Easier to Get
USA Today 24 Oct 2013
Mortgage tracker Ellie Mae reports that the average FICO score for a closed home loan was 732 in September -- down from 750 a year ago -- and almost a third of closed loans had FICO scores under 700, compared to just 17 percent a year ago.
- Regulator Delays Potential Drop in Fannie, Freddie Loan Limits
San Francisco Chronicle 24 Oct 2013
The limits on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages likely will not take effect on Jan. 1 after all.
- N.Y. Fines Prospect Mortgage $3M for Deceptive Sales Pitch
American Banker 24 Oct 2013
New York State's Department of Financial Services has fined Prospect Mortgage $3 million for misleading homeowners on their interest rates. Prospect -- one of the largest independent home mortgage lenders in the United States -- agreed to the penalty, which settles allegations that it failed to lower borrowers' mortgage interest rates after charging upfront fees to do so.
- Homeownership Becomes an Elusive Dream as Affordability Tumbles
Housing Wire 23 Oct 2013
A U.S. household earning the median national income can afford an average-priced home in just eight of the country's 25 biggest metropolitan areas, according to Bankrate.