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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s Refinance Fee Gets Chilly Reception

Newsletter - September 2020 A new “adverse-market” refinance fee announced by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was met with fierce criticism from real estate industry leaders last month. As of Sept. 1, refinance mortgage loans sold to the GSEs include a 0.5% fee, designed to protect them from additional risk created by…

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As Ban on COVID-19 Foreclosures Winds Down, Homeowners and Renters Wait for Word

Newsletter - August 2020 As the clock ticks on the federal moratorium on COVID-19 foreclosures and evictions, homeowners and renters are anxiously wondering whether more relief is on the way — but Congress is mired in negotiations that are not expected to be resolved until early this month. The most recent…

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Foreclosure Moratorium Extended as COVID-19 Cases Surge

Newsletter - July 2020 As cases of COVID-19 spiked to more than 2.5 million in the United States, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) last month announced that its ban on foreclosures and evictions, which was set to expire June 30th, would be extended through at least August 31st. The foreclosure moratorium, implemented in…

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Mortgage Delinquency Rate Skyrockets During COVID-19 Crisis

Newsletter - June 2020 Newsletter — June 2020 The mortgage delinquency rate saw the largest monthly increase ever reported in April as U.S. unemployment spiked to 14.7%, more than tripling from March. Thanks a ton, COVID-19. A report from Black Knight showed about 3.6 million homeowners were past due on their mortgage…

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Is FHFA’s COVID-19 Relief for Mortgage Servicers Enough?

Newsletter - May 2020 The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress in March requires mortgage servicers to offer forbearance to homeowners who experienced a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost 6% of all mortgages in the United States were in forbearance as of early…

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Coronavirus – What We’re Doing About It

Newsletter - April 2020 As we’re all being bombarded with news about COVID-19, I felt that you didn’t really need another article about how it will affect our industry – haven’t you seen enough for a while, anyway? So, I just want to take this opportunity to remind you that…

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Foreclosure Forecast 2020: Will the Downward Trend Continue?

Newsletter - March 2020 In its Year-End 2019 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report , ATTOM Data Solutions reported that in 2019 foreclosure filings were at their lowest level since tracking began in 2005. Lenders started the foreclosure process on 335,985 properties last year in the United States, down 9% from 2018 and a…

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What the New FICO Score Means for Borrowers — and Lenders

Newsletter - February 2020 An estimated 110 million Americans will soon see a change in their credit score, and for about 40 million of them, the news won’t be good. Fair Isaac Corp., the company behind FICO scores, announced a new credit-scoring model that will be released this summer. The new…

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Will Mortgage Rates Rise in 2020? Four Predictions for the Year Ahead

Newsletter - January 2020 Mortgage rates dropped a whole percentage point between the beginning and end of 2019, boosting originations in the second half of the year, but the industry was also dogged by a low supply of homes and rising construction costs. Will mortgage rates rise in 2020? Will the inventory…

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Will the CFPB be Dismantled in 2020?

Newsletter - December 2019 Early next year, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Seila Law v. CFPB, a case that challenges the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the regulatory agency created by the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010 that oversees consumer financial products and services. The suit argues that…

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As Mortgage Interest Rates Fall, Originations Rise

Newsletter - October 2019 Last month, Fannie Mae increased its mortgage origination forecast to $2.04 trillion — 3.4% higher than the month prior. In fact, the GSE has increased its forecast by an average of 3.6% every month since April, according to HousingWire calculations. The latest forecast would make 2019 the…

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How Much Longer will Fannie and Freddie Stay Under Government Control?

October Newsletter Since being seized by the government after the housing market collapse, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have repaid the $191.5 billion in bailouts they received — plus an additional $115 billion to Treasury — and returned to profitability. Now investors are asking: When with they be reprivatized? For more than…

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Mortgage Rates are Down, But So are the Number of Homes for Sale

Newsletter - September 2019 Home buyers in the market for properties under $200,000 could soon be out of luck, according to a new report from realtor.com. Although interest rates are almost a full percentage point lower than they were a year ago and confidence in the economy higher, inventory is shrinking.…

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Slow Rise of Prices Leads to A Stable Housing Market

Newsletter - August 2019 With home prices on the rise, is our nation heading into another housing bubble that could be detrimental to our economy? Most real estate experts say no. Experts at Trulia and the National Association of Realtors suggest the slow, sustainable pace that home prices are rising…

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Local Governments Vulnerable to Growing Threat of Cyber Attacks

Newsletter - July 2019 Cyber attacks are expected to cost organizations around the world $6 trillion annually by 2021. You read that right: $6 trillion. With a T. Who could forget the 2017 Equifax breach, which cost the credit bureau more than $4 billion and compromised the personal information of 143 million people?…

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Hurricane Season is Here — Again. What Can We Expect?

Newsletter - June 2019 The 2019 hurricane season is upon us, and many homeowners are still recovering from the catastrophic storms of 2018. Last year, the United States experienced 11 natural disasters that each caused more than $1 billion in damage, according to data from CoreLogic. This includes the Category 4…

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A Majority of Mortgages Now Originated by Non-Bank Lenders

Newsletter - May 2019 Consumers spent more than $517 billion online with U.S. merchants last year, according to Commerce Department figures. It’s no surprise: Online shopping is convenient! The internet never closes, and you don’t even have to leave the house to shop there. You can get almost anything online,…

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Increase in Negative Equity: is it a Fluke or a Trend?

Newsletter - April 2019 Twelve years after the financial crisis of 2007, 2.2 million homes are seriously underwater, meaning the owners owe more on their mortgages than the homes are worth. In its recently released Home Equity Report, housing data company CoreLogic reported that from the third quarter of 2018…

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Mortgage Delinquencies at Their Lowest in Nearly Two Decades

Newsletter - March 2019 Mortgage delinquencies across the United States hit a 19-year low in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The delinquency rate for all single-family mortgage loans dropped 41 basis points from the third quarter and 111 basis points from a year ago,…

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Two Ways Technology is Changing the Mortgage Industry

Newsletter - February 2019 In today’s world, consumers can order a mattress online and have it delivered next-day, or pay for their groceries by just holding their smartphone near a sensor. Why shouldn’t buying a home be just as simple? “There’s a vision in the mortgage lending industry that in…

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Are We Headed for Another Financial Crisis in 2019?

Newsletter - January 2019 Every January, finance and real estate experts offer their predictions for the upcoming year. What does 2019 have in store for the housing market? Some see “bubble trouble” ahead. In the San Francisco Bay area, where last year home prices surged near record highs, the median…

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Lenders Offer Mortgage Assistance to Victims of California Wildfires

Newsletter - December 2018 Thousands of people lost their homes -- and dozens lost their lives -- in record-setting wildfires in California last month. The “Camp Fire” in Butte County has been declared deadliest fire in California’s history, with 85 confirmed fatalities. At least 3 more people died in the…

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1,600 Mortgages in Jeopardy after Hurricane Michael

Newsletter - November 2018 When Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida panhandle on October 10, the mortgage industry was prepared. Before the storm even made landfall, the FDIC issued a statement reminding lenders that they were expected to work with affected mortgage holders. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae reassured homeowners…

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Mortgage Delinquencies Hit 11-Year Low, but Not in Disaster-Affected Areas

Newsletter - October 2018 The serious mortgage delinquency rate in the United States hit 1.7% in June 2018, down from 1.9% June 2017 — a low not seen since August 2007. “Serious” delinquencies are mortgages that are more than 90 days past due, but 4.3% of home mortgages were in…

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Home Ownership Out of Reach for Many in Q2

Newsletter - September 2018 In our last issue, we talked about the likelihood of a housing market correction, as homes — especially in prime coastal areas — are so expensive that many families making the median salary can’t afford to buy one. The disparity between income and real estate prices…

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