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Are Subprime Loans Making a Comeback?

Newsletter - June 2018 As rents continue to increase, more Americans are considering home ownership. But for many, poor credit stands in the way: One-fifth of U.S. consumers have “very low” credit scores that could disqualify them from obtaining a mortgage. People who went through foreclosures or took other hits…

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Could Blockchain Technology Transform the Mortgage Industry?

Newsletter - May 2018 By now, you have almost certainly heard the words blockchain, bitcoin, or cryptocurrency. But unless you’re deeply entrenched in the world of emerging technology, you might not know much about it. Here’s something you should know: It could transform the mortgage industry as we know it.…

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The Incredible Shrinking Mortgage Industry

Newsletter - April 2018 It seems that there are fewer banks, mortgage servicing companies, and title insurance companies today than ever before. The consolidation of the mortgage industry has been going on for years now, but a series of recent mergers and acquisitions has us wondering what the industry will…

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Home Prices, Housing Starts, Interest Rates Up – Delinquencies Down

Newsletter - March 2018 In January, we talked about some predictions for the 2018 housing market. While it’s only March, one of those predictions has already proven to be accurate: The uptick in new home construction. "My biggest prediction for housing in 2018 is that inventory will remain low and…

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Hope for Homebuyers and Community Banks on the Horizon?

Newsletter - February 2018 A bill headed for the Senate floor would significantly loosen rules imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act, making it easier for homebuyers to get approved for a mortgage and offering much-needed relief to community banks and credit unions. And unlike last year’s sweeping House bill (the Financial…

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Housing Market Predictions for 2018: More Inventory, More Sales, Fewer Mortgage Delinquencies

Newsletter - January 2018 Happy New Year from Blue Streak Docs! Last year was quite a whirlwind for the U.S. housing market (at times, literally a hurricane!), but by most accounts, it was a good one. In a December report, Freddie Mac called 2017 “the best year in a decade…

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The Battle over CFPB Rages On, but to What End?

Newsletter - December 2017 The drama continues at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), but it’s starting to look like Democrats are just delaying the inevitable. Last month, when Obama-appointee Richard Cordray stepped down as director of the CFPB, he named Democrat Leandra English his successor by appointing her as…

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Natural Disasters Clobber the Housing and Mortgage Industries

Newsletter - November 2017 Three disasters in three months created a nightmare for homeowners in some parts of the United States, and wreaked havoc on the housing and mortgage industries as a whole. First, there were the hurricanes. In late August, the Category 4 Hurricane Harvey stalled out over Texas,…

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How We Beat Irma

Newsletter - October 2017 As you probably know, we had a very unwelcome visitor by the name of Irma blow through our town last month. Though she lost a lot of her punch by the time she got to Clearwater, she was still pretty tough. Our county (Pinellas) was the…

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Mortgage Servicing Experts: Simplify and Standardize the Rules to Help Lenders – and Borrowers

Newsletter - September 2017 In the debate over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, all sides seem to agree: While the regulations created in the wake of the housing bust were well-intended, they are unnecessarily complex and costly and have suppressed lending - and change is needed. So the Urban Institute…

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Have Regulators Made a Mess of the Mortgage Market?

Newsletter - August 2017 There has been a lot of discussion over the last six months about whether mortgage-industry regulations and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are doing more to help consumers or hurt the economy. Let’s set aside the rhetoric for a moment and look at the hard…

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Zero-Down Mortgages – Ghosts of the Housing Bust – Return

Newsletter - July 2017 They’re ba-aaaaack! Zero-down mortgages, which were some of the biggest losers for everyone · lenders, investors and borrowers · during the housing bust, are making a comeback. And while there are significant differences between the no-down-payment mortgages of a decade ago and the ones being offered…

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Weighing the Pros and Cons of the Financial CHOICE Act

Newsletter - June 2017 After passing through the House Financial Services Committee last month, the Financial CHOICE Act is headed to the House floor, where lawmakers could vote on it as soon as this month. We thought now would be a good time to weigh both sides of the bill.…

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Striking a Regulatory Balance in the Battle over Dodd-Frank

Newsletter - May 2017 When Donald Trump met with a group of CEOs early last month, he addressed once again his plans to dismantle at least some of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: “We want strong restrictions,” he told the group. “We want strong regulation, but…

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Are FHA Loans the Canary in the Coal Mine, or Sounding a False Alarm?

Newsletter - April 2017 Potentially concerning news: From Q3 to Q4 in 2016, delinquency rates among all types of mortgages increased, marking a hike from the lowest overall level since 2006. But at the center of the trend are FHA loans, with a delinquency rate increase of more than twice…

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Are Nonbank Lenders the Future of the Mortgage Industry?

Newsletter - March 2017 Around this time last year, you may remember, we wrote about a thought-provoking article by Christopher Whalen of Kroll Bond Rating Agency titled Why Nonbank Lenders are the Future of Mortgages. The premise of the article was this: Big commercial banks, feeling strangled by Dodd-Frank regulations,…

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What Would Happen if Dodd-Frank Were Repealed?

Newsletter - February 2017 That ringing sound you hear may be the death knell for the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Donald Trump entered the White House swinging, handing down executive orders on immigration, energy, health care and trade within his first week. And Vice President Mike…

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Good News – and a Little Bit of Bad News – for the Housing Market in 2017

Newsletter - January 2017 Well, 2016 sure went by fast! And by all accounts, it was a good year for the housing market. What will the new year hold? Let’s look at some of the major predictions: The theme for the 2017 housing market is growth: Depending on whom you…

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Major reforms looming for Dodd-Frank and CFPB

Newsletter - December 2016 The saga continues... As expected, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has appealed the October court ruling that the agency’s independent status is unconstitutional. If you're just catching up: The CFPB levied a $109 million fine against mortgage lender PHH in 2015 for allegedly violating the…

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Changes Coming for the CFPB – Maybe

Newsletter - November 2016 The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was dealt a blow last month when a federal court of appeals declared the agency’s structure unconstitutional. The ruling was a response to a petition from mortgage lender PHH that challenged the agency’s actions against it and requested the CFPB be…

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The American Housing Market: Are We There Yet?

Newsletter - October 2016 In 2016, many are wondering: Are we there yet? Real estate prices in many markets are at or higher than pre-recession levels The number of homes in the foreclosure process is at its lowest since 2007 That’s good news. But… Homeownership (that’s the number of households…

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Independent Foreclosure Review to Dish out Final Disbursements But the recipients might surprise you

Newsletter - September 2016 Many of us who work in the financial services industry have the years of 2007 and 2008 safely tucked away in a locked cabinet in our minds. And there’s a big “DO NOT OPEN” sign hanging on it But, of course, there is a time for…

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The End of the Line for HAMP & HARP

Newsletter - August 2016 What does it mean for the mortgage industry? When 2016 comes to a close, so does the lifespan for some of the federal government’s programs created to address the housing crisis, namely the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). With…

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The CFPB Has More To Fear Than Donald Trump…

Newsletter - July 2016 Last month we investigated the fate that could await the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) when November rolls around, and we discovered there would be a stark difference between the potential Clinton and Trump Administrations. And while the 2016 Presidential candidates soak up most of the…

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Clinton vs. Trump: Where do they stand on CFPB & Dodd-Frank?

Newsletter - June 2016 A lot is on the line this November. And regardless of what side (if any) you fall on, that sentiment is exceedingly true of the financial services industry, where the candidates have weighed in with greatly diverging opinions and plans for moving forward. Let’s leave the…

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