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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A housing marketing correction is inevitable – the question is when?

Newsletter - August 2018 Back in May, Zillow released a report predicting the next U.S. recession would begin by the end of 2020. It also forecasted that the uptrend in home values — which have been climbing at a steady clip for the last 6 years — would slow significantly…

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Lenders, Consumers, and Artificial Intelligence

Newsletter - July 2018 "Artificial intelligence" is quite the buzzword these days, and while it sounds like something out of science fiction or a far-off possibility, it is already a reality - both for consumers and businesses. So, what is it? According to TechEmergence, a research firm studying the effects…

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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. It could transform the mortgage industry as we know it. Since the financial crisis of…

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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! What will 2018 bring for buyers, sellers, investors, and real estate professionals? Let's see what the experts are predicting: Home prices will continue to rise, but at a slower pace. Realtor.com projects home prices to slow to 3.2% growth…

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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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