Supreme Court Ends Federal Eviction Moratorium

Newsletter - September 2021 It's finally over. The federal eviction moratorium - initially set to expire more than a year ago - was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court last month after a challenge from a coalition of landlords and real estate groups. The ban, which was passed as…

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Foreclosure Ban Ends With Millions Still Behind on Mortgage Payments

Newsletter - August 2021 The federal eviction and foreclosure bans officially expired July 31, but protections are still in place to prevent people from losing their homes - or at least delay it for a bit longer. At the end of July, the Biden administration announced new loan modification and…

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CFPB’s New Foreclosure Rule a “Bridge” for Borrowers

Newsletter - July 2021 The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a new foreclosure rule last month that throws delinquent borrowers with federally backed loans a lifeline when federal forbearance programs end July 31. Effective Aug. 31 through Dec. 31, 2021, the new rule will give the 2 million homeowners who are…

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Federal Forbearance Period Ending Will Test Mortgage Companies

Newsletter - June 2021 When June comes to an end, so will the federal foreclosure ban - and soon after, the forbearance programs set in place last year by the CARES Act. More than 2 million homeowners are still in those forbearance plans, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, while another 1.8…

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Here Comes the CFPB (Again)

Newsletter - May 2021 The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued policy guidance and proposed new rules in April, signaling that it plans to prioritize mortgage-servicing oversight in the coming year. According to Reuters, the CFPB has been requesting data from servicers as to how they are handling forbearance programs…

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What Will Happen to Mortgage Rates in 2021? Experts Weigh In

Newsletter - April 2021 On the heels of the best year in history for the mortgage industry, mortgage rates inched up by about 50 basis points in the first quarter of this year. The rise has prompted industry professionals, homeowners, and aspiring homeowners alike to wonder: What will happen to…

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Mortgage Delinquency Rate Dips, But Record Highs Persist

Newsletter - March 2021 The mortgage delinquency rate dropped to 5.9% in January, dipping below 6% for the first time since March 2020, a -3.82% change month-over-month. An improvement, to be sure - but the bigger picture is more complicated. According to Black Knight's First Look at January 2021 Mortgage Data,…

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What Can We Expect from Biden’s New CFPB Director?

Newsletter - February 2021 The day before his inauguration, President Joe Biden nominated veteran financial regulator Rohit Chopra to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. An ally of Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Chopra served as assistant director at the agency, where he was a fierce critic of how student-loan servicers handled struggling borrowers.…

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Despite Another Foreclosure Moratorium Extension, Experts Predict Spike in 2021

Newsletter - January 2021 Foreclosures saw a significant drop last year. In fact, 80% fewer homes were foreclosed on in September 2020 compared to November of 2019. Under normal circumstances, that would be considered good news - but nothing about 2020 was normal. Unfortunately, the dip was not because fewer homeowners were…

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5 Housing Market Predictions for 2021

Newsletter - December 2020 Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated economic challenges, 2020 was a banner year for housing, with price growth and home sales reaching new heights. Quick action by lawmakers helped people stay in their homes this year, but many of the protections laid out have either…

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Home Sales Surpass Expectations in Q3, But Future Uncertain

Newsletter - November 2020 Last month we talked about the housing market's V-shaped recovery, but third-quarter home sales exceeded those expectations - despite record unemployment and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bolstered by super-low mortgage rates, August home sales reached their highest pace since 2006; existing home sales were up 10.5%…

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GDP and the Housing Market Forecasts Looking up for Q3

Newsletter - October 2020 The housing market is showing a strong "V-shape" rebound, continuing to improve from its lowest point in April, according to Fannie Mae's recent Economic & Housing Outlook report. Analyzing the number of capital-goods shipments and construction activity, the report suggests that both business and housing investments "will grow…

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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 - 2019 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…

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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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