Senators Call on FHA to Lower Mortgage Costs

(Source: Wall Street Journal) – A group of 18 senators—all Democrats and an independent—in a letter on Thursday called on Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro to lower mortgage costs charged by the Federal Housing Administration. (more…)

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NCUA Sues Trustees of Mortgage-Backed Securities

(Source: NCUA) – ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Dec. 17, 2014) – The National Credit Union Administration has filed suit in federal court against U.S. Bank National Association and Bank of America National Association, alleging the banks violated state and federal laws by failing to fulfill their duties as trustees for 99 residential mortgage-backed securities trusts. (more…)

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Regulator Finds Deficiencies With Mortgage Servicer Ocwen Financial

(Source: NY Times) – Ocwen Financial, a firm that collects the payments on millions of mortgages, has fallen afoul of another regulator.

The monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement announced on Tuesday that his office could not rely on information provided by Ocwen. That settlement, struck in 2012, requires banks and firms like Ocwen to meet standards that aim to ensure that struggling borrowers are treated properly. (more…)

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Should bankruptcy judges reduce mortgage principal balances?

(Source: OC Housing News) – Ever since the Great Housing Bubble began to deflate, everyone incorrectly identified foreclosure as a problem because foreclosure pushes people out of the house the bank bought for them. The real problem is not foreclosure; the real problem is that borrowers have excessive debts due to the huge loans lenders underwrote that inflated the housing bubble. Foreclosure is not the problem, it is the cure. (more…)

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TransUnion Says Mortgage Delinquencies to Reach Pre-Recession Levels in 2015

The national credit information service company, TransUnion released today its annual forecast for two key consumer credit statistics — mortgage and credit card delinquency rates. TransUnion provides credit services to approximately 45,000 businesses.

The TransUnion report the states with the national mortgage delinquency rate (borrowers 60 or more days past due)that is expected to decline to its lowest levels prior to the Great Recession when mortgage delinquency rates had peaked in late 2009 and early 2010. The expect 33 states to have rates lower than 2.5% by the end of 2015. The national average is expected to decline by 20% next year. (more…)

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FHA Announces New Loan Limits for 2015 Will Remain the Same

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recently announced, that the new schedule of loan limits for 2015 will remain the same as the 2014 levels. These limits also include the FHA-insured reverse mortgages, which will remain unchanged in 2015.

The current standard loan limit for low-cost housing areas will also remain unchanged at $271,050, and high cost areas such as San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; New York, and some areas in Los Angeles, the FHA loan limit will remain at $625,500. (more…)

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3% Down Payment Mortgage for First-Time Homebuyers

US mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac revealed new home loan plans on Monday to make homeownership more accessible for qualified first-time homebuyers, which will now allow loans with a downpayment as low as 3%. The agencies said that these loans will contain safeguards to protect against the mortgage abuses that helped cause the subprime housing market crash.

These 97% Loan to Value (LTV) mortgages will meet Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s normal eligibility requirements for their conforming loans, and will require private mortgage insurance (PMI) because the loan to value is greater than 80%. (more…)

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HUD and VA Team Up to Provide Additional Housing for Homeless Veterans

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced yesterday, additional rental assistance for 1,984 homeless veterans to locate permanent homes.

The initiative is called the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program, which combines housing assistance from HUD with case management services provided by VA. Veterans who participate in the program normally, and who contribute no more than 30% of their income toward rent. (more…)

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Here’s how the mortgage industry can upgrade its image

(Source: Washington Post) – In this commentary, Cody Kessler, a branch manager with Rockville-based Kessler Lending Advisors, a division of HomeBridge Financial Services, takes his industry to task and offers suggestions on how it can regain consumer trust.

If you were to take a stroll down any given street in America, on any given day, my guess is that you would be hard pressed to find anyone who would say that they have a deep-seeded love of the mortgage industry. (more…)

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NY Senator Reed Calls for Extension of the Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act

New York Senator, Tom Reed is calling for an extension of the Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act, and the Fighting Hunger Incentive Act. Reed voted yesterday in support of the House package of tax provision extenders. Reed’s bill relieves distressed homeowners from requirements to pay income tax on forgiven mortgage debt. (more…)

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FHFA Announces 2015 Conforming Loan Limits

(Source: FHFA) Washington, D.C. – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced that the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2015 will remain at $417,000 for one-unit properties in most of the country.   The loan limits are established under the terms of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) and are calculated each year.   (more…)

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We therefore reverse the deficiency judgment for the bank

“The bank has lost its right to seek a deficiency judgment.” 

This breaking court news is based on a recent foreclosure case in California where the bank was granted a deficiency judgement against a widow’s estate based on land owned by her deceased husband that was foreclosed on after his death. The Court of Appeals of California, Fifth District reversed the decision for the bank’s deficiency judgement  on November 21, 2014.  This was a great win for consumers and big loss for the banks.

Here are the most important footnotes in the case: (more…)

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