Citi Fails Loan Modification Compliance Test for the National Mortgage Settlement

A new report by an independent monitor of the National Mortgage settlement shows that the mortgage servicing giant Citi has failed a compliance test in regards to loan modification metrics.

The mortgage settlement was the largest consumer financial protection settlement in US history, and has provided over $50 billion in assistance to distressed borrowers , and direct payments to signing states and the federal government. The agreement settled state and federal investigations finding that the country’s five largest mortgage servicers routinely signed foreclosure related documents outside the presence of a notary public and without really knowing whether the facts they contained were correct. Both of these practices violate the law. (more…)

First Quarter 2015 Mortgage Originations Soar

The real estate and mortgage markets have really been gaining steam over the last couple years. With home values rising, and mortgage rates at all-time lows, this makes a perfect climate for lenders and loan officers who have seen tremendous growth in 2015.

According to the consumer credit reporting giant, Equifax (NYSE: EFX) and their National Consumer Credit Trends Report, mortgage originations are soaring this year. In the first quarter of 2015, the total mortgage origination balances hit $466 billion, which was a 74.4% increase from the same time a year ago. (more…)

Current Mortgage Rates for Monday June 29, 2015

Current mortgage rates for this Monday are mostly stable, with some lenders raising rates slightly on various loan programs. Rates have remained mostly flat the last couple weeks, with very little movement up and down. Although they have risen from the all time lows in 2014, they’re still very affordable in their very many niche mortgage programs for homebuyers looking to purchase a home and homeowners searching for refinance options.

Here’s a quick snapshot of today’s rates in the mortgage market. (more…)

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Upholds the Fair Housing Act

This past week the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in favor 5 to 4 that housing discrimination is illegal, even if it is not intentional. The court held that disparate impact claims are recognizable under the Fair Housing Act. In the case Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs vs. the Inclusive Communities Project, the Justices ruled 5-4 to uphold the use of disparate impact to help prove claims of housing discrimination.

This case was being watched by several real estate and mortgage industry participants such as mortgage lenders, real estate agents, home builders, and insurers who some consumer advocates said were trying to reduce the the effectiveness of the law and its ability to protect consumers from discriminatory practices. (more…)

Another California Real Estate Investor Indicted for Bid-Rigging and Fraud at Public Foreclosure Auctions

Another individual involved in a massive Northern California real estate bid rigging and fraud conspiracy at public foreclosure auctions was indicted last Friday by a Federal grand jury, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

54 people have already pleaded guilty, and another 21 real estate investors have also been charged for their roles in this massive fraud.

Ramin Rad “Ray” Yeganeh of San Mateo, California was charged with two counts in an indictment for participating to rig bids and defraud mortgage holders and others in Alameda County, California. (more…)

Three South Florida Defendants Charged in $10 Million Government Fraud Involving Six Miami Low-Income Housing Developments

(Source: FBI) Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Nadine Gurley, Special Agent in Charge, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG), and Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), announced the filing of charges against three defendants in a joint investigation of individuals who fraudulently obtained federal money and property in connection with the construction of low-income housing developments in Miami-Dade County. (more…)

Statement from NAHB Chairman Tom Woods on Supreme Court Fair Housing Act Ruling

(Source: NAHB) WASHINGTON, June 25 – Tom Woods, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo., issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Fair Housing Act ruling.

“NAHB is a strong supporter of the Fair Housing Act’s goals to allow all people to obtain housing free from discrimination. The nation’s home builders stand ready to develop and build safe and decent housing in all communities across the country.  (more…)

Maryland Investment Advisor Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud in Scheme to Steal Almost $2 Million of Clients’ Money

Defendant Convinced Victims to Give Him Over $1.9 Million from Retirement Savings, Lines of Credit and Refinanced Mortgages in the False Promise of Receiving Higher Investment Returns

(Source: USDOJ) Baltimore, Maryland –Jasper Buck, age 59, formerly of Westminster, Maryland and elsewhere including Sanford and Lake Mary, Florida, pleaded guilty today to mail fraud arising from an investment fraud scheme in which Buck stole more than $1.96 million from clients. (more…)

NHC to Congress: Short-term housing cuts mean long-term consequences

(Source: NHC) WASHINGTON – On June 23, the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations subcommittee reported out an FY 2016 THUD funding bill that demonstrates how budget caps are forcing short-term cuts with long-term consequences. While NHC understands the budget constraints facing the subcommittee, the cuts to vital housing investments in this bill are deep and damaging.  We call on Congress to forge a bipartisan compromise on spending that would allow essential long-term investments in housing and many other areas of need. (more…)

EPA Power Plan Rules Hurt Poor and Middle-Class Americans

(Source: House Majority Leader) Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on House passage of H.R. 2042, the Ratepayer Protection Act: 

“The Obama Administration says that this EPA clean power plan rule is about the environment. I disagree. This rule is really about the poor and middle class who would be hit with higher energy prices because of power plant standards concocted by EPA that are divorced from reality.

“We are in the middle of a nationwide energy renaissance. Energy prices are lower, and people can use the money they save for every single purchase, repair, or whatever else that they’ve put off for the past six years. But the Obama Administration wants to take that away.

“The House will not let President Obama enact his radical special interest agenda on the backs of middle-class Americans and everyone who is trying so hard to get out of poverty. The House passed the Ratepayer Protection Act today to stop the price increase on electricity and just about everything in the marketplace that this rule would affect.

“If this Administration isn’t going to help solve the problems that people care about most, it should at least stop making things worse.”


Mortgage Rates for Wednesday June 24, 2015

Current mortgage rates at the nation’s top lenders for this Wednesday are mostly the same as yesterday’s report. Here is a brief summary of the weekly and daily mortgage market.

The national average also remains the same as yesterday. The 30 year fixed is 4.00%, and the 15 year fixed average is at 3.23%. The 5 year ARM average is at 3.00%, and the 1 year ARM was 2.53%. (more…)

Bronx Man Arrested for Impersonating Lawyer

A man from the Bronx was arrested yesterday by police for fraudulently impersonating a lawyer and scamming two clients of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Mario Tolisano, 65, had misrepresented himself as a New York attorney to at least two known victims. In one of the cases, a victim was referred to the defendant by a work colleague had paid him $3000 for his legal services. (more…)

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