Houston Man Sentenced to Prison for Bank and Home Equity Scam

The Houston bureau of the FBI said today, that Obinna Gregory Okoro, 25, of Houston, was sentenced to 57 months in prison for conspiring to commit bank fraud, computer fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

According to the FBI, Okoro conspired to create fake bank accounts online, fraudulent HELOC’s, and then link those accounts to existing bank accounts in order to drain all of the funds out of his victim’s accounts. (more…)

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Mortgage Rate Report for Friday January 30, 2015

After three weeks of declining rates, the national average for conforming fixed mortgage and ARM loan rates were slightly higher this week, but still remain at 20-month lows.

Freddie Mac said this week, that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.66% with an average 0.6 points; up from last week when it averaged 3.63%. (more…)

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Mortgage Applications Slightly Down This Week

The best mortgage rates since March 2013 had prompted many borrowers to seek new loans, and caused loan applications to rise over the past month. This past week, mortgage application volume was up 14.2%.

However, this week the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) had issued their weekly survey, showing applications were down as both purchase and refinance activity decreased. The MBA survey encompasses over 75 percent of retail residential mortgage applications. (more…)

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Mortgage Rates for Thursday January 29, 2015

The current national average for mortgage rates for this Thursday morning have dropped a bit lower. The Federal Reserve issued their economic statement yesterday, showing that the economy was in pretty good shape which caused mortgage pricing to improve. Rates are still the best they have been since May 2013.

Bankrate issued their weekly survey today, showing that mortgage rates at the top lenders were mostly mixed. The benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate reversed last week’s move, settling at 3.80 percent, with an average of 0.29 discount and origination points. The 15-year fixed is at 3.13% — down from 3.18% last week (avg. points: 0.17), and the 5/1 ARM: 3.19% — unchanged from last week (avg. points: 0.20), according to Bankrate. (more…)

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New Jersey Contractor and Former Realtor Admits to Multi-Million-Dollar Mortgage Fraud Scheme

The FBI said last week, that the owner of Global Builders LLC, a construction company, Zbigniew Cichy, 45, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler.

Cichy, and his wife who was a former real estate agent, Ania Nowak, 48, had obtained seven mortgages through fraudulent means. Nowak was the main perpetrator of the crime as the owner and operator of A.N. Title Agency LLC, and was an agent for Stewart Title Guaranty Company.

According to the FBI, Nowak admitted that, for each of the seven loans, she lied on loan documents, failed to pay off prior mortgages at closing, failed to record the mortgages and any deeds, and that most of the loans went into default for non-payment.

Her husband Cichy admitted that although he was aware of the mortgage fraud scheme, including Nowak’s failure to pay off existing liens at closing, he failed to report the fraudulent mortgage transactions to authorities, the FBI said.

Sentencing for Cichy is scheduled for May 5, 2015, and his wife pleaded guilty on Jan. 15, 2015.

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Current Mortgage Rates for Wednesday January 28, 2015

Mortgage rates for this Tuesday afternoon are still mostly stable with no changes to note. Rates are still at great lows so this stability we are seeing is good news for mortgage shoppers.

The Federal Reserve said in a statement today that the economy is doing pretty good. The labor market conditions have improved further, with strong job gains and a lower unemployment rate. The unemployment rate went down last month from 5.8% to a near-normal 5.6%, and employers added 252,000 jobs. Inflation is currently down. (more…)

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North Carolina Mortgage Broker Who Pocketed Fees Busted by Attorney General

Over the last seven years I have seen many consumers complain about mortgage brokers and lenders who promised them a loan after they pay various fees for such things as loan applications and appraisals, and then all of a sudden they are denied the loan, but then these companies pocket all the fees.

It sounds like the new mortgage Ponzi scheme of the day, that many lending players in the industry seem to be playing. (more…)

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CFPB Takes Action Against Wells Fargo and Chase for Illegal Loan Officer Kickbacks

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Maryland Attorney General announced yesterday that they have fined both Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase for an illegal kickback scheme with a title company, Genuine Title who went out of business in April 2014.

One of the former Wells Fargo employees, Todd Cohen and his wife, Elaine Oliphant Cohen, had used Genuine Title to reward bank loan officers with cash, marketing materials, and consumer information in exchange for referrals. (more…)

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Mortgage Rates Continue to Drop – Friday January 23, 2015

The national average for both conforming fixed mortgages, and ARM loan rates for this Friday are continuing to drop. A trend that we have seen for the past several weeks, and they are currently at the lowest levels since May of last year.

Freddie Mac issued their weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) yesterday, stating that the drop in rates were due to declining bond yields and oil prices. They reported the 30 year fixed averaging 3.63%; its lowest level since the week ending May 23, 2013 when it averaged 3.59%. (more…)

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Mortgage Rates for Thursday January 22, 2015

Current conforming fixed-mortgage and ARM loan rates are slightly higher for this Thursday morning, but they are still at the lowest levels since May 2013.

BankRate reported their weekly rate survey results today, showing the 30-year fixed at 3.81%; up from 3.80% last week (avg. points: 0.25). The 15-year fixed is at 3.18%; up from 3.11% last week (avg. points: 0.19), and the 5/1 ARM is at 3.19%; up from 3.09% last week (avg. points: 0.19). (more…)

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