New York Regulators Announce Proposed Legislation to Combat Zombie Foreclosures

New York Regulators Announce Proposed Legislation to Combat Zombie Foreclosures

The state of New York is taking legal steps to battle the blight caused by vacant and abandoned foreclosure properties, (aka) foreclosure zombies properties. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, announced this week that the Department of Financial Services has proposed a regulation that mandates banks and mortgage services to report and maintain vacant and abandoned properties in accordance with the new law. (more…)

Michigan Man Sentenced to Prison for $550,000 Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Michigan Man Sentenced to Prison for $550,000 Mortgage Fraud Scheme

The United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) announced this past week that Sam Ames, 33, of Charlotte, Michigan, was sentenced to eight months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud and to pay a fine of $7,500 and restitution in the amount of $285,000 to the financial institutions defrauded.

Ames perpetuated the scam from in or about 2006 to 2007, through his dealings with CDC Investments and Hometowne Financial in connection with real estate in and around Lansing, Michigan. Ames had conspired with others which resulted in losses to mortgage lenders exceeding $550,000. He pled guilty on March 15, 2016.

According to the USDOJ, Chief U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker decided to sentence Ames below the recommended range of 30-37 months because he felt Ames had turned his life around since committing his crimes. But the Judge rebuffed a defense request for a probationary sentence.

While the Judge declared himself persuaded that Ames was a different person than the one who defrauded banks and mortgage companies, the Judge stated that it was important for the public to see that a prison term awaits anyone who engages in mortgage fraud as rampant as the Ames conspiracy was.

U.S. Home Prices Up 5.3 Percent Year-Over-Year

U.S. Home Prices Up 5.3 Percent Year-Over-Year

Housing inventories are down and home values are rising quickly in many areas across the nation.

A new report issued yesterday by Black Knight Financial Services, shows that home prices increased 5.3% year-over-year in nine of the nation’s 20 largest states, and 14 of the 40 largest metros hit new peaks in July. Since the market bottom, values have risen over 33% and is now within just 0.8% of a new national peak. (more…)

Freddie Mac Deep MI CRT: New front-end credit risk transfer offering

Freddie Mac Deep MI CRT: New front-end credit risk transfer offering

Freddie Mac announced yesterday a new front-end credit risk transfer offering called Freddie Mac Deep MI CRT. The goal of the program is to offer more coverage beyond the primary mortgage insurance on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, with 80-95 percent LTVs through a panel of mortgage insurance company affiliates. Transactions are executed via a competitive, transparent auction process. (more…)

One Mod: The Mortgage Banker’s Association New Loan Modification Program

One Mod: The Mortgage Banker’s Association New Loan Modification Program

The Mortgage Banker’s Association is looking to help change the way mortgage servicers and lenders process loan modifications with a brand new program that they hope will someday replace the U.S. government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

One Mod: Principles for Post-HAMP Loan Modifications is the new initiative designed by the MBA based on the experiences of lenders familiar with HAMP to formulate universal principles that they propose should be applied to a future program. (more…)

New Home Sales Decline in August

New Home Sales Decline in August

Sales of newly constructed, single-family homes declined 7.6% in August, according to the latest report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). On a good note, sales exceeded a 600,000 annual pace for the second month in a row since the Great Recession.

Sales in most areas of the country fell in August, while the West posted an 8% gain. New home sales dropped 34.3% in the Northeast, 12.3% in the South and 2.4% in the Midwest, according to the NAHB.

In August, there were 235,000 new homes for sale at a median price of $284,000 with an estimated a 4.6-month supply at the current sales pace.

Chairman of the NAHB, Ed Brady said, “Given the huge jump in sales in July, the August reading remains robust. Sales are up 21 percent from August last year and year-to-date they are running 13 percent higher, indicating that the housing recovery remains firmly on track.”

“A low supply of homes, a broadening of the market with additional sales growth in lower price points and rising household formation all point to a growing demand for housing as we move into 2017,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

The NAHB report is based on newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

California Escrow Officer Sentenced to 14.5 Years in Prison for Mortgage Fraud and Identity Theft

California Escrow Officer Sentenced to 14.5 Years in Prison for Mortgage Fraud and Identity Theft

A California escrow officer was sentenced this week to 14 years and 6 months in prison for her involvement in a $17 million mortgage fraud scheme.

The United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) announced to conviction of Rachel Siders, 41, of Roseville, after federal juries returned verdicts in two separate trials finding her guilty of multiple counts of bank fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, making a false loan application, and committing aggravated identity theft. (more…)

11.4 million U.S. households are paying more than 50 percent of income for housing

11.4 million U.S. households are paying more than 50 percent of income for housing

The U.S. is experiencing a housing and economic crisis like never before. In my opinion, were are neck deep in a Great Depression that has been relabeled a Great Recession for propaganda purposes.

For example, a recent report by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies had shown that the poverty rate has more than doubled since 2000, and the rental market is the tightest it has been in three decades with more than 36% of U.S. households now renting. In the past decade, the number of renters increased by 9 million, the largest 10-year gain on record. (more…)