Required Reading

Radian Asset Assurance Acquired By Assured Guaranty Corp. For $810M

Posted by Patrick Barnard on December 23, 2014

Assured Guaranty Corp. (AGC), a subsidiary of Assured Guaranty Ltd., is acquiring Radian Asset Assurance Inc., the financial guaranty business of Radian Group Inc., for $810 million. The merger, which is still subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be [Read More]

Ocwen Settles With NYDFS For $150 Million; Erbey Steps Down

Posted by Patrick Barnard on December 22, 2014

Mortgage servicer Ocwen has agreed to pay a $100 million civil penalty to settle allegations brought by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) that the company violated numerous mortgage servicing rules designed to protect consumers. The $100 million [Read More]

Monitor Finds More Problems At Mortgage Servicer Ocwen

Posted by Patrick Barnard on December 16, 2014

Joseph Smith, the federal monitor overseeing the 2012 national mortgage settlement, wrote in a recent report that mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial Corp. may have improperly influenced which mortgages were picked for a compliance review. In the report, Smith says that [Read More]

Aquiline Capital Partners To Become Majority Investor In LenderLive

Posted by Patrick Barnard on December 15, 2014

New York-based private equity firm Aquiline Capital Partners has signed a deal to become a majority investor in end-to-end mortgage technology and services company LenderLive Network Inc. Terms of the deal, which is still subject to the usual regulatory approvals, [Read More]

Ocwen Buys Pool Of Ginnie MSRs With UPB Of $253 Million

Posted by Patrick Barnard on December 15, 2014

Mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial Corp. recently purchased 1,705 delinquent Federal Housing Administration-insured loans with an unpaid principal balance (UPB) of $253.1 million from Ginnie Mae. Ocwen was already the servicer on the pool of loans – which may explain why [Read More]

Zillow: Buying Twice As Affordable As Renting

Posted by Patrick Barnard on December 09, 2014

According to a recent Zillow analysis of third-quarter income and home value data, it is now more affordable to buy a home in most U.S. metros than it was 15 years ago, even for millennials who are putting down less [Read More]

Fannie, Freddie Lower Down Payment Requirements

Posted by Patrick Barnard on December 08, 2014

In an effort to entice more first-time home buyers into the market, as well as to help lenders make more loans to ‘underserved’ borrowers, government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now accepting conventional mortgages with a down [Read More]

New Index Shows First-Time Home Buyers Not So Absent After All

Posted by Patrick Barnard on December 05, 2014

The American Enterprise Institute's (AEI) International Center On Housing Risk has released a new First-Time Buyer Mortgage Share Index (FBMSI) showing that first-time home buyers represented 46% of all home sales during the one-year period ended Oct. 31. The finding [Read More]

New Tool Will Protect N.Y. Homeowners From Foreclosure Rescue Scams

Posted by Patrick Barnard on December 03, 2014

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Tuesday introduced AGScamHelp, a new website where homeowners battling foreclosure can check and see whether a particular foreclosure rescue firm is licensed and legitimate. The goal is to arm homeowners with a free [Read More]

CFPB Expands, Clarifies Rules Related To Foreclosure

Posted by Patrick Barnard on November 21, 2014

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is proposing numerous new rules for mortgage servicers to ensure that – in the words of CFPB Director Richard Cordray – ‘no one is wrongly foreclosed upon.’ Most of the new rules expand upon [Read More]

GSEs Update Their Rep And Warranty Frameworks

Posted by Patrick Barnard on November 20, 2014

To help ease lender concerns related to loan buybacks – which, in theory, should spur lenders to relax their self-imposed overlays and free up more mortgage credit – government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have updated their respective [Read More]

PRIA: Two-Thirds Of County Recorders Now Have E-Recording In Place

Patrick Barnard
Written by Patrick Barnard on November 19, 2014

If you think a lack of technology adoption among the many rural country recorders' offices is what's slowing adoption of the e-mortgage, you better think again. More than 1,200 counties – or 68% of the nation's 3,600 recording jurisdictions – [Read More]

Housing Starts Dipped 2.8% In October, Single-Family Production Up

Posted by Patrick Barnard on November 18, 2014

Housing starts dipped 2.8% in October compared to September to reach a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,009,000 units – but unlike previous months, starts of single-family units were up while starts of multifamily units were significantly down, according to [Read More]

FHA’s MMI Fund Getting Healthier, Won’t Need Bailout

Posted by Patrick Barnard on November 17, 2014

After fixing the problems with its reverse mortgage program, raising fees, tightening underwriting standards and improving loss mitigation policies, the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) Mutual Mortgage Insurance (MMI) Fund is now on much better financial footing, the U.S. Department of [Read More]

Another Three Years Before Housing Returns To ‘Normal,’ Zillow Survey Reveals

Posted by Patrick Barnard on November 12, 2014

At the current rate of recovery, it's going to take another three years before the housing market returns to ‘normal,’ a recent survey of more than 100 housing experts commissioned by Zillow reveals. Among the more than 100 economists, real [Read More]

RealtyTrac: Institutional Investor Activity Slowed In Q3

Posted by Patrick Barnard on November 10, 2014

Sales to institutional investors – defined as entities that purchase at least 10 properties in a calendar year – accounted for 4.3% of all single-family home sales in the third quarter, down from 5% in the second quarter and down [Read More]

First-Time Home Buyers Fall To Lowest Level In Three Decades

Posted by Patrick Barnard on November 04, 2014

The number of first-time home buyers fell to 33% of all buyers in 2014, down 5% from 2013 to reach the lowest level in three decades, according to The National Association of Realtors' (NAR) Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. [Read More]

Attendees Reflect On The MBA’s 2014 Convention And Expo

Patrick Barnard
Written by Patrick Barnard on November 03, 2014

Attendees had a lot of good things to say about the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) 2014 Convention and Expo held recently in Las Vegas. Most agreed that the quality of the sessions and keynote speakers was better than in the [Read More]

It’s Official: Federal Reserve Concludes Its Bond-Buying Program

Posted by Patrick Barnard on October 29, 2014

Saying that labor market conditions have improved, unemployment is down, household spending is up and that inflation has held below 2%, the Federal Reserve has decided to complete the wind-down of its quantitative easing bond-buying program designed to prop up [Read More]

CFPB Flexes Its Regulatory Muscles

Posted by Patrick Barnard on October 28, 2014

In a report that is essentially a review of recent enforcement actions, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) says it recently uncovered some violations of its mortgage servicing rules at an unspecified number of servicing shops. The bureau reports that [Read More]