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Author Archives: Aly J. Yale

Aly J. Yale is a longtime writer and editor from Texas. Her resume boasts positions with The Dallas Morning News, NBC, PBS, and various other regional and national publications. She has also worked with both the Five Star Institute and REO Red Book, as well as various other mortgage industry clients on content strategy, blogging, marketing, and more.

Risk of Default Jumps in Q1, Q2

Overall default risk is up, according to an index released on Tuesday. Up 25 points over fall 2016’s numbers, risk of default is rising that’s to higher mortgage rates and tightening monetary conditions. The risk will likely continue its upward climb too, especially if the Federal Reserve raises rates again—as expected—later on in the year. According to the report, investors and lenders can expect today’s loans to hold a 6 percent higher risk of default than loans of the 1990s.

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Lenders Loosen Risk Standards as Rates Rise

loan defects in application form

According to a new report, mortgage lenders are taking increased credit risks similar to those of the early 2000s, Released on Tuesday, the report shows that tThe level of credit risk taken by lenders in Q1 of 2017 was about the same as the average risk taken between 2001 and 2003. The shift is likely a result of declining refinances, rising mortgage rates, and an increased share of investor, condo, and co-op purchases.

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Builder Confidence Shaky as Labor, Lot Shortages Continue

Home builders are plagued with labor and lot shortages, and it’s causing their confidence in the single-family market to waver, according to new data released this week. Overall, builder confidence in the single-family residential market has dropped by two points in June. Single-family production fell 3.9 percent for the month of May, while multifamily construction dropped 9.7 percent. Overall, housing starts declined 5.5 percent across the nation.

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Price Gap Widens Between Priciest, Most Affordable Metros

According to a new report issued on Friday, home price appreciation rates are disparate between the nation’s most and least expensive cities—and that gap is only widening. While 16 percent of U.S. markets have seen housing prices jump 40 percent since the year 2000, another 30 percent of cities actually saw prices decline over the same period. Despite the discrepancy, nominal prices rose in 97 out of the nation’s 100 biggest metro areas last year due to high demand and tightening supply. As a result, affordability is on the downslope across the nation; an estimated 19 million households spent more than half of their income on housing.

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Jury Convicts Nomura Trader on Conspiracy Charge

A Connecticut jury found a former Nomura executive guilty on one conspiracy charge on Thursday for allegedly tacking on secret commission fees to RMBS transactions he handled between 2009 and 2013. Two other Nomura employees were also named in the suit, which was filed by the state in September 2015. In addition to one conspiracy charge each, the trio was also charged with two counts of securities fraud and six counts of wire fraud a piece. The jury was hung on three counts, and the defendants were found not guilty on the additional charges.

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Tight Inventory Drives Apartment Demand Sky-high

As housing inventory continues to tighten, would-be homeowners are being driven toward renting—and the apartment market is struggling to keep up. According to a new study, the U.S. will need 4.6 million new apartments by 2030 in order to keep up with demand—or 325,000 every year. About 1 million new renter households were formed every year over the last five years. This steep jump is caused, in large part, by consumers delaying housing purchases. Aging and changes in consumer sentiment have also played a role, according to experts.

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DOJ Policy Change Could Impact Crisis Suit Payouts

A memo from Attorney General Jeff Sessions has revealed a policy change at the U.S. Department of Justice: DOJ attorneys can no longer send settlement money to community groups or third-party vendors not directly harmed by the defendant in question. The practice had become common under the Obama administration, as prosecutors tacked on additional settlement costs to fund groups fighting community blight and serving other mortgage-related purposes across the nation. Critics of the practice called it a “slush fund” for promoting partisan political goals.

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Underwater Mortgages Drop by 3 Percent

According to new data, both the number of underwater mortgages and the total value of those mortgages have dropped significantly over the last year. Value of negative equity fell by $283 billion during Q1 2017 and more than 7 percent since the start of 2016. Underwater mortgages now account for just 6 percent of all loans—a sharp drop from its peak of 26 percent reached in 2009. Subsequently, bout 9 million borrowers have regained equity since 2017, and 91,000 have regained equity in 2017 alone.

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HSBC Fulfills Settlement Requirements

HSBC has fulfilled its obligations under the National Mortgage Settlement (NMS), according to a compliance report released on Wednesday. The report is the second of its kind released on the bank since February of last year, when HSBC initially agreed to a $601 million settlement with several federal agencies and U.S. states regarding questionable servicing and foreclosure practices. Today’s report revealed HSBC has now met all requirements outlined in that February 2016 settlement.

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Establishing Credit History Harder in Low-income Areas

A new study shows that consumers located in lower-income areas are more likely to establish credit history through negative means, like debt collection, than those in higher-income areas. While 27 percent of low-income area consumers establish their history through what are called “nonloans,” just 7.9 percent of consumers in high-income areas establish credit via these non-loans. The study also found the percentage of Americans who became credit visible due to student loans more than doubled over the last decade.

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