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Author Archives: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

Home Prices Have Been Rising for Three Months: Report

Standard & Poor's reported Tuesday that it's closely watched Case-Shiller index declined in January for the fifth straight month. But according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC), that's stale news and doesn't reflect what's actually happening in the market right now. In fact, the independent research company says home prices are rising. JBREC conducted its own analysis of home prices in 97 markets and found that over the January-to-March period prices are up in 90 of them, with an average increase of 1.1 percent.

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Market Has ‘Tall Order to Fill’ as $362B in CRE Loans Matures in 2012

The commercial real estate (CRE) sector faces $362 billion in maturing debt this year, according to the latest estimates from Trepp LLC. For the five-year period of 2012 to 2016, the company's research team estimates $1.73 trillion of CRE maturities, with the largest one-year sum of $371.1 billion dropping in 2013. They also reported that nearly two-thirds of the maturities through 2016 are underwater or close to sinking underwater, which could reduce borrowers' chances for extending the loan term upon reaching the balloon date.

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Wingspan Announces Ed Delgado as New COO

Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, a Dallas-based servicing company, announced Monday that Ed Delgado will join the company as COO, effective April 2, 2012. Formerly CEO of the Five Star Institute, Delgado has more than 20 years' experience in mortgage banking, including tenures at Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac in senior executive roles. In conjunction with being named COO of Wingspan, Delgado will remain affiliated with Five Star as chairman of the National Servicing Association (NSA), a newly formed nonprofit trade association representing more than 90 percent of mortgage banks in the United States.

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SEC Files Subpoena Enforcement Action Against Wells Fargo

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it has filed a subpoena enforcement action with a California federal court against Wells Fargo & Company because the bank has failed to produce documents requested by the SEC. According to the filing, the SEC is investigating possible fraud in connection with Wells Fargo's sale of nearly $60 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) to investors between September 2006 and early 2008.

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Survey Suggests More Homeowners Are Open to Strategic Default

An alarming number of homeowners see strategic default as a viable option should their home continue to depreciate. Almost half - 47 percent - of homeowners participating in an online poll from Housing Predictor say they will walk away from their mortgage if falling home values persist. The number of borrowers open to strategic default has risen sharply since the company last surveyed public opinion on the issue. In October 2010, 36 percent of homeowners polled said they would throw in the towel should housing prices continue to drop.

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Violence Against Real Estate Pros Prompts Trade Group to Take Action

The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) has reached an agreement with Agent Alarm LLC, a national security company, that aims to address and curb the recent wave of attacks and acts of violence against real estate professionals in America. One of the most serious attacks in 2011 resulted in the death of Vivian Martin, a local real estate agent living and working in Youngstown, Ohio. Martin was beaten to death by three men in an abandoned home who were posing as potential buyers looking to purchase a home she had listed.

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Fed Study: Overpriced Foreclosures Hiking REO Carrying Costs

Appraisers, lenders, and investors appear to be routinely overestimating the values of homes prior to foreclosure, especially in the weakest housing markets, according to two economists with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Their report suggests that more accurate pricing could speed the clearing of REO inventories, save lenders money by reducing the carrying costs associated with bank-owned homes, and bring greater stability to housing markets across the country.

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Mortgage Rates Head Higher on Positive Economic Data

Rates for all mortgage loan products headed higher this week as positive employment indicators rolled in, with job growth over the last six months the strongest it's been since 2006. That, coupled with the Greek debt restructuring on the international front and the results of the Federal Reserve's stress tests pointing to a stronger U.S. banking system, boosted investor confidence and drove bond yields higher. Studies from both Freddie Mac and Bankrate showed the same measurable increases in rates across-the-board.

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Oklahoma Sets Deadline for Mortgage Settlement Relief

Oklahoma residents seeking restitution under the state's mortgage settlement with the nation's largest mortgage servicers must apply for benefits by September 13, 2012. The agreement between Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Bank of America, Citigroup, Ally's GMAC, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo gives the state $18.6 million, all of which will be used to compensate residents wronged in the foreclosure process. Under the nationwide settlement, Oklahoma would have received an estimated $10.2 million, and most of it would have been ""paid"" in the form of credits for loss mitigation activities fulfilled by the servicers.

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CMBS Delinquencies Edge Lower Despite Atlanta’s Problem Offices

Increasing struggles for office properties, most notably in Atlanta, overshadowed what was otherwise a flat February for delinquencies among loans held in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), according to the latest index results from Fitch Ratings. By the agency's assessment, CMBS late-pays fell two basis points last month to 8.30 percent. The decline was led by a large hotel loan - Innkeepers - that was brought current. Fitch's delinquency index includes 2,536 loans totaling $32.6 billion.

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