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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.

Fixed Mortgage Rates Show Little Movement

Fixed mortgage rates showed little change for the second consecutive week amid mixed consumer confidence and housing data, and remain near their 60-year lows. Freddie Mac puts the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage at 4.10 percent for the week ending October 27, and the 15-year rate at 3.38 percent. Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) exhibited slightly wider swings.

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Auction.com Announces Results of Commercial REO and Note Sale

Auction.com announced this week that it achieved $453 million in sales - with over $600 million in unpaid principal balances sold - in its recent online auction of nonperforming notes and commercial REO properties located throughout the Southeastern United States. On behalf of its 10 institutional clients participating, Auction.com sold 187 assets, and garnered a purchase price-to-reserve rate of 111 percent.

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Deloitte Zeros In on Servicing Strategies for First-Time Defaulters

The economic environment of the last several years has added to the ranks of first-time defaulters. According to a survey conducted earlier this year by Deloitte, 11 percent of bank customers fall into this category, meaning they have experienced their first default or serious delinquency because of the recent financial crisis and recession. Deloitte contends that servicing and default management strategies should be tailored to match these customers' needs to capture what will likely be a profitable segment over time.

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Freddie Mac’s Chief Executive to Resign

Freddie Mac CEO Charles E. Haldeman Jr. has informed the GSE's board of directors that he plans to step down ""some time in the coming year."" The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) says Haldeman has assured the board and FHFA that he will remain as CEO until a succession plan has been put in place. Haldeman has stood at the helm of Freddie Mac since August 2009. He is the third individual to hold the chief executive position since the company was placed into conservatorship by the federal government in September 2008.

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Wilson & Associates’ Randy Bueter Elected to USFN Board

Wilson & Associates, P.L.L.C. recently announced that partner Randall S. Bueter has been named to the USFN-America's Mortgage Banking Attorneys board of directors for a three-year term. USFN, formerly known as the U.S. Foreclosure Network, is a nationwide, nonprofit association of mortgage banking law firms and trustee companies. At Wilson & Associates, Bueter is in charge of the closing and bankruptcy departments, and has extensive experience in real estate litigation.

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HARP’s Rep and Warranty Waiver: Will It Spark a Refinancing Frenzy?

With the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) retooling of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), one change in particular may hold the answer to just how much of an impact the initiative will have -- FHFA's decision to waive representations and warranties on loans that are refinanced through the program. The debate has already begun about whether such a move will indeed persuade lenders to step up participation in the program. Some lenders do see it as an opportunity, but market analysts say the rep and warranty waiver may be less effective than expected.

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Woodward Asset Capital’s OfferSubmission Nabs Realtor for Fraud

A few weeks ago, a Midwestern bank was alerted that a Realtor under contract to sell its foreclosed assets was double-dipping and costing the bank potentially $60,000 on one sale alone. The bank learned of the scheme through OfferSubmission.com, an online software system that tracks offers made on foreclosed properties. Thanks to the system's early red flag, the bank thwarted the agent's elaborate fraud scam which would have put more dollars in the agent's pockets but cost the bank a significant sum.

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Regulators Shutter Four More Community-Based Lenders

Four more community-based lenders have been seized by regulators. That brings this year's tally of failed institutions to 84. But the number of fallen banks in the U.S. continues to lag behind the 139 closures recorded at this time during 2010. Officials with the FDIC say bank failures have peaked and are expected to continue to decline as the financial sector returns to health. This latest round of closings claimed two lenders in Georgia and one each in Colorado and Florida.

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FHFA’s Home Price Index Breaks Four-Month Run of Gains

The monthly home price index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has recorded its first decline since March. FHFA reported Tuesday that home prices in the U.S. fell 0.1 percent from July to August, and the previously reported 0.8 percent increase recorded for July was revised to reflect no change. Data released the very same day by Standard & Poor's showed a 0.2 percent increase in the Case-Shiller home price index for the same period. Economists say FHFA's index is ""a better barometer.""

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Case-Shiller Continues to Record Improvements in Annual Price Changes

The annual rate of change in home prices continues to show improvement, according to Standard & Poor's. Data released Tuesday by the agency shows the 20-city composite reading of the S&P/Case-Shiller index for August came in below its year-ago level by 3.8 percent. The previous month, S&P reported a 4.1 percent annual decline. The closely watched gauge posted a 0.2 percent increase in August versus July, marking the fifth consecutive monthly gain.

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