Home / Author Archives: Krista Franks Brock (page 20)

Author Archives: Krista Franks Brock

Krista Franks Brock is a professional writer and editor who has covered the mortgage banking and default servicing sectors since 2011. Previously, she served as managing editor of DS News and Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle publication. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Consumers Digest, Dallas Style and Design, DS News and DSNews.com, MReport and theMReport.com. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia.

Prices Rise Most in Hard-Hit Markets, Little Impact from Employment

Currently, the markets with the greatest home price gains are those that are recovering from steep declines during the recession. However, this is likely to change over the coming year with employment playing a larger role in price movement across the country, according to Trulia. On the other hand, the company's data demonstrates an alignment of rising rents and rising employment rates.

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Investors Increase Market Share, Ramp Up Non-Distressed Purchases

Investors increased activity in the housing market in November, particularly upping their non-distressed purchases, according to a recent industry report. After a near-record 23 percent of home purchases were made by investors in early 2013, investor share in the purchase market dropped to 16.6 percent in August but was back up to 18.8 percent by November.

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Report: No Market Surprises in December

In keeping with historical seasonal trends, housing inventory and median list price per square foot both declined over the month of December. At the same time, annual changes remained in line with previous years, according to Movoto Real Estate's State of the Market report released Tuesday. The California-based online real estate broker said there were """"no surprises"""" in the December numbers.

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Economic Growth in U.S. to Outpace Global Progress

As we head toward the close of 2013, many wonder what the new year will bring for economic growth, what plans the Federal Reserve has for its stimulus, and how employment and the housing market will take shape. IHS Global Insight recently released its 2014 outlook, addressing these and other factors affecting the U.S. and global economies in the coming year. IHS says global economic growth will increase from 2.5 percent this year to 3.3 percent next year, with the U.S. growing 2.6 percent, up from 1.7 percent.

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Freddie Mac Releases Updates to Foreclosure Alternative Processes

Freddie Mac released a bulletin explaining new servicing requirements regarding foreclosure alternatives and disaster relief, which the GSE said ""should streamline the servicing process."" Among them are changes related to evaluations for borrower contributions in a short sale or DIL, new eligibility criteria for its standard and streamlined modifications, and a new valuation process for foreclosure sale bids.

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Unrealistic Rate Expectations Threaten Housing Recovery

Unrealistic mortgage rate expectations could lead the housing recovery astray as the Federal Reserve looks to ease its stimulus program, according to recent reports. Nearly half of consumers cite rising mortgage rates as a top concern for the housing market, but attitudes toward interest rates are somewhat troublesome. Eighty-three percent of buyers believe a ""normal"" interest rate for a fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage loan is less than 5 percent.

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Half of Consumers Fear Another Housing Bubble Is Forming

While many indicators suggest the housing market is recovering, some fear another bubble is already forming. A survey by Country Financial, a financial services firm in Illinois, found that some 48 percent of Americans believe the market could reach ""bubble"" status within the next two years. Bubble or no bubble, many Americans continue to suffer financial burdens that impede them from homeownership.

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GSEs Update Servicing Guidelines to Prepare for CFPB Rules

As the industry prepares to comply with the January implementation of new rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac updated their servicing guides to bring GSE standards in line with the new regulations. Among the guideline changes, servicers are prohibited from mentioning foreclosure earlier than 121 days into delinquency.

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Firm Says Congress Unlikely to Expand Mortgage Programs

Coinciding with Wednesday's House committee hearing on the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, a boutique investment firm, released its predictions of what actions the government is and is not likely to take to further assist the housing market. Generally speaking, ""any large program expansions which require congressional approval are, in our view, not likely to go far,"" said Brian Gardner, SVP of Washington research at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.

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Connecticut Receives $190M in National Settlement

Connecticut is set to receive more than $190 million from the multi-state settlement with the nation’s largest mortgage servicers. ""There are many reasons why I believe this settlement is good for Connecticut, but the most important reason is this: it provides immediate help to thousands of Connecticut homeowners at a time when they can still use that help to save their homes,"" said Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, who served on the negotiating committee that established the settlement with the banks.

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