Home / Author Archives: Krista Franks Brock (page 39)

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.

NY Approves Goldman Sachs’ Sale of Litton with Stipulations

The New York Department of Financial Services is including several stipulations with its approval of Goldman Sachs' sale of its Litton Loan Servicing unit to special servicer Ocwen Financial. Goldman Sachs has agreed to principal reductions of $53 million on Litton mortgages. In addition, the agreement forged between Goldman and New York's banking superintendent addresses the illegal practice of robo-signing and includes rules to ensure only the note-holder pursues foreclosure actions.

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Sen. Franken and Others Address Rating Agency Reform

Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota continues to express concerns that the new rules regarding ratings agencies are not addressing fundamental issues with ratings procedures. Franken, along with other congressmen and policymakers, believes ratings agencies inflated assessments of mortgage-backed securities and that these inflated ratings ultimately led to the financial crisis. During a conference call hosted by Americans for Financial Reform, Franken and others spoke out on the inherent conflict of interest they see within ratings procedures.

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Home Prices Post Slight Gain for July but Still Below Year-Ago Levels

Home prices rose 0.8 percent in July, marking the fourth consecutive monthly increase, according to the latest home price index from CoreLogic. Capital Economics responded to CoreLogic's report saying, its analysts ""are wary"" of reading too much into the ""fairly optimistic"" house price report because prices have yet to respond to the recent weakening in consumer demand. Despite the monthly increase, Corelogic says home prices are down 5.2 percent from where they stood a year ago.

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Title Insurance Premiums Decrease in Second Quarter

Title insurance companies wrote $2.30 billion in premiums throughout the second quarter of 2011, down from $2.33 billion in the second quarter of 2010, according to the American Land Title Association's (ALTA) preliminary 2011 second-quarter market share analysis. At the same time, premiums increased in 21 states and Washington, D.C. The biggest premium gains were seen in Iowa and South Dakota. Fidelity underwriters claimed the largest market share, with more than a third of the new business.

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NY Delegates Respond to AG’s Removal From Settlement Committee

Twenty-one members of New York's congressional delegation sent a letter to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller expressing concerns after he removed New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman from the executive committee negotiating a settlement with several major servicers. The state's lawmakers say Miller's decision to oust Schneiderman ""sets a dangerous precedent"" for other attorneys general who, out of fear for what might happen, may choose silence over voicing their concerns with the proposed settlement.

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Ginnie Mae Allows Buyouts After Trial Payment Plans

Ginnie Mae has announced a new rule regarding buyouts of delinquent loans. Servicers may now buy out loans at the end of a successful trial payment plan, instead of waiting until a borrower has missed three payments. This new rule is in line with recently released Federal Housing Administration (FHA) guidelines requiring most loans to undergo a three- to four-month trial payment plan before a loan modification is made permanent. The new FHA guidelines go into effect October 1.

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HUD Extends Application Period for EHLP

HUD is once again accepting applications for its Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program (EHLP), which provides assistance to borrowers at risk of losing their homes due to unemployment or underemployment. The new deadline for applications is September 15. The original deadline of July 22 was extended to July 27, but HUD announced Monday that it is reopening the application process because the agency believes it has enough resources to help more homeowners than have currently applied.

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Pending Home Sales Decline Monthly But Remain Higher Than Last Year

Pending home sales decreased overall and in three of the four national regions in July, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). However, nationally and in all four regions, pending sales remain higher than one year ago. The West was the only region to post a month-over-month increase, with sales contracts up 3.6 percent. Despite recent declines in pending sales for most of the country, NAR says contract activity over the past three months is fairly comparable to the first part of this year.

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S&P/Experian: Default Rates Decline Monthly and Annually

Default rates on both first and second mortgages declined in July, according to the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices. Second mortgage defaults decreased from 1.4 percent in June to 1.25 percent. The first mortgage default rate for the month of July was 1.93 percent, down from 2.02 percent the previous month. Both measurements also declined from a year earlier. S&P says July's data support the downward trend the company has observed over the past two years.

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Radar Logic to Propose Plan to Address Government REOs

Radar Logic plans to publish a response to the government's proposal to sell pools of foreclosed homes to investors to rent. In its RPX Monthly Housing Market Report for August, the company expressed concerns that the plan could negatively affect home prices in the broader market. Radar Logic believes the REOs sold in bulk to investors will come at lower prices than if they were sold individually - prices much lower than non-distressed sales, and these low prices could lead to low appraisals for other homes on the market.

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