Home / Author Archives: Krista Franks Brock (page 43)

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.

HOPE NOW: Delinquencies and Foreclosure Starts Decline

Mortgage delinquencies declined 27 percent in the first half of 2011 compared to the first half of 2010, according to data from HOPE NOW. For the first half of 2011, the number of 60-day plus delinquencies was 2.7 million, down 1 million from the first half of 2010. Foreclosure sales also declined year-over-year for the period - down 25 percent. At the same time, the total number of foreclosure starts during the first six months of 2011 was 1.13 million, a decrease of 9 percent from the first six months of 2010.

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Washington Attorney General Accuses ReconTrust of Illegal Foreclosures

Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna and Assistant Attorney General Jim Sugarman have filed suit against ReconTrust Company, a subsidiary of Bank of America, for illegally foreclosing thousands of Washington homes. McKenna and Sugarman are requesting the court require ReconTrust to abide by state laws in addition to inflicting civil penalties of up to $2,000 per violation and restitution for affected homeowners.

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New York Governor Enacts Land Banks to Transform Vacant Properties

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has signed a law which allows state municipalities to establish land banks to redevelop vacant properties for the betterment of communities. Local land banks will be authorized to control the use of vacant, abandoned, or tax-delinquent properties. Operating under the New York State Urban Development Corporation, the land banks will allow properties to be redeveloped or resold, thus utilizing existing, vacant buildings to address local demand.

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The Future of Mortgage Interest Deduction Remains Unstable

After much hype about the possibility of an elimination of the mortgage interest deduction (MID) as part of the debt ceiling agreement, the August 2nd accord included no such provision. However, the new law does call for major deficit reductions -- $2.4 trillion total -- to go into place over the next several years. A $917 billion reduction over the next 10 years is automatic. An additional $1.5 trillion reduction must be decided by November 23rd. The bipartisan committee dedicated to determining those cuts could find the MID an easy target.

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Fiserv Predicts Price Declines Through 2011 Followed by Gains

Fiserv, Inc. released its home price index Tuesday noting declines but predicting stabilization by the end of 2012. For the short-term, Fiserv sees continuing declines - at least until the end of the year. However, beginning in 2012, Fiserv predicts small gains in prices. Fiserv notes that the first quarter of 2011 showed a continuation of the double-dip trend started last year when demand waned after the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit. Price declines early this year were also driven by a jump in foreclosure sales.

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AIG Files Suit Against BofA While Opposition to Settlement Continues

American International Group Inc. (AIG) filed a lawsuit Monday against Bank of America claiming the bank's subsidiaries, Countrywide and Merrill Lynch, withheld information from its investors regarding loan quality. AIG hopes to secure more than $10 billion from BofA to recover losses resulting from the alleged non-disclosures. The insurance company accuses BofA of giving investors a false account of the performance of its residential mortgage-backed securities. BofA maintains that AIG is responsible for its own losses and rejects AIG's accusations of fraud.

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Senator Reed Urges FHFA to Require GSEs to Rent Foreclosed Properties

Senator Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) has sent a letter to the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recommending the agency require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rent out foreclosed properties rather than immediately attempting to sell them at bargain prices. Reed believes renting the properties would help the market on all fronts by reducing foreclosure inventories, providing affordable housing, and creating jobs in hard-hit industries.

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BofA to Pursue Loss Mitigation Under HUD Settlement

Bank of America and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have reached a settlement regarding 57,000 delinquent government-issued mortgages serviced by the bank. Under the agreement, BofA must pursue loan modifications with the 57,000 borrowers that it previously did not offer foreclosure alternatives. However, the servicer will not be held liable for foregoing such efforts in the past, though the actions are required by HUD.

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Realtors Increasingly Dissatisfied with Servicers Regarding Short Sales

Realtors continue to be dissatisfied with short-sale transactions, with 77 percent categorizing short sales as ""difficult"" or ""extremely difficult"" according to the California Association of Realtors' (CAR) member survey. The current assessment shows an increase of 7 percent from the previous survey conducted in December 2010. Respondents cited servicers' slow responses to short-sale offers as a primary reason for their dissatisfaction. CAR says short sales account for a fifth of all transactions in California.

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Foreign Investors Will Not Save U.S. Housing But May Help Some States

The combination of declines in home prices and in the value of the dollar is making U.S. homes very affordable for some foreign buyers, according to Capital Economics. The 33-percent drop in housing values since the beginning of 2006 translates to an even greater decline when the dollar value is compared with Canadian, Chinese, and European currencies. While international investors likely won't bring recovery to the American housing market in the near-term, the research firm says they may provide a boost to a handful of states.

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