Home / Author Archives: Krista Franks Brock (page 49)

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.

Servicers to Receive New Incentives for Expedited Modifications

Treasury has released an update to its Home Affordable Modification Program, which provides enhanced incentives to servicers that modify loans quickly rather than letting them linger in delinquency. Incentives vary based on the number of days a mortgage loan is delinquent before receiving modification, ranging from $1,600 to $400. The directive is effective October 1, and applies to all permanent HAMP modifications with trial period plans effective on or after that date.

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Joint Hearing Held on Federal Regulation of Mortgage Servicing

At a hearing Thursday, two House Financial Services subcommittees came together to discuss the role of federal agencies in the creation of new mortgage servicing standards and settlements with the nation's largest mortgage servicers on foreclosure practices. Witnesses called for new universal standards for the servicing industry. ""Improving mortgage servicing will take both market reforms and regulatory reforms,"" said Mark Pearce of the FDIC.

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California Congressman Suggests GSE Merger

Rep. Gary Miller of California is introducing a new idea for GSE reform - a merger of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The bill, drafted by Miller and co-sponsored by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York, suggests the resulting entity would purchase mortgages and sell them to investors as government-backed securities. According to Miller, the new corporation would be privately capitalized but not privately owned, and would be limited to a market share of no more than 50 percent.

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Washington Mutual Reaches $208.5 Million Settlement

Washington Mutual Inc.'s former executives, underwriters, and auditor reached a $208.5 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit by investors. The Seattle-based institution was the largest U.S. bank to fail, and this settlement is one of the largest resulting from the financial crisis. The class-action suit combined more than 20 cases in which investors claimed the bank misrepresented its financial condition when its loans began to fail after careless underwriting and inflated appraisals.

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Shadow Inventory and REOs Loom Over National Recovery

Conditions across multiple financial sectors suggest economic stabilization and growth. It's the housing market that's holding back economic recovery, according to the credit bureau Equifax. The company's latest analysis of national credit trends points to shadow inventory and REOs as major mortgage market depressors. Growth in these areas has led to bigger write-offs. Equifax says write-off dollars for home finance in 2010 more than doubled that of 2006 and 2007 combined.

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Ally Financial Acknowledges Receipt of Mortgage-Related Subpoenas

Ally Financial Inc., one of the nation's five largest mortgage servicers, acknowledged receipt of subpoenas from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Wednesday. The subpoenas are directed at Ally Financial Inc. and GMAC Mortgage LLC's mortgage activities. Ally says the subpoenas may result in adverse judgments, fines and penalties, or injunctions.

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OCC Mandates Foreclosure Procedure Reviews for All National Banks

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has laid out its expectations for national banks' handling of mortgage foreclosures. The federal agency says all servicers under OCC supervision must observe the same stipulations handed down to a handful of servicers in April as part of the regulatory settlement for robo-signing infractions. National banks are directed to conduct a self-assessment of their foreclosure management practices by September 30, and take immediate action to correct any deficiencies.

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Mortgage Rates Remain Steady Though 5-year Rate Sets New Record Low

For the fourth week in a row, 30-year fixed mortgage rates held steady at just above 4.5 percent, according to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, released Thursday. Freddie Mac calculates average interest rates based on data from about 125 lenders across the country. The 15-year rate remained unchanged from last week while the 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage dropped to a new record low.

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Trulia Economist Sees 2014 as ‘Year of the Repeat Homebuyer’

Trulia's chief economist Jed Kolko says while 2013 was the year of the investor, they should ease back from the purchase market somewhat, and 2014 will be the year of the repeat homebuyer as they pick up the slack. Other market changes to note in the new year, according to Kolko, include lower affordability, less frenzied homebuying, and a shift in the rental market from single-family homes to urban apartments.

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GSEs’ Portfolios Move in Opposite Directions

The nation's two largest mortgage financiers saw their numbers move in opposite directions during the month of November. Fannie Mae's book of business increased for the second month in a row (+0.1 percent), marking the fourth month of increases in 2013. Freddie Mac, on the other hand, reported an annualized decline of -2.0 percent. November makes five consecutive months of reduced activity for Freddie.

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