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Author Archives: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a contributing writer for DS News. He is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing, and has studied abroad in Athens, Greece. An East Texas native, he also works part-time as a photographer.

Hensarling’s Communication Control Faces Criticism

Under the 1967 Freedom of Information Act, Congress is exempt from requests for records and material, and as Hensarling stated, communications between the Financial Services Committee and various branches of government constitute congressional records. Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-California), criticized Hensarling’s statements.

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The Week Ahead: Eyes on the Treasury

Following a week of argument within Congress regarding everything from healthcare to the Financial CHOICE Act, on Wednesday at 2 p.m. EST, the Department of the Treasury will release its monthly Federal Budget Statement. The Bureau of Fiscal Service releases a report of the monthly receipts/outlays and deficits/surplus of the United States. This budget announcement comes right on the heels of the first round of votes to move the Financial CHOICE Act forward, a bill which would act as an alternative to the Dodd-Frank Act.

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Fannie Mae Income Drops in Q1

Fannie Mae reported $2.8 billion both net and comprehensive income for the quarter, the exact amount of the dividend amount it expect to pay the Treasury Department in June. But that income for the quarter was nearly half what the GSE reported in Q4 of 2016.

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Employment Increases, and the Industry Reacts

Friday’s employment report for April from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed strong growth overall, with a total increase in non-farm payroll jobs of 211,000, compared to March’s increase of 79,000. Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta tweeted that the report was “great news,” and noted the unemployment drop to 4.4 percent. However, differing opinions came from those in the mortgage and housing industry.

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Senior Housing Market Remains Strong After Post-Election Surge

The National Association of Homebuilders’ 55+ Housing Market Index revealed for Q1 2017 revealed a 12 point drop from Q4 2016, but the senior housing market is still in a strong area. Present sales fell 12 points to 62, expected sales fell seven points to 68, and prospective buyer traffic decreased 15 points to 34.

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Credit Suisse to Pay $400 Million in RMBS Litigation

After allegedly selling toxic residential mortgage-backed securities which led to the failure of three credit unions, Credit Suisse Securities has agreed to pay $400 million in a settlement on Wednesday. The National Credit Union Administration settled with Credit Suisse, ending a litigation that has lasted nearly five years. The NCUA filed a motion for voluntary dismissal in Kansas federal court on Tuesday.

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CFPB Assesses Effectiveness of Mortgage Servicing Rule

Currently, the Bureau is seeking comment from consumers, consumer advocates, housing counselors, mortgage loan servicers, industry representatives, and the general public regarding the RESPA mortgage servicing rule, and will issue a report of their assessment by January 2019. The rule, introduced in January 2013 and which took effect in January 2014, was designed to assist consumers who were behind on mortgage payments. Among other things, the RESPA mortgage servicing rule requires servicers to follow certain procedures related to loss mitigation applications and communications with borrowers.

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Optimal Blue Utilizes Total Expert Inc Solutions

Optimal Blue recently announced a partnership with Total Expert Inc, a relationship which Optimal Blue hopes will increase productivity and drive revenue with contact and database management tools for every facet of a user’s business.

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CFPB Attempts to Deny Constitutionality Ruling Fast-Track

The CFPB attempted to block Ocwen’s expediting attempt by telling a Florida federal court to deny Ocwen’s attempt at fast-tracking its constitutional challenge against the agency’s structure. Ocwen had previously stated its opinion of the CFPB’s structure, saying in a release that it “believes that the CFPB is unconstitutionally structured, because it vests too much unfettered power in the hands of the CFPB’s Director and the Bureau itself, without any meaningful oversight by the President or Congress”

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Cities May Sue Banks Over Foreclosure, Industry Reacts

According to the Supreme Court, Miami has the standing to sue Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. under the Fair Housing Act, stating that the banks’ discriminatory and predatory lending practices led to a major shortfall in city tax revenues. We hear from industry lawyers on the case to gauge its implications.

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