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Author Archives: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.

Castro Expresses Optimism, Addresses Challenges Facing Housing in ‘Fireside Chat’

Castro based his optimism on what he called a "confluence of factors" he believes will encourage more potential homebuyers to take the plunge this year, including a leveling off in home prices, lower entry barriers to mortgage credit, and falling costs—helped by an imminent reduction in Federal Housing Administration (FHA) annual mortgage insurance premiums and the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) directive for Fannie and Freddie to accept mortgages with lower down payments.

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Altisource Adds Chief Revenue Officer

Altisource Portfolio Solution's executive team saw a new addition this week, with industry veteran John Vella stepping into the newly created role of chief revenue officer.

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HARP Modifications Dwindle; Overall Refi Activity Way Down

Monthly refinance numbers moved in fits and starts throughout 2014, bouncing between a low of 105,059 in March and October's year-to-date high—though the trend in the year's latter half was largely upward as mortgage rates fell to nearly 4.0 percent.

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Realignment Results in Servicer Cutting More Than 800 Jobs

Luxembourg-based mortgage servicer Altisource Portfolio Solutions is cutting more than 800 jobs both overseas and at home in the wake of what was a bumpy year for the company. The move was announced in a conference call with investors on Friday that saw Altisource management working to reassure shareholders who have seen their stock drop more than 80 percent in the last year.

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Altisource Shares Rise as CEO Reassures Firm’s Investors

In a conference call hosted ahead of Altisource's fourth-quarter earnings release, CEO William Shepro acknowledged that 2014 was "a trying time" for the firm's investors and employees as shares plunged nearly 80 percent. The company's troubles last year can be traced to its relationship with Ocwen Financial Corp., which has faced a growing amount of scrutiny from federal and state regulators related to its growth and operations.

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Fueled by Lower Gas Prices, Consumer Sentiment Reaches Highest Level in a Decade

According to the group conducting the confidence survey, January's increase—which lifted the index to its highest level since 2004—was driven by an improvement in personal finances, with more consumers reporting increases in household income than any time in the past decade. They're also more optimistic about the labor outlook as job growth continues on a steady track.

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All-Cash Sales Share Continues Year-Over-Year Decline

The share of all-cash home sales continued its streak of annual declines in October but remained elevated compared to pre-crisis levels, according to data released Wednesday. In a post on the company's blog site, CoreLogic estimated that cash transactions accounted for 35.5 percent of total home sales in October 2014, down from 38.7 percent the year prior.

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FHFA Outlines 2015 Goals for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Among the goals in that category are instructions for the GSEs to finalize their rep and warranty frameworks (a process started late last year), encourage more participation from smaller lenders, and continue watching for other hurdles to credit access.

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Fed: Economy Growing at ‘Modest to Moderate’ Pace Amidst Concerns Over Oil Prices

While lower prices are bound to keep Americans happy at the gas pump, they could potentially be a problem for housing in oil-dependent states, including Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. If the current decline impacts the local labor market (as the Dallas Fed indicated Wednesday in its own Beige Book), it could be a weight on their housing health in the next few years.

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