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2015 HUD Budget Proposal Reveals New Fee, Program

2015 HUD

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan revealed HUD's fiscal year 2015 budget proposal on Tuesday in a conference call. "HUD's FY2015 budget request helps to create opportunity for all Americans by providing housing, capital investments, and critical services for millions of families," Donovan said.

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HARP-Eligible Loans Decline in 2013

The Data and Analytics Division of Black Knight Financial Services released its Mortgage Monitor Report, which looked at data as of the end of January, 2014. The report found that Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) eligible loans have shrunk throughout the year, noting "a general decline in the overall 'refinancible' population of both traditional and HARP-eligible borrowers with associated loan origination volumes dropping in both categories as well."

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Fifth Bank of the Year Fails; First in Pennsylvania

Vantage Point Bank of Horsham, Pennsylvania was closed Friday by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was appointed as the receiver. The FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with First Choice Bank of Mercerville, New Jersey to assume all of the deposits of Vantage Point Bank.

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CFPB Reform Bill Passes in the House

Some changes may be on the horizon for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3193, The Consumer Financial Freedom and Washington Accountability Act, which would bring more "accountability and transparency," according to Representative Sean Duffy (R-Wisc), the bill's sponsor.

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January Construction Spending Up .1% from December

A new report by the Census Bureau shows that construction spending for the month of January has increased. The government’s latest report shows spending on all construction projects was up 0.1 percent from December, an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of $943.1 billion.

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New Report Says 2013 GSE Revenue ‘Will Not be Repeated’

Strong fourth-quarter 2013 earnings by Freddie Mac capped a year of unprecedented financial earnings for the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), but reflect several one-time items, according to a release issued by Fitch Ratings. Fitch comments, "While results of the type posted in 2013 will not be repeated, Fitch Ratings expects increased guarantee fees (g-fees) and improving mortgage credit quality to support continued profitability for the GSEs this year."

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Special Servicers Benefit from HARP; Future Uncertain

Three special servicers released their fourth quarter and year-end numbers, noting increases in revenue and increasingly active originations sectors. However, analysts remain concerned that the increased revenue, largely derived from government programs such as HARP, will stall as refinances slow down.

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Virginia Bank Closed, Fourth Collapse of 2014

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced Friday in a press release the closing of Millennium Bank, National Association of Sterling, Virginia. The bank was closed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which appointed the FDIC as the bank’s receiver.

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Fannie Mae Confident of Continued Growth in 2014

The housing market’s cooler-than-expected first quarter should just be a temporary blip in a year of modest overall growth, according to Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae’s latest economic forecast notes harsh weather stunted new home construction in Q1 2014, but the report also reaffirms Fannie Mae's position that the economy and housing markets will improve on 2013 growth by the end of Q4.

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