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Homeowners Claim KB Home, Countrywide, LandSafe Rigged Appraisals

A group of homeowners filed a class-action lawsuit on Thursday against KB Home, Countrywide Financial, and the bank’s affiliated LandSafe appraisal services, claiming the three conspired to systematically, artificially, and illegally rig home appraisals … to boost home values and sales prices.

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Report Names 25 Subprime Lenders Behind Financial Meltdown

According to an investigative report released this week by the Center for Public Integrity, the top subprime lenders whose loans are largely blamed for triggering the global economic meltdown were owned or backed by giant banks now collecting billions of dollars in bailout money.

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Senate Approves Safe Harbor, H4H Bill

The Senate passed the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act by a 91 to 5 vote on Wednesday, after shooting down the bill’s bankruptcy cramdown amendment last week. The legislation provides mortgage servicers with a safe harbor from investor lawsuits, expands HUD’s Hope for Homeowners (H4H) program, increases funding for foreclosure prevention efforts, establishes foreclosure protections for renters, and increases the FDIC’s line of credit with the Treasury to $100 billion.

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Mortgage Rates Inch Upward

Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey on Thursday, which showed that mortgage interest rates rose this week for both long- and short- term home loan products. The GSE attributed the increase to recently issued reports which signaled optimism that the national economy may be starting to turn around.

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Fed: Banks Constrict Q1 Mortgage Lending

Banks continued to tighten lending standards during the first quarter of the year, according to the Federal Reserve’s senior loan officer survey published on Monday. The central bank’s first quarter lending review showed that 50 percent of U.

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NAR Reports a Rise in Pending Home Sales

The housing outlook, based on pending home sales, improved with many first-time buyers taking advantage of near record-high housing affordability conditions, according to the latest report released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) on Monday.

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Ford Foundation Funds Foreclosure Buys

The Ford Foundation has committed $50 million to a new nonprofit venture to help municipalities purchase banks’ foreclosed homes. According to the Wall Street Journal, the investment is one of the largest made by a foundation to help alleviate the effects of the housing crisis.

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