As the new year rolls in, DS News is taking a look back at some of the biggest REO headlines and stories of 2014:
1. FHFA Announces Policy Change For GSEs’ Existing REO Sales  – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced a policy change that would allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to sell existing REO properties to any qualified purchaser at fair market value, which would be determined by the companies.
2. Fannie Mae Increases Incentives to Purchase REO Properties  – Fannie Mae announced that homebuyers can now receive up to 3.5 percent in closing cost assistance. The help is available within the FirstLook period of Fannie Mae’s HomePath properties in 27 states. The incentive will offer qualified buyers up to 3.5 percent of the final sales price to pay closing costs.
3. CFPB Averts Costly Closing Delays with Revisions to Final Disclosure Rule  – After much anticipation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its final rule for new integrated mortgage disclosures, combining the overlapping disclosures required by the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). The new rule will certainly change the landscape of the settlement services and mortgage lending industries as we know them.
4. What is Causing the Decline in Short Sales?  – Consequences stemming from the expiration of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act may be surfacing, according to a perspective piece written by CoreLogic’s Kathryn Dobbyn. The piece found that throughout 2012 and into 2013, short sales had been steadily declining, partly due to rising home prices.
5. Wells Fargo’s J.K. Huey Receives 2014 Five Star Lifetime Achievement Award  – J.K. Huey of Wells Fargo was presented with the 2014 Five Star Lifetime Achievement Award at the Women in Housing Leadership Summit September 16 as part of the 11th Annual Five Star Conference and Expo.