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Tag Archives: FHA

Nation’s Unemployment Rate Rises to 9.2%

The national unemployment rate edged up in June to 9.2 percent, as the economy added just 18,000 jobs. The numbers were worse than market forecasts. Economists were expecting the rate to remain unchanged at 9.1 percent and job gains to be between 85,000 and 100,000. Declines in the labor market have added significantly to the volume of seriously delinquent mortgages. On Thursday, the administration announced that it was extending the mortgage forbearance period to 12 months for unemployed homeowners in government programs.

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Government Extends Mortgage Forbearance for Unemployed

With no sustained pickup in the job market, over six million Americans have been unemployed for longer than 27 weeks. Such extended periods of joblessness remain the predominant force behind high volumes of seriously past-due mortgages. With these realities weighing on an already fragile market, the federal government said Thursday it will extend the mortgage forbearance period for unemployed homeowners to a year under the Federal Housing Administration and Making Home Affordable programs.

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Default Risk in Reverse Mortgage Sector Prompts Lender Exodus

Reverse mortgage businesses accounted for a bigger share of industry casualties during the first half of 2011. Data released Tuesday shows that three lenders, which together made up 46 percent of the market for FHA's reverse mortgage program, called it quits earlier this year. The study noted that one factor impacting the dwindling sector is the possibility that borrowers will miss insurance or tax payments, which can trigger default on federally insured loans.

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Taylor Bean & Whitaker CEO Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison

The man charged with orchestrating possibly one of the most notorious mortgage fraud schemes in U.S. history has been handed a 30-year prison sentence. Lee Farkas, CEO of Taylor Bean & Whitaker, was told Thursday by a U.S. district judge in Virginia that his crimes merit three decades behind bars. Judge Brinkema said she did not detect ""one bit of actual remorse"" in Farkas. From 2002 through 2009, Farkas and his co-conspirators manufactured fraudulent mortgages and securities in a scheme that led to the collapse of Colonial Bank.

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HUD’s Single-Family Housing Chief Resigns

Vicki Bott, HUD's deputy assistant secretary for single-family housing, is departing the federal agency, a HUD spokesperson has confirmed. Bott joined HUD in September 2009, just as the administration was knee-deep in ramping up and rolling out a host of programs to address the nation's raging foreclosure crisis. At HUD, Bott was responsible for the direction and management of all single-family Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance programs, including the disposition of repossessed homes.

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HUD to Re-Foreclose on REO Homes in Michigan

HUD says foreclosures will have to be re-filed on some of its REO homes due to a Michigan court ruling. In April, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a judgment stating that MERS does not meet the requirements under state statute to act as the foreclosing agent in non-judicial proceedings. HUD says most of the major title insurers in Michigan have ceased issuing title insurance for any repossessed properties involving MERS and a non-judicial foreclosure. The agency is directing mortgagees to re-foreclosure on any affected homes to cure the title defect.

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Foreclosure Starts and Sales Post Sharp Declines in April: Report

Both new foreclosure actions and completed foreclosure sales took a dive in April after rising sharply the month before, according to industry data released Wednesday. Foreclosure starts nationwide totaled approximately 163,000 in April, while foreclosure sales dropped to 73,000, reports the industry alliance HOPE NOW. At the same time, though, proprietary loan modifications also declined. HOPE NOW says the performance of these loan mods has remained ""steady,"" with a re-default rate of 20 percent.

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U.S. Bank Agrees to Pay $1.2M in HUD Settlement

Under the terms of a settlement reached with HUD late last week, U.S. Bank will pay $1.2 million to resolve allegations that it failed to comply with Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requirements in connection with 27 mortgage loans. U.S. Bank is the FHA's eighth largest mortgage lender. U.S. Bank did not admit any liability, but HUD documented losses of more than $465,000 in relation to these loans.

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FHA Encourages Servicers to Report Loan Modifications

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recently announced a new mechanism that encourages servicers to report non-incentivized loan modifications using the agency's online system. A mortgagee letter will make this reporting a requirement in the future. FHA warns that servicers who miss the 60-day window for filing an incentive claim should still report modification terms or they may incur monetary damages by delaying future claims activity after the original loan maturity date automatically terminates the FHA insurance.

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HUD’s Inventory of REOs More Than Double a Year Ago

HUD has released a report detailing recent business activity at the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). It shows that the federal agency's inventory of REO homes has ballooned as sales from this portfolio fell sharply during the final months of 2010 and early part of this year. The number of repossessed single-family properties held at the end of February 2011 was 68,801. That figure represents an increase of more than 50 percent from a year earlier.

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