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Tag Archives: Freddie Mac

Government Refi Program to Take Form of HARP Revamp

President Obama's speech introducing his new Jobs Act included a pledge to refinance millions of home mortgages. Documents released since then by the White House and a key housing regulator reveal that the government-led refi push will indeed center around an overhaul of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). The administration says it intends to remove the barriers that exist in the current program to allow more borrowers to qualify as long as they have a history of making their payments on time.

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Congressman Suggests Extension of Conforming Loan Limit

Congressman Gary Ackerman of New York has sent a letter to House Appropriators urging them to extend the temporarily increased conforming loan limit that will otherwise expire October 1. Ackerman was joined by 36 members of Congress in his request. He suggested the conforming loan limit extension be built into the continuing resolution that will keep the federal government functioning when the new fiscal year begins next month. Private investors, though, are advocating for the loan limit increase to expire.

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Obama Pledges to Refinance Millions of Mortgages at Today’s Rates

Housing got only a brief mention in President Obama's highly anticipated jobs speech Thursday night, but it was a pledge that some pundits say is a step in the right direction. Others say it's likely to have little impact. Obama told Congress his administration will work to refinance millions of homeowners' mortgages at today's record-low rates. It's expected the program will give borrowers who are underwater or have bad marks on their credit the opportunity to take out lower-rate, lower-payment loans.

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Mortgage Rates Fall to New Record Lows … Again

Industry data released Thursday show borrowing costs for home loans falling to new lows, slipping further from what was already reported as the lowest level for mortgage interest rates in more than a half-century. Economists attribute the continuing declines to ongoing employment concerns and economic uncertainty, as well as the debt crisis in Europe pushing investors to the safe haven of U.S. Treasury bonds. Freddie Mac now puts the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage at 4.12 percent and the 15-year rate at 3.33 percent.

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Women in Default Services to Honor Industry Leaders at Dallas Event

The Texas-based trade association Women in Default Services (WinDS) will hold their 2nd Annual Networking Event at the Women's Museum in Dallas, Texas on September 12. As part of the event, the organization will this year honor Sharon Bartlett of Freddie Mac and Cheryl Travis-Crawford of Vendor Resource Management (VRM) for outstanding achievements in their industry.

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Industry Calls for Less GSE Action, More Investor Protection

At a congressional hearing Wednesday, witnesses voiced concerns about the government's participation in the mortgage market as well as the lack of transparency between servicers and investors. One analyst described the U.S. housing finance system, where the GSEs account for over 90 percent of new mortgages, as ""problematic."" Others said government is crowding out the private market with programs that make below-market-rate loans available to nearly all borrowers, and they advocated for the expiration of increased conforming loan limits.

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GSEs’ Long Run of Declining Delinquencies Comes to an End

For the first time in over a year neither Fannie Mae nor Freddie Mac are showing any downward movement in their seriously delinquent mortgage rates. Fannie's percentage of single-family loans at least three payments past due remained unchanged between the months of June and July at 4.08 percent. Freddie's increased one basis point to 3.51 percent. The Federal Housing Finance Agency says foreclosure prevention actions completed on loans held by the two mortgage financiers have declined for four consecutive quarters.

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Financial Firms ‘Disappointed’ FHFA Chose Lawsuits Over Negotiations

The Federal Housing Finance Agency's decision to pursue legal action against firms that sold residential mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could potentially strain relationships between the GSEs and the companies named as defendants, many of whom still sell mortgages to Fannie and Freddie and service home loans held by the two mortgage financiers. Some of the financial firms have been forthcoming with pledges to aggressively defend themselves against the allegations and are disappointed by the fact that FHFA has taken to the courts.

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FHFA vs. Mortgage Powerhouses: What Does It Mean for the Market?

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is suing 17 financial institutions in an attempt to recover losses incurred by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from mortgage bonds purchased between 2005 and 2007. Based on initial reports, FHFA is looking to recoup as much as $45 billion. At least one financial analyst believes the matter will end in a settlement significantly south of that amount. Others say a more long-lasting impact may come in the form of higher mortgage costs for consumers.

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StreetLinks Assures Lenders of UMDP Appraisal Compliance

StreetLinks Lender Solutions says the company can ensure compliance with phase one of the Uniform Mortgage Data Program (UMDP) for appraisals ordered through both its full-service AMC solution, LenderPlus, and self-managed appraisal software platform, LenderX. All appraisals on loans destined for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are now required to comply with new Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) requirements. StreetLinks requires that appraisers provide their assessments in the UAD-compliant format.

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