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Tag Archives: Freddie Mac

Baum Law Firm Barred from Handling GSEs’ New Foreclosures

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have notified servicers that they can no longer refer foreclosure or bankruptcy cases to the law firm of Steven J. Baum, P.C. in upstate New York. The Baum law firm has found itself at the center of controversy. In early October, the firm agreed to pay $2 million to end an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into its foreclosure practices. Two weeks after the DOJ settlement was announced, the New York Times ran photos of the firm's 2010 Halloween party, which depicted a mockery of homeowners who had been foreclosed on.

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Thirty-Year Fixed Rate at or Below 4% for Third Week

Data released by Freddie Mac shows the average rate for a fixed-rate mortgage with a 30-year term has hovered at or below the 4.00 percent threshold for three consecutive weeks. The GSE's latest study, averaging rate data from 125 lenders for the week ending November 17, puts the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at exactly 4.00 percent. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, a popular refinancing choice, averaged 3.31 percent.

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Freddie Mac’s Winter REO Sales Promo Pays Extra to Selling Agents

Freddie Mac has announced the launch of a nationwide winter sales promotion to move its inventory of foreclosed homes and put them back into the hands of responsible homeowners purchasing a primary residence. HomeSteps, the GSE's REO sales division, will pay selling agents a $1,000 bonus for offers received on Freddie Mac-owned homes in select locations. The offer is valid only on homes sold to owner-occupant buyers and runs through March 15, 2012. Freddie Mac held 59,596 single-family REO homes as of the end of September.

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Fannie and Freddie Detail New HARP Guidelines

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have released highly anticipated guidelines for the revised Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). Among the key program revisions, the GSEs have eliminated or raised the loan-to-value cap, and relaxed representation and warranty stipulations. Both government officials and market analysts have said rep and warranty waivers could spark heated competition among lenders to refinance borrowers through HARP. With the new guidelines, the GSEs laid out exactly what will be waived.

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House Committee Votes to Suspend Bonus Pay for GSE Execs

The House Financial Services Committee voted in favor of a bill Tuesday that would prohibit Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from paying out future bonuses and suspend the 2011 compensation packages that have been approved by their regulator. The bill passed the committee by a vote of 52 to 4 and now moves to the full House for consideration. On the other side of Capitol Hill the very same day, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing in which members grilled the GSEs' regulator about executive pay.

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Freddie Mac’s Average REO Sale Yields 94% Market Value

Freddie Mac says its REO homes sell for an average of 94 percent of market value. According to the GSE, because Freddie Mac-owned homes are well maintained and priced right for the local market, most sell close to full estimated market value. Freddie Mac sold more than 80,000 single-family REO homes in the first nine months of 2011, which the company says is a record. According to the GSE, it is selling more homes than it's taking in through foreclosure.

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Senate Proposal Calls for Winding Down of GSEs

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee has introduced a bill aimed at winding down the GSEs and bringing uniform standards to the industry. Coker's proposal would gradually reduce the amount of new mortgage backed securities (MBS) issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over 10 years. At the end of the 10-year period, the MBS market would be completely private. The bill also mandates sales of the GSEs' technology and other systems to private investors, and calls for a replacement to the MERS registry system.

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Thirty-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate Dips Below 4% Threshold

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage came in at 3.99 percent this week, according to data released Thursday by Freddie Mac. It's the second time this year the rate has dropped below the 4.00 percent mark, and is the second lowest reading in the history of the GSE's survey. It averaged 3.94 percent for the week ending October 6, 2011. Freddie Mac described rate movement overall as ""changing little"" amid a mix of economic data reports, with most loan products up or down just 1 to 2 basis points.

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House Set to Vote on Bill to Suspend GSE Pay Packages

Lawmakers are outraged at the amount of bonus pay awarded to executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac...and they're not stopping with hot-tempered rhetoric. Rep. Spencer Bachus, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has scheduled a committee vote for next Tuesday on a bill that would suspend the compensation packages awarded to the GSEs' top executives. Sens. Jay Rockefeller and John McCain say they plan to follow suit with a similar bill in their own chamber.

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Lawmakers Want Answers on Bonuses to GSE Execs

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are up in arms over the news that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) approved $12.79 million in bonus pay for 10 executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Sixty senators put their partisan differences aside and presented a united front in a letter to FHFA Acting Director Edward DeMarco and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, in which they criticized such compensation as ""wildly imprudent"" and expressed concern over the message it sends to millions of American families who are tightening their belts.

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