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Tag Archives: Freddie Mac

Texas Representative Requests Details of Taxpayer Expenses for GSEs

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) has sent a letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) requesting Acting Director Edward DeMarco to provide full details of how taxpayer dollars are being spent to pay for lawyer's fees and legal costs for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Neugebauer says he's concerned that the taxpayers are picking up the tab for ongoing legal counsel for the very executives who drove the GSEs into conservatorship. The congressman wants a report from FHFA no later than December 31.

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Freddie Mac and Bankrate Post Differing Mortgage Rates This Week

Freddie Mac reported Wednesday that mortgage rates remained stable this week, rising only slightly from the rates reported last week. A separate study from Bankrate reports rates dipped slightly this week. This week's Freddie survey shows 30-year-fixed-rate-mortgages averaging at 4.40 percent. Bankrate's study puts them at 4.58 percent.

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FHFA Index Shows 1.6% Drop in Third-Quarter Home Prices

Home prices in the U.S. continued to fall in the third quarter, with declines in most parts of the country, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). FHFA's purchase-only house price index is calculated from mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It was 1.6 percent lower in the third quarter when compared to the second. Analysts warn that we may have entered a second downturn, although likely shorter and less severe than the one that brought the financial system to its knees.

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Home Purchase Activity Hits Six-Month High

Mortgage applications for home purchases jumped during the third week of November to their highest level since May. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Wednesday that its index of purchase applications soared 14.4 percent for the week ending November 19th. MBA says the increase suggests growing consumer confidence. It offset a 1.0 percent decline in applications for mortgage refinancing, which in contrast, hit their lowest mark since the end of June.

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Accelerated Foreclosure Activity Keeps Delinquency Growth in Check

Servicers have picked up the pace as they work through a backlog of loans that have languished in late-stage delinquency status for months, and in some cases well over a year. As a result, Lender Processing Services says lenders' foreclosure inventories have risen dramatically and are about 7.4 times above the historical average. Increases in delinquency numbers have remained subdued, however, as loans are pushed out the end of the pipeline faster than new delinquencies enter.

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Are the Days of Rock-Bottom Mortgage Rates Behind Us?

Mortgage interest rates rose dramatically this week, after lingering around half-century lows for months. The upsurge comes just two weeks after the Federal Reserve announced plans to purchase another $600 billion in Treasury securities, a move that is meant to hold interest rates down. Rates are still extremely low by historical standards, but the sharp increases seen in just one week's time - long-term rates jumped by about 20 basis points in two separate industry studies - serve as an abrupt reminder that trends can reverse on a dime.

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NAR Survey Finds Half of Homebuyers to be First-Time Purchasers

First-time homebuyers purchased half of all homes that were sold from July 2009 to June 2010, according to an annual survey of buyers and sellers conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). It's the highest share of first-time homebuyers in the history of NAR's study, which dates back to 1981. The trade group attributed its findings to the success of the government's tax credits, but also voiced concern that today's credit policy restrictions are locking responsible borrowers out of homeownership.

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More Homeowners Opt for Fixed-Rate Mortgage Products

Fixed-rate mortgages have become the dominant choice among borrowers looking to refinance their home loans, with more applicants gravitating toward shorter loan terms. A study by Freddie Mac on loan transition trends found that in the third quarter, more than 95 percent of homeowners who refinanced chose fixed-rate loans, regardless of whether their original loan was an adjustable- or fixed-rate mortgage. Borrowers who previously held shorter-term mortgages also showed a stronger preference for staying with a 15-year or 20-year loan.

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Embrace Home Loans Satisfies SAFE Act Licensing Requirements

Embrace Home Loans, a direct lender for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has met the licensing requirements of the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act. The company said it has been preparing for the SAFE Act for more than a year and consequently has invested thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars in resources to ensure all of its loan officers are ready to meet the requirements of the SAFE Act for originating loans in multiple states.

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Obama to Nominate New Overseer for Fannie and Freddie

President Obama said Friday that he intends to nominate North Carolina Banking Commissioner Joseph A. Smith, Jr. to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. If confirmed by the Senate, Smith will replace Edward DeMarco, who has served as acting director of the agency since September 2009. The timing of Smith's appointment would put him at the center of the administration's efforts to reform the nation's housing finance system and decide the future of the GSEs.

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