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Tag Archives: Freddie Mac

Long-Term Mortgage Interest Rates Edge Higher

Mortgage rates are still incredibly low by historical standards. They've been fluctuating around record lows not seen in more than a half-century for a good many months now. This week was one where that movement was upward, according to industry data released Thursday. A nationwide survey conducted by Freddie Mac found that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 4.23 percent, while 15-year rates edged up to 3.66 percent. Bankrate reports that the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate reversed last week's decline, returning to 5.10 percent.

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S&P Case-Shiller Index Records Widespread Declines in Home Prices

Home prices across the country slipped in August, Standard & Poor's reported Tuesday. The agency's closely-watched gauge of residential property values recorded a 0.1 percent drop in the composite reading of 10 cities tracked, while the 20-city composite posted a 0.2 percent decline. Home prices decreased in 15 of the survey's 20 metropolitan statistical areas on a month-to-month basis. Only Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, New York, and Washington D.C. posted what S&P called ""marginal improvements.""

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Fidelity National Requires Lenders to Vouch for Foreclosure Accuracy

Fidelity National Financial, the nation's largest title insurer, will soon begin requiring lenders to provide the company with an indemnity agreement that guarantees the accuracy of their foreclosure documentation before Fidelity will insure the title of a repossessed home. The new policy was prompted by the recent foreclosure freezes enacted by at least five major mortgage servicers and disclosures of errors made in the processing of foreclosure paperwork, and is effective for all foreclosure sales closing on or after November 1.

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Mortgage Rates Head Upward for First Time in Five Weeks

The freefall for mortgage interest rates hit a pause this week. Rates on 30-year mortgages rose for the first time in five weeks, edging up to 4.21 percent, according to data released by Freddie Mac Thursday. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also inched up to 3.64 percent. Adjustable-rate mortgages, on the other hand, slipped to new record lows. Bankrate says the ongoing foreclosure controversy surrounding court documents and paperwork errors could ultimately be passed along to future borrowers through higher mortgage rates.

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Price Tag for Fannie and Freddie Bailout Could Double: FHFA

Taxpayers' bill for keeping the nation's two largest mortgage firms afloat could more than double between now and 2013, according to the companies' regulator. To date, Fannie and Freddie have drawn $148 billion from the Treasury since they were placed under government control in September 2008. The two GSEs' could need another $73 billion to $215 billion to maintain positive net worth over the next three years. In a worst-case scenario, the overall tab for keeping Fannie and Freddie in business will reach $363 billion.

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Foundation Hotline Offers Help Against Foreclosure Scams

The Homeownership Preservation Foundation has partnered with NeighborWorks America, HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to help prevent foreclosure-rescue scams. The coalition is positioning the Homeowner's HOPE Hotline (1-888-995-HOPE) as a central point of contact for homeowners who think they may be victim of a scam. Information provided to the hotline is used by local, state, and federal agencies to shut down predatory companies victimizing distressed homeowners.

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GSEs Release Appraiser Independence Rules to Replace HVCC

The industry has long been awaiting a replacement for the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC). On Friday, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issued new Appraiser Independence Requirements to supplant the controversial HVCC, but both GSEs say the new appraiser rules, effective immediately, ""make no significant changes to core principles of the HVCC."" Fannie and Freddie say they will continue to review the appraisal rules to address issues relating to conflicts of interests and fee disclosure by appraisal management companies.

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Total Mortgage Offers 30-Year Jumbo Loan Rates Below 5%

The jumbo market is seeing significant improvement in interest rates and market liquidity, according to Total Mortgage Services, LLC in Connecticut. The lender and broker is now offering 30-year fixed jumbo mortgages up to $729,000 at a rate of 4.875 percent. This considerable drop in rates has increased the number of purchase and refinance transactions for Total Mortgage Services.

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Congressional Panel Sees Conflicts of Interest from TARP Contractors

The Congressional Oversight Panel has ""significant concerns"" related to accountability and conflicts of interest because of Treasury's extensive use of private contractors to carry out functions for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), particularly foreclosure prevention efforts. The largest TARP contracts were awarded to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fannie alone employs 600 workers on TARP's foreclosure programs, while Treasury has only 220 staffers working on all TARP programs combined.

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FHFA Orders Paperwork Fixes but Insists Foreclosures Should Proceed

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has issued a new policy that outlines specific steps Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac servicers should take to identify and correct deficiencies in foreclosure paperwork. Evidence of servicing staff cutting corners to process foreclosures quickly has lawmakers, consumer advocates, and the entire general public calling for an immediate moratorium on foreclosures. But FHFA says bringing the process to a complete halt is not the answer.

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