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Tag Archives: mortgage

Foreclosures Down, Except in 3 States

A new report shows foreclosure filings are down 23 percent since last year, hitting their lowest point since November 2005. Foreclosure starts and completions are also down over the year, though repeat foreclosures have seen an increase. The only places to see jumps in foreclosure activity were New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and D.C.

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Two Sides to Tax Reform

Reflecting promises made on the campaign trail, President Trump’s tax reform proposal appears to be an effort to reduce tax burdens for Americans as well as simplify the nation’s tax structure. Based on the outline presented this week, we now have a clearer picture of the administration’s primary goals for tax reform, but those goals will need to be formalized in detailed legislation.

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GSEs Could be Granted FOIA Exemptions

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will now enjoy the nine standard exemptions of the Freedom of Information Act, thanks to a recent amendment to HR 1694. According to the amendment's sponsor, it will help ensure privacy and transparency at the entities. Passed in April, HR 1694 requires the GSEs to adhere to the FOIA for the first time since entering conservatorship.

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Mortgage Default Risk is on the Rise

On Thursday, VantageScore Solutions, LLC and TransUnion released the VantageScore Default Risk Index (DRI) for Q4 2016. According to the DRI, when it comes to default risk, mortgages pose a lower threat than auto loans, student loans, and bankcards with the DRI for these four categories came in at 85.4 (mortgage) , 89.3 (auto), 90.0 (student loans), and 96.8 (bankcards) respectively. Despite the lower default risk compared to other debt categories, mortgage risk is up quarter-over-quarter.

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Underwater Mortgages on Decline

The number of seriously underwater properties is on the decline, according to a recent home equity report. Approximately 5.5 million U.S. homes were seriously underwater for the quarter—a drop from last year’s 6.7 million. As a percentage of all mortgages, seriously underwater loans also dropped, accounting for 9.7 percent of all loans versus the 12 percent of Q1 2016.

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Fed Nixes Rate Hike in May Meeting

The Federal Open Market Committee opted to keep the federal funds rate as-is during its May meeting. The FOMC raised the rate in March from 0.75 to 1 percent. It was largely expected that the FOMC would raise rates at least two more times over the course of 2017.

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Barclays Settles with SEC in RMBS Case

Barclays Capital will pay more than $16 million in remediation and penalties in response to charges brought against the bank by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The charges alleged two Barclays traders misled customers and that the bank failed to properly supervise them. The traders have also agreed to individual settlements of their own.

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Freddie to Pay $2.2B in Dividends for Q1

Though Freddie Mac’s net income was lower this quarter than last, the GSE will still pay $2.2 billion in dividends to the U.S. Treasury for this quarter, according to its recent financial results report. The agency saw single-family revenues, purchase volumes, and mortgage-related investments all decline for Q1. These declines, according to Freddie Mac CEO Donald Layton, were due to steady interest rates and low market spreads

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Fannie Portfolio Sees Monthly Jump

Fannie Mae’s gross mortgage portfolio increased at a compound annualized rate of 0.1 percent in March. In February, it decreased at an annualized rate of nearly 17 percent. Total aggregate unpaid principal balance on the GSE's mortgage portfolio was just under $269 billion—up about $30,000 over the month.

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Renter, Homebuyer Monthly Costs Largely Even

The average American renter can now purchase a home more expensive than the nation’s median home value, while keeping their monthly housing budget the same. This was true in 37 out of 50 markets analyzed. The current national median rent is $1,416 per month—just enough to handle the monthly costs of a property valued at $289,505, including property taxes, maintenance, and insurance payments.

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