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Home | News | Government

FinTech Charters May Have Difficult Road Ahead

The OCC’s initiative to grant national bank charters to FinTech companies may not go as smoothly as some had hoped. According to a new report, there may be some unexpected hurdles that could stall its movement, including new leadership at the OCC and a recent lawsuit filed by various state regulators. President Trump named Keith A. Noreika to replaced Thomas J. Curry as head of the OCC in early May.

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The Fight Against Blight in Maryland

Thursday, a fast-track foreclosure law expediting the foreclosure process was signed by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. With the intent to reduce community blight, this bill was signed in the footsteps of a similar bill in Ohio. Industry experts provide commentary on the impact this bill may have, including being the push for other states to move forward with their own fast track foreclosure bills.

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FHFA: Four Regulatory Focuses for 2017

The Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), spoke about the FHFA and the FHLBanks at the 2017 Federal Home Loan Bank Directors’ Conference Tuesday. Mel Watt began with positive news about FHLBank performance and lead into the four main regulatory issues he would like to focus on. He stressed that the FHFA will carry out all work in a transparent manner.

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Freddie Funds $28B in Mortgages

According to its latest summary report, Freddie Mac’s mortgage portfolio has increased 0.5 percent over the year. In April, the government-sponsored enterprise completed more than $28 billion in mortgage purchases and issuances, and 4,500 single-family loan modifications. Its mortgage-related securities portfolio also increased year-over-year.

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Analyzing the HUD Budget

On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced its proposed 2018 budget. Included in the budget are several cuts to Department of Housing and Urban Development programs, including cutting the funding to the Community Development Block Grant Program, as well as the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, HOME Investment Partnerships Program, and the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program.

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Sentencing Date Set for Former JPMorgan Loan Officer

Former senior loan officer at JPMorgan Chase & Co. admitted to a $33 million mortgage fraud scheme recently. A Florida federal judge accepted the plea and set the sentencing date for August 17. In exchange for shorter sentencing and other charges to be dropped, the $33 million will be paid in restitution.

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Study: Tax Reform Will Increase Homeownership Burden

A national study has suggested the current White House plan for tax reform will increase taxes for middle-class homeowners. Families with adjusted gross incomes between $50,000 to $200,000 could see an average annual increase of $815 on their federal income taxes. As federal tax deductions are one of the main incentives for homeownership, it is imperative for organizations in the industry to remain vigilant in working with Congress to draft tax reform that promotes owning a home.

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Speculation Surrounds the Fed Balance Sheet

As the Federal Reserve begins to normalize their balance sheet, speculators believe that the final product may be up to three times larger than it was before the financial crisis, if not bigger. The balance sheet refers to the portfolio of securities, such as various types of Treasury debt and mortgage-backed securities (MBS), that it has purchased. Rising interest rates are sure to drive up rates in the housing market, and the Fed’s decision to pullback from mortgage-backed securities will only add to the rising rates.

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