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Fintech Innovation Demands Great Responsibility

Thomas Curry, the federal comptroller of the currency, spoke at a fintech conference Friday, where he extolled the virtues of tech innovation in banking. But he also warned of the need for secure and responsible advancements. To democratize financial services through technology is the goal, but to guard against criminals and terrorists is a necessity.

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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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Counsel’s Corner: Regulatory Compliance in Today’s Technology-Inundated Mortgage Industry

Alan Weinreb, Founder of the Margolin & Weinreb Law Group, is a New York-based attorney specializing in mortgage foreclosure, bankruptcy, and REO. Weinreb represented the plaintiff in a very significant case recently, which saw a federal court hand down a decision on a traditionally state-level issue: foreclosure actions. According to Weinreb, the outcome could impact future foreclosures across the state—and the nation—for years to come.

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Fed’s MBS Phaseout May Drive Up Rates

Many expect the Federal Reserve to begin pulling back from the MBS market later this year or early next. A new analysis delves into the options the Fed has for its pullback--as well as the impact each of those options may have on the market. Whichever the Fed choose, expert say it will impact mortgage rates either way.

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Homeownership Rising Faster Than Rentals

According to the Census Bureau, the homeownersip rate of 63.6 percent was not statistically different from the Q1 2016 rate of 63.5 percent or the Q4 2016 rate of 63.7 percent. However, despite this unchanged data, Trulia Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin noted that there is still surprising news out of this quarter’s report, as the number of owner occupied households grew faster than the rate of rental households for the first time in 11 years.

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CFPB Looks At Diversity

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report outlining the Bureau’s strategies and efforts to promote diversity and inclusion within the mortgage industry. The report is a readout of an industry roundtable meeting held by the CFPB’s office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OWMI) with the Mortgage Bankers Association. Participants in the meeting included representatives from the mortgage industry, including from larger and smaller banks, as well as some nonbank financial companies.

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Industry Leaders to Discuss Diversity, Inclusion

The second annual Five Star Diversity Symposium will be a day-long event focused on advancing the conversation on diversity within the mortgage industry featuring keynote addresses from diversity leaders, roundtable discussions, and panels covering the most pressing diversity and inclusion issues facing our industry. This gathering of leaders will lay the groundwork for the coming year by engaging in important conversations covering an array of topics surrounding the advancement of inclusion in our industry.

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Freddie Portfolio Grows, Delinquency Rates Down

Freddie Mac’s total mortgage portfolio grew 4.8 percent from March 2016 to March 2017, according to recent data. The GSE has handled $98 billion in purchase and refinance loans this year to date. Serious delinquencies were down on Freddie single-family loans but stayed steady for multi-family ones.

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State Regulators Sue OCC Over Fintech Charter

When the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released an update to its Licensing Manual, which allows for FinTech companies to receive bank charter, the decision was met with some criticism. On Wednesday, The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) announced that it has filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the OCC, claiming that the attempt to create a national nonbank charter will harm markets, innovation, and consumers.

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Treasury Announces Corporate Tax Cuts

On Wednesday afternoon, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin released a tax reform plan which could have a significant impact on the mortgage industry and the financial industry as a whole. In an interview with The Hill, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the tax cuts in President Trump’s reform “The biggest tax cut and largest tax reform in history of this country.” The proposal calls for a reduction of corporate taxes down to 15 percent, cutting the top tax bracket down to 35 percent, and doubling the standard deduction.

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