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Results: 196 Articles found.
May 18, 2016 12:30 PM

Gap Between Appraiser, Homeowner Value Opinions Drops

The disparity between appraiser and homeowner opinions of property value slightly narrowed during the past month, with appraiser valuations only 1.95 percent lower than homeowner estimates in April, down from 2.17 percent in March, Quicken Loans reported May 10 in its Home Price Perception Index

 
Apr 13, 2016 12:30 PM

Goldman Sachs Reaches $5 Billion MBS Settlement

Goldman Sachs and the U.S. Department of Justice on April 11 agreed to a $5 billion settlement that resolves claims related to the bank's sale of toxic residential mortgage-backed securities to investors, HousingWire reported.

 
May 27, 2015 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Downgrades Economic Forecast

Low mortgage rates helped keep homebuyer affordability high during the first quarter, but housing markets likely will see increased volatility for the remainder of the year as market participants try to determine the Federal Reserve's timing on short-term interest rate increases, Freddie Mac reported May 19.

 
May 27, 2015 12:30 PM

FHFA Issues New Single-family Lender Requirements

Single-family mortgage seller/servicers that want to continue doing business with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will have to comply with new operational and financial requirements, including a minimum net worth of $2.5 million, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported May 19.

 
May 27, 2015 12:30 PM

Appraiser Shortage Could Hurt Mortgage Lenders

A shortage of residential appraisers could create a situation where, in the next 5-10 years, lenders won't be able to have their volume of home appraisals sufficiently handled, National Mortgage News reported May 20. The result could be higher appraisal fees and longer closing times. (Log-in required).​

 
May 20, 2015 12:30 PM

Nomura, RBS Settle with FHFA over ‘Enormous Deception’

Financial holding company Nomura Holdings and the Royal Bank of Scotland will pay $806 million in damages to the Federal Housing Finance Agency for exhibiting “enormous deception” in the sale of allegedly flawed mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Bloomberg reported May 15.

 
May 20, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Gap Grows Between Homeowner, Appraiser Opinions

For the third consecutive month, homeowner opinions of home values are higher than the value assessed by professional appraisers, according to the Home Price Perception Index released May 13 by mortgage lender Quicken Loans, HousingWire reported May 13.

 
May 20, 2015 12:30 PM

Illinois Appraisals Halted

Appraisals in the state of Illinois came to an abrupt halt last week after the state’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation revoked the licenses of 70 appraisal management companies over non-compliance with Illinois bonding regulations, HousingWire reported May 14.

 
May 13, 2015 12:30 PM

Survey: Consumers Positive, Cautious on Housing

Consumers want to purchase homes, but rising house prices have convinced them now isn't a good time to buy, according to the April 2015 National Housing Survey released May 7 by Fannie Mae. Overall, the survey showed improved housing sentiment, but not enough to trigger any breakout housing market activity.​

 
May 13, 2015 12:30 PM

FHA Delays Revised Single-family Handbook

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced April 30 that stakeholder concerns have delayed by three months implementation of the revised Single Family Housing Policy Handbook. Policies in the handbook now will take effect Sept. 14.

 
May 13, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Mortgage Fraud Up, Valuation Fraud Down

The Mortgage Fraud Risk Report released May 5 by risk management firm Interthinx showed that mortgage fraud during the fourth quarter 2014 was up slightly from the previous quarter while valuation fraud saw a slight 2 percent drop during the same reporting period.

 
May 06, 2015 12:30 PM

Final Rule Released on Minimum Requirements for AMCs

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the National Credit Union Administration, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a final rule April 30 that implements minimum requirements for state registration and supervision of appraisal management companies.​

 
May 06, 2015 12:30 PM

Expanded Fiduciary Rule Addresses Appraisals, Seeks Comments

The U.S. Department of Labor is seeking comment by July 6 on its proposed rule to change who is considered a fiduciary of a qualified plan, IRA or health savings account. A more expansive proposal was released in 2010, but it faced significant pushback and was quickly withdrawn.

 
May 06, 2015 12:30 PM

SBA Issues Revised Appraisal Policies

The U.S. Small Business Administration on May 1 issued revised appraisal policies for change-in-ownership transactions involving special-purpose properties. The SBA removed requirements for business valuation credentials and repositioned such scenarios as real property-centric valuation scenarios.

 
Apr 29, 2015 12:30 PM

US Sues Quicken Loans over FHA Loan Violations

The U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against Quicken Loans alleging it improperly originated and underwrote loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration from September 2007 to December 2011, HousingWire reported April 23.

 
Apr 29, 2015 12:30 PM

Treasury: Fannie, Freddie Bailout Not a Loan

The U.S. Department of the Treasury responded to questions from Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, about the $187.5 billion taxpayer bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2008 by reporting it wasn’t a loan but an investment on which taxpayers are now being compensated, The Wall Street Journal reported April 21.

 
Apr 29, 2015 12:30 PM

Report says US Land Worth Nearly $23 Trillion

The estimated value for the 1.89 billion acres of land that comprise the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia is $22.98 trillion, according to U.S. government economist William Larson, The Wall Street Journal reported April 22.

 
Apr 22, 2015 12:30 PM

House Members Want Greater CFPB Transparency

A total of 401 members of Congress — both Democrats and Republicans — voted April 14 in favor of HR 1265, the Bureau Advisory Commission Transparency Act, which calls for more transparency and accountability from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by subjecting it to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, HousingWire reported.

 
Apr 22, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Appraisers, Homeowners Not Aligned on Home Values

Home prices were down in March, and as a result, the disparity between homeowners and appraisers on home value perception increased as homeowners’ estimates remained higher than appraiser opinions, according to the Home Price Perception Index released April 14 by Mortgage Lender Quicken Loans.

 
Apr 22, 2015 12:30 PM

Final Rule Released on Minimum AMC Requirements

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency released on April 21 its final rule on minimum requirements for state registration and supervision of appraisal management companies, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act.

 
Apr 15, 2015 12:30 PM

Fed to Unwind Trillions in Bond Purchases

The Federal Reserve faces the challenge of when and how to start unwinding billions of dollars in bonds that were purchased as part of the quantitative easing program, Bloomberg reported April 7. The bonds constitute the world's largest fixed-income portfolio. > FULL STORY

 
Apr 15, 2015 12:30 PM

GE to Sell Real Estate Portfolio

General Electric is nearing a deal to sell its $30 billion real estate portfolio to a group led by private-equity firm Blackstone and Wells Fargo, Reuters reported April 9. The sale would be the largest commercial real estate deal since Blackstone's 2007 purchase of Equity Office Properties Trust.

 
Apr 15, 2015 12:30 PM

FHA Hosting April 16 Call on New Appraisal Requirements

The Federal Housing Administration will host a conference call April 16 for appraisers and underwriters interested in hearing about changes in the revised Single-Family Handbook, including to the Appraiser and Property Requirements section and the Appraisal Report and Data Delivery Guide.

 
Apr 08, 2015 12:30 PM

Credit Program Expected to Impact Millions of Consumers

Financial data firms FICO, LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Equifax announced a pilot program April 1 that potentially could help millions of consumers qualify for mortgages, HousingWire reported.

 
Apr 08, 2015 12:30 PM

Retail Investment Up, Underwriting Standards Down

Investment in retail properties grew 16 percent between 2013 and 2014, and competition among lenders to make retail real estate loans led to a "modest" easing in underwriting standards last year, according to real estate investment firm Marcus & Millichap, MBA NewsLink reported April 2.

 
Apr 08, 2015 12:30 PM

Golding Likely to Lead FHA

The White House and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development plan to name senior HUD advisor Edward Golding as head of the Federal Housing Administration, HousingWire reported March 26.

 
Apr 01, 2015 12:30 PM

Fannie, Freddie Likely to Remain in Conservatorship

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., chair of the Senate Banking Committee, said he’d rather leave the government-sponsored enterprises in conservatorship than pass a bill that includes specific government support for the housing market, Bloomberg reported March 25. Bloomberg noted the comments appear to confirm that the GSEs will remain under federal control for years.

 
Apr 01, 2015 12:30 PM

Electronic Appraisal Submissions Coming June 2016

The Federal Housing Administration will require appraisals for single-family homes to be submitted through an online electronic delivery portal starting in June 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced March 26.

 
Apr 01, 2015 12:30 PM

Virginia Enacts Law on Reasonable and Customary Fees

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on March 23 signed into law S.B. 1445, which requires appraisal management companies operating in the state to compensate appraisers at a reasonable and customary rate. ​

 
Mar 25, 2015 12:30 PM

Fed Prepares for Rate Increase, Downgrades Outlook

The Federal Reserve, citing its confidence in the U.S. economy, set the stage March 18 for its first rate hike since 2006 — at the same time it slightly downgraded its economic outlook, USA Today reported. The Fed said growth “had moderated somewhat” due to several factors, including a sluggish housing market.

 
Mar 25, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Fannie, Freddie Might Need another Bailout

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may need another taxpayer bailout due to increased risks caused by shrinking reserves, according to a report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General, Reuters reported March 18. The government-sponsored enterprises received a $187 billion taxpayer bailout in 2008.

 
Mar 25, 2015 12:30 PM

AQB Adopts New State Background Check Requirements

The Appraiser Qualifications Board on March 20 adopted significant changes to the background check requirements of the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria. The new requirements are modifications to original background check requirements adopted by the AQB in December 2011, which never took effect. The new requirements will take effect Jan. 1, 2017.

 
Mar 18, 2015 12:30 PM

Arizona Passes Law Eliminating Appraisal Board

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on March 12 signed into law SB 1480, legislation that eliminates the Arizona Board of Appraisal effective July 1. The ABOA’s administrative functions will be reassigned to the Department of Financial Institutions. Arizona joins a handful of states that don’t have an appraiser board or commission.

 
Mar 18, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Appraisers, Homeowners Differ on Opinions of Value

Appraisers’ opinions of home values dropped below homeowner estimates in February, the first time in 18 months that appraised value was not higher than homeowner opinion, according to the Home Price Perception Index released March 10 by mortgage lender Quicken Loans.

 
Mar 18, 2015 12:30 PM

Cleveland Fed: Rate Hike Needed ‘Soon’

Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Meister told an association of business economists on March 9 that improved economic conditions indicate that the Fed should increase rates “soon,” Reuters reported. Mester said that while inflation remains weak, she is “reasonably confident” that prices will rise by the end of 2016.

 
Mar 11, 2015 12:30 PM

Washington Strips Power from New York Fed

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has been stripped of its power in a behind-the-scenes reorganization at the nation’s central bank, The Wall Street Journal reported March 4.

 
Mar 11, 2015 12:30 PM

Beige Book: Residential, Commercial Markets Continue to Improve

The Federal Reserve Beige Book released March 4 showed continued improvements at a modest-to-moderate pace in most markets, with home sales and prices increasing in most districts. Commercial real estate also showed positive growth, with vacancy declining in some districts and construction increasing in others.

 
Mar 11, 2015 12:30 PM

AI Report Analyzes State Rules on Appraiser Background Checks

The Appraisal Institute announced March 11 that it has analyzed and compiled all state licensing and certification statutes and regulations pertaining to background checks for applicants seeking appraiser credentials and published them in the special report “State Requirements Regarding Background Checks for Real Estate Appraisers.”

 
Mar 04, 2015 12:30 PM

Yellen Says Rates May Rise with Low Inflation

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told the House Financial Services Committee Feb. 25 that the central bank could raise interest rates before inflation goes up, provided price increases move ahead and the job market picks up, USA Today reported.

 
Mar 04, 2015 12:30 PM

Cushman & Wakefield Looks for a Buyer

Commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield is on the market, and banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have been hired to help it find a buyer, Bloomberg reported Feb. 24. The firm is majority-owned by Exor SpA, and they are seeking approximately $2 billion and a buyer that isn’t a direct competitor.​

 
Mar 04, 2015 12:30 PM

Court: Appraisers Don’t Need Access to Homes

The New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division in Rochester ruled that the city of Buffalo does not have the right to send appraisers into private homes without approval, the Buffalo News reported Feb. 23. The court said interior inspections violated homeowners’ privacy rights, which are protected by the Fourth Amendment.

 
Feb 25, 2015 12:30 PM

ASB Adopts Changes to 2016-17 USPAP

The Appraisal Standards Board on Feb. 6 adopted modifications to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice for 2016-17. The action followed a 19-month process during which four exposure drafts were issued, as well as another one on proposed Advisory Opinions; the Appraisal Institute provided input to ASB during the process.

 
Feb 25, 2015 12:30 PM

Attorney General Targets Banking Executives

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Feb. 17 that he gave federal prosecutors 90 days to determine whether cases can be brought against top bank executives and other individuals whose misconduct in the pooling and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities contributed to the 2008 financial crisis, Reuters reported.

 
Feb 25, 2015 12:30 PM

Survey: Appraisers Want Collateral Underwriter Transparency

Nearly 90 percent of appraisers responding to the Illinois Coalition of Appraisal Professionals’ Collateral Underwriter survey said they think Fannie Mae should make the CU process transparent and nearly 70 percent said they would raise fees to cover extra work required by CU, the organization reported Feb. 18.

 
Feb 18, 2015 12:30 PM

HUD Secretary Challenged on Mortgage Insurance Premiums

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro was grilled by House Republicans during a Feb. 11 hearing on the Federal Housing Administration’s plan to reduce mortgage insurance premiums, The Hill reported.

 
Feb 18, 2015 12:30 PM

Military Members Receive $123 Million for Illegal Foreclosures

Mortgage servicers that are part of the National Mortgage Settlement are required to pay out $123 million in relief to compensate 952 U.S. service members whose homes were illegally foreclosed on, HousingWire reported Feb. 10.

 
Feb 18, 2015 12:30 PM

Study: Appraisers, Homeowners Agree on Home Values

Mortgage lender Quicken Loans reported Feb. 10 that appraisers’ opinions of home values in January were nearly identical to those held by homeowners; the gap was 0.18 percent, with appraisers offering a slightly higher opinion of value, according to the Home Price Perception Index.

 
Feb 11, 2015 12:30 PM

FHFA: Debt Reductions Possible for Underwater Homeowners

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt said Feb. 4 that he still supports the idea of principal reduction on properties where borrowers owe more than their homes are worth, Bloomberg reported. Watt is working out how to accomplish that goal without passing along the costs to taxpayers.

 
Feb 11, 2015 12:30 PM

Farm and Ranch Land Values Stabilize in 2014

Farm and ranch land values stabilized in 2014 after years of double-digit increases, according to a Feb. 5 report from Farmers National Company, a firm that specializes in farm and ranch land real estate. The biggest drivers for land values remains location and quality.

 
Feb 11, 2015 12:30 PM

Fannie Clarifies CU Details; AI Wants More Answers

Fannie Mae clarified key details of its new Collateral Underwriter tool in a Feb. 4 lender letter, noting that CU does not accept or reject appraisal reports or characterize such reports as “good” or “bad.” The Appraisal Institute sees the clarifications as a necessary step because it has received numerous questions about CU.

 
Feb 04, 2015 12:30 PM

Court Rules Fannie, Freddie Lawsuits Can Proceed

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Jan. 28 rejected a bid by the federal government to delay a series of lawsuits filed by investors challenging the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s decision to take profits from now-profitable Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Bloomberg reported.

 
Feb 04, 2015 12:30 PM

CFPB Proposes Expanded Rural Financing

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Jan. 29 proposed several changes to its mortgage rules to expand lending in rural and other underserved areas. If finalized, the proposal would increase the number of financial institutions allowed to offer loans in those areas.

 
Feb 04, 2015 12:30 PM

Appraisals Blamed for Slow Closings on Auctioned Homes

A home auction program launched last May in Detroit met its goal of auctioning nearly 400 abandoned homes, but only one-third of the sales actually closed — a snag that’s being partly blamed on appraisals and the comparisons being used, The Detroit News reported Jan. 23.

 
Jan 28, 2015 12:30 PM

S&P to Pay $77M for Alleged CMBS Misrepresentation

Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s settled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for $77 million over claims it misled investors on some commercial mortgage-backed securities it rated, Reuters reported Jan. 21. S&P also will be banned from rating any CMBS for one year.

 
Jan 28, 2015 12:30 PM

Housing Gets Little Attention at State of the Union

During his Jan. 20 State of the Union address, President Obama only briefly mentioned housing and mortgage issues and only when talking about the Federal Housing Administration’s decision to reduce mortgage insurance premiums, MarketWatch reported. Experts say that failure to address the still “broken” housing finance system was a mistake.

 
Jan 28, 2015 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Program Addresses Hiring of Qualified Appraisers

Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter, an automated quality assurance program that checks for aberrations in appraisal report data and analysis, was made available to mortgage lenders Jan. 26, underscoring the importance of hiring qualified appraisal review staff who can navigate CU messages, alerts and other issues, the Appraisal Institute reported.

 
Jan 21, 2015 12:30 PM

Supreme Court Gives Consumers Mortgage Cancellation Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court gave homeowners an additional opportunity to cancel their mortgages if lenders fail to provide required disclosures, Bloomberg reported Jan. 13. The case centered on a three-year deadline for borrowers wishing to rescind their loans; the justices unanimously agreed that borrowers don’t have to file suit within three years and instead can meet the deadline by sending a letter to lenders.

 
Jan 21, 2015 12:30 PM

CFPB Launches Mortgage Toolkit, Critics Fault Disclosures

Nearly half of all homebuyers don’t shop around for mortgages, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported Jan. 13, and so the agency launched “Owning a Home,” an online toolkit to help consumers navigate the mortgage process. However, the toolkit is being criticized for sharing rates and costs without including required disclosures, HousingWire reported.

 
Jan 21, 2015 12:30 PM

Homebuyers Willing to Pay More for Solar; AI Aids in Research

Homebuyers are willing to pay more for homes with host-owned solar photovoltaic energy systems, according to a report released Jan. 13 by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Two Appraisal Institute professionals contributed to the landmark study as part of a multi-institutional research team.

 
Jan 14, 2015 12:30 PM

Montana Mulls Updates to Appraiser Licensing and AMC Laws

During its 2015 session, the Montana legislature will consider House Bill 29, which would revise the state’s appraiser licensing and appraisal management company oversight laws, the Appraisal Institute reported Jan. 8.

 
Jan 14, 2015 12:30 PM

FHA to Reduce Annual Insurance Premiums

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Jan. 8 said that the Federal Housing Administration will lower by a half-percent the annual premiums borrowers will pay. This action is projected to save more than two million FHA homeowners an average $900 annually and spur 250,000 homebuyers to purchase a home over the next three years.

 
Jan 14, 2015 12:30 PM

Barney Frank Worried GOP Will Gut Dodd-Frank Act

Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said he is concerned the new Republican Congress will water down key elements of the financial reform legislation he helped write, MarketWatch reported Jan. 6. Incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he wants to review Dodd-Frank with an eye toward amending some components.

 
Jan 07, 2015 12:30 PM

FHFA Warns Against ‘Super Priority’ Liens

The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a warning Dec. 22 to homeowners, financial institutions and state authorities regarding super priority liens created by energy retrofit programs or homeowner associations. The FHFA expressed concern that such liens can sometimes force a Freddie Mac or a Fannie Mae lien into a risky secondary position.

 
Jan 07, 2015 12:30 PM

Ambac Sues Bank of America over Faulty Mortgage Bonds

Insurance firm Ambac Assurance Corp. filed suit against BofA Dec. 30 in an effort to recover hundreds of millions of dollars it lost during the financial crisis from insuring approximately $1.68 billion of securities backed, in part, by risky mortgages issued by Countrywide, Reuters reported Dec. 31.

 
Jan 07, 2015 12:30 PM

CoreLogic: Top Housing Market Drivers in 2015

More millennials are expected to enter the housing market in 2015, analytics firm CoreLogic reported Dec. 29 in its 2015 Housing Outlook. The prediction was one of several the firm identified for the coming year; among the others: housing will benefit from oil price drops and Houston will be the most interesting housing market to watch.

 
Dec 17, 2014 12:30 PM

GSEs Introduce 3 Percent Down Payment Programs

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Dec. 8 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer new mortgage programs that allow individuals to make down payments of only 3 percent in a bid to help first-time and lower-income buyers enter the housing market, The Wall Street Journal reported.

 
Dec 17, 2014 12:30 PM

Ratings Agency Suspension Could Damper CMBS Outlook

While commercial mortgage-backed securities have experienced a major boost over the past few years, a move by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to suspend ratings agency Standard & Poor’s abilities to rate CMBS could dampen future growth, commercial real estate data firm CoStar Group reported Dec 10.

 
Dec 17, 2014 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Adjusts Comparative Sales Guidelines, Solar Policy

Fannie Mae released on Dec. 16 its updated Selling Guide for single-family homes, which includes an adjustment to comparable sales that eliminated the 15 percent net and 25 percent gross adjustment guidelines. It also clarified its policy on the valuation of homes with solar panels.

 
Dec 10, 2014 12:30 PM

Court Won’t Unseal Files on Washington Mutual Appraisal Scheme

A federal judge said he will not unseal files related to an alleged appraisal rigging scheme that Washington Mutual launched in an effort to favor mortgage lenders just before the 2008 market crash, Courthouse News Service reported Dec. 3.

 
Dec 10, 2014 12:30 PM

SEC Decision on IFRS Could Affect Appraisals

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is once again reviewing issues related to whether or not U.S. public companies can utilize the International Financial Reporting Standards for financial reporting purposes, the Appraisal Institute reported Dec. 10.

 
Dec 10, 2014 12:30 PM

AQB Proposed Background Checks Focus on ‘Public Trust’

The Appraiser Qualifications Board of The Appraisal Foundation released on Dec. 2 a new exposure draft of proposed revisions to the 2015 Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria. Included among the revisions is a requirement that all applicants for real property appraiser credentials have a background that does not call into question public trust.

 
Dec 03, 2014 12:30 PM

Freddie Mac Increases Access to Credit Risk Data

Freddie Mac is giving investors greater access to credit risk details by opening up loan-level actual loss data in an effort to improve transparency and increase confidence in its credit risk-sharing offerings, HousingWire reported Nov. 24.

 
Dec 03, 2014 12:30 PM

GSEs Will Let Foreclosed Borrowers Buy Back Homes

Government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac instituted a policy change that will allow borrowers who have gone through foreclosure to buy back their homes at market price, Bloomberg reported Nov. 25.

 
Dec 03, 2014 12:30 PM

BofA’s $16.65B Toxic Mortgage Settlement Approved

A record-setting settlement between Bank of America, the U.S. Department of Justice, other federal agencies and six states to resolve claims over allegedly toxic residential mortgage-backed securities was finalized, HousingWire reported Nov. 26.

 
Nov 26, 2014 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Changes UCDP Proprietary Appraisal Messages

Fannie Mae announced on Nov. 18 changes to proprietary appraisal messages in the Uniform Collateral Data Portal that are designed to provide more information to lenders and help them identify potential defects during the appraisal review process.

 
Nov 26, 2014 12:30 PM

Watt Updates Congress, Challenged on Lack of Progress

In his first appearance before Congress as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency on Nov. 19, Mel Watt gave the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee updates on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks, but he came under fire for not doing enough to help underwater homeowners, HousingWire reported.

 
Nov 26, 2014 12:30 PM

Fannie, Freddie Clarify Buyback Rules

In an effort to encourage banks to loosen lending standards, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac released rules Nov. 20 that clarify exactly when banks would be required to repurchase bad loans. Banks have been reluctant to ease lending standards after suffering billions of dollars in penalties for having issued poorly documented loans in the wake of the financial crisis.

 
Nov 19, 2014 01:52 PM

Bank of America Won’t Loosen Lending Standards

Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan said the bank will not loosen mortgage lending standards even though regulators are trying to increase credit availability, Bloomberg reported Nov. 12. He said the bank has no incentive to create more mortgage availability when customers are susceptible to default.

 
Nov 19, 2014 01:47 PM

CFPB Changes Compliance Guide for Mortgage Rules

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Nov. 10 announced two changes to its compliance guide for the new major qualified mortgage rules that took effect this year. The changes address lender and policymaker concerns.

 
Nov 19, 2014 01:44 PM

AI Cautions USDA about Raising Appraisal Threshold

The Appraisal Institute and the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers jointly submitted a letter Nov. 14 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in which they cautioned against proposed changes to the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program that would raise the threshold for when appraisals are required.

 
Nov 12, 2014 12:30 PM

Basel III Accords Scrutinize ‘As Completed’ Appraisal Values

New loan risk weight requirements that impact commercial real estate are putting greater emphasis on the “as completed” value within appraisal reports prepared for acquisition, development and construction loans, known as ADC loans, the Appraisal Institute reported Nov. 12.

 
Nov 12, 2014 12:30 PM

Court Vacates HUD’s Disparate Impact Rule

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s disparate impact rule under the Fair Housing Act after it determined the rule made lenders unfairly vulnerable to discrimination claims even when they took steps to prevent discrimination or when intentional discrimination was absent, MBA NewsLink reported Nov. 5.

 
Nov 12, 2014 12:30 PM

Dodd-Frank, Bank Regulation Uncertain with New Senate

With Republicans about to take control of the Senate, the future of the Dodd-Frank Act remains uncertain, as new conservative lawmakers are expected to target the 2010 law that introduced financial regulatory reform, MarketWatch reported Nov. 5.

 

Appraisers Able to Access RESNET Home Energy Ratings Database

The Residential Energy Services Network announced Oct. 28 that its National Registry is open to the public, which gives appraisers performing “green” property valuations access to valuable home energy ratings data. RESNET is the recognized national standards-making body for building energy-efficiency rating and certification systems in the U.S.

 
Nov 05, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: Mortgage and Valuation Fraud Increase

Instances of mortgage and appraisal fraud are on the rise, CoreLogic reported Oct. 28 in its 2014 Mortgage Fraud Report. During the second quarter, an estimated 11,100 mortgage applications, or 0.69 percent of all mortgage applications, contained fraud, as compared with 19,700 or 0.67 percent in the second quarter of 2013, when the total application volume was substantially higher.

 
Nov 05, 2014 12:30 PM

Fed Officially Ends Bond Buying Program

The Federal Reserve announced Oct. 29 that it ended its quantitative easing bond-buying program, The Wall Street Journal reported. The announcement was followed by an assurance that short-term interest rates would remain low. Ending the program reflects the Fed’s confidence in the nation’s economy, which grew almost 3 percent in the third quarter, significantly better than the economies in Japan and Europe.

 
Oct 22, 2014 12:30 PM

FHA Insurance Fund Close to Achieving Required Minimums

After taking $1.7 billion in taxpayer funds last year to balance its books, the Federal Housing Administration is close to replenishing its troubled insurance fund to minimum required levels, according to a report by ratings firm Moody’s Analytics, Bloomberg reported Oct. 16.

 
Oct 22, 2014 12:30 PM

Valuations Part of New Rules for Nontraded REITs

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved a rule change that provides investors with greater insight into the costs of unlisted real estate investment trusts, Investment News reported Oct. 14. The change allows the use of two methodologies, including appraised value.

 
Oct 22, 2014 12:30 PM

FHFA Announces Plans to Reduce Lender Liability

A plan announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency Oct. 20 would clarify the representation and warranty framework for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so as to limit lender confusion and liability on loan buybacks, HousingWire reported.

 
Oct 08, 2014 12:30 PM

Fed Faulted for Badly Executing Foreclosure Settlements

The Federal Reserve's Office of the Inspector General faulted the regulatory agency for poorly preparing, managing and executing settlements in 2013 with 13 financial firms over foreclosure errors, Bloomberg reported Oct. 2.

 
Oct 08, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: Home Prices Undervalued by 3 Percent

Home prices nationwide are undervalued by an average 3 percent, the real estate site Trulia reported Oct. 1. Conversely, the report noted that around 7 percent of the nation's 100 largest metro areas have homes that are more than 10 percent overvalued.

 
Oct 08, 2014 12:30 PM

Lawsuit Challenging Fannie, Freddie Profits Dismissed

A judge dismissed a lawsuit Sept. 30 that challenged the way profits from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were funneled to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Mortgage News Daily reported. The lawsuit was filed by investors who claimed the profit-funneling violated terms of the 2008 conservatorship agreement for the government-sponsored enterprises.

 
Sep 10, 2014 12:30 PM

VA Announces New Fannie Mae Appraisal Report Requirements

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced Sept. 2 that it now requires appraisers to include Fannie Mae Form 1004MC, Market Conditions Addendum, in all VA appraisal reports.

 
Sep 10, 2014 12:30 PM

Beige Book: Real Estate Activity Shows Modest Growth

The Federal Reserve Beige Book released Sept. 3 showed that markets improved modestly from June through late August, as slightly more than half of the 12 districts reported some growth in nonresidential real estate activity, with increased construction or leasing (or both) tied to steady or falling vacancy rates and rent increases.

 
Sep 10, 2014 12:30 PM

Comments Requested for Additional USPAP Changes

The Appraisal Foundation’s Appraisal Standards Board has issued a third exposure draft of proposed changes to its 2016-17 edition of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, and is seeking feedback on the proposed changes by Oct. 10.

 
Sep 03, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: GSEs Still at Risk of Mortgage Scams

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of the Inspector General reported that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae remain vulnerable to scams, and that all three need to make significant improvements so as to avoid suffering multibillion dollar losses due to fraud, HousingWire reported Aug. 26.​

 
Sep 03, 2014 12:30 PM

Obama Announces Partnership with Lenders to Help Military Homeowners

President Obama announced on Aug. 26 changes to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003 that will make it easier for military families to lower their monthly mortgage payments, National Mortgage News reported.

 
Sep 03, 2014 12:30 PM

HUD Finalizes Changes on FHA-insured ARMs, Prepayments

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development finalized on Aug. 26 two new rules for Federal Housing Administration-insured adjustable-rate mortgages, with one focused on how ARMs are adjusted and the other on post-payment interest charges on single-family FHA mortgages.

 
Aug 27, 2014 12:30 PM

Study: Utah Lenders Pay Higher Fees for Complex Appraisals

Mortgage lenders are willing to pay higher fees based on complexity of an appraisal assignment, not on the appraiser’s experience and education; however, appraisers who have a professional designation are more likely to be hired, according to a study conducted by the Utah Association of Appraisers on customary and reasonable fees and released on Aug. 13.

 
Aug 27, 2014 12:30 PM

Bank of America Pays Record Fine for Faulty RMBS

Bank of America will pay a record $16.65 billion penalty in the largest civil settlement ever between a single entity and the federal government, USA Today reported Aug. 21.

 
Aug 27, 2014 12:30 PM

Congress Challenges Fed Bailout Procedures

Lawmakers sent a letter to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in which they requested she rewrite the Fed’s proposed rule on bailing out banks considered “too big to fail,” HousingWire reported Aug. 18.​

 
Aug 20, 2014 12:30 PM

CFPB Fines Lender, AMC for Inflated Appraisal Fees

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Aug. 12 that it fined mortgage lender Amerisave Mortgage Corp., its affiliate, Novo Appraisal Management Company, and the organizations’ collective owner, Patrick Markert, $19.3 million for allegedly luring prospective borrowers with misleading interest rates and trapping them with inflated appraisal fees.

 
Aug 20, 2014 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae: 80 Percent of Lenders Avoid Non-QM Loans

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Qualified Mortgage and Ability-to-Repay mortgage regulations that took effect in January have had little impact on lenders’ strategies so far, but most anticipate a tough environment going forward, according to an Aug.14 Fannie Mae survey of 2,000 senior executives from its list of approved lenders.

 
Aug 20, 2014 12:30 PM

Freddie Mac: Housing Market on Path to Normal

The nation’s economy is stabilizing and the housing market is expected to return to a more normal state driven by fundamentals such as labor market gains and unemployment rates, Freddie Mac reported Aug. 13 in its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for August.

 
Aug 13, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: Banks Making Fewer Loans Due to New Mortgage Rules/ mortgage scrutiny

The Federal Reserve Board released a survey Aug. 4 in which it reported that some banks are making fewer loans because of new qualified mortgage rules enacted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in January, National Mortgage News reported.

 
Aug 13, 2014 12:30 PM

FHA Commissioner Galante Stepping Down/ galante

Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Carol Galante announced Aug. 11 that she will be leaving the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and stepping down from her role as assistant secretary for housing at the end of this year, HousingWire reported.

 
Aug 13, 2014 12:30 PM

Federal Regulators Critical of Bank Living Wills

The Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation criticized 11 of the nation’s biggest banks Aug. 5 for their failure to create adequate plans for dismantling themselves in the event of a financial crisis in a way that would not be harmful to the overall financial system, USA Today reported.​

 
Aug 06, 2014 01:00 PM

House Committee Passes USPAP Exemption Bill

The House Financial Services Committee on July 29 approved H.R. 5148, the Access to Affordable Mortgages Act, which would grant certain “high-risk” mortgages an exemption from having an appraisal performed in accordance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, the Appraisal Institute reported.

 
Aug 06, 2014 01:00 PM

FHA Issues Draft of New Appraisal Requirements

The Federal Housing Administration on July 31 issued drafts of four new appraiser policy documents that it plans to add to its Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook. The FHA is seeking feedback before the documents are finalized.

 
Aug 06, 2014 01:00 PM

CFPB Wants More Lender Disclosures

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a proposal July 24 that would require lenders to disclose more information on mortgages, including homebuyer age and credit score and details about property value and interest rates.

 
Jul 30, 2014 12:30 PM

CFPB, FTC Launch Sweep against Foreclosure Relief Scams

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission and 15 states initiated a crackdown on foreclosure relief scams that allegedly used deceptive marketing tactics to rip off distressed homeowners, the CFPB announced July 23.

 
Jul 30, 2014 12:30 PM

Four Years of Dodd-Frank have Changed Wall Street

With implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act four years ago, the federal regulatory climate has changed Wall Street, leading banks to sell off once profitable business lines, cut back short-term funding markets and break ties with entities that fall under extra regulatory scrutiny, The Wall Street Journal reported July 21.

 
Jul 30, 2014 12:30 PM

Nonbank Mortgage Lenders Fight FHFA Watchdog Report

Nonbank mortgage lenders are furious about a report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General that claimed they are less regulated than large banks and pose increased risks to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, National Mortgage News reported July 22.

 
Jul 23, 2014 05:00 PM

Illinois Considers Bill to Clarify BPOs, CMAs

Legislation that would clarify several aspects of an Illinois law governing broker price opinions and comparative market analyses has passed the state legislature and currently is under consideration by Gov. Pat Quinn, the Appraisal Institute reported July 21.

 
Jul 23, 2014 05:00 PM

CFPB Wants to Publicize Consumer Complaints

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed a policy that would allow consumers to publicize their complaints about financial products and services — including mortgages, HousingWire reported July 16.

 
Jul 23, 2014 05:00 PM

Beige Book: Real Estate Activity Mixed Across Districts

The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book released July 16 showed that real estate activity varied across the districts, with many reporting low inventories and increasing home prices but mixed consumer demand.

 
Jul 16, 2014 12:30 PM

Citigroup Settles Mortgage Probe, Pays Record Penalty

Citigroup will pay $7 billion to resolve claims it misled investors who purchased shoddy mortgage-backed securities that helped lead to the financial crisis six years ago, Reuters reported July 14. The deal includes the largest civil fraud penalty ever levied by the U.S. Department of Justice.

 
Jul 16, 2014 12:30 PM

Senate Confirms Julian Castro as HUD Secretary

The Senate on July 9 confirmed San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as the new secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development by a 71-26 vote, HousingWire reported.

 
Jul 16, 2014 12:30 PM

Fed Defends Settlement with Banks over Foreclosures

In a July 7 report, the Federal Reserve defended its decision to halt its review of banks’ foreclosure practices last year in favor of a general $9.3 billion settlement to reimburse borrowers who may have wrongly experienced foreclosure, The Wall Street Journal reported.

 
Jul 09, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: Property Valuation Fraud Risk Rises Nationwide

Property valuation fraud risk increased during the first quarter, and indicators suggest that the rise of properties being appraised well above traditional valuation thresholds in order to create “equity” is a contributing factor, analytics firm Interthinx reported July 2 in its 1Q 2014 Valuation Fraud Risk Index.

 
Jul 09, 2014 12:30 PM

Fed Chair Urges Stronger Regulation

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said in a July 2 speech to the International Monetary Fund in the District of Columbia that she thinks stronger regulation is necessary to preserve financial stability, and that raising interest rates would be a second line of defense and unnecessary at this time, The New York Times reported.

 
Jul 09, 2014 12:30 PM

FHFA: Nonbank Mortgage Servicers Lack Sufficient Funds, Pose Financial Risk

The Federal Housing Finance Agency said that nonbank mortgage servicers that process payments on delinquent loans may lack sufficient funding and could pose a financial risk for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which guarantee the mortgages, The Wall Street Journal reported July 1.

 
Jul 02, 2014 02:42 PM

Hawaii Mandates Transparency for Appraisers Acting as Arbitrators

An alleged “lack of openness and transparency” in the oversight of appraisers who act as arbitrators led Hawaii lawmakers to enact legislation that took effect July 1 that requires arbitration awards, records of award and related supporting materials to be public records, Valuation Review reported.

 
Jul 02, 2014 02:39 PM

New Bill Changes Louisiana Appraisers Law, Board

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law a new bill that takes effect Aug. 1 and makes multiple changes to the state’s Real Estate Appraisers Law, Valuation Review reported.

 
Jul 02, 2014 02:28 PM

Inspector General: FHFA Should Sue Over Forced-placed Insurance

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Inspector General said the agency should sue forced-placed insurance companies and large banks for inflating prices and causing losses for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Mortgage Servicing News reported June 25.

 
Jul 02, 2014 12:30 PM

Inspector General: FHFA Should Sue Over Forced-placed Insurance

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Inspector General said the agency should sue forced-placed insurance companies and large banks for inflating prices and causing losses for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Mortgage Servicing News reported June 25.

 
Jul 02, 2014 12:30 PM

Hawaii Mandates Transparency for Appraisers Acting as Arbitrators

An alleged "lack of openness and transparency" in the oversight of appraisers who act as arbitrators led Hawaii lawmakers to enact legislation that took effect July 1 that requires arbitration awards, records of award and related supporting materials to be public records, Valuation Review reported.

 
Jul 02, 2014 12:30 PM

New Bill Changes Louisiana Appraisers Law, Board

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law a new bill that takes effect Aug. 1 and makes multiple changes to the state's Real Estate Appraisers Law, including provisions related to examination applications, experience review and license renewal and continuing education requirements, among others, Valuation Review reported.

 
Jun 18, 2014 12:30 PM

Bank of America, Justice Department Reach Impasse

Bank of America and the U.S. Department of Justice failed to reach an agreement on a multibillion-dollar settlement that would resolve state and federal investigations into the bank’s sale of failed mortgage-backed securities, The New York Times reported June 10. The case now heads to trial with the Justice Department seeking $17 billion.

 
Jun 18, 2014 12:30 PM

Freddie to Host Multifamily Appraisal Webinar

Freddie Mac will host a webinar June 26 that will highlight upcoming changes to its multifamily appraisal requirements. Freddie’s new requirements, which take effect July 1, will address tying together an appraiser’s multifamily data with their conclusions.

 
Jun 18, 2014 12:30 PM

Fight Brewing over Small Business Tax Write-offs

A $73.1 billion tax reduction bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives June 12 would allow small businesses to write-off capital purchases more quickly, Bloomberg reported. The House voted to revive the provision that lapsed at the close of 2013; the White House, however, opposes the bill.

 
Jun 11, 2014 12:30 PM

Green Homes a Growth Sector in Housing Market

Green construction is a growth sector in the recovering housing market, McGraw Hill Construction reported June 5 when it released its report “Green Multifamily & Single Family Homes: Growth in a Recovering Market.”

 
Jun 11, 2014 12:30 PM

Beige Book: Real Estate Lending Activity Increases Nationwide

The Federal Reserve Beige Book released June 4 showed that real estate markets improved unevenly across the 12 districts from April through late-May, but overall lending activity increased nationwide, with roughly two-thirds of the districts reporting rising loan demand particularly in the New York and San Francisco districts.

 
Jun 11, 2014 12:30 PM

South Carolina Passes New Appraiser Licensing Standards

South Carolina has instituted the new Real Estate Appraisers License and Certification Act in order to bring appraiser licensing and standards in line with uniform national standards, Valuation Review reported June 5. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed HB4644 into law May 16.

 
Jun 04, 2014 12:30 PM

Investigators Probe Mortgage Fraud at Smaller Banks

After making billion-dollar settlements with the nation’s largest banks, federal investigators are now focusing their attention on smaller lenders, looking at the banks’ mortgage lending and loan servicing practices in the years leading up to the financial crisis, The Wall Street Journal reported May 28.

 
Jun 04, 2014 12:30 PM

Conservation Easement Credit Included in House Tax Plan

On May 29, the House Ways and Means Committee approved legislation that makes permanent the bonus depreciation of improvements for qualified properties; the legislation also made permanent a number of tax measures related to charitable giving.

 
Jun 04, 2014 12:30 PM

Fed has Little Control over Housing Recovery

Fed Chair Janet Yellen has expressed concern about a slowing housing recovery that could pose a risk to the overall economic outlook, but there is very little the regulator can do other than influence mortgage rates, Bloomberg reported May 28. Adjusting rates, however, has no impact on other factors contributing to a sluggish housing sector, including lagging household formation and cautious lenders and borrowers.

 
May 28, 2014 12:30 PM

Connecticut Law Could Shift Appraiser Requirements

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy is expected to sign into a law a bill that will change the state’s real estate appraiser and appraisal management regulations to bring them into compliance with federal requirements, Valuation Review reported May 21. Senate Bill 205 was introduced Feb. 19 and sent to the governor May 14.

 
May 28, 2014 12:30 PM

Change Proposed for Conservation Value of Wildlife Habitats

In a move that would affect the valuation of wildlife habitats, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed to amend the definition of “destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat” under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, according to a U.S. Small Business Administration May 21 news release.

 
May 28, 2014 12:30 PM

Fannie: Housing Remains Economy’s Weakest Link

Fannie Mae economists said the U.S. economy is poised for growth despite having stalled during the first quarter, but they noted that housing remains the weakest link, Inman News reported May 21. Fannie Chief Economist Doug Duncan said that the growing financial and labor market should reflect a rebound when reports come out for April, May and June, and show that growth accelerated to an annual rate of 3 percent.

 
May 21, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: Big Banks Improve Loan Servicing

A court-appointed monitor overseeing the $25 billion settlement between the nation’s five largest banks, 49 states and the U.S. Department of Justice issued a compliance report May 14 that said the banks are improving treatment of troubled borrowers, Bloomberg reported.

 
May 21, 2014 12:30 PM

Senate Banking Committee Approves Fannie, Freddie Overhaul

The Senate Banking Committee approved a bipartisan bill to overhaul Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, though it was a narrow and likely hollow victory, according to a May 15 article in The Wall Street Journal. Thirteen committee members, including seven Republicans and six Democrats, approved the bill on May 15, a narrow majority of the 22 lawmakers on the committee.

 
May 21, 2014 12:30 PM

NAR Considers Policy Change on Automated Valuations

The National Association of Realtors is reviewing a proposed policy amendment that would require multiple listing services to provide data feeds to brokers who want to use them to establish automated valuations of properties, Inman News reported May 14. If adopted, the policy would also not allow brokers to opt out of including their data in these feeds.

 
May 14, 2014 12:30 PM

Yellen: Housing Market Not Helping Economy

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told a joint congressional committee May 7 that the nation’s housing market has gone from boosting economic recovery to stalling it, HousingWire reported. Yellen said that the lack of growth in the first quarter was largely due to the housing market, which was impacted by bad weather.

 
May 14, 2014 12:30 PM

Key Democrats Reject Johnson-Crapo GSE Reform Bill

Four formerly undecided Senate Democrats announced that they would not support the Johnson-Crapo bill to reform the government-sponsored enterprises, Mortgage News Daily reported May 9. The bill’s co-author, Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., had hoped to have 16 favorable votes in the Senate Finance Committee before bringing S 1217 before to the floor; the bill obtained only 12 “yes” votes on May 8 with six Republicans and six Democrats in favor of the legislation.

 
May 14, 2014 12:30 PM

Watt Unveils Major Shift in FHFA Housing Policies

In his first major policy statement, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt announced a shift in housing finance policies May 13 that signals a new strategic plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, CQ Roll Call reported.

 
May 07, 2014 12:30 PM

GAO: Lack of Foreclosure Reviews Led to $1.5 Billion Loss

If regulators had conducted a comprehensive review of bank foreclosure files, they could have netted an additional $1.5 billion in cash payments, the Government Accountability Office reported April 29, The Wall Street Journal reported.

 
May 07, 2014 12:30 PM

GSEs May Require another Bailout if Recession Returns

If the nation faced another major economic downturn, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could require an additional taxpayer bailout of around $190 billion, according to stress test results released April 29 by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Bloomberg reported.

 
May 07, 2014 12:30 PM

Congress Asked to Reinstate Land Conservation Tax Breaks

Supporters of an “enhanced” but expired federal tax deduction for landowners who donate property for conservation or preservation want Congress to reinstate it and make it permanent, CQ Roll Call reported May 2.

 
Apr 30, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: Fracking Can Decrease Property Values by 15 Percent

In its "Oil and Gas Exploration for Mortgage Bankers" presentation, the law firm Ballard Spahr reported that fracking, which is the practice of accessing natural gas reserves from shale, can cause property values to decrease by as much as 15 percent, HousingWire reported April 22.

 
Apr 30, 2014 12:30 PM

CFPB Announces Mortgage Closing Pilot Program

Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, told the Mortgage Closing Forum in Washington, D.C., April 23, that his agency will launch an eClosing pilot project later this year that's designed to improve the closing experience for homebuyers, Mortgage News Daily reported. ​

 
Apr 30, 2014 12:30 PM

Vote on GSE Reform Bill Postponed

On April 29, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee postponed a vote on legislation to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a move that may reflect the difficulty the committee has had rounding up enough support for a vote in the full Senate, Reuters reported

 
Apr 23, 2014 12:30 PM

Housing Industry Tires of Waiting on Direction from FHFA Chief

Lawmakers and those involved in the nation’s housing industry remain frustrated by a lack of communication and guidance from the office of Mel Watt, who took over as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency in January, regarding his plans for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Reuters reported April 14.​

 
Apr 23, 2014 12:30 PM

Senate May Delay Vote on GSE Reform

The Senate Banking Committee may delay a pending vote on reform of government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as it looks to acquire further votes, National Mortgage News reported April 14.

 
Apr 23, 2014 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Updates Appraisal Policies

On April 15, Fannie Mae announced updates to its Selling Guide that affect appraisal policies relating to appraisal updates, required photos and acceptable comparable properties. The changes, which are effective immediately, follow a comprehensive review of the Guide’s appraisal requirements chapters.​

 
Apr 16, 2014 12:30 PM

FHA Reconsidering Spot Loans for Condos

Condominium owners in buildings that are not approved for Federal Housing Administration lending may soon be able to obtain “spot loans,” which the agency banned nearly four years ago, Inman News reported April 8.

 
Apr 16, 2014 12:30 PM

FHFA, Chicago Settle Feud over Vacant Property

The Federal Housing Finance Agency and the city of Chicago settled their nearly three-year legal battle over Chicago’s vacant property ordinance that requires mortgagees to register, secure and maintain foreclosed properties, HousingWire reported April 8.

 
Apr 16, 2014 12:30 PM

Appraiser, Lender Feedback Sought for New FHA Handbook

On April 8, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development asked appraisers, lenders and other stakeholders to provide feedback on its new Federal Housing Administration handbook, which will serve as a consolidated resource for the agency’s single-family housing policy. The comment period will last 30 days.

 
Apr 09, 2014 12:30 PM

Mortgage Complaints Skyrocket in 2013

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received 163,700 consumer complaints in 2013, almost double the amount it received in 2012, and mortgages were the most groused about item, accounting for 37 percent of all complaints, according to the 2013 Consumer Response Annual Report released March 31.

 
Apr 09, 2014 12:30 PM

Lawsuits Targeting Appraisal Reviews on the Rise

The frequency of negligence claims against appraisers for work performed at the height of the real estate bubble is winding down, but as this occurs, new areas of litigation are emerging and focusing on appraisal review, according to an article published in the First Quarter 2014 issue of Valuation magazine.​

 
Apr 09, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: CFPB Slow to Complete Bank Examinations

The Office of the Inspector General for the Federal Reserve reported that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took too long to complete bank and non-bank examination reports and failed to meet its own timeline when offering feedback to financial institutions on their compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act, Bloomberg reported April 1.

 
Apr 02, 2014 11:43 AM

Report: GSEs Conduct Faulty Pre-foreclosure Inspections

The Office of Inspector General for the Federal Housing Finance Agency released a report claiming that pre-foreclosure inspections for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac showed major quality control issues, including potentially fraudulent or manipulated data, HousingWire reported March 25.

 
Apr 02, 2014 11:31 AM

Fannie Mae Releases New Guidelines for Rural Appraisals

Fannie Mae released new guidelines for appraising rural properties March 25, and at the same time clarified its policy on using appraisal management companies. In releasing the guidelines, Fannie noted that it recognizes how properties in low-population areas can present appraisers with special challenges.​

 
Mar 26, 2014 12:30 PM

IRS Bans Appraiser Group from Façade Easement Valuations

The Internal Revenue Service’s Office of Professional Responsibility announced March 19 that it reached a settlement with a group of appraisers from a firm accused of aiding in the understatement of federal tax liabilities by overvaluing façade easements for charitable donation purposes.

 
Mar 26, 2014 12:30 PM

FHA to Launch New Appraisal Portal

The Federal Housing Administration’s Office of Single-Family Housing will soon offer a web-based appraisal portal similar to the Uniform Collateral Data Portal already in use by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, HousingWire reported March 20.

 
Mar 26, 2014 12:30 PM

Regulators Propose Supervision Requirements for AMCs

Six federal agencies jointly issued a proposed rule March 24 that would implement minimum requirements for state registration and supervision of appraisal management companies.

 
Mar 19, 2014 12:30 PM

White House, Senate Agree on Plan to Wind Down GSEs

The White House and Senate leaders have agreed on a proposal for winding down mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac almost six years after the federal government bailed out the two firms, The Wall Street Journal reported March 11.

 
Mar 19, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: DOJ Failed to Adequately Prosecute Mortgage Fraud

The U.S. Department of Justice has repeatedly emphasized that prosecuting mortgage fraud is one of its top priorities, but the DOJ Inspector General released an audit showing that between 2009 and 2011, the agency had done little to fulfill its commitment, HousingWire reported March 13.

 
Mar 19, 2014 10:55 AM

CFPB Scrutinizing ‘Zombie Foreclosures’

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is starting to scrutinize mortgage servicers’ practice of starting foreclosures and then walking away from them, leaving homeowners who may already have vacated the property on the hook for mortgage debt, taxes and maintenance, National Mortgage News reported March 12.

 
Mar 12, 2014 12:30 PM

Risk of Mortgage Fraud Drops, Valuation Fraud Steady

Lenders faced a reduced risk of mortgage fraud during the fourth quarter of 2013, yet borrowers were three times as likely to lie about occupancy on multi-unit properties compared to single-unit properties, according to the National Mortgage Fraud Risk Report released Feb. 28 by analytics firm Interthinx.​

 
Mar 12, 2014 12:30 PM

AI Addresses ‘Green’ Issues at White House Appraisal Roundtable

On March 11, the Appraisal Institute participated in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Mortgage Appraisal Roundtable at the White House to help identify ways in which the mortgage appraisal process can be improved. 2014 President Ken P. Wilson, MAI, SRA, and Sandra Adomatis, SRA, attended.

 
Mar 12, 2014 12:30 PM

Congress Wants Answers from SBA on ‘Going Concern’ Appraisals

Responding to growing concern from the real estate industry over the U.S. Small Business Administration’s policy change on the appraisals of special purposes properties, 15 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter March 6 to the SBA’s acting administrator Marianne O’Brien Markowitz seeking clarification on the matter.

 
Mar 05, 2014 12:30 PM

Morgan Stanley Settles with SEC for $275 Million

Morgan Stanley has agreed to a $275 million deal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to settle allegations that it traded toxic subprime mortgage bonds, HousingWire reported Feb. 26. The trades date back to 2007.

 
Mar 05, 2014 12:30 PM

Bank of America Investigated for FHA Compliance

Bank of America is undergoing another federal probe, this time by the civil division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York over the bank’s alleged failure to comply with the Federal Housing Administration’s Direct Endorsement Program, Reuters reported Feb. 25.

 
Mar 05, 2014 12:30 PM

Yellen Says Fed May Slow Quantitative Easing

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee Feb. 27 that the Central Bank may suspend further reductions in quantitative easing if economic growth continued to slow, although she conceded that some of the slowdown could be the result of severe winter weather, The Wall Street Journal reported.

 
Feb 26, 2014 12:30 PM

Federal Reserve: Economy Strong Enough for More Quantitative Easing

Officials from the Federal Reserve banks of Atlanta, San Francisco and St. Louis said they believe the U.S. economy is performing strongly enough that the central bank will be able to stick to its plan to wind down quantitative easing this year, Reuters reported Feb. 19.

 
Feb 26, 2014 12:30 PM

CFPB Targets Servicers Who Fail to Follow Reforms

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Deputy Director Steven Antonakes said that the agency will crack down on mortgage servicers that are in violation of new rules that went into effect Jan. 10, noting that they had a year to prepare for changes, National Mortgage News reported Feb. 19.

 
Feb 26, 2014 12:30 PM

SBA Nominee Queried on Going Concern Appraisals

Maria Contreras-Sweet, the nominee for administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, was questioned during a Senate confirmation hearing Feb. 12 on a policy change that prevents qualified real estate appraisers from performing going concern appraisals.

 
Feb 19, 2014 12:30 PM

HUD Seeks Court Guidance on Eminent Domain

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan told attendees at a Feb. 12 Politico event that the use of eminent domain to force the sale of private-label mortgages out of securitized trusts needs to be decided by the courts, National Mortgage News reported Feb. 13.

 
Feb 19, 2014 12:30 PM

Bipartisan GSE Reform Bill Nearing Completion

The Senate Banking Committee is near completion of a bipartisan bill that would reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, National Mortgage News reported Feb. 12. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said it is critical to move on reform now, given pending litigation.

 
Feb 19, 2014 12:30 PM

GSEs Updating Method for Processing Appraisal Reports

According to guidance released Feb. 11 by Fannie Mae, beginning July 13 both Fannie and Freddie Mac will only accept MISMO XML submissions in the Uniform Collateral Data Portal. The PDF extraction service in UCDP will be retired as of that date, and the GSEs will no longer accept appraisals submitted in other file formats.

 
Feb 12, 2014 12:30 PM

Judge Postpones $8.5B Bank of America Settlement

Bank of America’s proposed $8.5 billion settlement with investors who purchased allegedly faulty mortgage securities from the bank’s Countrywide unit during the financial crisis has been delayed, Reuters reported Feb. 5.

 
Feb 12, 2014 12:30 PM

Suit Alleges Banks Filed False Mortgage Claims with HUD

A whistleblower filed suit against 22 banks, mortgage companies, trustees and custodians Feb. 3, alleging that they submitted fraudulent mortgage claims to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, National Mortgage News reported. Damages are expected to amount to around $10 billion.

 
Feb 12, 2014 12:30 PM

FHFA: Fannie, Freddie Fail to Analyze Appraisal Data

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failed to fully analyze data from the Uniform Collateral Data Portal and continue to take unnecessary risks when purchasing and guaranteeing mortgages, according to a report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of the Inspector General, Mortgage Daily reported Feb. 6.

 
Feb 05, 2014 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Resolves $18.9 Billion Claim against Lehman Brothers

Fannie Mae reached a settlement with the remnants of Lehman Brothers Holdings that will resolve an $18.9 billion claim against the investment bank over mortgage loans and mortgage-backed securities it sold the government-sponsored enterprise before the financial crisis, The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 24.

 
Feb 05, 2014 12:30 PM

Government Increases BofA Penalty by More Than $1 Billion

The federal government increased by more than $1 billion the penalty amount it’s seeking from Bank of America for selling defective mortgages through its Countrywide unit, Reuters reported Jan. 30.

 
Feb 05, 2014 12:30 PM

NJ Governor Vetoes BPO Legislation...Again

Legislation that would have significantly expanded the ability of New Jersey real estate brokers and salespersons to offer broker price opinion services did not become law because of a Jan. 21 “pocket veto” by Gov. Chris Christie. This is the second time Christie has vetoed BPO legislation.

 
Jan 29, 2014 12:30 PM

Fed to Cut Bond Buying Program Again

The Federal Reserve is ready to make a second cut to its bond-buying program, reducing its purchase of Treasurys and mortgage bonds from $75 billion per month to $65 billion per month, The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 20.

 
Jan 29, 2014 12:30 PM

Super Bowl Real Estate Showdown: Denver vs. Seattle

More than 50 percent of the population in the cities of Denver and Seattle are homeowners, but Seattle homeowners pay a lot more for property than those in Denver for virtually the same square footage, according to data released Jan. 21 by real estate analytics firm Redfin.

 
Jan 29, 2014 12:30 PM

Treasury Supports Comprehensive Housing Finance Reform

Despite Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s recent and significant profits, the U.S. Department of the Treasury still is pushing for comprehensive housing finance industry reform, Mortgage News Daily reported Jan. 22.

 
Jan 22, 2014 12:30 PM

Report: Property Appreciation Approaching Peak Levels

Residential real estate values and appreciation grew during the fourth quarter of 2013, but at a slower rate than previous quarters, which may indicate that the market is topping out, analytics firm Veros Real Estate Solutions reported Jan. 16.

 
Jan 22, 2014 12:30 PM

Fed Settlements Could Cost Wall Street Firms $50 Billion

Wall Street banks looking to settle with federal authorities over their alleged roles in helping to set off the mortgage crisis could be on the hook for as much as $50 billion, The New York Times reported Jan. 9. Wall Street is using the Fed's $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase as a guide for determining how much each bank might have to pay in order to settle with regulators.

 
Jan 22, 2014 12:30 PM

Congress: Qualified Mortgage Rule Could Stall Recovery

Some congressional members have expressed concern that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's new Qualified Mortgage Rule could curb mortgage credit access and slow the housing recovery, HousingWire reported Jan. 14.

 
Jan 15, 2014 12:30 PM

Feds Probe Alleged Intentional MBS Misrepresentations

Federal regulators have launched an investigation into whether or not numerous large Wall Street banks cheated customers in the aftermath of the financial crisis by deliberately mispricing mortgage bonds, The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 7.

 
Jan 15, 2014 12:30 PM

Mortgage Firms Settle for $320M after Whistleblower Complaint

Home America Mortgage and Taylor Bean & Whitaker Mortgage will pay more than $320 million to settle allegations they falsified loan applications and documentation - including appraisals - in order to secure government backing for mortgages, National Mortgage News reported Jan. 7.

 
Jan 15, 2014 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Launches Appraiser Quality Monitoring Website

Fannie Mae launched a website Jan. 6 focused on its new Appraiser Quality Monitoring process, which evaluates appraisals for data accuracy and consistency. The site gives lenders access to a list of appraisers whose reports will be subject to 100 percent review or no longer accepted by Fannie.

 
 
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