A Wall Street Journal column by Nick Timiraos does a decent job answering the question “Why is the federal government suing 17 of the largest financial institutions in the world?”
The (very) short answer: These lender sold mortgage bonds to Fannie and Freddie, but misrepresented their quality — you know, the whole ‘AAA rating on a mortgage sold to a guy without a job’ thing.
The Northern Virginia Association RPAC Trustees have endorsed Shawn Mitchell for the 13th state Senate district. Read on below for NVAR’s press release. Look for the launch of this year’s RealtorsChoose.com website. It’s an interesting year: with redistricting, Realtors across the Commonwealth are interviewing and endorsing the candidates whom they may have never had in their districts previously. Your local and state association are actively involved in tracking the candidates who are best for your business and best for the future of homeownership in your town and across the state.
As part of a settlement with a the New York Department of Financial Services and Banking, Goldman Sachs has agreed to stop robo-signing mortgage paperwork.
As part of the deal, the Goldman subsidiary said it will stop the practice of robo-signing mortgage paperwork. Robo-signing came to light last fall when it was revealed that the largest banks had outsourced mortgage paperwork to processing companies that, in turn, hired unqualified people to sign thousands of mortgage affidavits without reviewing loan documents. The practice is illegal.
Morgan Stanley is really pushing it’s plan — called REBUILD (I’m sure it stands for something cute, but honestly I don’t think it matters) — where investors would buy big blocks of distressed homes, fix ‘em up, and rent ‘em. With something like six million such properties (either in or nearing foreclosure), that’s a lot to work with.
“We believe this framework for a solution would benefit all stakeholders at the expense of none, while being fair and sensitive to the hardships faced by all Americans,” said the company. And if you can’t trust a large global financial services firm, who can you trust?
The idea is that organizations with a large stack of REOs — the housing agencies (e.g., Fannie, Freddie, and FHA) and lenders — would agree to sell those properties in bulk to investors.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have begun collecting appraisal information for any property for which they own the mortgage. Because F&F buy more than 90% of the mortgages on the market, the Uniform Appraisal Dataset will essentially become a nationwide database of property appraisals.
And the two government-sponsored enterprises haven’t decided — or at least haven’t said — what they plan to do with the information.
(As an aside, I wonder if it will be made public, and if it’s something that will eventually make its way into the Realtor Property Resource. But that’s just idle speculation.)
The basic goal is to “improve the quality and consistency of appraisal data” according to Fannie Mae. For one, combined with the forthcoming Uniform Collateral Data Portal (where appraisers will submit their work), it will standardize the terminology. For example, it will eliminate variations in numbers and measures (e.g., “1/4 acre” vs “.25 acre” vs. “10890 sq. ft.”).
It’s a good thing we’ve got that whole robo-signing fiasco behind us. Lenders admitted to essentially falsifying documents so they could foreclose, and now they’re working out deals with various states’ attorneys general.
Oh. But wait.
According to American Banker, it’s still going on. A piece running today called “Robo-Signing Redux: Servicers Still Fabricating Foreclosure Documents,” tells the story with plenty of detail.
Some of the largest mortgage servicers are still fabricating documents that should have been signed years ago and submitting them as evidence to foreclose on homeowners.
Last week we told you about an Obama Administration plan to offer a streamlined process that would allow homeowners to refinance at today’s lower interest rates.
Today (per Housing Wire), analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods investment bank said that remarks made by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on August 26 indicate that the Fed would support such a refinance program.
In the wake of Hurricane Irene, some Virginians have been displaced and are seeking temporary shelter. The Governor's office has reached out to VAR and asked us to work with Virginia Realtors® to help identify rental properties to assist those displaced by Irene.
The Virginia Housing Development Authority runs a database/search site for rentals, VirginiaHousingSearch.com. If you have rental properties, we're asking that you list them there. Adding your listings to this site is
The FDIC says that only 6.68% of mortgages held by major banks were delinquent in the second quarter of the year — the lowest level in two years.
For the seventh consecutive quarter, the actual amount of loans between 30 days and 90 days delinquent decreased. Today only about $70 billion is in “early-stage delinquency,” the lowest level since the late 2007.
U.S. Bank is suing Countrywide Financial Corp. (which is now part of Bank of America) for breach of contract. Countrywide was supposed to repurchase more than 4,000 mortgages in which it misrepresented the quality of the loan.
To put it simply: Countrywide made loans allegedly without checking the quality of the borrowers. It then sold those loans, claiming they were all high-quality. They eventually ended up with HarborView Trust, of which US Bank is a trustee.
According to the court filing, “Soon after being sold to the trust, Countrywide’s loans began to become delinquent and default at a startling rate. During the time period in which Countrywide originated the loans, it completely ignored its underwriting guidelines.”