$25 Billion Settlement With The Nation’s Five Largest Mortgage Lenders Reached

The Departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Developments with 49 state attorneys general and federal agencies – have reached A $25 billion agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage Lenders: Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Company, Citibank, and Ally Financial, which was formerly GMAC.

It ensure justice, and to recover losses, for victims of reckless and abusive mortgage practices. This agreement establishes significant new homeowner protections to help prevent future misconduct. It also provides substantial financial assistance to victim borrowers.

Today’s agreement does not prevent state and federal authorities from pursuing criminal enforcement actions. And it preserves extensive claims related to mortgage securitization activities, including the claims that will be the focus of the new Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group. The agreement does not prevent any claims by any individual borrowers who wish to bring their own lawsuits.

The U.S. Trustees Program, which serves as the watchdog of all bankruptcy court operations, was one of the first federal agencies to investigate mortgage Lenders abuse of homeowners in financial distress. Trustees reviewed more than 37,000 documents filed by major mortgage Lenders in federal bankruptcy court . These efforts were advanced by several United States Attorneys, including U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch from the Eastern District of New York, who is here with us.

The state attorneys general will be establishing a fund to facilitate payments to borrowers who, as a result of improper lending practices, lost their homes during the foreclosure crisis. Mortgage servicers also will be required to dedicate substantial resources – approximately $20 billion – to provide relief and assistance to struggling homeowners and neighborhoods. And the agreement includes specific provisions that will enhance protections – and help ensure justice – for U.S. service members and their families.

For More Information Visit { www.NationalMortgageSettlement.com

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How Dodd-Frank is a big obstacle to closing down Fannie and Freddie

By Peter J. Wallison
February 6, 2012, 1:55 pm

On Friday, Treasury Secretary Geithner said that the Obama administration is preparing to move forward with closing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and bringing back a robust private housing market. Ironically, the secretary’s statement was made almost one year to the day after the administration released its white paper on reform of the housing market. Since then, there has been virtual silence on the administration’s plans, while the private housing market has continued to grow weaker. Many banks, large and small, are abandoning the mortgage business, and MetLife had to close down its own large mortgage business when it couldn’t find a buyer.

One of the options in the administration’s white paper was a fully private market; in response, I and my AEI colleagues Alex Pollock and Ed Pinto circulated our own white paper in March 2011 in the belief that a deal between the administration and House Republicans that produces a wholly free housing finance market was possible. Although House subcommittees have considered some important legislation that moves toward reviving the private market, it is unlikely that anything will get through this Congress without the administration’s support.

Accordingly, we welcome the Treasury secretary’s renewed interest, but it is important for him and the administration to understand that it will be extremely difficult to close down Fannie and Freddie without amending the Dodd-Frank Act in significant ways. Among them, and by no means all, are the following impediments to the return of a robust private market:

· Although Fannie and Freddie might be privatized or otherwise eliminated over time, a robust private market cannot develop as long as FHA is able to insure mortgages up to $729,500 and remains exempt from the 5 percent risk retention requirement in Dodd-Frank. No matter what standards are ultimately adopted for the Qualified Residential Mortgage, FHA will always be able to out-compete private securitizers as long as it does not have to bear this additional cost and is able to insure most mortgages issued in the United States.

· In addition, the 5 percent retention requirement strongly favors the biggest banks, which alone have balance sheets large enough to hold the retention amount and still carry on an active securitization business. This would be bad enough as a competitive matter, but given the fact that many of the large banks are now substantially reducing their mortgage financing activity, the continued application of the risk retention requirement will prevent the growth of any private sector substitutes for the GSEs or FHA.

· The Volcker rule, which has already drawn opposition in many other quarters, is also an impediment to the development of a private securitization market. That market depends heavily on the ability of lenders to hedge their interest rate risks while they are assembling a pool of mortgages for securitization. The Volcker rule applies to any firm that is affiliated with an insured bank, and prohibits proprietary trading, which is very difficult to distinguish from hedging transactions. Until there is a safe harbor for hedging transactions, the risks of running afoul of the Volcker rule may prevent many bank-affiliated securitizers from entering the private housing finance market.

It is good news that the administration is now willing to go forward with GSE reform, but if it is serious about privatizing or eliminating Fannie and Freddie it will have to propose some serious reforms in Dodd-Frank at the same time.

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Wells Fargo Bank To Help Realestate Market In LA & ATL

 

Wells Fargo bank, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, today announced plans for Neighborhood LIFT(SM), the program will be initiated in Los Angeles and Atlanta as an approach for working with nonprofits and cities .

The Los Angeles and Atlanta programs seek to help address the challenge of high inventories of unsold homes and attracting prospective buyers. Wells Fargo’s lending goals are $10.5 billion over five years in Los Angeles and $1.3 billion in Atlanta; and down payment assistance of $15 million in Los Angeles and $8 million in Atlanta for 2012.

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Home Price Insights: U.S. Housing Market May Finding Bottom By Mid Year 2012.

* Home prices in the U.S. expected to decline 3.6 percent into mid-2012, and then rebound 2.4 percent in second half 2012 through first half 2013

* Price declines and low mortgage rates have resulted in dramatic improvement in housing affordability

* Ratio of monthly mortgage payment to median family income lowest on record; Monthly mortgage payment for a median-priced single-family home nearly 40 percent lower than at peak

Resources: Fiserv Case-Shiller

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US labor Department Says : 8.5% Unemployment & Droping .

. Bureau of Labor Statistics Transmission of material in this release is embargoed USDL-12-0012 until 8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, January 6, 2012 Technical information: Household data:  Establishment data: THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — DECEMBER 2011 Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 200,000 in December, and the unemployment rate, at 8.5 percent, continued to trend down, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in transportation and warehousing, retail trade, manufacturing, health care, and mining.

Hello Reader Does Anyone Believe  That  8.5% Unemployment Data ?
source :U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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B of A Settles With The D O J @ $335,000,000.

Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at the Countrywide Financial Corporation Settlement Announcement
Washington, D.C. ~ Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In today’s settlement with Countrywide Financial Corporation, we resolved the government’s allegations that Countrywide and its subsidiaries – which are now owned by Bank of America – engaged in discriminatory mortgage lending practices against more than 200,000 qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers from 2004 through 2008.  The settlement provides $335 million in compensation to victims of Countrywide’s discrimination during a period when Countrywide served as one of the nation’s largest single-family mortgage lenders and originated more than 4 million residential mortgage loans.

In this thorough investigation, the Department uncovered a pattern or practice of discrimination involving victims in more than 180 geographic markets across 41 states and the District of Columbia.  These discriminatory acts allegedly included widespread violations of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and resulted in African-American and Hispanic borrowers being charged higher rates for mortgage loans – solely because of their race or national origin.

This settlement will compensate the more than 200,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers who were victims of discriminatory conduct, including more than 10,000 African-American or Hispanic borrowers who – despite the fact that they qualified for prime loans – were steered into subprime loans.

Today’s settlement makes clear that today’s Justice Department – and our law enforcement and government partners – will not hesitate to move aggressively in holding lenders – including the nation’s largest – accountable for discrimination and financial misconduct.  We are committed to protecting the sacred rights, and best interests, of the American people – and to ensuring equal opportunity through the vigorous enforcement of our civil rights laws.

How much of that money will filter down to the Borrowers ? What is your guess ?

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Buying or Selling Realestate Online

Posted by Carole VanSickle on Friday, December 16th 2011

The other day, I heard an investor talking about flipping houses in today’s market. “I don’t worry about getting stuck with properties,” he said, “because I can always just dump them on eBay.” While it is true that you can find anything and everything for sale on eBay – and, with some dedication, usually at a price that you can live with – the notion that you can simply “dump” a property on eBay if you cannot sell it in the local market is a bit misleading. The internet – and sites like eBay in particular – are great venues for fast and profitable real estate sales, but only if you understand the in’s and out’s of the process.

For starters, it is vitally important to remember that the legal aspects of a property transaction are just as serious when you sell online as when you sell in person. Many people do not realize that they are assuming all sorts of liabilities and responsibilities when they sell online. Make sure that you understand exactly what you are agreeing to when you post online – for example, eBay may have different rules than Craigslist – and remember that there have been several cases in which judges found comments in email correspondence to constitute promises and intent to sell, so watch what you write and how you write it when discussing a potential deal!

Secondly, remember that the same issues that a property next door has, a property across the country may have as well. Due diligence is vitally important when you buy and sell online. Make sure that you are aware of all liens and other claims against a property. If you are selling and the property has problems, be aggressively up-front about these issues. Otherwise, your sellers may accuse you of misleading them about needed repairs or accessibility.

Finally, evaluate your bidders’ options on the site that you select to do real estate business. eBay, for example, offers both “binding” and “non-binding” bidding auctions. Neither actually results in a legally binding contract to buy, but a binding auction that fails to end in a sale can net you negative feedback since you are expressing the intent to buy. However, a non-binding auction that does not result in a sale cannot negatively affect your eBay user profile. Additionally, many online sites allow you to advertise without selling a property, which can help you promote a property without the additional uncertainties involved in selling online.

As with any other real estate transaction, the value of the property will ultimately determine the success of the deal. eBay and other online real estate sites are not magic real estate “dump bins” that will find you a buyer for anything at any price. They will, however, dramatically widen your range of exposure and might help you find a buyer that you otherwise would never have met.

Have you bought or sold property  online  ?  Their are  people online that  will  checkout  properties for you & send you a report  form anywhere from $50.00 to $75.00 will worth
it.

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Occupy Our Homes Launches Nationwide Movement

An offshoot of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) aimed at saving homes from foreclosure is getting results through a nationwide initiative called Occupy Our Homes (OOH). Last week, protestors across the country “reoccupied” vacant properties, moved homeless families into abandoned properties and, in some instances, negotiated with lenders, bidders and auctioneers to prevent the sale of foreclosed homes[1]. In one instance in Atlanta, GA, a man successfully removed his house from the auction block with help from a lawyer. In other instances, lenders agreed to revisit loan modification applications before selling homes at auction. OOH protestors are different from OWS protestors in that they have clear complaints, plans of action and goals. They believe that lenders encouraged risky loans, allowed “highly speculative investing,” took taxpayer money for bailouts without passing that leniency on to the taxpayers themselves, and carried out illegal evictions. In response to these problems, OOH protestors believe that they are in the right when they “occupy” properties to prevent foreclosure sales or protest denied loan modification applications. This process is known as “liberating” a home[2].

While at first, this new manifestation of the OWS movement seems to be mostly positive, critics argue that the movement could be slowing the housing recovery. In many cases, OOH is occupying homes that have been sold and that are moving through the housing recovery process. In effect, they are stalling the recovery by occupying properties under contract. And the owners of the properties are not going to take the occupation lying down, either. As Fannie Mae spokeswoman Keosha Burns reminds California occupiers, “Any action or event that attempts to delay the sale of a foreclosed property destabilizes the neighborhood and hinders marketing recovery. We will work with local officials to remove anyone who is inside our properties illegally.” Occupiers have argued in at least one case with Fannie Mae that they are actually doing would-be buyers a favor because “the federal government needs to find them another house that’s suitable for a family to actually live in instead of giving them a house at the bottom of the barrel.” The buyers of that house purchased it at a discount as a fixer-upper in order to save money for their daughter’s college fund. It was not gifted to them by the government.

It has been said Uncle Sam is Your Uncle not your Daddy.Does Government have the obligation or even the Right to find a suitable house for every American ? What’s Your Thoughts I would like to Know.

 

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American Households are paying down debit & saving more.

By Mark Dotzour

One of my favorite documents to read is the Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States. There aren’t any pictures or illustrations, but the plot is dynamic and exciting. There are so many story lines that you have to address them one at a time. Here is one subplot to consider.

When you add up all the assets of American households and then subtract all their liabilities, what is left is called the net worth of households. The Federal Reserve keeps track of this data every quarter on a table called the Balance Sheet of Households and Nonprofit Organizations.

This table shows how household assets increased through 2007, collapsed in 2008 and began a slow, steady recovery in 2009.

You can find this chart on page 106 of the Fed report.

The year 2008 was a disaster for American household wealth when total assets declined by almost $13 trillion. Let’s take a closer look at where those losses came from.

We lost $3.9 trillion in stocks we owned. We lost another $1.2 trillion in mutual funds we owned. Our pension funds lost $2.9 trillion in equity. Our equity in businesses we own fell $1.6 trillion, and the real estate we owned fell $3.8 trillion as well.

This loss in household wealth in 2008 is what has caused Americans to save more money again. Our net worth fell almost $13 trillion, and we felt an urgency to start saving again and spend less.

Since 2009, the balance sheet of American households has been repaired and strengthened. Household net worth at the end of June 2011 has increased by $7 trillion from the trough in 2008. Since the trough, our stocks are up $3 trillion, our mutual funds are up almost $2 trillion, our pension fund reserves are up about $3 trillion and our savings accounts are up $.5 trillion. Our real estate assets have declined another $1.4 trillion since 2008.

As American households repair their balance sheets and recover net worth, they will be more likely to spend money again. The need for tax credits to buy cars or houses will recede into the mist of memory as the American people continue to restore their financial standing.

A good amount of our Savings are invested in our Homes ,we must watch home prices to see our true economic health .

This page © Copyright, Mark Dotzour

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Past Due Mortgages = 6,298,000 “Looks like were moving in the right direction”.

There were 6,298,000 mortgages going unpaid in the United States as of the end of October, according to Lender Processing Services (LPS).

It’s a daunting number, but the data show that it’s actually been on a fairly steady decline for nearly two years now.

At the start of 2011, the total number of non-current mortgages in the U.S. stood at 6,870,000. In January 2010, it was 8,118,000.

LPS’ more recent reports show the industry is slowly but surely chipping away at the number each and every month – the result of both loss mitigation workouts and removing loans that cannot be resolved from the inventory through foreclosure.

At September month-end, the tally of non-current mortgages was 6,373,000. It was 6,397,000 at the end of August and 6,538,000 at the end of July.

LPS’ data indicates mortgage delinquencies are declining while the nation’s foreclosure inventory is growing.

Of the 6,298,000 loans past due at the end of October, 2,329,000 were behind on their payments by 30-89 days and 1,759,000 were 90 or more days delinquent but not yet referred to foreclosure.

Combined, these tallies represent 7.93 percent of the nation’s outstanding mortgages that are delinquent but not in foreclosure. The October delinquency rate is down 2.0 percent from the previous month and is 14.6 percent lower than the rate recorded in October 2010.

The foreclosure inventory rate, on the other hand, is up by both measures. LPS says 4.29 percent of the nation’s mortgages are winding their way through the foreclosure process, a month-over-month increase of 2.5 percent and a year-over-year increase of 9.4 percent.

By LPS’ calculations, there were 2,210,000 residential mortgage loans in foreclosure at October month-end.

States with highest percentage of non-current loans – which combines foreclosures and delinquencies – include: Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, and Illinois.

Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, and North Dakota have the lowest percentage of non-current loans.

This article © Copyright, Carrie Bay

 

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