Archive for December 2013

Have A Happy Holidays And A Great New Year!!!

December 19, 2013

Have A Happy Holidays And A Great New Year From The FHA Condos Approval Company!!!

FHA Replenishes Fund, Expects to Meet 2% Reserve Mandate by 2015

December 18, 2013

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This is good news for both the FHA and Taxpayers. The FHA can reach is mandated reserves I the Taxpayers won’t have to shell out any more money for the banks screw-ups. For a more detailed look at this subject – please read the article below.

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More than a year after reporting a shortfall of $16.3 billion in the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Mutual Mortgage Insurance (MMI) fund, HUD announced significant improvements in the agency’s financial situation—though the fund remains in the red.

An actuarial report released Friday shows FHA’s insurance fund for single-family home loans has regained $15 billion dollars in value over the last year, bringing it to -$1.3 billion dollars and a capital ratio of -0.11 percent. By law, the federal insurer is supposed to maintain a capital reserve ratio of 2 percent, a goal it expects to meet in 2015.

As of now, the agency maintains more than $48 billion in liquid assets to pay expected claims.

“What is clear from the independent actuarial report is that the aggressive steps we have taken have made FHA stronger and put it on a sustainable path to fulfill its dual mission of supporting access to homeownership for underserved and low-wealth borrowers as well as supporting and stabilizing the housing market,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

“We look to the future and remain committed to continuing our progress to strengthen the MMI Fund so that ladders of opportunity are available to all Americans for generations to come,” he added.

The actuarial report points to a number of factors driving the improvement in FHA’s finances, including declines in early payment defaults—to their lowest levels in seven years, thanks to improved underwriting in more recent books of business—and drops in serious delinquency and foreclosure rates as a result of enhanced loss mitigation efforts.

To read the complete article – please use the link below.

FHA Replenishes Fund

West Is Best for Healthiest Housing Markets

December 17, 2013

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This article, or at least the Headline, is misleading in that these markets are only the “Healthiest” if your definition for healthiest is rapid price raises. These areas are looking at pricing the average home buyer right out of the market and thus reducing the qualified purchasers to a level that will not cover all the homes up for sale. For a more detailed look at this subject – please read the article below.

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According to Zillow’s October Market Health Index, the healthiest housing markets are in California and other areas in the western United States.

The top five markets with the healthiest index readings were San Jose (Index of 9), San Francisco (8.9), Los Angeles (8.6), San Diego (8.4), and Denver (8.1). The next five markets were Boston, Pittsburgh, Portland, New York, and Sacramento.

The study reveals home values in the leading market, San Jose, have increased 19.6 percent compared to one year ago, with a median selling price of $731,500. Home values in San Francisco, the second healthiest market, actually increased 24.1 percent.

Zillow’s chief economist Dr. Stan Humphries explained the benefits of the robust situation in these areas, and added a bit of caution: “Rapid home value appreciation in the West, particularly California, is currently having a very positive effect on a number of other factors, including negative equity, foreclosure activity, and the overall financial health of local homeowners. But that same rapid appreciation may cause affordability issues in the future in these markets, leading to potentially unhealthy conditions,” he said.

“The housing market is complex, and while individual statistics can be useful in describing a single aspect of a given market, one number on its own can’t tell the full story,” Humphries continued. “As markets continue to evolve and recover, the Market Health Index will reflect these changing trends, offering consumers a valuable tool on which to base their decisions.”

To read the complete article – please use the link below.

Housing Markets

Treasury Adds New Compliance Metrics to Making Home Affordable

December 12, 2013

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This is a step in the right direction of Treasury. It is good to see that they are making changes as needed in their Compliance Metrics. To many government programs are set in stone and much needed changes are very hard to get implemented. For a more detailed look at this subject – please read the article below.

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The servicer assessment component of the Making Home Affordable (MHA) program has been enhanced with new compliance metrics and benchmarks.

Individual servicer assessments were first published by the administration in April 2011 and are conducted quarterly to assess how well the largest program participants are doing in providing distressed homeowners with mortgage relief under the terms of the federal program.

Treasury says these evaluations allow officials to better gauge individual servicers’ performance, identify specific areas of non-compliance, drive improvements in servicer execution, and provide the public with greater transparency of mortgage assistance efforts.

The new compliance metrics and benchmarks introduced with the third-quarter assessments are expected to provide greater insight into the impact of servicer performance on the borrower’s experience and allow for trending analysis of all compliance metrics.

Three new compliance metrics have been added to the performance reviews related to the timeliness of single point of contact assignments, communicating reasons for non-approval to borrowers who are rejected from the program, and processing and reporting defaulted loans that have been restructured through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

In addition, three existing compliance metrics have been removed from the program checklist. They include servicers’ internal controls for: identifying and contacting homeowners, borrower evaluations, and program management and reporting.

To read the complete article – please use the link below.

New Compliance Metrics

Housing Momentum Stalled by Cautious Consumers

December 11, 2013

This doesn’t come as a big surprise considering the unemployment rate, interest rate increases and home prices climbing. The fact that so many people think that their personal situation will get worse in the next 12 months is a little unexpected but not a great shocker. For a more detailed look at this subject – please read the article below.

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According to Fannie Mae’s November National Housing Survey, positive momentum in the housing market has slowed as Americans remain cautious about their personal finances and the overall state of the economy.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed believe the economy is on the wrong track. Twenty-two percent expect their personal finances to worsen during the next year, and only 45 percent expect home prices to increase within the next 12 months.

According to Doug Duncan, SVP and chief economist at Fannie Mae: “We continue to see caution as the defining feature of Americans’ attitudes toward the economy and their personal financial situation. In this environment, the housing recovery is likely to improve, but only at a gradual pace.”

Duncan continued: “Our November National Housing Survey results show a loss of momentum in expectations for home prices and personal finances. Also, the majority of consumers expecting higher mortgage rates implies a slowing of housing market momentum. As the economy continues to improve and household balance sheets for most Americans are slow to repair, we continue to see the transition to a full housing recovery as a slow process.”

To read the complete article – please use the link below.

Housing Momentum Stalled

Why so Few Houses for Sale? Lots of Reasons.

December 10, 2013

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This is a pretty complete overlook of the inventory shortage. The one major factor that was not touched on by this article is the lenders, for a lot of different reasons, are not putting many of their foreclosed homes on the market as fast as they used to and therefore there are less of these homes for sale. For a more detailed look at this subject – please read the article below.

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Inventories of homes for sale have been slow to bounce back since the 2007–09 recession, despite steady price appreciation since January 2012.

Normally, higher prices reflect robust sales. But lately, prices have been rising even though sales remain stuck at relatively low levels. The National Association of Realtors reports that an annualized 4.5 million homes were sold in June 2013, roughly the same as at the end of the 1990s.

Many prospective buyers attribute the low sales volume to a lack of inventory on the market. So why are there so few homes for sale? There are lots of reasons why.

William Hedberg, a research associate, and John Krainer, a senior economist, both with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, examine some of the factors affecting this “more complicated than normal” situation in a recent paper. Here are their key findings:

Many homeowners are still underwater. Many properties are still worth less than the value of their mortgages, which would leave sellers owing additional money at closing.

As a result, a large number of homeowners are waiting for house prices to rise, allowing them to recover lost equity. They delay putting their homes up for sale until the situation improves and they can make back enough to cover the down payment on their next purchase.

To read the complete article – please use the link below.

Few Houses for Sale

SIGTARP Continues Fraud Crackdown

December 9, 2013

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While Mr. Harrell probably deserves the short sentence that he received you have to wonder why it is that the big lenders that defrauded millions of borrowers and taxpayers out of billions of dollars have not spent even one day in jail. If SIGTRAP wants to crackdown on fraud they don’t have to look any farther than those banks that are To Big To Prosecute. For a more detailed look at this subject – please read the article below.

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The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) aimed its laser sharp focus on eradicating foreclosure fraud and a California man running a foreclosure rescue scam.

Christy Romero, SIGTARP, and Melinda Haag, United States Attorney for the Northern District of California, announced Walter Bruce Harrell, 72, of Montara, California was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release for bankruptcy fraud and for providing false statements in a bankruptcy proceeding. Harrell was indicted with eight counts of bankruptcy fraud and two counts of making false statements in a bankruptcy proceeding.

Documents show that Harrell operated a scheme in which he offered to postpone foreclosure proceedings on the homeowner’s property in exchange for a monthly fee.

Harrell accomplished this by instructing homeowner clients to deed fractional interests in their properties to other individuals whom Harrell would pay to file bankruptcy petitions in court. Once the bankruptcy petitions were filed, Harrell would notify creditors—which included multiple TARP banks—seeking to foreclose on his clients’ properties, that the properties were part of an active bankruptcy proceeding.

Because of “automatic stay” provisions of the U.S. bankruptcy code, the creditors were prevented from proceeding with foreclosure. Instead, the creditors were required to file motions to lift the automatic stays in bankruptcy court. Although these motions were invariably granted, Harrell’s actions caused delays in the foreclosure process and caused the creditors to incur additional costs.

To read the complete article – please use the link below.

Fraud Crackdown