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  • Sun, Dec 14 2008
  • 8:50 AM » Geneva banks lost more than $4 billion to Madoff: report
    Published Sun, Dec 14 2008 8:50 AM by Reuters
    ZURICH (Reuters) - Geneva-based banks and investment funds have lost more than 5 billion Swiss francs ($4.22 billion) in the alleged $50 billion fraud by former Nasdaq chairman Bernard Madoff, Swiss newspaper Le Temps reported on Saturday.
  • 8:50 AM » Lenders turn their backs on 'quality' clients
    Published Sun, Dec 14 2008 8:50 AM by www.ft.com
    High earners with good records are missing out on the best mortgage deals as banks scrutinise applications more closely than ever and reject customers for minor discrepancies
  • 8:50 AM » The Future of Residential Mortgages (Maybe)
    Published Sun, Dec 14 2008 8:50 AM by Seeking Alpha
    Tom Lindmark submits: "Fools rush in" should have been the title of this post. Everything I put down is probably not going to happen, but let’s go ahead and speculate about the future of the U.S. mortgage industry. It’s kind of connect the dots and see where things might lead. The premise I’m starting with is that we really don’t have a private mortgage industry anymore. Sure, semi-private institutions like banks originate the loans and essentially collect a fee for doing so but they only do so in order to sell the loans to either Fannie, Freddie or FHA. There is no meaningful intent to make a loan and hold it in portfolio or hold, pool and sell a mortgage backed security on the private market.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • Sat, Dec 13 2008
  • 10:43 AM » Obama picks N.Y. official to run housing dept
    Published Sat, Dec 13 2008 10:43 AM by Washington Post
    CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday named the head of New York's urban housing agency to run the Washington department that attempts to make housing affordable for all Americans and end lingering racial discrimination.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 8:22 AM » Investors Prove Countrywide Lawsuit 100% Valid
    Published Sat, Dec 13 2008 8:22 AM by loanworkout.org
    The facts are the facts. I am not going to add much commentary to this damaging blog post because it is what it is. All I know is Angelo (Ex-Countrywide CEO) is gonna have some explaining to do to Mr. Lewis (CEO for Now of B of A) over some egg nog and whiskey. Here are links, facts, data and concrete [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: loanworkout.org
  • 8:21 AM » Bank Failure #24: Haven Trust Bank, Duluth, Georgia
    Published Sat, Dec 13 2008 8:21 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the FDIC: Haven Trust Bank, Duluth, Georgia, was closed today by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was named receiver. ... As of December 8, 2008, Haven Trust had total assets of $572 million and total deposits of $515 million. BB&T agreed to assume all of the deposits for $112,000. In addition to assuming all of the failed bank's deposits, BB&T will purchase approximately $55 million of the failed bank's assets. The FDIC will retain the remaining assets for later disposition. ... The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund will be $200 million. ... Haven Trust is the 24th bank to fail in the nation this year, and the fifth in Georgia. The last bank to be closed in the state was First Georgia Community Bank, Jackson, GA, on December 5, 2008.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:21 AM » Bank Failure #25: Sanderson State Bank, Sanderson, Texas
    Published Sat, Dec 13 2008 8:21 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the FDIC: Sanderson State Bank, Sanderson, Texas, was closed today by the Texas Department of Banking, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was named receiver. ... As of December 3, 2008, Sanderson State Bank had total assets of $37 million and total deposits of $27.9... The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund will be $12.5 million. ... Sanderson State Bank is the 25th bank to fail in the nation this year, and the second in Texas. The last bank to be closed in the state was Franklin Bank, SSB, Houston, TX, on November 7, 2008. Twofer today. Maybe three?
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:21 AM » Executive Accused of Mortgage-Securities Scheme
    Published Sat, Dec 13 2008 8:21 AM by ml-implode.com
    Federal prosecutors in Miami on Thursday charged Steven Gordon, 49 years old, a former partner at Bayview Financial LP, with one count of wire fraud, in one of the first cases highlighting investigators' efforts to move beyond low-level mortgage schemes and delve into suspected fraud in the mortgage-securities business involving bigger financial firms. ... Federal investigators say Mr. Gordon reviewed portfolios of Bayview loans and plucked out certain mortgages that he wanted to make more valuable before securitization. On some, he simply used a pen to increase the credit scores of borrowers, making the loans appear less risky and more valuable to investors, according to investigators. On others, he changed internal codes used to classify mobile homes or vacant land and reclassified them as single-family homes, investigators said. The "authorities" will be busy with this for years (and in that I include pretending they are shocked.)
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: ml-implode.com
  • Fri, Dec 12 2008
  • 2:22 PM » Cut the bull and call it a Depression
    Published Fri, Dec 12 2008 2:22 PM by Google News
    Guest post by , veteran business journalist and author of the blog , a humorous look at marketing and business. This begs the question, how long until we declare World Depression II? The (disputed) technical definitions of Recession and Depression make them lagging economic nomenclature. Economists debate whether we are in a swamp and say nothing about the ever-increasing number of alligators. The lack of an official declaration of recession mostly just gives the chattering classes something to do while avoiding taking action. “Is it a crisis?” “There is no crisis!” “Is there a large, green creature eating my leg?” “There is no large, green creature eating your leg!” Allow me to go out on a very, very sturdy limb and declare a Depression. The economy isn’t going to recover by the end of next year. There is a only a dim possibility it will recover the year after that. But no one in an “official” position is willing to be the bearer of that piece of bad news. Doubt that it is (or will eventually fit the technical definition of) a Depression? Look at the actual numbers. While the official unemployment rate last month was 6.7%, everyone – including the Labor Department – knows that number is bullshit. And that was the rate LAST MONTH. Before Bank of American cut 30K jobs. Before GM and Chrysler were forced to face the music. Before Bernard Madoff’s $50 billion hedge fund/Ponzi scheme came to light.Businesses continue to fire people in anticipation of how bad the economy will get, thus creating a very ugly cycle of wish fulfillment. Then the tsunami returns. Nor, of course, is that all there is. As Karl Denninger notes: “’” T-bills are hitting 0% because people see that a guarantee of no loss is worth the price of no return. Most businesses and state and local governments that rely on credit to cover operating costs are in a “hope for a miracle” mode. It is hoped that that miracle will be the next president’s economic stimulus plan. Mr. Obama is all but promising another...
  • 1:51 PM » Inland Empire Commercial Vacancy Rates Rise Sharply
    Published Fri, Dec 12 2008 1:51 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    California's Inland Empire is an interesting area to follow. During the housing boom, the local economy was heavily dependent on real estate related employment (see graph at bottom of post), and now, with the housing bust, the area is being devastated. From the Press-Enterprise: Inland office vacancy rates reached 20 percent during the third quarter, according to the 2008 Southern California Office and Industrial Market Report, which was released Thursday by the Casden Forecast at the University of Southern California Lusk Center for Real Estate. Almost 1.5 million square feet of office space was completed during the first nine months of this year, but demand for that property is so weak, mostly because of fallout from the region's housing slowdown, that most of that space remains vacant and is likely to be leased out slowly during the next 12 months, the report found. ... The Inland industrial market also struggled during the first nine months of 2008, mostly because of the drop in imports at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Industrial vacancy rates climbed from 4.9 percent during the third quarter of 2007 to 8.6 percent during this year's third quarter ... No one could have predicted this .... oh wait, from one of my posts in 2005 (the graphics are better today!): Of all the areas experiencing a housing boom, the areas most at risk have had the greatest increase in real estate related jobs. These jobs include home construction, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, inspectors and more. The following graph uses NSA construction jobs for comparison purposes. Click on graph for larger image. Not surprisingly, California has become more dependent on construction than the rest of the country, and construction has really boomed in San Diego. But San Diego has nothing on the Inland Empire. I believe that areas like the Inland Empire will suffer the most when housing activity slows. I'll post an update to the employment graph.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 1:35 PM » Goldman Sachs Sued Over MBS Deals
    Published Fri, Dec 12 2008 1:35 PM by feeds.feedburner.com
    The mortgage litigation machine is now turning its attention towards RMBS issuers as investors allege fraud and misrepresentation by firms that sold off loans into securitization trusts, with a new putative class-action suit filed Thursday in New York against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS: 69.38 -0.47%) and some of the firm’s individual directors. The case, [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 11:46 AM » NAHB Lays Off Staff, Trims Budget
    Published Fri, Dec 12 2008 11:46 AM by ml-implode.com
    Not surprisingly, the National Association of Home Builders is being forced to retrench its staffing and budget as it faces a huge drop in membership — the Washington-based lobbying group said earlier this week that it had cut $11.5 million from its 2009 operating budget and eliminated 52 positions, as a result of cost-cutting measures. ... The group has been among the largest lobbying entities on Capitol Hill in recent years, thanks to the vast run-up in residential construction and housing, and along with the National Association of Realtors and Mortgage Bankers Association helped form a triumverate that represented one of the most powerful lobbying forces inside the Beltway. The NAHB would not comment on whether the budget cuts would eat into the group’s lobbying efforts next year. We suspect they'll still be manage to .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: ml-implode.com
  • 11:38 AM » Audit critical of state’s regulation of mortgage companies
    Published Fri, Dec 12 2008 11:38 AM by www.lasvegassun.com
    The state failed to adequately regulate mortgage companies to protect the public, a legislative audit says.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.lasvegassun.com
  • 10:59 AM » Why Sheila Bair wants to bail out consumers
    Published Fri, Dec 12 2008 10:59 AM by CNN
    Sheila Bair may now be a lightning rod, but at least she's finally getting some respect.
  • 10:43 AM » Goldman, once warning of $200 oil, sees $45 in 2009
    Published Fri, Dec 12 2008 10:43 AM by Reuters
    SINGAPORE/LONDON (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs' energy equity research team, which predicted a crude oil spike to $200 a barrel earlier this year, slashed on Friday its 2009 forecast to just $45 as demand deteriorates.
  • 10:43 AM » Equal cuts expected at Merrill and BofA
    Published Fri, Dec 12 2008 10:43 AM by www.ft.com
    It is normal for an acquiring company to push the brunt of any redundancies on the acquired company, but insiders from both Bank of America and Merrill Lynch expect that the 30,000 to 35,000 layoffs announced will be almost evenly spread between the two companies
  • 10:13 AM » Bernie Madoff Comes Out of the Closet
    Published Fri, Dec 12 2008 10:13 AM by Seeking Alpha
    Reposted from , with author's permission: Not a year has gone by during the past fifteen that I have not contemplated what Bernie Madoff did (or didn't do) to make his money. Seventy to one-hundred basis-points-a-month. Net. Net. Net. During tempests, earthquakes, panics and crashes - even during the closure of the exchange itself, Bernie apparently minted coin like few others. Even Renaissance and Shaw tripped occasionally. Not Bernie. Yet no one new what he did. It was one of the best kept secrets in the world. Oh yeah, sure, split-strike conversions were the official line. But every skeptical arb trader knew this couldn't be true.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 10:12 AM » Fannie and Freddie's Unbelievable Proposals
    Published Fri, Dec 12 2008 10:12 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: I used to use words like " unbelievable " as I read proposal after proposal brought forward in late 2007 and 2008 to save us, but nothing in this hoax of a market is anymore. I wrote that 2009 will bring us "innovations" and "interventions" like nothing before (with Fannie and Freddie as the centerpiece of the toolbox), so I guess I should not be surprised by . That said, my jaw hit the floor when I read it. I hit refresh a few times - checked the calendar (nope, not April 1st) - certainly this must be a hoax. So get ready for this; no matter what your home appraises for - if it falls 10%, 20%, or 30% below purchase price, and you are underwater - you can still refinance under the latest proposal being floated at the full original mortgage value. Imagine a nation of people whose value of home when bought was $280K and now its $180K (as it would be appraised), but instead of being underwater $100K (i.e. out on the street when unable to refinance) the generosity of government gives the full $280K at a lower rate - 4.5% of course as part of the Treasury plan being floated. So you see where this is heading - a nation full of phony mortgage values (set by government) at a phony rate (set by government). Hello USSAR .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 10:12 AM » A $50 Billion Fraud? So Where is the Money?
    Published Fri, Dec 12 2008 10:12 AM by Google News
    If $50 billion really went poof in Bernie Madoff's self-described Ponzi scheme, where did the proceeds go? This has to top what any dictator ever siphoned out of a banana republic. (Note that the Journal suggests that at least $17 billion has disappeared, so inflation adjusted, the Perons may be ahead). The story also suggests he was merely a very bad trader and merely lost the money. In the case of other Wall Street operations that are now toast, the losses were the result of very big losses on positions and overpaying themselves bonuses in years that appeared to be good, but if the profits had been risk adjusted, were not so hot. But a Ponzi scheme is all about fraud, all about taking as much out for yourself as possible (well, that is also the name of the game on Wall Street generally, but the rent-seeking is presumed to be on the back of an underlying legitimate activity) So where did the dough go? And Madoff had to know this would blow up. Wonder why he didn't flee to Panama. From the : Bernard L. Madoff, a former chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market and a force in Wall Street trading for nearly 50 years, was arrested by federal agents Thursday a day after telling two senior employees that his investment advisory business was "a giant Ponzi scheme." In separate complaints filed Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the federal government alleged that Mr. Madoff had bilked his investors out of tens of billions of dollars. The Securities and Exchange Commission, in a civil complaint, accused Mr. Madoff of an "ongoing $50 billion Ponzi scheme," asking a judge to seize the firm and its assets. "Our complaint alleges a stunning fraud that appears to be of epic proportions," said Andrew M. Calamari, associate director of enforcement in the SEC's New York office. Out of more than $17 billion in assets under management by Mr. Madoff's firm at the start of 2008, essentially all the assets appear to be missing, the...
  • 10:12 AM » Loan modification success reported by OCWEN, others not so confident
    Published Fri, Dec 12 2008 10:12 AM by Google News
    Housing Wire reports that OCWEN, the massive mortgage servicer, reported what it deems in the face of rising mortgage defaults. Loan modifications, which many have pointed to as a key factor in reducing the damage caused by the housing meltdown, have been tough to come by as servicers and end investors are unable to come to satisfactory loan modification terms with upside-down homeowners. From Housing Wire: West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Ocwen Financial Corporation (OCN: 8.13 -1.33%) said Thursday that it is seeing “solid success” with its own loan modification program. Touting a technology-based, loan-by-loan approach to modification, Ocwen said at the six-month mark, the 60-day delinquency rate on its modified loans stands at 24.6 percent. Others, including companies covered here at Blown Mortgage, haven’t fared so well in restructuring loan terms under loan modification agreements. Part of the issue is that investors and servicers are unwilling or unable to modify the mortgage of borrowers in danger of default. The other challenge is the recently reported , which is leading banks and investors to use more caution in issuing loan modifications. From Chris Hynes on an earlier : A new study shows that 53% of borrowers who received modified terms on their mortgages have defaulted within a six month time period. While Credit Suisse notes that defaults of loans whose interest rates were reduced were only 15%, that figure does not change the fact that a majority of these modifications have been ineffective. FDIC chairwoman Sheila Bair has called for the government to share losses of up to 50% on re-defaulted loans. This high default rate means that made up of these mortgage loans. Even with modified mortgages the RMBS will continue to be rated poorly; without noticeable improvement in credit rating even with a large number of modifications made to the mortgages within the security. This double-headed monster of negative-equity and default after modification and the limited...
  • Thu, Dec 11 2008
  • 5:48 PM » JPMorgan CEO warns of "terrible" fourth quarter
    Published Thu, Dec 11 2008 5:48 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co said on Thursday the U.S. bank has had a "terrible" November and December, blaming the "normal culprits:" mortgages, credit, and high yield bonds and loans.
  • 5:48 PM » MortgageIT to Cease Wholesale Lending
    Published Thu, Dec 11 2008 5:48 PM by www.thetruthaboutmortgage.com
    MortgageIT, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, announced today it will wind down its wholesale lending business in the coming months. The company will cease accepting new loan applications as of today, and all loans previously submitted must be locked by December 24, with the last day to fund January 30. There was no reason cited on the [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.thetruthaboutmortgage.com
  • 5:15 PM » Bank of America to cut up to 35,000 jobs over three years
    Published Thu, Dec 11 2008 5:15 PM by Market Watch
    Bank of America plans to cut up to 35,000 jobs over the next three years as the giant lender adjusts to a recession and completes the pending acquisition of brokerage firm Merrill Lynch.
  • 4:27 PM » Priceless: Visa CEO loses his credit cards
    Published Thu, Dec 11 2008 4:27 PM by feeds.feedburner.com
    Ironic: Visa CEO Joseph Saunders spoke at a Goldman Sachs financial services in NYC on Thursday morning. Addressing the group, he said:"I'm supposed to start off, and say that I'm very happy to be here, and I guess I am....
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 4:12 PM » Bill Frey's Radical Housing Fix
    Published Thu, Dec 11 2008 4:12 PM by Business Week
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Business Week
  • 4:12 PM » PNC to sell 61 National City branches
    Published Thu, Dec 11 2008 4:12 PM by CNN
    Read full story for latest details.
  • 3:24 PM » Fannie's Change Still Won't Save Mortgage Modifications
    Published Thu, Dec 11 2008 3:24 PM by CNBC
    Posted By: I applaud Fannie for trying to get ahead of the defaults, and I hope borrowers who don’t really need the workouts don’t waste Fannie’s time trying to get something for nothing. I fear that’s a big possibility. Topics: | | Sectors: | Companies: | MEDIA:
  • 2:05 PM » Ohio Sheriff Refuses to Process “Heartless” Evictions
    Published Thu, Dec 11 2008 2:05 PM by ml-implode.com
    "Saying that evicting former owners and tenants during winter weather and a recession is “heartless,” Butler County, Ohio sheriff Richard Jones has become the third sheriff this year to refuse to process some eviction orders."
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: ml-implode.com
  • 12:47 PM » Ocwen Boasts About Low Re-Default Rate
    Published Thu, Dec 11 2008 12:47 PM by www.thetruthaboutmortgage.com
    Subprime loan servicer Ocwen Financial said today the re-default rate on loans it services was less than half the number recently disclosed by OCC chief John Dugan. After six months, the 60-day delinquency rate on Ocwen-modified loans was 24.6 percent, well below the 53 percent rate unveiled by the OCC earlier this week. Of course, the OCC [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.thetruthaboutmortgage.com
  • 12:32 PM » Wanted: Bank failure specialist.' Pays $156K
    Published Thu, Dec 11 2008 12:32 PM by CNN
    Hardly a day goes by without an announcement from a big company taking an axe to its payroll. But guess who won't be laying off people anytime soon?
  • 12:32 PM » Get ready for the final rate cut - will it matter?
    Published Thu, Dec 11 2008 12:32 PM by CNN
    Will the 10th time be the charm for Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve?
  • 11:19 AM » Regulator: Mortgage Rates Could Drop to 4 Percent
    Published Thu, Dec 11 2008 11:19 AM by www.google.com
    Government efforts to provide easier credit to consumers and jump-start flagging home sales could push mortgage rates "well below 4 percent," a federal regulator said Wednesday.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.google.com
  • 9:58 AM » And You Thought Subprime Lending Was Extinct
    Published Thu, Dec 11 2008 9:58 AM by Seeking Alpha
    This is not promising Now, as credit tightens, F.H.A. is the sudden star of the nation’s housing market. In September alone, it endorsed over 96,000 new home loans, more than triple the number it approved in the same month last year, federal data shows. But some housing industry experts worry that F.H.A. may soon be hit by a wave of mortgage-related fraud and abuse that it is ill prepared to deal with.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 9:57 AM » Extreme Makeover Houses Need Extreme Mortgage Makeovers
    Published Thu, Dec 11 2008 9:57 AM by Google News
    Most people don’t live in a house remodeled, rebuilt and refurnished for their specific needs. Not because they don’t want one, but because they can’t afford it. Sadly, this is true even when Extreme Makeover: Home Edition remodels or rebuilds a home to meet a family’s needs. The Vardon family discovered this first hand earlier this week. The Associated Press (AP) that the Vardons, a hearing-imparied couple with an autistic son, are facing foreclosure. After more then 20 million viewers watched their Oak Park, MI home be remodeled on November 6, 2006, the familiy’s property tax burden increased significantly. Compounding the financial burden, they refinanced their existing mortgage, in part to help pay down the debt incurred by their son’s medical bills, which are not covered by insurance. The situation has become dire now that Larry Vardon’s employer, Chrysler LLC’s Sterling Heights stamping plant, is also on the brink of failure putting his job in potential jeopardy. They are not the first winners of an Extreme Makeover home to face foreclosure. This summer, the Harper family faced a similar fate, according to the . The Harpers used their new home as collateral on a $450,000 loan they used to start a construction company in the Atlanta, GA area. The construction company failed, as so many have as the real estate market has ground almost to a halt. Interestingly, an earlier by Washington Post Staff Writer Hank Stuever indicates that the Harpers also recieved “enough money to pay taxes on it [their new home] for decades”. The Byers family faced foreclosure on their Extreme Makeover dream home before either the Harpers or the Vardons. The Byers fall was the most rapid and, perhaps, the most tragic of all.In the Byers’ case KATU reports, the family’s original mortgage remained even though their original house did not. Like the Vardons, they face significantly higher property taxes. Unlike the Vardon’s son, the Byers’ daughter, Jennessa, called Boey, passed away. There...
  • 9:56 AM » Job Creation, Not Loan Mods, Should Be Next Step
    Published Thu, Dec 11 2008 9:56 AM by Google News
    Much has been made by those in the peanut gallery of the need to modify the terms of delinquent or defaulted mortgages. The logic behind this line of thought was relatively sound: after all, the reckless issuance of adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) to people who wouldn’t be able to make the payments once the rates were adjusted upwards was a major contributing factor in the downward spiral of the housing market, right? Beyond ARM’s, the , in which a house is worth less than it was originally mortgaged for, are no less than staggering. First American Corelogic has reported that in Nevada, 48% of homes are, or will enter, underwater status. In Michigan, Arizona, Florida, and California, those numbers are all above 25%. Those numbers mean that roughly 20% of homeowners in the United States are looking at a pretty bleak picture, where they have to pay to break even on their home. Fine, said the concerned banks (also on the hook if the loan defaults), let’s modify the terms to prevent foreclosures: lower the principle of the loan, alter the adjustable rate, extend the terms, do what needs to be done to protect the value of the loan and the value of the house. Unfortunately, those steps are simply not sufficient in an economy that continues to deteriorate as rapidly as ours has over the past three months. The simple fact is that people without jobs and savings are going to have a difficult time making payments on their house, regardless of the amount they owe on their monthly statement. And as numerous observers have noted, the zero-percent down payment strategy only makes it easier for those homeowners to cut their losses and move on. A new study shows that within a six month time period. While Credit Suisse notes that defaults of loans whose interest rates were reduced were only 15%, that figure does not change the fact that a majority of these modifications have been ineffective. FDIC chairwoman Sheila Bair has called for the government to share losses of up to 50% on re...
  • 9:56 AM » Report: GSEs May Waive Appraisals for Refis
    Published Thu, Dec 11 2008 9:56 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From Bloomberg: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage-finance companies seized by the U.S. government, are considering forgoing new appraisals on refinanced loans to help struggling homeowners, their regulator said. “If they refinance someone, rather than doing a loan mod, do they need a new appraisal if they already have the credit?” Federal Housing Finance Agency Director James Lockhart told reporters after a speech in Washington today. “That’s an issue that’s being discussed. They’re looking at it.” Update: I misread this proposal. Mort_fin notes: I think we're only talking rate and term refi here, and only if the GSE is refi'ing a loan it already has on its books. If today I have a $100,000 loan at 6% on an $80,000 house, and tomorrow I have a $100,000 loan at 5% on the same $80,000 house, am I better off or worse off? FHA and VA been doing this for 25 years. FHA'S streamline refinance program and VA's interest rate reduction loan program.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:56 AM » Mortgage fraud is booming business for prosecutors
    Published Thu, Dec 11 2008 9:56 AM by Washington Post
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Investigations into the collapse of financial titans such as Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual have attracted most of the attention in the ongoing unraveling of the nation's mortgage-backed security mess.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • Wed, Dec 10 2008
  • 5:47 PM » UPDATE: Deutsche Bank closes MortgageIT?
    Published Wed, Dec 10 2008 5:47 PM by ml-implode.com
    Update - 2008-12-10: We are just now getting news that MortgageIT just announced in a conference call to AE's that Deutsche Bank's Wholesale Lending operations are shutting down. From one Broker...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: ml-implode.com
  • 4:12 PM » T.A.R.P.: Tearing Apart the Rescue Plan
    Published Wed, Dec 10 2008 4:12 PM by www.portfolio.com
    A lot of people in this country can't wait for January 20, 2009. But perhaps no one is more ready for it today than Neel Kashkari. Kashkari, who, as the interim assistant secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability oversees the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, endured hours of ire today from the House Financial Services Committee. The hearing was held in response to negative reports from the T.A.R.P.'s congressional oversight panel and the Government Accountability Office. Both watchdog groups criticized the Treasury's execution of the bailout, which was originally intended to buy toxic assets from ailing financial firms but instead has been spent on buying equity stakes in the banks. The hope when the massive bailout was passed in October was that it would help kickstart lending and help stem foreclosures. Instead, foreclosures continue to rise and the banks have not used the money to loan to consumers and businesses. The reports criticized the program's management for its incompetence in even tracking the lending progress. Member from both sides of the aisle could not contain their fury at some points during the questioning, with at least one congressman calling for Kashkari's resignation. "People are asking me, 'Is Goldman Sachs running this country?'" said Representative Melvin Watt. "What are we doing giving $700 billion and there is this monopoly on who is controlling it. Nobody is accounting to anybody for it. And the perception, whether the reality is correct or not, the perception is that there is something sinister going on here." Both Kashkari and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson are former Goldman Sachs executives. While the criticism is certainly reasonable, it's worth noting that many of these lawmakers are hoping to distance themselves from their responsibility over the bailout, which many of them voted for. While they may not be pleased with the about-face the Treasury took in its execution...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.portfolio.com
  • 3:41 PM » Ex-Officer Faults Mortgage Giants for ‘Orgy’ of Nonprime Loans
    Published Wed, Dec 10 2008 3:41 PM by ml-implode.com
    "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac engaged in “an orgy of junk mortgage development” that turned the two mortgage-finance giants into vast repositories of subprime and similarly risky loans, a former Fannie executive testified on Tuesday."
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: ml-implode.com
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  • 15 Yr FRM 2.64%
  • |
  • Jumbo 30 Year Fixed 3.95%
MBS Prices:
Recent Housing Data:
  • Mortgage Apps -1.84%
  • |
  • Refinance Index -2.20%
  • |
  • Purchase Index -1.28%