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  • Tue, Feb 26 2013
  • 5:31 PM » BofA's $8.5 Billion Mortgage-Bond Accord Set for Hearing
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 5:31 PM by Bloomberg
    BofA's $8.5 Billion Mortgage-Bond Accord Set for Hearing Bloomberg Bank of America Corp.'s proposed $8.5 billion settlement with mortgage-bond investors will be considered by a New York judge for approval at a hearing beginning May 30, according to a court order. Link to Company News:{BAC US <Equity> CN <GO>} ...
  • 5:29 PM » New York Times Article on Banks Aiding Payday Loans: There's Even More to the Story
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 5:29 PM by CRL
    On February 23, the New York Times published an article describing how some banks enable Internet payday lending. In this brief, CRL provides additional legal context to supplement that article. Bottom line: We need to continue passing state laws that provide strong enforcement tools, and federal regulators need to use their full authority to stop predatory payday loans.
  • 4:09 PM » S&P MBS Suits Get Boost From Earlier Court Wins, States Say
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 4:09 PM by Bloomberg
    S&P Suits Get Boost From Earlier Court Wins, States Say Bloomberg State lawsuits against Standard & Poor's over ratings on mortgage securities are bolstered by legal victories that Connecticut and Illinois have already won against the company, attorneys general in the two states said. Illinois and Connecticut defeated ...
  • 4:07 PM » NAHB: Tight Credit, Flawed Appraisals and Erratic Supply Chain Hurt Jobs, Housing
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 4:07 PM by NAHB
    Press Release
  • 2:56 PM » Minutes of the Board's discount rates meetings from January 14 and January 28, 2013
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 2:56 PM by Federal Reserve
    Minutes of the Board's discount rates meetings from January 14 and January 28, 2013
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Federal Reserve
  • 1:41 PM » Housing's ‘Wealth Effect' Isn't What It Used To Be
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 1:41 PM by WSJ
    The improving housing market is beginning to serve as a tailwind for the economy. But one of the housing sector's most effective multiplier effects on the economy could be muted for the next few years.
  • 11:59 AM » FHA Watch, January/February 2013
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 11:59 AM by www.aei.org
    A number of fairy tales were told at the House Financial Services Committee’s February 6 hearing on the proper role of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) in our mortgage insurance market. FHA Watch separates fact from fiction.
  • 11:41 AM » Peer-to-Peer Lender Prosper Eyes Investors Seeking Yield
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 11:41 AM by CNBC
    As many investors hunt for yield and banks remain hesitant to lend at pre-crisis levels, peer-to-peer lender Prosper hopes to capitalize on that gap. And one key investor is betting big on Prosper's strategy. But is the lending platform too risky?
  • 11:40 AM » Why ECB's Draghi Faces a Bond Market Dilemma
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 11:40 AM by CNBC
    ECB President Mario Draghi avoided a financial contagion last year, promising to do "whatever it takes" to defend the euro, but analysts say the policymaker also thereby created the very conditions that led to Italy's leadership vacuum.
  • 11:23 AM » FDIC-Insured Institutions Earned $34.7 Billion in The Fourth Quarter of 2012 - Full-Year Net Income Rises to $141.3 Billion, the Highest Since 2006
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 11:23 AM by content.govdelivery.com
    Press Release FDIC-Insured Institutions Earned $34.7 Billion in The Fourth Quarter of 2012 Full-Year Net Income Rises to $141.3 Billion, the Highest Since 2006 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 26, 2013 Media Contact: Andrew Gray (202) 898-7192 angray@fdic.gov   Commercial banks and savings institutions insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) reported aggregate net income of $34.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012, a $9.3 billion (36.9 percent) improvement from the $25.3 billion in profits the industry reported in the fourth quarter of 2011. This is the 14th quarter in a row that earnings have registered a year-over-year increase. Increased noninterest income and lower provisions for loan losses continued to account for most of the year-over-year improvement in earnings. For the full year, industry earnings totaled $141.3 billion — a 19.3 percent improvement over 2011 and the second-highest ever reported by the industry after the $145.2 billion earned in 2006. "The improving trend that began more than three years ago gained further ground in the fourth quarter," said FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg. "Balances of troubled loans declined, earnings rose from a year ago, and more institutions of all sizes showed improved performance." Sixty percent of all institutions reported improvements in their quarterly net income from a year ago. Also, the share of institutions reporting net losses for the quarter fell to 14.0 percent from 20.2 percent a year earlier. The average return on assets (ROA), a basic yardstick of profitability, rose to 0.97 percent from 0.73 percent a year ago. Fourth quarter net operating revenue (net interest income plus total noninterest income) totaled $169 billion, an increase of $7.3 billion (4.5 percent) from a year earlier, as gains from loan sales rose by $2.4 billion and trading income increased by $1.9 billion. Net interest income was $2.7 billion (2.5 percent) lower than in the fourth...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: content.govdelivery.com
  • 10:38 AM » Banks Could Owe HOW MUCH For Fraudulent MBS?
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 10:38 AM by The Huffington Post
    A verdict delivered earlier this month by a prominent federal judge heightens the prospect that the nation's largest financial institutions will be forced to pay as much as $250 billion to compensate investors who bought bundles of fraudulently marketed mortgage-related securities, according to financial and legal experts. The Feb. 5 decision in New York Southern District Court issued by Judge Jed. S. Rakoff involved only one relatively minor lender: Michigan-based Flagstar Bank. Rakoff found that Flagstar had failed to disclose the real risks of the mortgages it was selling, and he ordered the lender to pay $90 million to an aggrieved insurer, Assured Guaranty Municipal Corporation. But experts zeroed in on Rakoff's reasoning as a potentially damaging precedent for other lenders contending with scores of similar lawsuits, many involving fraudulent assurances claims from the investors who bought mortgage-backed securities during the U.S. housing boom. "This will certainly have a ripple effect on all those cases," said Isaac Gradman, a securities litigator at Perry, Johnson, Anderson, Miller & Moskowitz in Santa Rosa, Calif., "This decision did not get made in a vacuum. The potential damages are enormous." Gradman -- who is not party to the case at issue but said has been involved in similar legal actions -- suggested that potential payouts from active lawsuits, as well as those yet to be filed, could run between $200 billion and $250 billion. Major mortgage lenders with pending lawsuits declined to comment. But in recent public statements, executives at such institutions have downplayed the risk of a substantial hit to their balance sheets. "We're comfortable with our legal positions across the board," said Brian Moynihan, chief executive officer at Bank of America during a mid-January conference call with bank stock analysts , when asked to characterize the risk of lawsuits involving its sales of mortgage-backed securities...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Huffington Post
  • 10:32 AM » Bernanke Defends Asset Purchases as Benefits Outweigh Risks
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 10:32 AM by Bloomberg
    Bernanke Defends Asset Purchases as Benefits Outweigh Risks Bloomberg Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke defended the central bank's unprecedented asset purchases, saying they are supporting the expansion with little risk of inflation or asset-price bubbles. "We do not see the potential costs of the increased risk- ...
  • 10:30 AM » Bernanke Semiannual Monetary Policy Testimony (Text)
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 10:30 AM by Bloomberg
    Bernanke Semiannual Monetary Policy Testimony (Text) Bloomberg Following is the text of remarks made by Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. Chairman Johnson, Ranking Member Crapo, and other members of the Committee, ...
  • 10:29 AM » New Home Sales and Consumer Confidence Surge
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 10:29 AM by CNBC
    This is a breaking news story. Please check back on CNBC.com for updates to this article.. New home sales are forecast to post an annualized rise of 381,000 for January, compared with 369,000 in December, according to a survey of Reuters economists..
  • 9:39 AM » Shiller's Bottom Line: Risk Lingers in Housing
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 9:39 AM by WSJ
    It's possible that home prices have hit a bottom, but heavy government involvement to stabilize the mortgage market and the broader economy has made it harder to gauge the durability of recent home-price gains, says Yale economist Robert Shiller.
  • 9:35 AM » Bernanke to face Fed critics in testimony to Congress
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 9:35 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke faces the first of two days of congressional testimony that will subject the Fed's controversial bond-buying program to tough scrutiny and gauge his confidence in the resilience of the U.S. economy.
  • 9:33 AM » Home prices climb in December, best yearly gain since 2006: S&P
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 9:33 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. single-family home prices picked up in December, closing out 2012 with the biggest yearly gain in more than six years as the housing market got back on its feet, a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday.
  • 9:30 AM » Florida Court Ruling Affirms MERS' Role as Mortgagee
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 9:30 AM by MERS
    Judge Rules Florida Law Uniformly Opposed to Plaintiffs' Claim FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  CONTACT:   Jason Lobo Phone: 703-652-1660 Email: jasonl@mersinc.org Reston, Virginia, February 26, 2013 - MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that Judge John C. Cooper of the State of Florida Circuit Court of the Second Judicial Circuit held "umerous courts have examined, and approved, the use of MERS as a mortgagee" and rejected a private citizen claim alleging violations of Florida False Claims Act (FCA).  In State of Florida and the State of Florida through its Department of Revenue ex. rel. Barbara Stevens and Thomas Stevens v. MERS, et al. , Plaintiffs alleged MERS and its members made false statements when designating MERS as mortgagee on mortgages to avoid documentary stamp taxes. " Florida law is uniformly opposed to Plaintiffs' claim that designating MERS as a mortgagee is a false statement," Judge Cooper held. "Courts in Florida have heard, and rejected, numerous similar challenges to the designation of MERS as mortgagee." As a matter of state law, Judge Cooper noted that Plaintiffs cannot seek compensation through FCA because "Florida law vests exclusive authority for the 'control and administration' of many tax laws, including the Stamp Tax at issue here, in the Florida Department of Revenue," not the court system. The "Stamp Tax" is a single excise tax levied on either a promissory note or mortgage (but not both) evidencing a borrower's promise to pay.  He further held that even if Plaintiffs' could bring their claim under FCA, it would fail because as a prerequisite to FCA claims, Plaintiffs must be an "original source" of the charges made in any suit. Similar charges against MERS, however, have already been disclosed in the public domain for many years and are, as a result, barred under the FCA statute. Judge Cooper further described that even if the...
  • 9:29 AM » JPMorgan Sees $1 Billion in Cost Cuts; Planned Cuts Include Reducing Staff by About 4,000
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 9:29 AM by CNBC
    Please check back for further updates.
  • 9:27 AM » FHFA: U.S. House Prices Rose 1.4 Percent in Fourth Quarter 2012
    Published Tue, Feb 26 2013 9:27 AM by FHFA
    February 26, 2013: U.S. House Prices Rose 1.4 Percent in Fourth Quarter 2012
  • Mon, Feb 25 2013
  • 10:21 PM » Huge protest vote leaves Italy facing deadlock
    Published Mon, Feb 25 2013 10:21 PM by Reuters
    A huge protest vote by Italians enraged by economic hardship and political corruption left the euro zone's third-largest economy facing a dangerous vacuum on Monday after an election in which no group won enough votes to form a government. The result, in which anti-euro parties took more than 50 percent of the vote and a novice populist movement scored a stunning success, rocked global markets with fears of a new euro zone crisis. Europe's common currency slumped against the dollar and yen and U.S. stocks suffered their biggest one-day drop since November. With more than 99 percent of returns in from polling stations, results showed the centre-left had taken a slim victory of around 130,000 votes in the lower house of parliament, enough to give it comfortable control thanks to a big winner's bonus. But no party or likely coalition won enough seats to form a majority in the upper house, creating a deadlocked parliament - the opposite of the stable result that Italy desperately needs to tackle a deep recession, rising unemployment and a massive public debt.
  • 9:29 PM » Corker: Ball is in White House's Court on Proposing Necessary Changes at CFPB to Confirm Full Time Director
    Published Mon, Feb 25 2013 9:29 PM by www.corker.senate.gov
    WASHINGTON – To clarify a Politico report today about him “angling to broker a compromise” with the administration over reforms to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R- Tenn., a member of the Senate Banking Committee, said that after conversations over the past few weeks with a number of stakeholders, the ball is the White House’s court to propose necessary changes at the bureau in order to get enough support for Senate confirmation of a full time director. Richard Cordray is currently serving as head of the CFPB in a temporary appointment that may be in legal jeopardy given a federal appeals court’s challenge to the constitutionality of similar presidential appointments to the National Labor Relations Board that also bypassed Senate confirmation. “I made some suggestions to people at Treasury and the White House as to how they might go about resolving this issue and getting Richard Cordray confirmed. We actually had some success in a similar situation with Carol Galante at the FHA, and there seemed to be an opportunity to do something along those lines here as well. But at this point, the ball is entirely in the White House’s court. By making some modest and reasonable changes to the structure of the CFPB, I think we could have a strong Senate vote confirming Cordray as leader of the organization. But that will require the White House showing a willingness to move the process forward,” Corker said. In December 2012, Corker secured a commitment from FHA Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Housing Carol Galante to make substantial changes to FHA underwriting requirements in order to begin restoring financial stability at FHA after substantial losses, primarily from a flawed reverse mortgage program. Galante sent Corker a letter on December 18, committing unequivocally to the implement these reforms by January 31, and her nomination was later confirmed by...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.corker.senate.gov
  • 9:20 PM » Treasury Nominee Lew Works to Address Concerns
    Published Mon, Feb 25 2013 9:20 PM by www.nytimes.com
    Jacob Lew, who faces the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, is expected to win approval despite questions about his finances and compensation in past jobs.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.nytimes.com
  • 9:19 PM » Lockhart Supports Fed Asset Purchases at Least Into Second Half
    Published Mon, Feb 25 2013 9:19 PM by Business Week
    Lockhart Supports Fed Asset Purchases at Least Into Second Half Businessweek Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said he wants to continue central bank asset purchases at least into the second half of the year to help bring about an improved job market. "Considering current labor market conditions, I think ...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Business Week
  • 9:06 PM » Bernanke Speaks as Italy Becomes New Market Headwind
    Published Mon, Feb 25 2013 9:06 PM by CNBC
    Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to provide soothing words about the Fed's easy money policies Tuesday, but markets may react more to new bearish concerns out of Europe.
  • 5:00 PM » Radian to Sell Shares, Notes to Boost Mortgage-Unit Capital
    Published Mon, Feb 25 2013 5:00 PM by Bloomberg
    Radian to Sell Shares, Notes to Boost Mortgage-Unit Capital Bloomberg Radian Group Inc. (RDN) said it is issuing shares and convertible notes as the company boosts capital for its unprofitable mortgage insurance business. The insurer has begun offering as many as 30 million shares of common stock and $200 million in notes, ... and more »
  • 4:17 PM » Moody's Promises Caps on Mortgage-Bond Ratings as Terms Loosen
    Published Mon, Feb 25 2013 4:17 PM by Bloomberg
    Moody's Promises Caps on Mortgage-Bond Ratings as Terms Loosen Bloomberg Moody's Investors Service said it won't assign its top ratings to certain residential mortgage- bond deals with issuer-friendly terms, signaling a potentially tougher stance than competitors as the market revives. Home-loan securities without government backing ... and more »
  • 4:16 PM » Corker Q&A: Future of consumer bureau with Obama
    Published Mon, Feb 25 2013 4:16 PM by Market Watch
    The ball is in the White House's court when it comes to getting Richard Cordray approved to head a consumer bureau responsible for writing rules for mortgages and other financial services products.
  • 3:53 PM » Boston Fed Chief: Banks May Not Have Enough Capital in a Crisis
    Published Mon, Feb 25 2013 3:53 PM by CNBC
    In a speech given in Seoul Monday, Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren dealt a lethal blow to the argument that bank capital requirements are too high.
  • 3:52 PM » Blueprint calls for shifting housing finance to private sector
    Published Mon, Feb 25 2013 3:52 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan research group called on Monday for winding down government-controlled mortgage finance firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as part of an effort to have private lenders take on more of the risk of supplying the housing market with credit. The proposal from the Bipartisan Policy Center aims to jump-start a [...]
  • 12:53 PM » SIFMA Statement on BPC Housing Commission Recommendations
    Published Mon, Feb 25 2013 12:53 PM by SIFMA
    SIFMA Statement on BPC Housing Commission Recommendations<br/>http://www.sifma.org/news/news.aspx?id=8589942123
  • 12:48 PM » Exclusive: Goldman to begin fresh round of job cuts - sources
    Published Mon, Feb 25 2013 12:48 PM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc plans to begin a fresh round of job cuts as early as this week, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday, with its equities business bracing for bigger cuts than fixed-income trading.
  • 12:48 PM » First U.S. Bank Regulations May Look Strikingly Familiar - Bloomberg
    Published Mon, Feb 25 2013 12:48 PM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg First U.S. Bank Regulations May Look Strikingly Familiar Bloomberg One hundred fifty years ago, the U.S. was two years into a brutal Civil War. The financial cost left the federal government under enormous stress, leading to a result no one had imagined: the first modern system of bank regulation. Before Congress passed An ...
  • 12:47 PM » Will the snake-bite effect hurt housing?
    Published Mon, Feb 25 2013 12:47 PM by Market Watch
    The homebuilders have seen a huge rally off of the lows of bursting of the housing bubble, but all may not be what it seems in the space, as their outperformance vs. the S&P 500 may have finally reached its peak.
  • 11:52 AM » Federal Court in Washington Sides with MERS
    Published Mon, Feb 25 2013 11:52 AM by MERS
    Court Disagrees with Plaintiff's Interpretation of Bain Decision, Rules "Plaintiff's Position Laks Merit" FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   CONTACT:  Jason Lobo Phone: 703-652-1660 Email: jasonl@mersinc.org Reston, Virginia, February 25, 2013 -MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that Chief Judge Marsha J. Pechman of the U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, held that "Plaintiff's bare legal conclusions are not sufficient to uphold his claim" and dismissed with prejudice a three-count complaint alleging violations of Washington's Deed of Trust Act (DTA) and the state's Consumer Protection Act (CPA). In Zalac v. CTX Mortgage Corp.,  Judge Pechman found that under Washington law a foreclosure sale is a prerequisite to any claim alleging DTA violations and since no foreclosure sale actually occurred - only the initiation of the foreclosure proceedings - the plaintiff's claim fails as a matter of law. " Washington does not recognize a claim for wrongful initiation of foreclosure proceedings," she wrote. Judge Pechman also found no merit to Plaintiff's allegations of consumer protection violations. "Plaintiff's position lacks merit because it is a misapplication of the Washington State Supreme Court's decision in Bain v. Metropolitan Mortg. Group, Inc.," she held. Judge Pechman found that the Bain decision did not rule MERS' role in a deed of trust is an automatic violation of the CPA and that the Plaintiff failed to show how he was deceived by MERS. She ruled, therefore, that "ecause Plaintiff has failed to allege any cognizable deceptive or unfair trade or practice arising out of MERS's involvement, the CPA claim is DISMISSED." "Since the Washington Supreme Court's Bain opinion, multiple courts in Washington have rejected DTA and CPA violation claims against MERS," MERSCORP Holdings' Director for Corporate Communications Jason...
  • 8:10 AM » Lowe's Profit Tops Estimates on Housing Recovery
    Published Mon, Feb 25 2013 8:10 AM by Business Week
    Lowe's Profit Tops Estimates on Housing Recovery Businessweek Lowe's Cos. (LOW), the second-largest U.S. home-improvement retailer, posted fourth-quarter profit that exceeded analysts' estimates, helped by spending on remodeling and Hurricane Sandy repairs. Net income fell 11 percent to $288 million, or 26 cents a ... and more »
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Business Week
  • 8:08 AM » One Quarter of US Has More Card Debt Than Savings
    Published Mon, Feb 25 2013 8:08 AM by CNBC
    "The fact of the matter is that America is broke - whether it's mortgages, student loans or credit cards, we are broke," Howard Dvorkin, CPA and founder of ConsolidatedCredit.org.
  • 8:05 AM » US Stocks Seen Up on Strong Gains in Asia
    Published Mon, Feb 25 2013 8:05 AM by CNBC
    U.S. stock index futures signaled a higher open on Monday, despite market jitters as Congress reconvenes to do battle on the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts due to take effect on March 1.
  • Sun, Feb 24 2013
  • 9:42 PM » How could FHA have contributed to the housing bust?
    Published Sun, Feb 24 2013 9:42 PM by www.aei.org
    FHA and HUD led the race to the bottom of loose lending practices--lowest downpayments, lowest credit history requirements, and highest total debt-to-income ratios.
  • 9:41 PM » Why Arcane Mortgage Rules Matter for the Middle Class
    Published Sun, Feb 24 2013 9:41 PM by www.americanprogress.org
    Housing-finance policy decisions being made in Washington will determine whether working Americans and their children will be able to move into the middle class and achieve economic independence.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.americanprogress.org
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