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  • Wed, Apr 11 2012
  • 11:58 PM » Gross Cuts Treasuries, Raises Mortgages in Fed Buy Bet - Bloomberg
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 11:58 PM by Bloomberg
    Gross Cuts Treasuries, Raises Mortgages in Fed Buy Bet Bloomberg Bill Gross, who runs the world's biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., cut holdings of Treasuries last month to 32 percent, the lowest since December, and raised mortgages to the most since 2009. Gross reduced the proportion of US ... and more »
  • 11:57 PM » Fed's Yellen makes case for keeping rates low
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 11:57 PM by Market Watch
    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The Federal Reserve's number-two ranking official on Wednesday made the case for keeping interest rates low for some time, arguing the economy will continue to grow only gradually and that the unemployment rate will remain high for years. "Based on such analysis, I consider a highly accommodative policy stance to be appropriate in present circumstances," said Janet Yellen, the Fed's vice chair. She presented at New York University a number of models and rules that, if followed, wouldn't begin interest rates hikes until 2015 and possibly later. Yellen, making her first speech since November, insisted that the Fed's current guidance isn't that the central bank "will" keep rates exceptionally low until at least 2014 - only that it anticipates the economy will evolve in a way that would warrant such policy. She said a new round of asset purchases would only be appropriate if the economy grows more slowly than forecast and said rate hikes would be needed only if the economy grows more rapidly or if the economy's productive potential is less than what she currently forecasts.
  • 11:55 PM » Fed: Yellen, The Economic Outlook and Monetary Policy
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 11:55 PM by Federal Reserve
    Speech at the Money Marketeers of New York University, New York, New York
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Federal Reserve
  • 11:47 PM » Mortgage Applications Point to Higher Priced Homes
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 11:47 PM by CNBC
    The average size of a mortgage purchase application increased 9 percent from December to the end of March, from $214,500 to $233,300 in March, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
  • 5:58 PM » Justice Department Settles Lawsuit Against City of New Berlin, Wisconsin, for Blocking Affordable Housing
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 5:58 PM by
    The Department of Justice announced today that it has settled its lawsuit against the city of New Berlin, Wis., for race discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 2:12 PM » HuffPost Politics Blog: Housing As a Pathway to Better Health and More Opportunity
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 2:12 PM by
    Sandra B. Henriquez Assistant Secretary for HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing This entry was co-authored with HUD Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research Dr. Raphael Bostic. The connection between housing and health is one that average families feel every day. More than 6.8 million American households pay more than half their income for [...]
  • 2:12 PM » Economic Report: ‘Modest to moderate' economic growth: Beige Book
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 2:12 PM by Market Watch
    The U.S. economy continued to grow at a "modest to moderate pace" over the last month, the Federal Reserve says in the latest publication of anecdotes.
  • 2:00 PM » DeMarco signals new openness to principal reductions, but is focused on the numbers
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 2:00 PM by National Housing Conference
    by Sarah Jawaid, National Housing Conference FHFA Acting Director Edward DeMarco shared preliminarily analysis that principal reductions could save the GSEs $9.9 billion, which is $1.7 billion more than savings from existing principal forbearance policy, in part due to increased HAMP incentive payments from the Treasury. Speaking at the Brookings Institution April 10, DeMarco bluntly stated he was not yet ready to announce a decision on whether to encourage principal reductions, but he laid out the results calculated thus far. In his remarks, DeMarco also: Offered more detail on principal forbearance. Currently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have several tools available to help struggling borrowers-interest rate reduction, term extension, and principal forbearance. DeMarco's remarks offer more detail about what terms and constraints apply to principal forbearance, which sets aside a portion of principal and requires no payments and accrues no interest on it for a period of time. This can make a significant difference in reducing a too-high monthly payment, but unlike a shared-appreciation modification, principal forbearance does not provide much renewed hope that deeply underwater borrowers can get their heads above water. Were the GSEs to make their policies on the back end clearer (what could be approved as short sales or whether they would pursue deficiency judgments, for instance), there might be more to motivate deeply underwater borrowers. Highlighted concern about borrower response. DeMarco, in essence, stated that the GSEs' large market presence means policy changes on principal reduction are more visible, have to be more standardized, and may be more likely to trigger changes in borrower behavior. He did not discuss specific figures on likelihood of strategic default, but focused rather on simple calculations of to compare cost of strategic defaults to savings generated. Noted operational costs of modification programs. Modifying lots of mortgages requires...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: National Housing Conference
  • 1:59 PM » Rogers: Restoring Trust in the Financial Service Industry
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 1:59 PM by CNBC
    In this post the President and CEO of the CFA Institute writes, "I believe that the next generation of leaders in finance will be defined not by the amount of money they can amass, but by the stewardship they exercise as fiduciaries and the responsibility they demonstrate to their communities."
  • 1:59 PM » Strategic Defaults Not Going Away Anytime Soon
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 1:59 PM by FICO
    I've been blogging about results from our latest quarterly survey of US bank risk officers - specifically how they expect loan delinquencies to drop and credit availability to expand. Today, I'll focus on survey results from the housing sector. Notably, nearly 2/3 of respondents think strategic defaults will be as big a problem - or even bigger - in 2012 than in 2011. Some 46 percent expect the volume of strategic defaults to increase in 2012, while another 19 percent expect the number to stay the same.After five years of a brutal housing market, many people view their homes more objectively and with less sentimentality. That isn't surprising when as many as 1 in 4 homeowners are underwater. Regardless of legal or ethical issues around strategic defaults, mortgage lenders and servicers must account for this risk. It's clear that many homeowners who find themselves upside down on mortgages consider strategic default as an acceptable exit strategy. Concerns about strategic defaults were also reflected in response to a survey question about the consumer payment hierarchy. When we asked if the current generation of homeowners considers their mortgage to be their most important credit obligation, 49 percent of bankers said no. Only 29 percent said yes.Despite worries about strategic defaults, other signs in our survey point to a growing sense of stability in the housing market. Twenty-six percent of respondents expect mortgage delinquencies to decline in the coming months. While this isn't great, it is higher than at any previous time in the two years we've been conducting the survey. Furthermore, 53 percent said the housing market will improve by the end of 2012, compared to 24 percent who said the market will deteriorate.Ultimately, when bankers are truly convinced that the housing market is back, we should see a strong uptick in the supply of mortgage financing. I don't think we're quite there yet. A majority of survey respondents (56 percent...
  • 1:59 PM » Stress Tests Create "False Sense of Security": Fed's George
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 1:59 PM by CNBC
    It's not every day that a bank regulator argues that financial regulations and monetary policy contributed to the near collapse of the financial system.
  • 10:13 AM » Freddie Mac to sell new 7-year notes Thursday: IFR
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 10:13 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - Freddie Mac is planning to sell new seven-year reference notes on Thursday, April 12, said IFR, a Thomson Reuters service.
  • 10:12 AM » Housing group files bias complaint against Wells Fargo
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 10:12 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A nonprofit group on Tuesday filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. government accusing Wells Fargo & Co. of a failure to maintain foreclosed homes in minority neighborhoods compared with those vacant properties it owns in white areas. The complaint was filed by the National Fair Housing Alliance with the U.S. Department [...]
  • 10:11 AM » CoreLogic Releases April MarketPulse Report
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 10:11 AM by
    MEDIA ADVISORY -Report Reveals Potential Size of REO Rental Market in 2012 Is More Than $100 Billion Dollars- CoreLogic ® (NYSE: CLGX), a leading provider of information, analytics and business services, today released its April CoreLogic MarketPulse report. The monthly economic publication provides insight into the current and future health of the U.S. economic climate with particular focus on housing and mortgage metrics. Chief Economist Mark Fleming and Senior Economist Sam Khater authored the articles and commentary. The April MarketPulse report: Indicates "now is a good time to buy," with housing affordability at its highest level ever (as of February 2012), and shows many of the key housing metrics are holding steady through the typically slow winter season. Reports the single-family rental market is strong and vibrant with high and stable rents, low months' supply and a healthy pace of signed rental leasings. The report reveals what markets offer the best return for single-family rental investors. "The potential size of the rental market for REOs this year (and annually over the next few years) is over $100 billion dollars," said Khater in the report. Shows capitalization rates for single-family rental properties in 26 geographically diverse markets. Capitalization rates are the most common metric for determining the profitability of an investment property. Provides a chart of the rent-to-mortgage ratio for Miami, Fla. The chart indicates the point in time when it became cheaper to buy than to rent, providing insight to investors buying and holding rental properties, as well as to new first-time home buyers. For a complete copy of the April CoreLogic MarketPulse report, including a complete set of data and charts, visit . About CoreLogic CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX) is a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information, analytics and services to business...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 10:10 AM » Edward DeMarco's Unforgiving Stance on Troubled Homeowners - Bloomberg
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 10:10 AM by Bloomberg
    Edward DeMarco's Unforgiving Stance on Troubled Homeowners Bloomberg A new analysis shows allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to forgive a portion of a troubled borrower's outstanding home loan may actually save the mortgage giants $1.7 billion. That still may not be enough to convince Federal Housing Finance Agency ... and more »
  • 10:09 AM » NY pushes objection to BofA $8.5 billion mortgage pact
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 10:09 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp's proposed $8.5 billion mortgage bond settlement received fresh opposition on Tuesday from New York's attorney general, who said the accord appears unfair to investors who may deserve to recover more.
  • 9:55 AM » AIG planning real estate investments: report
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 9:55 AM by Market Watch
    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- American International Group Inc. plans to return to investing in U.S. property, after years of downsizing its real estate business, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, the newspaper reported that AIG is beginning to make plans for new investments across the U.S. later this year. A real estate unit of AIG has contacted developers of new apartment buildings in major metropolitan markets, the newspaper reported. AIG had been selling off a real estate portfolio that was once valued at $24 billion in order to pay back U.S. government loans made during the 2008 financial crisis.
  • 9:50 AM » KC Fed's George attacks too-big-to-fail policies
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 9:50 AM by Market Watch
    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Kansas City Fed President Esther George on Wednesday said the most important step in restoring market discipline to the financial system would be to eliminate too-big-to-fail policies, including taking advantage of a provision in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that would force divestitures or termination of new activities within 180 days if a financial holding company isn't well managed or capitalized. Speaking at the 21st annual Hyman P. Minsky Conference in New York, she also said bank capital standards, in particular leverage requirements tied to equity capital, need to be strengthened as she fretted about the lengthy transition period of Basel III. She worries about risk-based capital standards because banks are quick to arbitrage whatever standards there are and because it is hard to say risk weights have been accurate measures of risk. She said she supported the implementation of the Volcker Rule and added there may be more financial activities that are incompatible with public safety nets.
  • 9:50 AM » Lenders Again Dealing Credit to Risky Clients
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 9:50 AM by CNBC
    Lenders Again Dealing Credit to Risky Clients<br/>
  • 9:48 AM » NAFCU urges FHFA against principal forgiveness
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 9:48 AM by NAFCU
    Principal forgiveness on loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would ultimately hurt the housing market and "cost credit unions and their members greatly," NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker said in a letter Tuesday to Ed DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
  • 9:46 AM » Most Luxurious Golf Homes
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 9:46 AM by CNBC
    The team at Top Ten Real Estate Deals has just compiled the annual list of the most luxurious golf homes on the market, so they dug up information on a few of the private estates of professional golfers. For the rest of this list, they sought out high-end properties located on award-winning golf courses across North America. The resulting ten homes reflect styles from Antebellum to modern. They range from a reproduction of a 17th century British palace to a couple of homes situated on the 18th hole.
  • 9:44 AM » What the proposed mortgage servicing rules could mean for you
    Published Wed, Apr 11 2012 9:44 AM by CFPB
    Delinquencies. Defaults. Foreclosures. Let's face it: before the housing crisis, these and many other terms were foreign to many of us. Since 2008, however, they've become much more commonplace across America. There's no doubt that the mortgage servicing market can be confusing for the average consumer to understand and navigate. And it's even more overwhelming [...]
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