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  • Tue, Nov 19 2013
  • 11:04 PM » Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Reviewed at Subcommittee Hearing
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 11:04 PM by House Financial Services
    The Financial Services Housing and Insurance Subcommittee held a hearing today on the importance of implementing the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act in order to protect taxpayers from having to continue bailing out the debt-ridden National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). With a $24 billion debt, the NFIP is facing serious challenges and cannot continue to operate on its current fiscal trajectory. Since 2006, the Government Accountability Office has labeled the NFIP a "high-risk" to taxpayers. Because the flood insurance program does not charge rates sufficient to cover its obligations and projected losses, it can operate only with significant taxpayer support and has potentially large future liabilities. The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 was an important first step towards reforming the NFIP. The law mandates a series of reforms that the Congressional Budget Office estimates would generate a $2.7 billion increase in net income to the program over the next 10 years. The Biggert-Waters Act also seeks to encourage a greater role for the private sector in providing flood insurance coverage. "After more than a decade in Congress, if I have learned anything, it is that the federal government does a terrible job of underwriting and pricing risk, and that has very real consequences for taxpayers who end up footing the bill for the government's failures," said Subcommittee Chairman Randy Neugebauer (R-TX). "Whether it is Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration, Medicare, or soon to be Obamacare, the failure of the federal government to adequately price risk has piled hundreds of billions of dollars onto our $17 trillion national debt."
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: House Financial Services
  • 11:03 PM » If Fed minutes reveal taper talk, watch yields
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 11:03 PM by CNBC
    Minutes from the Federal Reserve's October meeting could help determine the course of interest rates for the rest of the year.
  • 11:01 PM » Bernanke: Fed committed to easy policy for as long as needed
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 11:01 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday the Fed will maintain ultra-easy U.S. monetary policy for as long as needed and will only begin to taper bond buying once it is assured that labor market improvements would continue.
  • 11:01 PM » ResCap presents creditor payout plan to judge, criticizes bondholders
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 11:01 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - A lawyer for bankrupt Residential Capital on Tuesday asked a judge to confirm the mortgage lender's plan to end its Chapter 11 case and pay back creditors, criticizing "scorched-earth" opposition by bondholders in the opening of what figures to be a marathon hearing.
  • 11:01 PM » Analysis: U.S. retailers brace for margin hit from holiday discounts
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 11:01 PM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - Shoppers like stay-at-home mom Susan Sterling are American retailers' worst nightmare this holiday season.
  • 5:16 PM » Fed's Evans Says Bond Buying May Total More Than $1.5 Trillion - Bloomberg
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 5:16 PM by Bloomberg
    Fed's Evans Says Bond Buying May Total More Than $1.5 Trillion Bloomberg Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans, a voter on policy this year, said the Fed may buy $1.5 trillion in bonds from January 2013 through January 2015 to ensure steady employment gains. "Given the current conditions, I won't be  ... and more »
  • 5:13 PM » Realtors® Demand Immediate Relief for Homeowners Impacted by Unforeseen and Exponential Increases in Flood Insurance Premiums
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 5:13 PM by Google News
    Homeowners across the country should not be forced to pay for the sudden and dramatic flood insurance premium increases that are the unintended consequence of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, insisted the National Association of Realtors® today in testimony before the U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance. “We need a ‘time out’ from the implementation of the law,” said former NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi... Read More
  • 4:30 PM » Yellen Responds to Senators' Questions Following Hearing
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 4:30 PM by WSJ
    Janet Yellen declined to tip her hand to Congress about whether she thinks the central bank should change guidance it has given for when it will raise short-term interest rates.
  • 3:58 PM » Bank Bashers Will Regret Their Zeal - Bloomberg
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 3:58 PM by Bloomberg
    Bank Bashers Will Regret Their Zeal Bloomberg Banks are taking a beating from every quarter. They are fined billions of dollars by national and international regulators because their traders manipulated this or that market indicator. They are slapped with hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties for  ...
  • 3:00 PM » How Would Fed Deal With Debt Ceiling Crisis? Look to Minutes for Clues
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 3:00 PM by WSJ
    Fed officials could provide some clarity on how they might handle a debt ceiling crisis when they release minutes of their October policy meeting Wednesday.
  • 2:59 PM » Justice Department, Federal and State Partners Secure Record $13 Billion Global Settlement with JPMorgan for Misleading Investors About Securities Containing Toxic Mortgages
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 2:59 PM by www.justice.gov
    The Justice Department, along with federal and state partners, today announced a $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan - the largest settlement with a single entity in American history - to resolve federal and state civil claims arising out of the packaging, marketing, sale and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) by JPMorgan, Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual prior to Jan. 1, 2009. As part of the settlement, JPMorgan acknowledged it made serious misrepresentations to the public - including the investing public - about numerous RMBS transactions. The resolution also requires JPMorgan to provide much needed relief to underwater homeowners and potential homebuyers, including those in distressed areas of the country. The settlement does not absolve JPMorgan or its employees from facing any possible criminal charges.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.justice.gov
  • 2:10 PM » Fed's Yellen: policy to stay easy after threshold crossed -letter
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 2:10 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. monetary policy will probably remain very easy for a long while after either the Federal Reserve's interest rate hike threshold on unemployment, or inflation, has been crossed, Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen said in a letter to a U.S. lawmaker.
  • 2:07 PM » 2014: The Emerging Purchase Market
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 2:07 PM by freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com
    2014: The Emerging Purchase Market
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com
  • 12:40 PM » Residential Property Taxes in the United States
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 12:40 PM by webfeeds.brookings.edu
    This brief presents an overview of residential property taxes in the United States. We consider recent trends in aggregate property tax revenues and examine the property tax at the county level. Property taxes are an important source of revenue for local governments, though effective property tax rates vary substantially by state and region. The counties with the highest property tax burdens tend to be in New York and New Jersey, while the counties with the lowest property tax burdens are located in Alabama and Louisiana. Most counties levy property taxes that are around $1,000 per homeowner and below 1 percent of house value. Overview In the United States, virtually all local governments levy taxes on real property, including land, commercial properties, and residential homes. 1 Property tax burdens are determined by the property tax rate and the tax base, the latter of which is determined by both the assessed value of the property and the assessment ratio (the share of the assessed value that is subject to tax). Assessed values can vary with the market value of the property or be based on the value when the property is acquired. 2 For residential homeowners, the burden of the property tax is substantial, making up about one quarter of homeownership costs at the median homeownership duration (Harris 2013). States have instituted a wide array of laws to limit property tax burdens. These burdens range from restrictions on the property tax "formula" (the rate and assessment calculation) to reductions or outright elimination of tax liability. 3 Specific homestead exemptions lower property tax bills for owner-occupied housing while "circuit breakers" reduce the level of tax for targeted homeowners (usually the elderly or low-income households). Abatements eliminate the tax on designated parcels of land or for classes of taxpayer (e.g., seniors or veterans). Moreover, some states require supermajorities to increase property taxes. 4 Virtually all states...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: webfeeds.brookings.edu
  • 12:39 PM » Making Home Affordable Heads to the Sunshine State to Help Struggling Homeowners
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 12:39 PM by www.treasury.gov
    The U.S. Department of the Treasury is heading to Florida this Friday to host a free Help for Homeowners Event at the Westin Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, FL. The event will provide homeowners an opportunity to explore options for lowering their mortgage payments, learn about alternatives to foreclosure, and gain a better understanding of their eligibility for help through the federal Making Home Affordable program. At the event, sponsored by Treasury, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the HOPE NOW Alliance and NeighborWorks® America, homeowners will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with some of the nation's largest mortgage servicers and non-profit HUD-approved housing counseling agencies. Making Home Affordable's most recent event was in Philadelphia last month. The exit survey revealed that more than 87 percent of attendees were satisfied with the help they received. We encourage homeowners from across Florida to participate in this month's Help for Homeowners event. Whether you have tried to modify your mortgage unsuccessfully, or have recently experienced a financial setback, we will have an array of resources to help homeowners having a tough time making their mortgage payments. Among the most recent programs to launch in Florida is the Elderly Mortgage Assistance Program (ELMORE) . Funded by Treasury's Hardest Hit Fund (HHF), ELMORE assists homeowners with Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, better known as reverse mortgages. ELMORE is designed to help homeowners, who because of financial hardship, are having difficulty making property tax and homeowner's insurance payments and may be facing foreclosure as a result. Representatives from the ELMORE program, will be on-site at the Nov. 22 Help for Homeowners event, providing assistance for those who have questions about the program. To prepare for the event, all homeowners should bring as much of their mortgage and financial documentation as possible, including...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.treasury.gov
  • 12:06 PM » Lew says big budget deal unlikely without revenues
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 12:06 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration said on Tuesday that budget negotiators in Congress would probably fail to strike a far-reaching deal unless Republicans agree to raise revenues and overhaul the tax code.
  • 12:05 PM » Big Banks Prepared For U.S. Default
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 12:05 PM by The Huffington Post
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - As the United States threatened to default on its debt last month, major U.S. banks set up war rooms, spent many millions of dollars on contingency planning and, in some cases, even prepared to underwrite federal government benefits. In a series of interviews with top bank executives, new details emerged about the extent of the contingency planning that was undertaken before and during the 16-day government shutdown and as a potential default loomed. The planning for worst-case scenarios didn't come cheap. JPMorgan alone has spent more than $100 million on contingency planning for U.S. budget crises in recent years including this one, sources close to the bank say. It has reviewed and analyzed thousands of trading contracts, updated computer systems to handle fiscal emergencies, hired consultants, and built new models to figure out what might happen to securities prices. It may not go to waste. The temporary budget agreement that President Barack Obama signed shortly after midnight on October 17 to end the shutdown and lift the default threat, authorizes government spending through January 15 and eases enforcement of the debt limit until February 7, creating the potential for another budget crisis early next year, even as some Republicans vow they will avoid it. With each crisis, the once-unthinkable scenario of a U.S. default becomes a little more real, bank executives said. "You could tell in the market that people were getting prepared much more this time for a potential default than last time," said a person involved with contingency planning at a major U.S. bank. "The threat moved the market, and people were preparing, whereas the first time there was little movement because most people didn't think it would happen." The latest budget dust-up was the third in two years. In August 2011, fiscal battles led to the downgrade of the U.S. credit rating by Standard & Poor's, and then 16 months later, the discord...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Huffington Post
  • 10:48 AM » More evidence ‘average is over' and the US middle class is thinning
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 10:48 AM by www.aei-ideas.org
    A key claim made by economist Tyler Cowen in his excellent book Average Is Over: Powering American Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation is that the US middle class is thinning out due to job polarization and that the trend … read more >
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.aei-ideas.org
  • 10:43 AM » JPMorgan $13 billion mortgage deal expected Tuesday
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 10:43 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co is expected on Tuesday to sign a $13 billion deal with the U.S. government to settle claims that the bank misrepresented the quality of the mortgages it sold to investors during the housing boom, two people familiar with the matter said.
  • 10:39 AM » Home Price Conditions interactive maps and charts updated as of September 2013
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 10:39 AM by NY Fed
    Home Price Conditions interactive maps and charts updated as of September 2013
  • 10:10 AM » Developers? Sentiment About Multifamily Market Off Recent Peak, but Remains Positive
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 10:10 AM by NAHB
    Press Release
  • 8:53 AM » Treasurys slip ahead of Bernanke, FOMC minutes
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 8:53 AM by Market Watch
    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Treasury prices slipped Tuesday, paring back gains in recent sessions as the market looks for signs about when the Federal Reserve will begin winding down its bond-buying stimulus. Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to speak Tuesday evening, and the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee's last meeting will be released on Wednesday. The benchmark 10-year note yield, which moves inversely to price, rose 1 basis point to 2.684%. The 5-year note yield rose 2 basis points to 1.337%, and the 30-year bond yield rose a basis point to 3.767%.
  • 8:53 AM » Home Depot raises outlook again after strong quarter
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 8:53 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - A recovery in the U.S. housing market helped Home Depot Inc to top profit and sales estimates for the third quarter, prompting the No. 1 home improvement chain to raise its fiscal-year outlook for the third time this year on Tuesday.
  • 8:52 AM » U.S. labor costs point to still-benign inflation
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 8:52 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. labor costs rose marginally in the third quarter, pointing to tame wage inflation that should allow the Federal Reserve to maintain its bond-buying program to stimulate the economy.
  • 8:51 AM » Census ‘faked' 2012 election jobs report
    Published Tue, Nov 19 2013 8:51 AM by nypost.com
    In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply - raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington. The decline - from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September - might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated. And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it. Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy. And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee - that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.
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