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  • Fri, Feb 15 2013
  • 1:06 PM » CFPB: Qualified mortgages explained
    Published Fri, Feb 15 2013 1:06 PM by CFPB
    Recently, we issued the Ability-to-Repay/Qualified Mortgage rule (also known as ATR/QM) to protect consumers from irresponsible lending and lay the framework for stability to the mortgage market. The new rule is designed to ensure that lenders offer mortgages that consumers can actually afford to pay back. Under these rules, lenders will have to evaluate each [...]
  • 12:10 PM » Awaiting proof of the "Great Rotation"
    Published Fri, Feb 15 2013 12:10 PM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - The jury's out on the big investment theme of 2013 - the so-called "Great Rotation" out of expensive bonds back into undervalued equity - and don't hold your breath for a verdict any time soon. Only six weeks into a new year is early to judge what many see as a glacial shift that could take more than 10 years to play out, reversing a move into bonds by major pension and insurance funds that itself took a couple of decades. But with market pricing seemingly playing the "rotation" tune already this year, strategists are scru
  • 8:53 AM » DataQuick: January California Home Sales Report
    Published Fri, Feb 15 2013 8:53 AM by DataQuick
    California January Home Sales February 14, 2013 An estimated 28,871 new and resale houses and condos sold statewide last month. That was down 27.4 percent from 39,760 in December, and up 2.7 percent from 28,111 sales in January 2012, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. A sales decline from December to January is normal for the season. January sales in California have varied from a low of 19,145 in 2008 to a high of 47,138 in 2004. Last month's sales were 8.7 percent below the average of 31,607 sales for all months of January since 1988, when DataQuick's statistics begin. The median price paid for a home in California last month was $290,000, down 3.0 percent from $299,000 in December and up 22.9 percent from $236,000 in January 2012. January marked the 11th consecutive month in which the state's median sale price rose year-over-year. Last month's gain was the highest since January 2005, when the median at that time, $399,500, also rose 22.9 percent year-over-year. In March/April/May 2007 the median peaked at $484,000, then it declined to a low of $221,000 in April 2009. Of the existing homes sold in January, 18.7 percent were properties that had been foreclosed on during the past year. That was up from a revised 15.8 percent in December and down from 34.3 percent a year earlier. Foreclosure resales peaked at 58.8 percent in February 2009. Short sales - transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property - made up an estimated 26.1 percent of the homes that resold statewide last month. That was down from an estimated 26.4 percent the month before and 27.0 percent a year earlier. The typical mortgage payment that home buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,030. That was down from $1,054 in December and up from $906 a year earlier. Adjusted for inflation, the year-ago payment was the lowest in DataQuick's records. Last month's typical payment was 54.7 percent below the 1989 peak of the prior real estate...
  • 8:52 AM » Where Have All the Foreclosures Gone?
    Published Fri, Feb 15 2013 8:52 AM by
    Foreclosure fillings rise, shadow inventory remains.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 8:51 AM » Elizabeth Warren Embarrasses Bank Regulators
    Published Fri, Feb 15 2013 8:51 AM by The Huffington Post
    WASHINGTON -- Bank regulators got a sense Thursday of how their lives will be slightly different now that Elizabeth Warren sits on a Senate committee overseeing their agencies. At her first Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing, Warren questioned top regulators from the alphabet soup that is the nation's financial regulatory structure: the FDIC, SEC, OCC, CFPB, CFTC, Fed and Treasury. The Democratic senator from Massachusetts had a straightforward question for them: When was the last time you took a Wall Street bank to trial? It was a harder question than it seemed. "We do not have to bring people to trial," Thomas Curry, head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, assured Warren, declaring that his agency had secured a large number of "consent orders," or settlements. "I appreciate that you say you don't have to bring them to trial. My question is, when did you bring them to trial?" she responded. "We have not had to do it as a practical matter to achieve our supervisory goals," Curry offered. Warner turned to Elisse Walter, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who said that the agency weighs how much it can extract from a bank without taking it to court against the cost of going to trial. "I appreciate that. That's what everybody does," said Warren, a former Harvard law professor. "Can you identify the last time when you took the Wall Street banks to trial?" "I will have to get back to you with specific information," Walter said as the audience tittered. "There are district attorneys and United States attorneys out there every day squeezing ordinary citizens on sometimes very thin grounds and taking them to trial in order to make an example, as they put it. I'm really concerned that 'too big to fail' has become 'too big for trial,'" Warren said. A Warren constituent, open-Internet activist Aaron Swartz, recently committed...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Huffington Post
  • 8:51 AM » Regulators Open to Lending-Rule Changes
    Published Fri, Feb 15 2013 8:51 AM by WSJ
    Top U.S. financial regulators say they are open to making big changes to a mortgage rule proposed nearly two years ago---to ensure consumers can get home loans.
  • 8:49 AM » Financial Crisis Cost Is Staggering, Government Report Finds
    Published Fri, Feb 15 2013 8:49 AM by The Huffington Post
    The 2008 financial crisis cost the U.S. economy more than $22 trillion, a study by the Government Accountability Office published Thursday said. The financial reform law that aims to prevent another crisis, by contrast, will cost a fraction of that. "The 2007-2009 financial crisis, like past financial crises, was associated with not only a steep decline in output but also the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s," the GAO wrote in the report. The agency said the financial crisis toll on economic output may be as much as $13 trillion -- an entire year's gross domestic product. The office said paper wealth lost by U.S. homeowners totalled $9.1 billion. Additionally, the GAO noted, economic losses associated with increased mortgage foreclosures and higher unemployment since 2008 need to be considered as additional costs. The report, five years after the collapse of mortgage-focused hedge funds in late-2007 set off a yearlong banking panic and a deep recession, was published as part of a cost-benefit analysis of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law of 2010. The GAO tried to determine if the benefits of preventing a future economic meltdown exceeded the costs of implementing that law. "If the cost of a future crisis is expected to be in the trillions of dollars, then the act likely would need to reduce the probability of a future financial crisis by only a small percent for its expected benefit to equal the act's expected cost," the GAO concluded. Federal agencies have spent some $1.1 billion in implementing the law, the report found. Financial companies, and therefore the wider economy, will shoulder some costs, although the GAO noted "no comprehensive data are readily available on the costs that the financial services industry is incurring to comply with the Dodd-Frank Act." It's unclear whether the report will mollify critics of the Dodd-Frank law. Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, the top Republican on...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Huffington Post
  • 8:48 AM » Cordray details mortgage rule implementation
    Published Fri, Feb 15 2013 8:48 AM by NAFCU
    The CFPB says it will be coordinating with other agencies, producing plain-language guides, updating its official interpretations, preparing readiness guides and educating consumers in coming months to ensure smooth implementation of the bureau's ability-to-repay and mortgage servicing rules.
  • 8:28 AM » Stock futures tick down ahead of production, consumer data
    Published Fri, Feb 15 2013 8:28 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock index futures dipped on Friday, continuing a trend this week of thin volume and tight trading bands, as the S&P 500 struggled to extend its streak of weekly gains to seven.
  • 8:26 AM » Krugman Says Fed Low Rates Key to Housing Recovery
    Published Fri, Feb 15 2013 8:26 AM by Bloomberg
    Krugman Says Fed Low Rates Key to Housing Recovery: Tom Keene Bloomberg Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said the Federal Reserve must keep interest rates low to sustain the U.S. housing recovery. "We have the beginnings of a housing recovery, it's just starting to kick in," the Princeton University economics professor ...
  • 8:25 AM » Mortgage Servicing Rules Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)
    Published Fri, Feb 15 2013 8:25 AM by
    The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection is amending Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act and the official interpretation to the regulation, which interprets the requirements of Regulation Z. This final rule implements provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act regarding mortgage loan servicing. Specifically, this final rule implements Dodd- Frank Act sections addressing initial rate adjustment notices for adjustable-rate mortgages, periodic statements for residential mortgage loans, prompt crediting of mortgage payments, and responses to requests for payoff amounts. This final rule also amends current rules governing the scope, timing, content, and format of disclosures to consumers regarding the interest rate adjustments of their variable-rate transactions. Concurrently with the issuance of this final rule, the Bureau is amending Regulation X, which contains companion rules implementing amendments to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

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