Investments

BofA approaching $7 billion of consumer relief in toxic mortgage settlement

Monitor says bank reaches 97% of relief obligation
Bank of America is almost finished with providing $7 billion in consumer relief required as part of its $16.65 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, certain federal agencies and six states to resolve claims over toxic residential mortgage-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations and an origination release on residential mortgage loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
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Opendoor raises $210 million, plans big expansion in 2017

Funding reportedly values online marketplace above $1 billion
Opendoor, an online marketplace that buys homes direct from homeowners, announced plans to expand beyond the two markets where it’s currently available thanks to a round of funding that reportedly values the company above $1 billion.
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Wells Fargo splits Chairman and CEO roles in wake of fake account scandal

Changes bylaws to ensure "independence"
In the wake of Wells Fargo’s fake account scandal, which led to the bank being fined $185 million and other significant changes at the bank, some blamed the bank’s executive structure for allowing the millions of fake accounts to go unnoticed for so long. Moving forward, one person will not be allowed to serve as both chairman and CEO of the bank, as the bank’s board of directors announced this week that it is splitting the roles.
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Employment report shows solid increase despite tight labor force

On track for rate hike in December
The employment report increased by what some economist are saying is a “solid” number considering the unemployment level hitting its lowest point since 2007. However, the report is not without its critics, who say that while a December rate hike is still probable, the unemployment number is not as great as it looks.
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Allied Home Mortgage, CEO Jim Hodge ordered to pay $92 million for FHA fraud

Jury hands victory to U.S., which initially wanted $834 million
A little over five years ago, the government sued Allied Home Mortgage, its various entities, and its president and CEO, Jim Hodge for $834 million, claiming that Allied engaged in repeated fraud against the Federal Housing Administration over a 10-year period. Now, after a long legal battle, the government secured a victory against Allied Home Mortgage and Hodge, as this week, a federal jury unanimously found Allied Home Mortgage and Hodge liable for civil mortgage fraud.
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Blackstone reportedly files to take Invitation Homes public

WSJ reports IPO could raise $1.5 billion
Blackstone Group is apparently moving forward in its plans to take its single-family rental unit, Invitation Homes, public in 2017. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Blackstone is taking the next step in the process, reportedly filing confidentially for an IPO that could come “as soon as January.”
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Is Ben Carson as HUD secretary a good idea? Reactions vary wildly

Some view Carson’s (potential) appointment as direct affront to Obama’s efforts
Well, it’s been a few days since HousingWire reported that Ben Carson intended to accept President-elect Donald Trump’s offer to serve as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, but there’s been no official word yet. Since tweeting about the job last week, Carson’s Twitter feed has been quiet. But that hasn’t stopped reactions to Carson’s (potential) appointment at HUD from pouring in from all sides.
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From HW Magazine

State of the private money industry

The fix-and-flip market tells investors everything they need to know
The marketplace is full of hard and private money lenders — it will come down to who can best assist investors in completing their goals, whether that be by providing quicker close times, or with more accurate valuations. With how many options there are for borrowers, lenders will need to start competing for marketshare as borrowers shop their situations to multiple lenders, leveraging the offers against each other. This process will force lenders to update their guidelines, or be forced out of the market.
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