Ben Lane

Ben Lane

Ben Lane is the Senior Financial Reporter for HousingWire. In this role, he helps set a leading pace for news coverage spanning the issues driving the U.S. housing economy. Previously, he worked for TownSquareBuzz, a hyper-local news service. He is a graduate of University of North Texas. Follow Ben on Twitter at @BenLaneHW.

ARTICLES

Hensarling compares CFPB to a tyranny

House Financial Services Committee Chairman continues assault on CFPB
It’s probably safe to say that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, is no fan of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And as Hensarling told the Dallas Morning News in a recent interview, there are plenty of good reasons to change the CFPB.
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California home sales start 2017 on a strong note

Median sales price drops below $500,000 for first time since March 2016
While winter usually means a decline in home sales, California just saw its first increase in home sales between December and January since 2012, a sign that the Golden State could be in for a strong housing year.
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Waterstone Mortgage to ring opening bell at Nasdaq

Executives and 40 loan originators to open day’s trading on Feb. 21
More than 40 of Waterstone Mortgage Corporation’s personnel will ring the opening bell at Nasdaq on Feb. 21, 2017 as part of a ceremony honoring the company’s top loan originators.
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California regulator reveals what Ocwen did wrong

Auditor found "hundreds" of violations of law
Ocwen Financial announced late last week that it successfully extricated itself from the mortgage servicing restrictions placed on it by the California Department of Business Oversight. The final settlement total included $198 million in debt forgiveness. So why was the settlement so big? Turns out that Ocwen’s operations weren’t exactly squeaky clean for the last few years.
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What does Trump's SEC chair choice think about deregulation?

WSJ provides inside look at Jay Clayton’s likely approach
President Donald Trump recently selected a new leader for one of the government’s top financial regulators, nominating top Wall Street lawyer Jay Clayton to serve as the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission. But what does Clayton think about the current state of financial regulations? Here's a glimpse.
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Ocwen reaches $223 million settlement with California over servicing violations

Mortgage servicing restrictions lifted, can now acquire California MSRs
Ocwen Financial announced late Friday that it reached a $223 million settlement with the California Department of Business Oversight, ridding itself of the restrictions that hampered its mortgage business in California for more than two years. The settlement includes a cash payment of $25 million. Ocwen is also required to provide an additional $198 million in debt forgiveness.
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Altisource Portfolio Solutions to pay $32 million to settle class action suit over Ocwen relationship

Investors sued when stock plummeted after NYDFS investigation
Altisource Portfolio Solutions revealed recently that the CFPB is looking into the company’s relationship with Ocwen Financial. But that wasn’t the only Ocwen-related revelation of the week. The company also reached a $32 million settlement in a class action lawsuit brought by Altisource investors who claimed financial harm after Altisource’s stock plummeted when the New York Department of Financial Services began investigating the company’s relationship with Ocwen in 2014.
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Freddie Mac selling off $759 million in non-performing loans

First NPL sale of 2017
Recently, Fannie Mae announced its first non-performing loan sale of 2017, stating that it plans to sell 10,000 delinquent loans with a total unpaid principal balance of $1.76 billion from its portfolio. Fannie Mae’s fellow government-sponsored enterprise announced a NPL sale of its own on Friday.
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Goldman Sachs: Mortgage interest rates will rise to 5.5% by 2019

Current 30-year mortgage rate is approximately 4.15%
The most recent data from Freddie Mac shows that the average interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage is around 4.15%, but interest rates are going to increase by a significant margin over the next few years, analysts from Goldman Sachs said in a new report. Here are the details.
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White House spokesperson: Trump believes CFPB is "unaccountable"

WSJ reports that President Trump disagrees with Court of Appeals ruling
Given the Trump administration’s recent maneuvering to fire Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, it’s probably not a surprise that President Donald Trump disagrees with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s decision to rehear a challenge to the CFPB’s constitutionality.
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