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

Trump Treasury pick Mnuchin opposes recap and release of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Previously said GSE conservatorship will end
For the first three hours of the confirmation hearing of Steve Mnuchin, the Trump administration’s choice to lead the Department of the Treasury, nearly all of the housing-related discussion centered on the mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices of OneWest Bank, the bank that Mnuchin formerly chaired. But that changed when Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, began questioning Mnuchin about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
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Sources: Trump plans repeal of FHA mortgage insurance premium cut

Will it be a delay or an indefinite delay?
With President-elect Trump’s inauguration mere hours away, it appears that the Trump administration will do more than just “examine” the FHA premium cut once Trump is sworn on. According to multiple sources, the FHA premium cut, which is currently scheduled to go into effect on January 27, will be delayed, if not done away with entirely, by the incoming Trump administration.
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Credit Suisse reaches $5.28 billion mortgage bond settlement

Required to provide $2.8 billion in consumer relief
For the second time in as many days, the Department of Justice announced that it reached a multi-billion dollar settlement with a foreign-based bank over its mortgage securitization practices leading up to the housing crisis. On Tuesday, the DOJ announced that it reached a $7.2 billion settlement with Deutsche Bank. Now, it’s Credit Suisse’s turn.
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Here's one Fannie Mae bull's take on how the GSEs can exit conservatorship

And what happens to the stock after that
In the weeks since Steve Mnuchin sent shockwaves through the housing industry by stating that the Trump administration planned to end the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reactions varied on whether that can actually be done and how expensive it might be. Here's an interesting take from an interested party on how the GSEs might actually exit conservatorship and what that would mean to the GSE stockholders who've waited quite a few years for a resolution.
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It's official: Deutsche Bank reaches $7.2 billion RMBS settlement

Largest RMBS settlement ever
Late last year, Deutsche Bank announced that it reached a $7.2 billion settlement with the Department of Justice in connection with the bank’s issuance and underwriting of residential mortgage-backed securities between 2005 and 2007. Although the bank made the announcement in late December, the settlement was not official, but it is now.
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Minnesota's KleinBank accused of discriminatory lending

DOJ accuses bank of redlining minority neighborhoods
Minnesota-based KleinBank excluded minority neighborhoods from its service area for all banking services and engaged in discriminatory lending, the Department of Justice claimed in a lawsuit filed late last week. According to the Department of Justice, none of KleinBank’s branch locations in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area is located in a minority neighborhood, a practice known as “redlining.” The bank denies the DOJ's allegations.
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KBW: What Wells Fargo, Chase 4th quarter results mean for the rest of the industry

A deeper dive at the big banks' mortgage banking earnings
While the fourth-quarter results for Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase were decidedly mixed, with JPMorgan significantly exceeding and Wells Fargo missing market expectations, there was one common denominator among the big banks’ earnings – lower earnings from mortgage banking. But what should the market make of those results?
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Democrats want "victims of Mnuchin foreclosure machine" to testify at Treasury nominee hearing

25 senators call for OneWest customers to speak at Mnuchin's hearing
Senate Democrats recently began collecting complaints from consumers about Steve Mnuchin and OneWest Bank in preparation for Mnuchin’s confirmation hearing to serve as the next Secretary of the Department of the Treasury. What wasn’t known at the time is what exactly the Democrats planned to do with those complaints. But Friday, the Democrats showed their hand, asking the leadership of the Senate Committee on Finance to allow “victims of Mnuchin foreclosure machine” to testify at Mnuchin’s confirmation hearing.
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