Articles by Ben Lane

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.
Read More

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.
Read More

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.
Read More

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?
Read More

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.
Read More

Steve Mnuchin, Trump Treasury pick, to face Senate on Jan. 19

Former Goldman Sachs, OneWest Bank exec likely to be grilled by Democrats
On Friday, the Senate Committee on Finance announced that the confirmation hearing for Steve Mnuchin, the Trump administration’s choice to lead the Department of the Treasury, will take place on Thursday, Jan. 19. The Democrats are expected to grill Mnuchin for his time with OneWest Bank, which was accused of redlining and illegal foreclosure activities under his leadership.
Read More

Federal Trade Commission chair Edith Ramirez resigns

President-elect Trump will staff another top financial regulator
Recently, Mary Jo White announced that she planned to step down as the chair of the SEC at the end of the Obama administration. President-elect Donald Trump selected Jay Clayton, a top Wall Street lawyer who represented Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, Ally Financial, Barclays Capital and others, to serve as the new chair of the SEC. Now, another one of the Obama administration’s top financial regulators announced that she plans to step down, giving Trump another opportunity to pick the new head of a financial regulator.
Read More

Ben Carson pledges to "really examine" latest FHA mortgage insurance premium cut

Confirms that Trump team was not consulted on Obama administration’s decision
Earlier this week, Julián Castro, the outgoing Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, told reporters that he does not expect the incoming Trump administration to repeal HUD’s decision to cut Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance premiums. On Thursday, Ben Carson, President-elect Trump's choice to lead HUD, said the the incoming administration plans to "really examine" the Obama administration's decision before determining a course of action.
Read More

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac increase mortgage modification interest rate to highest level in 18 months

Benchmark rate increased to July 2015 level
For the second time in two months, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that they are increasing the benchmark interest rate for standard mortgage modifications. While last month’s increase saw Fannie and Freddie increase the standard mortgage modification benchmark interest rate to a level not seen in months, the GSEs said they are increasing the standard mortgage modification interest rate to the highest level in 18 months.
Read More