Articles by Ben Lane

PHH sinks as low interest rates destroy mortgage servicing

Just like Ocwen, Nationstar and Walter
The first quarter's historically low interest rates already pulled down the performance of Nationstar Mortgage, Walter Investment and Ocwen Financial thanks to the impact of negative adjustments to the "fair value" of each company’s mortgage servicing rights portfolio, and now PHH Corporation is joining that unfortunate list as the company posted a loss in the first quarter.
Read More

Ringleader of 'largest mortgage modification scheme ever charged' found guilty

Scam defrauded more than 30,000 homeowners out of $31 million
A federal jury needed less than a half hour to convict the ringleader of what the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office called the “largest mortgage modification scheme ever charged” on multiple charges. The case stems from a scheme that defrauded more than 30,000 struggling homeowners out of $31 million.
Read More

George Will takes on #FannieGate, says GSEs 'should never have existed'

Conservative commentator addresses 'the misadventures of Fannie and Freddie'
Well, it seems we can't go more than a few days without a prominent, national media personality commenting on the stability and standing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, how the GSEs ended up in conservatorship, and what’s next. Last month, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi weighed in. And now, no less than George Will has written about "#FannieGate."
Read More

Zillow reports record traffic, but bottom line dented by Move/News Corp legal battle

Legal costs drag down Zillow earnings again
Things have never been better for the Zillow Group websites, which includes consumer brands Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy, HotPads and Naked Apartments, in terms of website traffic, but the company's bottom line was again negatively affected by Zillow’s legal battle against Move, Realtor.com, the National Association of Realtors and News Corp.
Read More

Freddie Mac's rough first quarter will likely embolden calls for GSE reform

Vocal critics of GSE capital structure hold new card to play
If you listen closely, you can hear the noise surrounding the recapitalization and release of the government-sponsored enterprises from conservatorship getting louder thanks to Freddie Mac reporting a loss of $354 million in the first quarter. Now all those who want to see an end to the GSE conservatorship for whatever their particular motivation is have a new card to play. And they will play it.
Read More

Walter Investment tanks thanks to low interest rates

Posts GAAP net loss of $172.7 million in first quarter, stock plummets
The first quarter's historically low interest rates did more than just negatively impact the earnings of Freddie Mac, which reported a $354 million net loss in the first quarter. The quarter's low rates also obliterated the bottom line of Walter Investment Management Corporation.
Read More

Former New Mexico Realtor group executive indicted on hundreds of embezzlement charges

Sherri Miller facing 197 charges of embezzlement and 188 forgery charges
Sherri Miller, the former executive director of the Ruidoso Board of Realtors, is facing nearly 400 charges of embezzlement and forgery stemming from allegations that she skimmed at least $90,000 from the organization. What’s even crazier about the allegations against Miller is that Miller's predecessor with the Ruidoso Board of Realtors was also accused, and subsequently convicted, of embezzling from the organization.
Read More