Articles by Ben Lane

Fannie Mae announces new front-end credit risk-sharing deal

Deal with insurers provides up to $375 million in coverage
Fannie Mae announced Friday that it executed its second front-end credit risk-sharing deal through its Credit Insurance Risk Transfer program. The deal provides insurance coverage on a maximum coverage of approximately $375 million from pools of single-family mortgages that carry a combined unpaid principal balance of approximately $15 billion.
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Trial date set for former LandCastle Title CEO Nat Hardwick

Stands accused of conspiring to embezzle $20 million
Exactly one year ago, federal authorities arrested Nathan (Nat) Hardwick, the former chief executive officer of LandCastle Title and former managing partner of Morris Hardwick Schneider, on charges that he embezzled millions of dollars from his former companies. And exactly one year from now, Hardwick will stand trial for allegedly conspiring to steal more than $20 million from the attorney escrow accounts and operating accounts of Morris Hardwick Schneider and LandCastle Title.
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U.S. to continue investigating money laundering by foreign real estate buyers

Title companies required to reveal identities of high-end cash buyers
The federal government will continue investigating whether foreign buyers are using high-end U.S. real estate to launder money after an expanded investigation found that potentially illicit activity is behind as many as one in three cash purchases from foreign buyers in select markets.
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Rising Stars entry deadline extended!

Fine, twist our arms…
A favorite saying of ours is “deadlines spur action,” and in the case of our Rising Stars awards program, it’s proving true. Quite a few of you are waiting until the last minute to get your nominations in. We’ve heard from quite a few folks that are feeling the pressure of that impending deadline, and we feel you. We get it. And we’re not monsters around here. We’re here to help.
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Redwood Trust CEO: We're ready for Trump to bring private capital back to mortgages

Tells investors that REIT will be "aggressive" when time comes
During an interview with CNBC on Thursday, Steven Mnuchin, the newly minted Secretary of the Department of the Treasury, reiterated the Trump administration’s pledge to pursue reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And if that happens, Marty Hughes, the CEO of Redwood Trust, says that the real estate investment trust will be ready and willing to step further into the market.
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Embrace Home Loans expands into Texas

Opens new office in Dallas suburb of Frisco
Recent reports from the Texas Association of Realtors and Fitch Ratings call out how hot Texas real estate right now, as more homes were sold last year than ever before. Seeking to strike while the iron is hot, Embrace Home Loans announced this week that it is expanding into Texas and opening its first office in the state.
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Ocwen SEC filing reveals details of CFPB mortgage servicing investigation

Nonbank set aside $12.5 million for potential settlement
During Ocwen’s investor call, CEO Ron Faris was asked about the company’s disclosure in its fourth-quarter earnings that it set aside $12.5 million for “potential” regulatory settlements. Faris responded by directing observers to the disclosures in the company’s upcoming 10-K filing with the SEC. Well, Ocwen filed its 10-K on Thursday, and as it turns out, that $12.5 million is for a potential settlement with the CFPB.
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Fitch: Is there a housing bubble in these hot, hot markets?

Texas is hotter than ever, but is it sustainable?
Housing in the state of Texas was hotter in 2016 than it’s ever been before, but is real estate in the Lone Star state getting too hot? A new report from Fitch Ratings suggests that Texas is one of a few states where home prices are not only unsustainable, they’re overheating.
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Ocwen expects another loss in 2017 thanks to NYDFS, CFPB regulatory issues

CEO: We believe we have earned the right to acquire MSRs again
Despite the California Department of Business Oversight removing the state's mortgage servicing restrictions on Ocwen Financial, the nonbank is still prohibited from acquiring mortgage servicing rights in bulk, thanks to the company’s previous settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services. And those restrictions and other "regulatory challenges" will likely lead to another yearly loss for the nonbank.
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Ocwen falls back into the red in Q4, but results are much better than last year

Posts net loss of $10.4 million compared to loss of $224.3 million in 2015
Ocwen Financial surprisingly returned to profitability in the third quarter of 2016, breaking a four-quarter streak of losses, but the company’s time in the black appears to be short-lived. The nonbank reported Wednesday that it posted a net loss for the fourth quarter of 2016, but the loss is far smaller than the company reported during the same time period last year.
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