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Here are HousingWire's top 10 articles of 2016

Thanks to our loyal readers for making this another great year

December 30, 2016

[Update 1: It's now 2017, be sure to date your checks correctly!]

Well, we’ve almost made it. 2016 is almost over.

This year has been, well, a year unlike any other.

Anyone checking their chosen social media feed lately, whether its Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, or any other site, probably see a fair share of people ready for this year to be over.

But 2016 hasn’t been all bad, especially for your friends here at HousingWire.

This year has been a record-breaking year for HousingWire in just about every metric we have, and that’s all thanks to you, our loyal readers.

You push us to do more, to do better, to reach higher, to dig deeper, to keep fighting, and we have no plans of stopping.

This year, we had more pageviews than in another year in HousingWire’s history, and we hope 2017 will be even better.

So here, as we wrap up the year, are HousingWire’s top 10 articles of 2016, as determined by our readers.

10. It's official: Wells Fargo reaches largest settlement in FHA history

This article, from April, covers the massive settlement between Wells Fargo and the federal government over Wells Fargo’s Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance lending program for the time period between 2001-2010.

As it turns out, that would be just one of the many black-eyes that Wells Fargo suffered this year, as the bank would later be enveloped in a fake account scandal that led to its CEO stepping down and a number of other sanctions.

For much more on all of that, click here.

9. Chase quietly launches its own 3% down mortgage lending program

This article, from May, covered JPMorgan Chase joining Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and other lenders in beginning to offer a 3% down mortgage with the backing of Fannie Mae.

Unlike some of the other large lenders, Chase launched its program without much fanfare. This article presented the details of Chase's program.

8. Quicken Loans now offering 1% down mortgages

Not to be outdone by the larger bank lenders, Quicken Loans launched its own low down payment program in June of this year.

But unlike the megabanks, Quicken began offering a 1% down loan program, as detailed in this article, which featured an exclusive interview with Bill Banfield, Quicken Loans’ vice president of capital markets.

7. Realtor hospitalized after client drugs her drink at model home

Unfortunately, there is plenty of bad news in our business too, and as readers of HousingWire know, we’ve chronicled attacks on Realtors and real estate agents for longer than any of us care to remember.

In this sad story, a Realtor in North Carolina had to be rushed to the hospital after someone put a date rape drug into her water bottle during an open house.

6. 4 reasons the Rocket Mortgage actually decreases mortgage risk

Quicken Loans checks in our top 10 list again, this time thanks to Rocket Mortgage, its well-publicized automated mortgage process.

Quicken’s announcement of the program, in the form of a Super Bowl commercial, earned a backlash from people thinking that Quicken’s program actually signified a loosening of lending standards.

But this article from February shows why Rocket Mortgage is safer than it appears.

5. These are the best and worst markets for buying rentals

Nothing like a good list to crack the top 10 articles.

In this article from March, HousingWire took a look at the best and worst markets for buying single-family rental homes, with data and graphics courtesy of RealtyTrac.

4. Ocwen foreclosures frozen after National Mortgage Settlement compliance failure

This article, from April, got the mortgage industry buzzing as more than 17,000 loans were placed on foreclosure hold after Ocwen Financial failed a compliance test as part of the terms of the National Mortgage Settlement.

3. PHH wins landmark victory: CFPB ruled unconstitutional

Another one that set the finance industry on fire, as PHH earned a victory over the much-maligned Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit declaring the CFPB’s leadership structure unconstitutional and vacating a $103 million fine against PHH.

The fight between the two sides is far from over though, as just this week, the parties filed motions to try to convince the court to rehear (or not rehear) the case.

You can bet that HousingWire will keep a close eye on this story throughout 2017 as it develops.

2.  Trump unveils plan to dismantle Dodd-Frank Act

This article, from just after the election, recapped the plans of President-elect Donald Trump when it comes to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.

According to Trump’s transition team, “dismantling” Dodd-Frank is one of the Trump administration’s top priorities for 2017 and beyond.

“Bureaucratic red tape and Washington mandates are not the answer,” Trump’s transition team stated. “The Financial Services Policy Implementation team will be working to dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act and replace it with new policies to encourage economic growth and job creation.”

1. Bank of America now offers 3% down mortgages without mortgage insurance

As referenced above, Bank of America launched its own 3% down mortgage program in 2016.

And this article about it, from February, turned out to be HousingWire’s most read article of the year, by quite a margin.

There you have it, our top 10 of 2016.

Here’s to a great 2017 for all of us!

And thanks again for a great year!

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