THE CFPB'S FUTURE
As President Donald Trump moved into the Oval Office, the fate of Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau hangs in the balance. Of particular interest has been the future of CFPB Director Richard Cordray. In fact, Democrats in Congress are banding together to make sure he won’t be prematurely unseated amid strengthening calls from Republicans to have the director fired. Congressional Democrats made public statements to defend and support Cordray’s full five-year term at the CFPB, which ends July 2018.
MORTGAGE INSURANCE PREMIUMS
After the FHA reversed course in January and announced plans to cut its annual mortgage insurance premiums, some in the industry cheered the move to expand mortgage credit availability. "Every time we cut the cost of mortgage insurance it means more borrowers meet the debt-to-income ratio required to purchase a home,” NAR President William Brown said. But it was a short-lived victory, with HUD suspending the cut one hour after Trump was sworn in as POTUS.
“FHA is committed to ensuring its mortgage insurance programs remains viable and effective in the long term for all parties involved, especially our taxpayers,” the letter stated. “As such, more analysis and research are deemed necessary to assess future adjustments while also considering potential market conditions in an ever-changing global economy that could impact our efforts.”
REALTOR HORROR STORIES
At first glance, it’s a simple question: What’s the most disturbing history you’ve learned about a house you were selling? But what started out as a question on share-site Reddit spiraled into long, unsettling responses from tons of users, generating more than 5,000 responses in only 48 hours. One of the most horrible? Liquified bodies found on the carpet which, instead of being replaced, was only steam-cleaned before being sold. Proving once again that the real estate business is not for the faint of heart.
Consumers are now more confident in the economy than they have been in the previous 12 years. The Index of Consumer Sentiment increased 0.3% from December to 98.5 in January, according to the Survey of Consumers conducted by the University of Michigan. This marks an increase of 7.1% from January of last year. “The post-election surge in confidence was driven by a more optimistic outlook for the economy and job growth during the year ahead as well as more favorable economic prospects over the next five years.” Surveys of Consumers Chief Economist Richard Curtin said.
Airbnb restrictions are a thing of the past in Arizona, thanks to a new law that took effect on Jan. 1 which stipulates that cities, towns, and counties cannot put any restrictions on short-term rentals “simply because the property is not classified as a hotel.” There is not even a limit to the number of properties an investor can purchase or the number of days a home can be rented out. There has been pushback from some lawmakers who worry about the “house next door” turning into a “weekly rental property.”
HUD is charging Bank of America and two employees with discriminating against Hispanic mortgage borrowers. The charges stem from a complaint filed by the National Fair Housing Alliance, which conducted a series of “secret shopper” tests where Hispanic and non-Hispanic individuals attempted to get a mortgage from a BofA branch in Charleston, South Carolina. NFHA claimed the bank failed to provide the Hispanic borrowers with information about loan products or offered them loans with less attractive terms than non-Hispanic borrowers.