Politics & MoneyReal Estate

Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Fed mortgage bond decision forthcoming

Monday Morning Cup of Coffee is a quick look at the news coming across the HousingWire weekend desk, with more coverage to come on bigger issues.

Investors are holding their breathe for Ben Bernanke’s press conference on Wednesday. The Fed’s efforts to convey its intentions about its low interest rate strategy have resulted in a two-week slump on Wall Street

On Wednesday, Bernanke is expected to clarify how the Fed will attempt to bring calm to the markets. 

The overwhelming consensus: Sluggish U.S. growth doesn’t justify talk that the Fed might scale back its monthly purchases of $85 billion in bonds. The buying is expected to continue at least until September, writes MarketWatch.

Amidst rumors that another housing bubble is forming in the Bay Area, some buyers are becoming skittish and others are dropping out of a market that favors cash offers and whopping over-asking-price bids. 

Across the nine-county Bay Area, cash buyers accounted for nearly 28% of May sales, according to the real estate information company DataQuick, far above the historical average of 13%. 

That’s a potential worry because with no constraint by a lender on how much they can pay, these buyers are rapidly bidding up prices, writes Mercury News. Prices jumped 17% from March to April for all types of Bay Area homes, the highest monthly percentage increase since the company began tracking the information in 1988.

This Monday, June 17, the Bipartisan Policy Center will host a public forum to call upon Congress and the administration to reform our nation’s housing finance system. The forum is titled “Housing Finance Reform: Is Inertia Gaining Momentum?” 

In their keynote remarks, Lewis S. Ranieri and James B. Lockhart III will reflect on the decision to place the GSEs in conservatorship and lessons learned from that moment of crisis. 

Other leaders from across the housing industry will discuss why the government-dominated status quo is unsustainable and why bipartisan legislative action is needed to create a sound, stable system of housing finance that enhances consumer choice while protecting the American taxpayer. 

Evangelical Christian Credit Union is embroiled in yet another foreclosure case that stretches back to 2008. This time, it involves a proceeding against one of Florida’s largest churches, according to the Credit Union Times.

The Lakeland, Fla.-based Without Walls International Church initially went into foreclosure in 2008, owing Evangelical Christian $13.9 million, which was due in September 2012, Ledger.com reported. In 2009, it approved a mortgage modification for the church.

But what happened next is very unusual. And Evangelical Christian is now facing its own troubles: a multi-million dollar lawsuit from Without Walls.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. did not close any banks during the week ending June 14.


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