A look at stories across HousingWire’s weekend desk, with more coverage to come on bigger issues:
The Treasury Department will sell $18 billion in American International Group (AIG) stock still owned as part of the bailout four years ago.
The multinational insurance corporation will buy $5 billion of the stock offered. The Treasury will offer another $2.7 billion to underwriters to cover any over-allotments.
AIG still had roughly $30.4 billion in stock outstanding as of June 30, according to the Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
In August, the Federal Reserve sold its remaining mortgage bonds bought from AIG as part of its commitment to bail out the firm. Those sales and the TARP unwinding by Treasury are expected to generate a return for the original $161 billion in taxpayer money originally committed to bail out AIG, according to SIGTARP.
The Senate is scheduled to vote Monday on the approval of Carol Galante as commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration.
Galante was moved to acting commissioner in July 2011 and was scheduled for a Senate vote at the end of last year. The approval was delayed to September. Under Galante, the FHA raised insurance premiums in April and returned the emergency insurance fund from the brink of an unprecedented bailout thanks to a settlement with Bank of America (BAC).
FHA remains one the largest avenues of mortgage availability since the housing collapse in 2007. The agency endorsed more than 1 million home loans so far in fiscal 2012 and is expected to pass the previous year’s total of 1.2 million, according to its latest monthly report.
San Bernardino County should finalize by Oct. 25 a formal request for proposals to solve its negative equity problem, according to a source familiar with the plan.
The county is considering a plan to seize underwater mortgages through eminent domain. It would then have private investors reduce the principal on the mortgages and refinance them into new FHA-backed loans.
A special county joint powers authority voted to formally draft an RFP, which should be released at its scheduled meeting at the end of October. The lead investment firm Mortgage Resolution Partners recently expanded the proposed program to include underwater loans already delinquent or in default. Local residents and a group of industry trade groups pushed back against the plan, and MRP said as many as 42,000 San Bernardino County residents may be able to take advantage of it.
Roughly 86% of investors polled by JPMorgan Chase believe the Home Affordable Refinance Program peaked.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency numbers showed a spike in June, followed by a 23% decline in July, but Chase analysts warn this might be because government-sponsored enterprise mortgages with loan-to-value ratios above 125% likely closed in July because of technical pricing issues.
Two-thirds of the investors polled still expect refis to remain elevated “for some time.”
The Minnesota Department of Commerce closed the only branch of First Commercial Bank in Bloomington, Minn., Friday. It’s the first bank closing since Aug. 3.
Republic Bank & Trust in Kentucky agreed to assume all $206.8 million in deposits and purchase essentially all $215.9 million in assets.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. estimates the closing will cost the insurance fund $63.9 million.
A total of 40 banks closed so far in 2012, down from 70 at the same time last year.