Mark Calabria takes over as FHFA director, begins push for housing finance reform

Calabria: We must not let this opportunity for reform pass
After being confirmed by the Senate earlier this month, Mark Calabria officially took over Monday as the director of the FHFA, the federal agency charged with overseeing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and much of the U.S. housing finance system. And in remarks delivered at his swearing in ceremony at the FHFA, Calabria emphasized the pressing need for housing finance reform.
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More countries promote reverse mortgage-like programs

Hong Kong and Malta work on their own equity-release products
Reverse mortgages are finding some traction abroad as more countries adopt and tweak equity-release programs designed to allow seniors to access their home's equity. Recently, the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta announced the pending launch of an equity-release program for retirees, while Hong Kong announced changes to its program to allow borrowers to relocate without defaulting. These developments highlight the fact that policymakers across cultures recognize the potential solution equity access presents as the global population continues to age.
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Expert: Moving too quickly on tech adoption could be a mistake

Could create unforeseen errors
Lenders that move too quickly on adopting the latest technology could be making a mistake, and putting their mortgage business at risk. Lenders should be careful not to move too fast and create unforeseen errors, according to Sadie Gurley, Digital Risk head of diligence services and 2018 HousingWire Women of Influence winner.
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Lender margins on reverse mortgages are finally making a comeback

Data suggests lenders are adjusting to a new normal after a rough 2018
Margins on adjustable-rate reverse mortgages have continued to inch higher after a nine-month descent that began last March, suggesting that perhaps the industry is beginning to recover after a rough year and a half. According to Baseline Reverse’s Dan Ribler, margins are trending upward and lenders are feeling a bit more positive about the business.
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Former House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling lands at UBS

Long-time congressman will serve as executive vice chairman of the Americas
Jeb Hensarling, who previously held one of the most powerful positions on Capitol Hill as chairman of the House committee that oversees the financial services industry and spent years advocating for the deregulation of said financial services industry, is now joining… the financial services industry.
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Here's what you need to know about first-time homebuyers

New York Fed pinpoints characteristics of this demographic
Earlier this week, we established that first-time homebuyers are not, in fact, being shut out of the housing market as some had feared, thanks to a recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Now, a second part of that study aims to pinpoint characteristics of these first-time buyers and note how they have changed over time. Here's what they found.
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Redfin: San Francisco’s IPO wealth likely to drive home price growth

With Lyft’s IPO wealth, employees could purchase every single home for sale with cash
Although home price appreciation has slowed across the country, new data from Redfin suggests San Francisco’s housing market is likely to reverse course. According to the company’s analysis, this rebound will be driven primarily by anticipated growth in the city’s IPO wealth.
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LRES names new chief technology officer

Spencer will enhance LRES’ technological capabilities
LRES, a residential and commercial mortgage services company, recently announced Scott Spencer joined the team as its new chief technology officer. LRES President Mark Johnson said Spencer's role is pivotal in rounding out the company's executive team as well as leading the deployment of its technology initiatives.
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GE to pay $1.5 billion fine over WMC Mortgage subprime loans

Reaches settlement with DOJ
General Electric will pay a fine of $1.5 billion as part of a settlement with the Department of Justice over the pre-crisis lending activities of GE’s shuttered subprime lending unit, WMC Mortgage. The lender allegedly misrepresented the quality of the “majority” of its loans, which were sold to investors as part of residential mortgage-backed securities between 2005 and 2007.
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Wells Fargo earnings top expectations weeks after CEO departs

Biggest bank lender says mortgage pipeline swelled as rates dropped
Wells Fargo, the biggest U.S. bank originator of mortgages, had its best first quarter in five years without much help from its home-loan business. Look for that to change next quarter, based on the mortgage pipeline Wells Fargo reported. The San Francisco bank said it had $32 billion of unclosed first-lien mortgages that will go on its books in the current quarter, compared with $24 billion it reported for the same period a year earlier.
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