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CMBP Files Brief Supporting LO Comp Suit

The Community Mortgage Banking Project (CMBP), with the support of the Community Mortgage Lenders of America (CMLA), filed an amicus brief arguing that the new Federal Reserve Board (Fed) will have "the perverse effect" of denying consumers the opportunity to obtain a lower cost mortgage.   By filing an amicus brief, also known as a "friend of the court" brief, an entity that is not directly related to a lawsuit is able to submit supporting information to the court that a judge can consider in ruling in a case.  “The Fed rule was supposed to address the issue of
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Economists Increase Predictions for Housing Double-Dip

MacroMarkets LLC released their Home Price Expectations Survey for March 2011 which complied a survey of 111 responses from a wide ranging group of economists, real estate experts, investment and market strategists.  The survey utilized the projected path developed by the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index for the next five years.  Due to weak performance in the last the quarter of 2010, more experts are expressing concerns that the market is trending towards a double-dip in home prices.   Robert Shiller, MacroMarkets co-founder and chief economist said, “Overall, the sentiment among our expert panel regarding the U.S. housing
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Fed Disputes Merits of LO Comp Lawsuit

In their initial response to the lawsuits against the Loan Originator (LO) Compensation rule filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Federal Reserve (Fed) states that the plaintiffs, the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) and the National Association of Independent Housing Professionals (NAIHP) have failed to show just cause for their claims and, therefore, requests for relief should be declined.   In response to the claim that the Fed overstepped their authority in putting forth the rule on LO Compensation, the Fed outlined that the rule was promulgated under the authority provided to them
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Application Volume Trends Steady

After what appears to be a weather induced decline in application volume in January, the February total increased 10.2% to 8,149 applications.  According to Reverse Market Insight's (RMI's) Industry Trends Report January 2011, application volume has been hovering around 8,000 units since November.   While this is a 22.7% increase over volume from a year ago, it is still floating below the 10,000 application level that RMI considers to be necessary to move endorsement volume into a recover and growth mode. In terms of loan distribution for January, HECM Saver made up 4.3% of total endorsements.  Given the time
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NMLS Provides Guidance for Submitting Call Reports

The National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) has provided guidance on the how company users will be able to submit their required Mortgage Call Reports (MCRs).  The NMLS system will provide the ability to either manually enter their MCR data into the system, or upload the data through a XML data file.   The instructions for utilizing the upload feature are detailed on the Mortgage Call Report XML Specification page of the NMLS website.  In addition to providing a detailed instructional MCR XML Specification document, the section includes a sample XML pack to help demonstrate the creation of the XML
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Treasury Plans to Sell Down MBS Portfolio

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced plans to begin the "orderly" wind down of its $142 billion portfolio of agency-guaranteed mortgage-backed securities (MBS).  Under the plan, the Treasury will sell up to $10 billion MBS per month, subject to market conditions.   “We’re continuing to wind down the emergency programs that were put in place in 2008 and 2009 to help restore market stability, and the sale of these securities is consistent with that effort,” said Mary J. Miller, Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets. “We will exit this investment at a gradual and orderly pace to maximize the
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AARP Lawyer Provides Insight on HUD Lawsuit

AARP Foundation lawyer, Jean Constantine-Davis appeared in a brief interview with NPR's "Marketplace Money" about the advocacy's group lawsuit against HUD. Constantine-Davis provided little details about the lawsuit, but did shed a little light on the organization's perspective about the issue of a non-borrowing spouse.    The lawsuit itself calls into question HUD's application of two important provisions of the HECM statute, the provisions that define "non-recourse" and "homeowner."  It alleges that HUD overstepped their bounds by interpreting the rules in a way not supported by the statute.  The result has been to put heirs and non-borrowing spouses at
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Financial Freedom Latest Lender to Exit Reverse Mortgage Business

Once the stalwart leader of the reverse mortgage industry,  after many months of declining production, Financial Freedom announced plans to close all reverse mortgage origination channels.  In a letter to business partners, CEO Michelle Minier cited the regulatory  environment and the oft use phrase "focus on the bank's core businesses" to describe the the closure.   The company has been in virtual free fall in the past two years from a peak of over 2,000 endorsed loans in January of 2009 to 779 in January of 2010, and most recently down to 114 in January of 2011. Undoubtedly, their
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Senators Draw Social Security into Budget Debate

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, three Democratic senators are breaking ranks over including Social Security changes in the debate with Republicans over deficit-reduction packages.  Although no budget savings are proposed in changes, some Democrats believe they can secure concessions from some Republicans on tax increases if they include changes to Social Security.   The perpetrators of the plan are a so called, "Gang of Six", that includes Democrats, Mark Warner (VA), Kent Conrad (ND) and Richard Durbin (IL); and Republicans, Saxby Chambliss (GA), Tom Coburn (OK) and Mike Crapo (ID).  While the leadership seeks no
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HUD Issues RESPA Guidance on LO Compensation

With the deadline for implementation of the Federal Reserve's LO Compensation rule looming on April 1, 2011, there is likely to be a flurry of activity as industry participants and groups continue to prepare for the launch, while also continuing to push for a delay.  HUD joined the mix by releasing guidance on the new rule as it relates to RESPA regulations, primarily addressing GFE compliance.   In their "RESPA ROUNDUP" publication, HUD seeks to clarify proper disclosures required by RESPA rules in accordance with the new rules on LO compensation and the GFE and HUD-1 settlement statement.  The
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