Articles by Ben Lane

FHA: Life of loan policy to remain, but agency considering options

FHA commissioner says agency has discussed changes to life of loan policy
It looks like there won’t be any significant changes to the FHA's mortgage insurance program this year. Earlier this week, new FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery told a group of reporters that there likely won’t be a cut to the FHA’s mortgage insurance premiums this year. And it appears that there won’t be any changes to the life of loan policy either.
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Beazer Homes buying Atlanta competitor Venture Homes for $65M

Deal allows Beazer to grow Atlanta-area business
Beazer Homes is expanding again. Back in December, Beazer expanded its Carolinas operation by acquiring Bill Clark Homes for nearly $30 million. The homebuilder announced this week that it is acquiring Venture Homes, a private homebuilder in Atlanta, for approximately $65 million.
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FHA commissioner: We’re easing False Claims Act use to bring big banks back to FHA lending

FHA wants the big banks to come back
In recent years, many of the nation’s largest lenders moved away from FHA lending, scared off by the government’s use of the False Claims Act as a means to extract massive settlements from lenders. But it appears that’s all about to change, as FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery said Tuesday that he believes the Obama administration went too far in some cases and said that the Trump administration is dialing back the use of the False Claims Act to bring more lenders back into FHA lending.
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FHA commissioner: Mortgage insurance premium cut not likely in 2018

Brian Montgomery says premium cut probably not happening this year
The Federal Housing Administration broke a few hearts last year when it announced back in November that there would not be any cuts to its mortgage insurance premiums after its flagship insurance fund turned in a weaker-than-expected performance in fiscal year 2017. Those holding out hope for a cut to the FHA’s MI premiums this year should not be holding their breath, the FHA’s newly minted commissioner said Tuesday.
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Wells Fargo offering down payment grants to boost homeownership in Kansas City area

Bank commits $5.7 million through NeighborhoodLIFT program
Prospective homebuyers in the Kansas City area will have the chance to get a $15,000 down payment grant from Wells Fargo, as the bank announced Monday that it is bringing its NeighborhoodLIFT program back to the area. According to John Santner, regional vice president of the Midwest region for NeighborWorks America, the Wells Fargo program will help create more than 300 new homeowners in the area.
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Trammell Crow Residential returning to South Florida after years away

First new multifamily development since last real estate cycle
Trammell Crow Residential, a national multifamily real estate developer, is returning to the South Florida market with a new development after shying away from the market for many years. According to the company, the new development is the company’s first in the area since the housing crisis.
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Rental scammer ordered to repay $5.2 million to deceived consumers

Offered fake rentals and tricked people into signing up for credit monitoring
The owner of a supposed credit monitoring service will repay $5.2 million to deceived consumers for using fake rental properties to trick those consumers into signing up for the credit services. The company's sites offered "free" credit information but auto-enrolled the renters into a credit monitoring service that charged $29.94 on a monthly basis.
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Rent just jumped to an all-time high

New report shows nationwide rent crosses $1,400
We’ve known that the rent may be too damn high for quite a while now, but a new report shows that rent has never been this high before. Newly released data from RentCafé and Yardi Matrix shows that nationwide apartment rents just hit an all-time high in June, crossing the $1,400 threshold for the first time ever.
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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Did Detroit finally recover from the housing crisis?

Home prices in Motown are nearly back to pre-crisis peak
Detroit was one of the hardest-hit cities in the financial crisis. Now, 10 years later, is it finally showing signs of recovery? Also, in case you missed it on Friday, the battle over the leadership of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is nearly over. Full details within. All that, and more, in your Monday Morning Cup of Coffee.
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