Monday Morning Cup of Coffee takes a looks at the news coming across the HousingWire weekend desk, with more coverage to come on larger issues.
Congratulations to the NFC’s Philadelphia Eagles, who bested the New England Patriots, 41-33, to win Super Bowl LII!
The Federal Reserve is ordering one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders to stop growing.
The Fed announced late Friday that it would restrict the growth of Wells Fargo until it "sufficiently improves its governance and controls."
The Fed cited what it called compliance breakdowns and widespread consumer abuses, as the primary motivations for the order.
"We cannot tolerate pervasive and persistent misconduct at any bank and the consumers harmed by Wells Fargo expect that robust and comprehensive reforms will be put in place to make certain that the abuses do not occur again," said outgoing Fed Chair Janet Yellen.
"The enforcement action we are taking today will ensure that Wells Fargo will not expand until it is able to do so safely and with the protections needed to manage all of its risks and protect its customers."
According to data prepared by iEmergent, in 2016, Wells was the largest mortgage lender by dollar total, originating nearly $126 billion worth of home loans.
The Fed's consent cease-and-desist order with Wells Fargo requires the firm to replace three current board members by April and a fourth board member by the end of the year.
The Federal Reserve said Wells Fargo's business strategy put growing the bank above all other interests and seeks to reverse that alleged, harmful practice.
From the fed order:
"Until the firm makes sufficient improvements, it will be restricted from growing any larger than its total asset size as of the end of 2017. The Board required each current director to sign the cease and desist order.
In recent years, Wells Fargo pursued a business strategy that prioritized its overall growth without ensuring appropriate management of all key risks.
The firm did not have an effective firm-wide risk management framework in place that covered all key risks. This prevented the proper escalation of serious compliance breakdowns to the board of directors."
The real question is whether or not the charges will actually stick. Yellen is on her way out, with Trump-appointee Jerome Powell close to stepping into the chair position. Think about it: the latest Trump appointee to head a regulatory authority, in this case at the CFPB, rolled back the bureau's enforcement power.
It seems not to far outside the realm of possibility that this fed order will not be around for long.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Friday said that he and his family were "under attack by the media questioning our integrity and ethics," after reports shed light on the extensive involvement that his family members – especially his son, Benjamin Jr. – played in official business, despite strong warnings from agency lawyers, according to this piece in CNN.
Whether or not Carson invited his family to play a larger role at HUD does not seem unusual under this current administration, where it is common for relatives to serve in advisory roles.
At any rate, Carson said he doesn't want the issue to distract him from HUD's mission and called for an independent investigation into the matter.
"In my role as HUD Secretary, I try to be as inclusive as possible and talk with a wide variety of people because when it comes to increasing access to affordable housing, no rock should remain unturned," Carson said in a statement to HousingWire. "From my very first day at HUD I have insisted that HUD operate in an open and ethical manner, in every way."
"To clear up any suspicion, I am calling for the HUD Inspector General to review this matter," he added.
The myth that Millennials love avocado toast a little too much is actually kinda a riot.
First, it started with a millionaire business man declaring that Millennials who want to buy homes need to lay off all the avocado toast. That lead to lender SoFi offering avocado toast with its new mortgages.
“Pundits have unfairly besmirched avocado toast as the reason younger Americans aren't buying homes. We know that's wrong -- it's because the traditional mortgage product hasn't evolved,” Joanne Bradford, SoFi’s chief marketing officer, said in SoFi’s press release. “In addition to offering a mortgage with 10% down and no borrower-paid private mortgage insurance required, we wanted to help people have their avocado toast and eat it too.”
But what about avocado toast's role in a post-apocalyptic utopia? The hilarious, must-watch Super Bowl add below says it's a riot: