April, 2012

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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FINAL THOUGHTS "That is great news to the scores of underwater homeowners that will be looking to refinance under the expanded HARP initiative this month." GREG MCBRIDE, a senior financial analyst with, on findings from early March that indicated continued declines in mortgage rates and high levels of home affordability nationwide "U.S. banks' exposure to home equity loans is one of Fitch's top concerns … . Most of these loans are on bank balance sheets and are concentrated at the largest institutions. As a majority of them are subordinated, performance remains very much leveraged to further home price declines and Final Thoughts Captivating commentary from Wall Street to Capitol Hill addresses regulatory issues, ratings downgrades, and recent legal filings against one of the nation's major banks. "This lasting scar of the Great Recession driven by housing's collapse is a clear sign that we are not yet out of the woods." RAPHAEL BOSTIC, assistant secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), commenting on the Obama administration's recent HUD scorecard "Under the regulation we are seeking to overturn, the borrower doesn't save a penny, but the appraiser gets a fee that is as much as 50 percent less than prevailing rates. What the borrower doesn't know is that perhaps less than half of the fee that they are required to pay is actually going to the appraiser who performs the appraisal." PETER VIDI, president of the American Guild of Appraisers, in a petition to the Federal Reserve and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that seeks to overturn a recently adopted rule based on claims that it stands in opposition to regulations presented in the Dodd-Frank Act 80 | THE M REPORT "I think a lot of affluent homebuyers just threw in the towel and decided to use all cash." THOMAS POPIK, research director for Campbell Surveys, stating his opinion on findings from the organization's collaborative HousingPulse Tracking Survey potential principal reduction initiatives." FITCH RATINGS, in a March statement on the state of the country's top financial institutions "It's important to create more certainty, and we're not there yet." BEN BERNANKE, chairman of the Federal Reserve, speaking to House lawmakers regarding questions over risk-retention rules within the Dodd-Frank Act "We remain committed to continuing in that capacity . . . . This agreement with the Department of Justice allows us to move forward and to continue to focus on core operations and on serving our customers." JOSEPH P. CAMPANELLI, president, chairman, and CEO of Flagstar Bank, on the company's recent agreement with the DOJ, which affects the bank's underwriting practices related to FHA-insured loans "Holding homebuyers with disabilities to a higher standard just because they rely on disability payments as a source of income is against the law." JOHN TRASVIÑA, assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity for HUD, weighing in on the government's legal action against Bank of America, which alleges the financial institution wrongly discriminated against disabled borrowers

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