April, 2012

TheMReport β€” News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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THEMREPORT.COM The Top 10 10 online headlines drew major readership response on this month as the industry focused on new housing initiatives from Capitol Hill and first- quarter real estate data. 1.Cordray Challenges Media to Deliver CFPB's Message Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director Richard Cordray told a gathering of the nation's edi- tors and journalists recently that the agency needs their help to make consumers more aware of predatory lending hurdles. The chief of the con- sumer watchdog agency said that the bureau stands on the side of American consumers to protect them against illegal practices and see that they are treated fairly. 2.Reverse Mortgages Get $4M in Assistance from Settlement The Department of Housing and Urban Development un- veiled an infusion of more than $42 million in grants to hous- ing counseling agencies; HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said, "The HUD-approved counseling agencies this funding supports are crucial in helping struggling families on a one-to-one basis to manage their money, navigate the homebuying process, and secure their financial futures." 3.FBI Indicts California Woman for Mortgage Fraud One California woman is facing a fresh indictment for her role in fraudulent mort- gage activities. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Aruna Kuman Chopra received indictments that included two counts of wire fraud and two of aggra- vated theft. Chopra allegedly concealed information about pre-existing liens from the city of Modesto in a proposal for a Communities Funding District. 4.Builder Confidence Falling Flat for 2012 Builder confidence was flat in March, matching a down- wardly revised February index of 28, the first time in six months the index has not increased, the National Association of Home Builders lately reported. The builder assessment of present home sales conditions actually dipped in March, falling to 29, the first decline since last September. The outlook for home sales in the next six months rose to 36β€”the high- est level since June 2007β€” from 34 in February. 5.California Tops Rental Market Roster The housing crisis cast a dark shadow over the Golden State, but for investors look- ing to purchase rental prop- erties, it's a beacon of light. A report released of late by HomeVestors of America and Local Market Monitor identi- fies the best 100 U.S. mar- kets for investing in rental property. It shows California with a commanding lead, boasting 12 markets among the top 100. 6.Higher Mortgage Rates Unlikely to Drown Housing The potential for a lift in mortgage rates is unlikely to spell trouble for the housing recovery, according to a recent report. Paul Diggle, a property economist with Capital Economics, said in a recent note that still-low home prices will help cushion the blow from interest rates. Mortgage rates continue to linger near record lows, with 30-year and 15-year fixed- rate mortgages hovering at or below 4 percent for the past several weeks. 7.Findings Show Rise in HARP Volume for GSEs Refinance activity ticked up for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the fourth quarter, showing an increase in interest for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) over last year. The Federal Housing Finance Agency released the results in a Foreclosure Prevention and Refinance Report for the last quarter. Total HARP refinance vol- ume came to include more than 1,021,800 loans, with a cumulative rise by 10 percent for the GSEs in the fourth quarter. 8.Colorado Anticipating Improving Housing Market In Colorado, real estate professionals are set to spring forward thanks to a recent uptick in the demand for home loans. The state recently reported that both home pricing and demand appear to be headed upward throughout Colorado as the spring and summer buying season begins. Home pricing data for Colorado is display- ing an increase for the first time since 2010, according to CoreLogic's statistics. 9.MetLife, NCOA Release Reverse Mortgage Study A recent MetLife study, produced in conjunction with the National Council on Aging (NCOA), reports that the av- erage age of those who have gone through reverse mort- gage counseling declined to 71.5 years of age. HUD reported a similar decline in the average age of borrow- ers to age 73, according to a release. Currently, 46 percent of homeowners considering a reverse mortgage are under age 70. 10.NAHB Reports Improving Markets During March Fewer declines in housing permits, strengthening job numbers, and stabilizing home prices helped stimulate improvements in nearly 100 metropolitan housing markets in March, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The total number of improving markets stood at 99, and new additions signaled improvements in 33 states, and Texas cities accounted for 12 of the entries. Are you an origination news junkie? Go to and sign up to receive MReport news daily! We feature the top headlines and stories breaking daily via the MReport Daily newsletter, webcasts, and social media. If you need more, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. 8 | THE M REPORT

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