December 2015 - Fortune Tellers

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4 | TH E M R EP O RT YEAR IN REVIEW JANUARY HUD Secretary Julián Castro laid out HUD's 2015 plans at National Press Club luncheon. Among the goals Castro listed were securing sustainable housing for American individuals and families, preserving rental house assistance for poor Americans, ending homelessness, protecting people from discrimination in housing, and helping neighborhoods become more resilient from natural disasters. The department was given a $49.3 billion budget to work with for Fiscal Year 2015, according to an announcement from HUD. In a widely anticipated move, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) was elected Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs for the 114th Congress. President Obama highlighted recovery in State of the Union address. "Today, thanks to a growing economy, the recovery is touching more and more lives," Obama said. "Wages are finally starting to rise again. The shadow of crisis has passed, and the state of the union is strong." FEBRUARY Citigroup Global Markets, Goldman Sachs, and UBS Securities agreed to a settlement for $235 million with a pension fund to resolve allegations of fraud on the part of the underwriters involving residential mortgage-backed securities sold by Residential Capital. U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), along with Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minnesota), re- introduced the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection-Inspector General Act of 2015, a bill that would create the position of an independent Inspector General for CFPB. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in her testimony to Congress said the Fed would be using "patience" on deciding when to increase interest rates. "There has been important progress," Yellen said. "However, despite this improvement, too many Americans remain unemployed or underemployed, wage growth is still sluggish, and inflation remains well below our longer-run objective." MARCH The U.S. Census Bureau released data that showed homeownership rates in the fourth quarter in 2014 were the lowest they had been in six years. About 64 percent of homes were owned by occupants as of the fourth quarter in 2014, a drop from the third quarter rate of 64.4 percent. The top 31 banks in the U.S. passed the first round of the Federal Reserve "stress test," with none of the banks falling below the Fed's capital requirements, according to data released by the Fed on March 5. This marked the first time all banks with more than $50 million in assets passed since the Fed began conducting the test in 2009. Transcripts released in March showed that in January 2009 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake told colleagues he was "uncomfortable" providing extra aid to Bank of America. The transcripts included discussions regarding interest rates, bank bailouts, and the economy held between then Federal governors and regional presidents. APRIL The White House named Edward Golding, a senior adviser at HUD, as the leader of the Federal Housing Administration (a position he officially assumed on April 7). Golding took over the role from Biniam Gebre, who was acting commissioner. Fannie Mae announced the launch of the HomePath Ready Buyer program, through which qualifying homebuyers can receive up to 3 percent of the home's purchase price in closing cost assistance toward the purchase of a HomePath property. This calculates to up to $4,500 in savings for a buyer on a $150,000 home. In its Q1 2015 earnings report released in April, Bank of America reported a net income of $3.4 billion, or 27 cents per diluted share, in part due to an increase in mortgage originations and a decline in the number of 60-plus day delinquent mortgages. MAY In May, Nationstar Mortgage Holdings reported a net loss of $48 million, or $0.53 per share, for the first quarter of 2015 compared with a net income of $19 million ($0.21 per share) for the previous quarter. Fannie Mae reported a net income of $1.9 billion for Q1 2015, up from $1.3 billion from the previous quarter. An agency mortgage servicing rights deal worth approximately $45 billion between Chase and Ocwen Financial Corp. was finalized after two and a half months. Ocwen first announced on March 2 it had signed a letter of intent to sell the $45 billion portfolio, which includes about 266,000 high-quality Fannie Mae loans, to an anonymous buyer later confirmed to be Chase. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) reported that FDIC-insured commercial banks and saving institutions aggregate net income was $39.8 billion for Q1 2015, a 6.9 percent or $2.6 billion increase from the previous year. JUNE FDIC Director Jeremiah O. Norton resigned from that position effective June 5. Norton has served as FDIC director since April 2012. "I would like to express my gratitude to you and to the members of the Senate for affording me the opportunity to work with the many talented and dedicated public servants at the FDIC," Norton said. Year-End Flash Back The Good, the Bad, and, of Course, the Memorable in 2015 HUD Secretary Julián Castro Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen FHA Chief Ed Golding

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