MReport June 2017

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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8 | TH E M R EP O RT MONTH IN REVIEW 1 In a 5-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that cities can sue banks over lost tax revenue on foreclosed properties from urban blight, clearing the way for the City of Miami to sue Bank of America and Wells Fargo under the Fair Housing Act, stating that the banks' discriminatory and predatory lending practices led to a major shortfall in city tax revenues. 2 The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, along with 21 states, filed suit against Ocwen Financial Corporation in April, citing "significant and systemic misconduct at nearly every stage of the mortgage servicing processes." The CFPB's suit claimed that Ocwen illegally fore- closed on at least 1,000 homeowners, among other mistakes. 3 According to a recent report from Trulia, homeownership has become out of reach for many middle-income earners in America. Thanks to rising home prices and tightening inventory, the typical U.S. worker makes $37,000 annually, while the median house price is in the mid $200,000s. This means the average worker would have to spend 42 percent of their income on their mortgage. 4 The Urban Land Institute's Terwilliger Center for Housing released a report detailing the im- pact of immigrants on the housing market—particularly during the crisis. According to the report, immigrants had a particularly positive impact on the markets in San Francisco, Houston, and Buffalo, New York. In the coming years, ULI predicts the immigration population will flock to the suburbs, drawing up homeownership rates in those regions of the country. 5 The Supreme Court ruled that under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collec- tors that knowingly pursue stale debt in bankruptcy proceedings do not run the risk of facing potential consumer protection lawsuits. 6 FICO ® Scores are up on all types of loans, according to the recent Insight Report from Ellie Mae. The average for all loans in March was 721, though the majority—45 percent—had a FICO of 750 or above. Twenty-four percent had a score between 700 and 749, and 20 percent had a score between 650 and 699. 7 RE/MAX released its latest National Housing Report, which showed that homes sold faster, in higher volumes, and at higher prices across the nation in March. It was the highest March for sales volume since the report's inception in 2008. Thirty- eight out of 53 metros measured showed sales increases. 8 The CFPB made efforts to clarify its information collection require- ments under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Many lenders have asked for clarification on definitions and requirements since the agency introduced new HMDA reporting categories in 2015. 9 According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, HARP refinances have dropped in 2017, as mortgage rates increased. About 4,200 refinances were completed through HARP in February, represent- ing about 3 percent of total refinance volume for the month. Sixty percent of HARP-eligible loans in February came from just 10 states, with Florida leading the way. Moving Up, Moving On This month's headlines prove one thing: The industry is moving fast. Sales are up, FICO Scores are up, and even the time on some regulations and industry laws may be up as well. It a time of change and evolution for mortgage, and MReport is here to keep you in the loop.

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