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By Thomas Ressler

What we're following this week at Inside Mortgage Finance Publications

July 30, 2012

As usual, there is a lot going on in the mortgage finance universe this week. Here are some of the developments we’re following at Inside Mortgage Finance Publications in the days ahead:

On the Inside Mortgage Finance beat:

  • Details and outlook on the mortgage refinance proposal from Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-OR.
  • Principal-reduction status update: The Federal Housing Finance Agency has said little about its long-awaited analysis as to whether Fannie and Freddie will be allowed to offer principal forgiveness modifications under the Treasury’s Home Affordable Modification Program since the agency’s self-imposed April deadline came and went.
  • A group of homeowners have filed a RICO class-action lawsuit in California federal court against JPMorgan alleging it used automated loan management systems to cheat borrowers by charging them unnecessary servicing fees.
  • Coverage from last week’s Inside Mortgage Finance Publications webinar on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s regulatory agenda: how supervision will be coordinated between state and federal regulators; confidentiality concerns over the collection and use of supervisory reports by the CFPB and state authorities.
  • On Wednesday, the full House Committee on Small Business is scheduled to conduct a hearing titled, “Know Before You Regulate: The Impact of CFPB Regulations on Small Business,” focusing on the bureau’s proposed regulation to integrate the mortgage disclosures that are provided to consumers in a real estate transaction.
  • The CFPB has issued its formal semi-annual report to Congress. A Senate Banking Committee hearing on the report with CFPB Director Richard Cordray that was scheduled for tomorrow has been rescheduled for Sept. 13.

On the Inside MBS & ABS beat:

  • A look at non-agency MBS sales activity and holdings.
  • An analysis of new data on stop advance rates for non-agency MBS.
  • There’s a Senate Banking Committee subcommittee hearing on the remaining challenges to what’s known as the tri-party repo market scheduled for Thursday morning. SIFMA’s latest data for this sector indicates that government securities account for 34.7 percent by dollar value of the most common collateral types.
  • Eminent domain update: Chicago and Berkeley are said to be considering a mortgage eminent domain plan. Meanwhile, SIFMA continues to pound the issue, prompting CA Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom to tell the organization to “cease making threats to the local officials of San Bernardino County” over the E.D. plan under consideration there.
  • Countrywide has transferred approximately 38,000 loans so far to special servicers as part of an $8.5 billion MBS settlement proposed by Bank of America and Bank of New York Mellon in 2011.

On the Inside Regulatory Strategies beat:

  • Industry trade group representatives are urging the CFPB to avoid unintended consequences in its upcoming Dodd-Frank rulemaking on mortgage-loan originator compensation.
  • In Birster v. American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently held that a mortgage servicer may be a debt collector subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when it attempts to both enforce a security interest and collect a debt.
  • Last week, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Department of Justice announced the resolution of actions brought against Capitol One for alleged violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, including foreclosing without a court order.
  • As of Aug. 13, nonbank financial institutions (including independent mortgage bankers and broker originators) need to have established anti-money laundering programs and be in compliance with suspicious activity report regulations.
  • Questions remain as to how successful HUD’s Distressed Asset Stabilization Program will be, given the additional certifications required of the servicing mortgagees assigning loans to HUD and the additional restrictions on investors that purchase the Neighborhood Stabilization loan pools, attorneys at K&L Gates said.

 

On the Inside FHA Lending beat:

  • San Bernardino County’s eminent domain proposal involves a writedown and refinancing of underwater mortgages into FHA short refi loans. Would FHA agree to the plan?
  • HUD DASP 2: As HUD moves forward with a September launch of the expanded FHA Distressed Asset Stabilization Plan (as mentioned above), additional certifications made by assigning lenders could materially increase a servicer’s risk of liability under the False Claims Act, which authorizes the government to pursue treble damages, according to legal experts.
  • HUD may lift the moratorium on investor participation in the 203(k) rehabilitation mortgage program.

On the Inside The GSEs beat:

  • Preliminary 2nd quarter earnings numbers are starting to roll in from a handful of the Federal Home Loan Banks: Atlanta, Boston, Des Moines and Indianapolis.

 

Poll

After the November elections, how long will it take for a new Congress and White House to pass GSE reform legislation?

I’m confident a bill will be passed the first year.
2 to 3 years. GSE reform is complicated.
Sadly it won’t happen in a Clinton or Trump first term.
Not in my lifetime.

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