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Volume 29 - Number 44

November 15, 2012

Experts: Uncertainty Over ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Outcome Could Stall Housing Recovery; Mortgage Deduction on Table

Although mortgage market watchers cautiously expect President Obama and the lame-duck session of the 112th Congress to come up with at least a stop-gap deal to avoid the looming “fiscal cliff” at year’s end, building uncertainty among homeowners and potential borrowers as to whether important mortgage tax deductions will exist in 2013 threatens to thwart housing’s fragile recovery. Unless Congress and the president create and sign new legislation to change existing law before Jan. 1, 2013, taxpayers are poised to be hit with a massive combination of expiring tax breaks, tax hikes and deep, automatic federal spending cuts. A report last week by the Congressional Budget Office concluded that a failure to avoid the cliff would push the economy back into recession with the unemployment rate shooting up to 9.1 percent by next fall. Fitch Ratings warns...

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Poll

What is it going to take to convince lenders to loosen the credit box (i.e., remove underwriting overlays)?

The recent rep and warranty changes announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency should go a long way in protecting lenders from future buybacks and help expand mortgage credit.
There won’t be any significant elimination of underwriting overlays until the government stops seeking huge mortgage-related penalties and settlements from lenders.
There shouldn’t be any expansion of the mortgage credit box since looser underwriting is what caused the recent mortgage crisis.

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