FHFA Plans to Ease Lending Standards



Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt on Monday announced plans to expand home buyers’ access to mortgages by loosening up lending standards. During the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual conference, Watt said FHFA will release guidelines “in the coming weeks” to allow increased lending to borrowers with down payments as low as 3 percent. FHFA, […]

Chicago Begins Renovating and Renting out Foreclosed Condos



Cities across the US are grappling with the same question: What to do with all of those homes left vacant by the large number of foreclosures? While government agencies at a national level struggle to put together a coherent program for transforming foreclosed homes into rental properties, it seems that some cities are already taking matters into their own hands.

Cook County Passes Ordinance to Regulate Vacant Homes



Today the Cook County Board passed an ordinance that will introduce regulations for vacant homes. The ordinance is similar to one that the city of Chicago recently instituted and will cover the non-incorporated areas in Cook County. The move comes in spite of the fact that the Chicago ordinance is now involved in a federal […]

Lawmakers Looking to Block $12.79 Million Bonuses



Government-controlled mortgage finance firms, Fannie and Freddie, have received around $169 billion of taxpayer’s money in an effort to prop them up, but it was recently revealed the firms were paying just 10 executives around $12.79 million in bonuses. This unwelcome news has prompted lawmakers to look at ways of blocking these hefty bonus packages, […]

Federal Regulators Plan to Overhaul Mortgage Refinance Program



Plans have just been revealed for federal regulators to overhaul a mortgage refinance program, and the White House hopes this will help to revitalize the housing market. This latest overhaul would allow homeowners to refinance their mortgages regardless of whether or not they are “underwater,” making this extremely significant for those homeowners in states where […]

Fannie and Freddie Could Raise Fees in 2012



Analysts believe that the government may need to charge higher fees to lenders and increase mortgage insurance from borrowers in order to guarantee loans when they go ahead and overhaul Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – a move that could lead to increased borrowing costs. The government is trying to boost competitiveness within mortgage markets, […]

Federal Housing Finance Agency To Sue Big Banks Over Toxic Mortgages



The New York Times is reporting that the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is planning to sue more than a dozen big banks for misrepresenting the quality of mortgages that were sold at the height of the housing boom. The suit alleges that the banks who packaged and sold […]

FHFA Press Release – 250,000 Foreclosures Converted To Rentals?



In a press release dated August 10, 2011, The Federal Housing Finance Agency is seeking comment on the idea of transitioning foreclosed homes into rental property, by selling the houses off to investors, who would then be required to offer them as rental property. FHFA oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two GSE’s who […]

Rural US States Staging a Recovery



Although the national housing market is still treading water, rural states appear to be faring a little better, according to economic forecasters.   Certain states such as Alaska, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota have economies which are dependent on sectors which are performing more strongly, such as energy, agriculture or industry. Although house prices […]

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