New Fannie Mae Rules Allow for ‘Non-Traditional’ Credit Histories

Mortgage guarantor Fannie Mae is easing its credit requirements for homebuyers, in the hopes of expanding the benefits of homeownership to qualified borrowers who may not have a traditional credit history. FannieMae, a company which backs mortgages made by private lenders and sells those loans in bundles as securities, announced Monday that it will allow lenders to use alternate forms of credit information to qualify applicants. Up to this point, lenders would input borrower data into Fannie Read more [...]

Rising Home Prices Means Fewer Mortgage Modifications

A few years ago ‘mortgage modification’ was a word on the minds of millions of homeowners. Today in an improving housing market, the need for such modifications to save borrowers in danger of foreclosure is shrinking. But according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency  , those who do still need help are finding fewer options available. There were 13,200 permanent loan modifications made through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in February of this year, down 3 percent from the month before. Of Read more [...]

Mortgage Money Was More Available in January

It was slightly easier to get a home mortgage loan in January, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, continuing the two-year trend of slowly loosening credit standards. The MBA’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) rose 1.8 percent last month to 117.8 percent. An increase in the index means lenders are relaxing their lending standards whereas a decrease in the index indicates the lending climate is becoming more exclusive. For reference, the index was benchmarked Read more [...]

Consumer Confidence in Housing Market Rose in October

American consumers are feeling more positive about the U.S. housing market, according to government-backed mortgage giant Fannie Mae, a sign that home sales and inventory may increase in coming months. The Fannie Mae October 2014 National Housing Survey  found that the number of people who believe it is a good time to sell a home rose to 44 percent, a new all-time high in the survey’s four year history. Consumers still think the housing market is more of a buyers’ market as 65 percent said Read more [...]

New Fannie Mae Regulator Moves to Loosen Mortgage Credit

The new head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced plans that would ramp up government involvement in the housing market, instead of reducing its footprint as many in Congress have argued for. Even though the House and Senate are currently debating bills that seek to phase out the existence of mortgage-backing companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, FHFA Director Mel Watt laid out a few new policy changes for both firms that would increase their presence in the market. "Our Read more [...]

Report: Fannie and Freddie’s Accounting Masks Major Losses

Mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac posted profits in the latest quarter, a notable change from their consistent losses during the Great Recession. Yet now that they seem to have turned a financial corner, it looks like there might be some lingering problems, according to the agencies' regulator. The Federal Housing Finance Agency released details Monday that show Fannie and Freddie's profits may be misleading as they are not yet reporting all their losses due to loan write-offs. Read more [...]

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on August 19th 2013 in Mortgage News

HARP Gets A Two-Year Extension To Help Underwater Homeowners

U.S. homeowners will now have two extra years to refinance loans through the government's Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, according to a news release last week. “More than 2 million homeowners have refinanced through HARP, proving it a useful tool for reducing risk,” said FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco in a statement. “We are extending the program so more underwater borrowers can benefit from lower interest rates.” The initiative was originally designed to help struggling Read more [...]

Freddie Mac Earns $4.5 Billion Mortgage Profit in 4th Quarter

After several years of needing government assistance to stay afloat, mortgage giant Freddie Mac has made some headway in the last year, managing to make a major profit in the latest quarter. Between October and December, Freddie earned $4.5 billion as a result of “a decrease in the volume of newly delinquent single family loans and continued improvement in national home prices.” The 2012 fourth quarter marks the fifth consecutive profitable quarter for the government-controlled company. Freddie, Read more [...]

Fannie and Freddie Sign Off on ‘Mortgage Releases’

In an effort to prevent further foreclosure, mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will now allow underwater homeowners who have kept up on their payments the chance to turn over their deed and walk away free and clear. "There are lots of families who are trapped in their homes," Julia Gordon, director of housing finance and policy at the Center for American Progress in Washington in a Bloomberg article. "They need a way to get out." Government-controlled Fannie and Freddie have Read more [...]

Bank of America Gets Hit with Two Mortgage Settlements in One Day

After months of negotiations, Bank of America settled not one, but two legal disputes on Monday. While they will certainly prove costly to the nation's second largest bank, analysts hope that this puts BofA and the housing market one step closer to healthier future. In the first deal, BofA, along with nine other lenders including Wells Fargo, JPMorgan and Citibank, agreed to an $8.5 billion payout to cancel claims against the banks for foreclosure fraud and mismanagement. Bank of America's portion Read more [...]