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Strong 2012 Predictions from Fiserv Case-Shiller Indexes

In opposition to the recently recorded declines, the Fiserv Case-Shiller Indexes predicts stable numbers around the country by 2012. Notable stats from the 380 markets that the survey examined include a forecasted rise in housing affordability to pre-crisis levels and an increase in home pricing strength near the start of 2012. The Fiserv Case-Shiller Home Price Insights, available now, indicate that housing affordability could rise, since current pricing is about 5 percent above data from 2000.

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Markets Shake with GSE, Home Loan Bank Downgrades

Freddie

Standard & Poor├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós sent markets into a tailspin Monday when it downgraded credit ratings on debt for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, citing majority ownership by the federal government, whose own ratings the agency pulled down to AA+. Showing no remorse, the ratings agency also downgraded debt ratings for 10 Federal Home Loan Banks across the country. The dual downgrades represented a vote of no confidence by S&P that helped create selloff frenzy on Wall Street.

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Treasuries, Analysts Respond to U.S. Debt Downgrade

Markets and investors recoiled Saturday over news that ratings agency Standard & Poor's slapped U.S. Treasury debt with a downgrade, shifting credit ratings for the world's largest economy from the long-prized AAA rating to a weaker AA+ rating. In response, Treasury yields dipped over Monday, as housing analysts suggested that the hyped downgrade would hurt borrower confidence more than mortgage rates. Rather than run, investors bought up Treasuries Monday.

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AIG to Battle BAC

American International Group is heading to court with Bank of America. AIG filed a lawsuit Monday against the bank, targeting BAC├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós alleged misrepresentation of mortgage-backed securities. AIG├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós claims focus on BAC├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Financial components, and the entity is seeking over $10 billion in compensation in what could be the largest mortgage-security lawsuit ever filed by an individual investor. The suit alleges that the bank fraudulently represented the quality of mortgage-backed securities purchased by AIG.

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Leading Leadership: XINNIX Hires New Trainer

Boosting its mortgage sales and leadership development programs, XINNIX announced the addition of Bruce Grant as a new trainer within the department. With more than 26 years in the industry, Grant is set to join XINNIX in a role that encompasses instructing new and existing loan officers on business development, leadership skills, and executive communications.

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Homeownership Continues a Steady Decline

abandoned house

Alongside the Dow Industrial plunge and news that the U.S. economy added 117,000 jobs, the Census Bureau released a report signaling more troubled waters ahead for homeowners and Americans with the desire to one day live in their own houses. Homeownership rates fell to 65.9 percent, one percent less than rates for the same over the second quarter last year. Homeownership sits at its lowest levels since 1998, according to Census data, matching homeownership levels from 1965.

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Housing Sectors Add Few New Hires in July

Fresh on the heels of a 512-point nosedive by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the U.S. economy added 117,000 jobs over July, beating less ideal estimates and soothing markets anxious about a recession repeat. The number of unemployed people and the unemployment rate moved ever so slightly over July, as joblessness hovered at 13.9 million nationally and the latter continued at 9.1 percent. The total labor force stayed somewhat static at 153.2 million last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of unemployed people dipped.

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Scam Artist Sting Successful in South Florida

The South Florida mortgage banking community is immersed in scandal, as a result of four indictments released this week by the U.S. Attorney├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Office in Miami, Florida. The separate filings target 27 individuals who are accused of diverse fraud schemes waged against lenders and homeowners in the region. Charges encompass more than $30 million in faulty mortgage loans, plus mail fraud, insurance fraud, and arson. Twenty-five of the 27 indicted individuals are in custody, and each could ultimately face up to 20 years in jail.

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BAC Going after GSE Practices

The government sponsored enterprises are feeling the heat from Bank of America. A recent filing from BAC targets Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, stating that the criteria by which the GSEs are ultimately willing to resolve claims have become more rigid over time. By the numbers, BAC sold an estimated $1.1 trillion in mortgage loans to Fannie and Freddie between 2004 and 2008, and during the second quarter of this year, approximately $121 billion of the GSE-owned loans were in default or more than 180 days in arrears.

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