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Home >> News >> Government

Housing Starts Down 14.4% in August

Housing Starts Down 14.4% in August

According to the government's figures, privately owned housing starts last month were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 956,000, marking a 14.4 percent month-over-month drop. July's rate of new homebuilding was revised up to 1.12 million. While apartment construction has led single-family homebuilding in most of this year's previous gains, the opposite was true in August's report: Multifamily starts (five units or more) plunged 31.5 percent in August to an adjusted annual rate of 304,000, while single-family starts were down a more modest 2.4 percent to 643,000.

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Fed Cuts Bond-Buying, Hints at October End

Fed Cuts Bond-Buying, Hints at October End

In a statement released Wednesday following the end of the Federal Open Market Committee's latest meeting, the Fed announced that starting in October, it will dial back its monthly purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities and Treasury securities to a combined pace of $15 billion per month. Barring any significant setback in the economy in the next month, the committee announced it could end its asset purchases at its October meeting.

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Treasury Official Breaks Down Private-Label Challenges

Treasury Official Breaks Down Private-Label Challenges

Speaking at an event hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., Michael Stegman, counselor to the Treasury secretary for housing finance policy, explained that lenders are currently reluctant to make non-agency loans without first knowing how they'll rate on the market. At the same time, credit rating agencies don't rate mortgage pools until they see the actual loan tape.

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U.S. Bank Settles over Alleged Lending Discrimination

U.S. Bank Settles over Alleged Lending Discrimination

U.S. Bank has reached a settlement with a housing regulator over allegations the bank discriminated against a Native American couple in denying them a refinance. Under the settlement's terms, U.S. Bank agreed to pay the couple's U.S. Bank credit card balance, amounting to nearly $11,500. The bank also agreed to approve their refinance application at the same interest rate and terms under which they originally applied in May 2013.

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House Committee Approves Bill to Ease Large Firm Bankruptcies

House Committee Approves Bill to Ease Large Firm Bankruptcies

The House Judiciary Committee approved bipartisan legislation aimed at speeding up the bankruptcy process and preventing taxpayers from taking the hit in the event of the failure of large financial institutions. The backers of the Financial Institution Bankruptcy Act say it will expedite the bankruptcy process with a speedy judicial review and quicker transfer of assets from the bank to a bridge company.

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HSBC, FHFA Reach $550M RMBS Settlement

HSBC, FHFA Reach $550M RMBS Settlement

HSBC Holdings is the latest institution to make good with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) after the firm's North American arm agreed Friday to pay hundreds of millions to settle claims revolving around faulty mortgage-backed securities (MBS) sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the years before the crash.

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Report: CFPB’s Proposed Expanded Complaint Database Poses Risks to All Involved

Report: CFPB’s Proposed Expanded Complaint Database Poses Risks to All Involved

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently proposed an expansion of its consumer complaint database that would include publicly publishing full narratives of consumers' complaints against financial institutions. While the bureau suggests such action supports the goal of "[improving] the functioning, transparency, and efficiency of markets," not all agree.

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Lawmaker Pushes to Reform Consumer Credit Reporting

Lawmaker Pushes to Reform Consumer Credit Reporting

Congresswoman Maxine Waters announced Wednesday a new proposal aimed at reforming consumer reporting and credit scoring practices. Waters drafted her proposal, which is entitled "Fair Credit Reporting Improvement Act of 2014," in response to many recent cases and studies which have exposed flaws in the country's current consumer reporting system.

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Regulators Optimistic on Finalizing Risk Retention Rule

Regulators Optimistic on Finalizing Risk Retention Rule

Financial regulators said Tuesday they hope to finish their work on a rule aimed at tightening mortgage standards and reducing risk by the end of this year. In a Senate Banking Committee hearing, FDIC chair Martin Gruenberg said his agency and others are "in the end game" of their work on a rule that would require mortgage-backed securities (MBS) issuers to hold a stake on packaged loans that don't meet certain exemption requirements.

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