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Fed Expected to Raise Interest Rates: Or Will They?

Federal Open Market Committee is set to finish its June meeting on Wednesday and it is widely expected that they will raise interest rates in order to keep the economy stabilized, even though inflation remains around 2 percent. In May, when they last met, members of the board chose to keep interest rates at their current level. Will this mean anything for mortgage interest rates? One expert believes it might not impact the mortgage market at all.

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Industry Reacts: Deregulation of Financial System on the Horizon

Deregulation is on the horizon according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Monday report. While some avidly oppose the change, many see it as a positive adjustment for banks, consumers, and the economy. Whether the changes will destroy the economy or create long-term stability, the Treasury and Administration said it will forge ahead to its next steps working with congress to change statutes, regulations, and supervisory guidance.

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Could Supreme Court Decision Have Vast Implications on Mortgage Industry?

The Supreme Court ruled Monday in a unanimous decision that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act did not extend its reach to entities that purchase defaulted loans on the secondary market. The petitioners brought their case in front of the Supreme Court in an appeal of the 4th Circuit Court ruling in favor of the respondent. Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered his first opinion since his conferral to the Court.

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Carson Sets Sights on Millennial Homebuyers

Without swift intervention, millennials could become “a lost generation of homeownership,” according to Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In his opening remarks at the National Housing Symposium in Washington, D.C. on Friday, Carson called homeownership a “lost dream” for many millennials—even ones who are credit-worthy. Current and upcoming efforts by the FHA and Fannie Mae will likely open more doors for millennial buyers, Carson said.

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House Passes Sweeping Regulatory Legislation

On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a landmark bill--233 to 186--that, in its current form would dramatically change the future of financial regulation. The Financial CHOICE Act, originally introduced by Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Financial Service Committee, on April 26, 2017, significantly amends the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The CHOICE Act is the Republican response to reforms put in place after the 2008 economic collapse.

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CBO Estimates $9.5 Billion Additional Deficit Reduction With Amendment

While much buzz has been surrounding the presumed passing of the Financial Choice Act (H.R. 10), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a non-partisan analysis for the U.S. Congress, released the budgetary effects of enacting the amended bill Tuesday. The original CBO estimate, released May 4, 2017, said enacting the legislation would reduce federal deficits by $24.1 billion over the 2017-2027 period, but the recalculated estimate said budget deficits would be significantly more than originally estimated. The House of Representatives is set to vote on the bill Thursday.

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White House Nominations Move Forward

Pamela Patenaude, current President of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families, appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs for her nomination hearing Tuesday. If confirmed for Deputy Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Patenaude pledged to ensure that HUD’s programs are responsive to the housing needs of U.S. citizens. President Trump confirmed rumors of Joseph Otting’s intended nomination for the Comptroller of the Currency.

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FHFA and Treasury Urge Panel Not to Modify Decision

In February, the D.C. Circuit panel gave the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) a win over the allocation of profits from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to the Treasury. This affirmed a lower court’s ruling that actions taken under the FHFA’s conservatorship of the GSEs cannot be challenged in court, however Fannie and Freddie shareholders sued the two for agreeing to the deal. Now, the FHFA and Treasury are urging the D.C. Circuit not to modify its ruling.

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Tax Reform Could Put Homeownership Out of Reach

According to a major industry organization, President Trump’s potential tax reform could make homeownership unaffordable for many Americans. The President’s plan would raise the threshold on the mortgage interest deduction, allowing only those with the heftiest home loans to take advantage of it. To date, the MI deduction has primarily benefited middle-class taxpayers. If reformed, it may cease to do that.

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CFPB Wins a Battle in Ocwen Case

For going on two months, Ocwen Financial Corporation, the country’s largest nonbank mortgage loan servicer, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have been at odds. Beginning in late April, the CFPB sued Ocwen and its subsidiaries claiming that they have been “failing borrowers at every stage of the mortgage servicing process.” Now, a federal judge has delayed Ocwen’s bid to test the constitutionality of the CFPB.

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