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Author Archives: Aly J. Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer and editor based in Fort Worth, Texas. She has worked for various newspapers, magazines, and publications across the nation, including The Dallas Morning News and Addison Magazine. She has also worked with both the Five Star Institute and REO Red Book, as well as various other mortgage industry clients on content strategy, blogging, marketing, and more.

Fed Meeting Could Result in Increased Interest Rates

Fed

When the Federal Reserve concludes its monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, the nation could see increased interest rates for the first time in nine years. . . . Experts say there are dozens of factors that must be considered before the Fed can make a decision, and a questionable economy makes it even more difficult.

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Survey Reveals Buyer Optimism, Concerns, and Motivating Factors

According to the survey, three of every 10 potential homebuyers intend to purchase a home in the next 18 months, and 62 percent think now is a better time to purchase than last year. In fact, 32 percent attribute their intent to buy to current low mortgage rates. Another 35 percent said if 30-year fixed mortgage rates were to rise above 4 percent, it would delay their purchase.

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BB&T Earnings Drop in Q1

But while earnings dropped, mortgage-banking income and actual revenues for BB&T both increased. Since Q1 last year, mortgage-banking income rose by 48.6 percent, and total revenues for the company jumped by 1.5 percent, or $34 million, coming in at $2.3 billion total.

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Home Prices Up 4 Percent from Last Year

U.S. home prices for February were up by 4.6 percent year-over-year and 0.7 percent for the month, according to a home price index (HPI) report released by Black Knight Financial Services this morning. This is the largest monthly gain in home prices since June of last year.

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Prudential Settles Lawsuits with Bank of America over Mortgage-Backed Securities

New Jersey federal court documents filed earlier this week revealed that Prudential Insurance Co. has moved to settle its ongoing lawsuits with Bank of America NA, Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., First Franklin Financial Group, and a number of lenders in the mortgage industry. The suits, which were first filed in March 2013, alleged Bank of America and others knowingly sold Prudential $2.1 billion in low-quality mortgage-backed securities—and made false statements about them.

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OCC Head Shoots Down Volcker’s Plan

Last week, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker had proposed a plan for overhauling the federal regulatory system—one that included eliminating the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) altogether. Since dubbed the “Volcker plan,” the head of the OCC, Thomas Curry, has come out against the proposal, saying it would be ineffective at solving the nation’s regulatory issues.

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FICO Expands Program to Offer Financial Counseling

FICO has announced it is expanding its Score Open Access program, which offers complimentary credit score access to consumers with credit management problems. Now, the program will also provide credit and financial counseling to approximately one million Americans.

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Single-Family New Home Sales Jump Nearly 20 Percent Year-Over-Year

The report also reveals that the median sales price of homes sold in March was $277,000, while the average price was $343,000. Additionally, by the end of March, the number of new homes on the market was 213,000. At the current sales rate, this supply should last approximately 5.3 months. Results of the report are gathered through sample surveys, and the majority of houses are chosen randomly from selected building permits. Census field representatives collect the data, visit permit offices, and track when single-family units are started, completed and sold.

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Freddie Mac: Index Shows Most Metro Housing Markets Are Improving

bubble

The most improved states in the last three months were Oregon, Michigan, Florida, California and Kentucky, with Oregon jumping more than 2 percent. And on a year-over-year basis, Nevada, Colorado, Florida, Oregon and Rhode Island saw the biggest increases. In fact, since this time last year, MiMi values for Nevada have improved more than 11 percent.

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