Home >> Author Archives: Colin Robins (page 10)

Author Archives: Colin Robins

Colin Robins is the online editor for DSNews.com. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts from the University of Texas, Dallas. Additionally, he contributes to the MReport, DS News' sister site.

Prices Up, Sales Down in Windy City

According to an analysis by RE/MAX, bitter weather and a small inventory of homes for sale were the primary factors causing reduced sales activity in the Chicago area in February. The report commented, "Mortgage interest rates, which remain comfortably under 5 percent for 30-year fixed-rate loans, continue providing stimulus to the housing market."

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Firms Announce First-Ever ‘eClosed’ FHA Loan

Stewart Title announced Monday the first electronically closed Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan in partnership with Mountain America Credit Union. The companies joined to offer customers an eco-friendly and enhanced ...

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Reports: Loan Trends Positive for Economic Growth

In two reports issued separately Monday, Wells Fargo's Economics Group explores two promising trends that both indicate a positive climate for economic growth. The first report follows FDIC loan performance, noting cyclical improvement in loan performance and a trend favorable for credit quality. The second report comments on underwriting practices, noting ongoing relaxing in standards.

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February Stats Point to Increased Seller Confidence

The national median listing price improved to nearly $200,000 last month despite an improvement in inventory numbers, Realtor.com reported in its February Monthly Housing Trend Report. The increase in both list price as well as inventory points to a "strong early beginning to this spring's home buying season," the report said, with Move, Inc., CEO Steve Berkowitz adding, "Overall these figures indicate a continued reinforcement of steady gains and market stabilization that we've been watching since late last summer."

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DoJ Watchdog Finds Lax Approach to Mortgage Fraud

An audit conducted by the inspector general for the Justice Department found that, despite public statements to the contrary, mortgage fraud isn't a highly prioritized issue. FBI field offices visited by the Office of the Inspector General, including Baltimore, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York, listed mortgage fraud to be a low priority—if it was listed as one at all.

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More First-Time Buyers Ready to Enter Market in 2014

In 19 of 20 large metros surveyed by Zillow and Pulsenomics, more than 5.0 percent of local residents indicated they wanted to buy a home in the next year, with current renters showing the greatest interest in ownership. While this optimistic total from Zillow suggests interest is high, actually purchasing a home should prove to be a challenge in the upcoming year.

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Former RMBS Trader Found Guilty in TARP Fraud Case

The Special Inspector General's office for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) announced the fraud conviction of a former managing director at New York-based Jefferies & Co. According to Special Inspector Christy Romero, Jesse C. Litvak misrepresented asking prices on residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), pocketing the profits. "Trading in mortgage securities can be a complicated business, but what the defendant did was simple—he lied to, defrauded, and illegally overcharged customers out of pure greed to benefit Jefferies and himself," Romero said.

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Regulator Calls Nationstar on ‘Explosive Growth’

A regulator who recently took actions to curb growth at Ocwen has now turned his eye to Nationstar. In a letter addressed to the company, Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York's Department of Financial Services, said his agency has concerns "that the explosive growth at Nationstart and other nonbank mortgage servicers may create capacity issues that put homeowners at risk."

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HUD Unveils 2015 Budget; Expects No Further FHA Bailout

In a conference call Tuesday, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan discussed the agency's proposed fiscal year 2015 budget, which is up 2.6 percent from current levels to $46.66 billion. Joining Donovan was Carol Galante, commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which last year was forced to accept its first-ever Treasury draw—an incident her agency is expected to avoid this year.

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Credit Risk Down to Post-Crash Low

TransUnion released its Credit Risk Index (CRI) Wednesday, concluding that credit risk dropped at the end of 2013 to the lowest level since 2005. "With credit risk at such low levels, there is a possibility that consumers in higher risk segments may see more credit offers, as some lenders decide they have the room in their profit models to take on greater risk," said Ezra Becker, VP of research and consulting for TransUnion.

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