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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.

Consumers Dial Back Home Price Expectations

The latest Survey of Consumer Expectations from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows home price change expectations have declined slightly, falling to a projected 3.8 percent for the year ahead—the lowest level seen since October last year. The Fed found that the pattern did not hold in the West, where home prices are expected to continue at an even stronger pace.

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Former TARP Execs Charged in ‘Massive’ Bank Fraud

Four California men have been indicted on federal charges of conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud, and more in a case relating to the collapse of the Sonoma Valley Bank in August 2010. According to a release from the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the accused allegedly "skirted the bank's internal controls and defrauded Sonoma Valley Bank by authorizing the bank to lend $9.5 million to a straw purchaser."

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FDIC: Fears of Industry Consolidation Unfounded

While small bankers have expressed concerns that increased regulations may hurt profit margins and make them more susceptible to buyouts, data from a new FDIC study argues otherwise. The study looked at bank trends from 1985 to 2013, and found "the recent uptick in the rate of consolidation is attributable to factors that are likely to subside once the effects of the crisis are fully behind us."

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Agencies Advise Banks on Cyber-Security

In the wake of a cyber-attack on Ellie Mae and the discovery of the Heartbleed bug, FDIC put out a release advising financial institutions on resources to stay up to date on security threats. FDIC urges financial institutions to "ensure that their Information Security staff are aware of and subscribe to reliable and recognized resources that can help quickly identify cyber risks as they emerge."

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OCC Counsel Addresses Regulatory Complaints from Community Banks

In a testimony given in front of the House Financial Services Committee this week, OCC chief counsel Amy Friend addressed frustrations stemming from regulatory burdens on community banks banks. Friend's testimony offered a conciliatory nod to the plight of smaller banks while noting particular ways the OCC addresses smaller bank's particular grievances with the Dodd-Frank Act.

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Freddie Mac Extends Mortgage Relief to Victims in Washington Disaster

Freddie Mac released on Wednesday an announcement "urgently reminding" servicers about the full range of relief options available to borrowers affected by flooding and other natural disasters in Washington. The company also made special note to remind servicers to consider relief policies for borrowers who work in eligible disaster areas but live in unaffected areas.

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OIG: CFPB’s Supervisory Activities Need Improvement

An audit of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) operational efficiency found the agency is lacking when it comes to the execution of its supervisory activities. In a report, the Office of the Inspector General for the Federal Reserve System says CFPB could improve in three areas: reporting timelines, standard compliance rating definitions, and examination reporting policies.

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Vacation Home Sales Pick Up; Investor Interest Wanes

Vacation home sales rose in 2013 as investment purchases retreated from levels observed in previous years, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun commented that as market conditions return to normal, investors must now evaluate their purchases more carefully—and judiciously.

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Report: Ellie Mae Attacks Show Industry Insight

In an interview with National Mortgage News, Ellie Mae president and COO Jonathan Corr revealed the company's suspicions that a recent cyber attack carried out on its servers may have been launched by people with knowledge of the industry. Ellie Mae has hired Stroz Friedberg, a cyber-security and digital forensics firm, to look into the attack as well as any possible data or security breaches.

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