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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.

Fannie Mae Revises Fees for Late, Inaccurate Loan Reports

Fannie Mae announced Friday revisions to its maximum fee assessment for servicers submitting late or inaccurate loan reports. According to the announcement, Fannie will fine servicers the greater of $250 or $50 per mortgage loan, with maximums starting at $5,000 for the first instance and climbing up to $15,000 for repeated incidents. The new fee structure goes into effect May 1, 2014.

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Report: For Servicers, a Sea Change

In a recent report, Fitch Ratings notes that new servicing oversight will yield higher fixed costs, as technology and process enhancements are made in order to comply with the new guidelines. This increase in cost will push non-bank servicers to grow their portfolios, and Fitch suggests “strong forces are still in place to further incent both outright MSR sales and subservicing arrangements, thus heightening scrutiny of such transactions."

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Prices Steady Through Winter’s End; Midwest Growth ‘Nonexistent’

Clear Capital released its Home Data Index Market Report with data through March 2014, noting mostly flatness as the winter came to an end. "Our data through the end of March reveals prices remained steady through the final weeks of winter, a sigh of relief to all market participants," said Dr. Alex Villacorta, VP of research and analytics at Clear Capital.

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OIG Finds Inconsistencies in FHLB Expenses

HERA, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, required Federal Home Loan Bank director expenses to be reported to Congress in its annual report. However, an investigation by the inspector general for the Federal Housing Finance Agency found that director expense reports contained "inconsistencies and limitations that diminish their usefulness."

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Survey Finds Growing Frustration over Dodd-Frank

A new survey published through George Mason University's Mercatus Center finds bankers at smaller institutions are growing increasingly anxious about the roll-out of the Dodd-Frank Act and subsequent regulatory requirements. One anonymous banker objected to "the maddening pace of illogical and unnecessary regulation (that would not) have done anything to prevent the 2008 collapse."

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Fitch Finalizes Criteria on QM, Non-QM Securities

Two months after the implementation date of the qualified mortgage (QM) and ability-to-repay rules, Fitch Ratings announced it has finalized new criteria for analyzing loans in securities taking the new guidelines into account. Fitch developed assumptions with respect to the probability of challenges to the rule or a mortgage’s QM status, as well as the potential costs or damages.

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California Joins $2B Settlement with Ocwen

California's Department of Business Oversight announced the state has joined 48 others in reaching a $2.1 billion settlement with Ocwen Financial Corporation and Ocwen Loan Servicing. The lawsuit stems from Ocwen's acquisition of two mortgage servicers, Litton Loan Servicing, LP and Homeward Residential, Inc., in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Ocwen was held liable for prior malfeasance regarding mortgage servicing laws.

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Mortgage Settlement Banks Fulfill Relief Requirements

The appointed monitor for the National Mortgage Settlement revealed Tuesday that all banks involved in the settlement have satisfied their consumer relief and refinancing obligations—and nearly a year ahead of schedule. In a release, Joseph A. Smith Jr. commented, "Because of the way this landmark agreement was designed, an unprecedented amount of relief has been provided to consumers quickly and efficiently."

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Weather, Inventory Take Toll on February Home Sales

While usually slow, February home sales were especially soft this year, thanks to the combined factors of harsh weather, higher prices, and slim inventory. According to RE/MAX's latest National Housing Report, home sales dropped by 8.8 percent year-over-year last month, outdoing January's loss of 7.1 percent. Of the 52 metros surveyed for the report, 42 posted declines.

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