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Author Archives: Samantha Guzman

Samantha Guzman is an award-winning visual journalist and graduate of the University of North Texas Mayborn School of Journalism. She specializes in visual storytelling and has skills in video, audio and photography, in addition to news writing. She has traveled to Mexico and Bosnia as an assistant for multiple multimedia projects and taught news writing, photojournalism, and narrative storytelling in the past.

Survey: Over 60 Percent of Millennials Are Unaware of Closing Costs

A ClosingCorp survey of more than 1,000 adults found that about 2 in 3 adults age 18-34, who plan to buy a home know nothing about closing costs. The survey also found that across all age groups, more than one-third of potential homeowners are “not very” or “not at all” aware of closing costs.

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Fitch Downgrades Green Tree Rating

The downgrade comes after Ocwen Financial announced they would be selling $9.6 billion worth of servicing rights to Green Tree. Fitch said the downgrade is tied to Green Tree having had aggressive portfolio growth in the past two years in a press release.

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FHFA Reports 5.1 Percent Year-Over-Year Home Price Increase

In January, U.S. house prices rose a mere 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month. The previously reported 0.8 percent change in December was revised downward to a 0.7 percent change. The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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Census Bureau: New Home Sales at Highest Rate in Seven Years

According to data released by the U.S. Census and HUD the February sales are up nearly 25 percent compared to sales from that month last year. Sales for February 2014 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 539,000. This is 7.8 percent above the January rate of 500,000.

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IDS Announces 2014 as a Record Year

IDS also set a company record in January 2015 for the most amount of initial disclosures generated in a single month. Total initial disclosure volume for the company in 2014 increased 13.6 percent over 2013. In addition, the company increased its overall document fulfillment volume in 2014 by 53 percent over 2013, and its E-sign volume increased 36 percent over the same period.

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Senator’s Budget Amendment Targets ‘Reckless’ CFPB


The senator’s proposed budget amendment will make the CFPB subject to congressional appropriations process because currently the CFPB operates under the Fed, not Congress. The amendment stressed for more congressional oversight given the CFPB receives roughly $600 million of the Fed’s annual operating expenses.

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New York Tops List of Housing Markets With Most Self-Directed Sales

Self-directed real estate allows individuals to sell and buy homes without using a real estate agent. According to Owners.com, self-directed real estate appeals to consumers for several reasons including transparency, accessibility, and saving money. VP of Owners.com, Erik Ekardt said self-directed sales puts power back into the hands of consumers.

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Median Home Price Rises 7.5 Percent in February

Sales are 4.7 percent higher than a year ago and above year-over-year totals for the fifth consecutive month. The median existing home price for all housing types in February was $202, 600. That is 7.5 percent above the February 2014 price. This marks the 36th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains since last year.

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MGIC Hires Patrick Sinks as CEO

Sinks has served as President and COO since January 2006. Previously, Sinks served as EVP ¬of Field Operations from 2002. Sinks has also served as SVP of Controller and Chief Accounting Officer, and before that held a variety of positions within the accounting and finance Departments. Sinks earned his MBA from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Mary.

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Negative Equity Rises in 21 Housing Markets

Florida and the Midwest have some markets with more than a quarter of mortgaged homes underwater. Home values rose 5.9 percent nationally last year, making low-end homes far more likely to be worth less than the balance of their mortgage. While the percentage of mortgages that are in negative equity nationally is at 16.9 percent as of the fourth quarter of 2014, the negative equity rate among low end homes is much higher at 27.3 percent. The national negative equity rate is expected to fall to 15.4 percent by the end of 2015.

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