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Daily Dose

Michael Stegman Stresses Need for Housing Reform In Speech

According to Stegman, under the current system taxpayers remain at risk and the government has yet to provide a long-term plan for the housing market. Under conservatorship GSE senior employees can reap substantial profits while leaving taxpayers the burden of covering the enormous losses. Flaws like this one can only be changed by law.

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Bill Introduced to Replace CFPB Director With Committee

Neugebauer’s proposal would replace the CFPB director with a bipartisan, five-member commission appointed by the president for five-year terms, with no more than three from a single political party. According to the draft legislation, the CFPB would also be renamed as the “Financial Product Safety Commission” and would no longer be funded by the Federal Reserve, but by its own budget appropriation.

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FHFA Director Mel Watt Says HARP Can’t Last Forever

U.S. foreclosures soared in 2008. At that time, one in every 54 households was getting at least one filling notice and nearly 3.2 million foreclosures were filed in 2007. Loss mitigation programs were created in response to the crisis. Now, Watt believes the need for these programs will wind down. An estimated 3.2 million borrowers have completed a HARP refinance since it was introduced in 2009, including more than 95,000 in New Jersey, according to the FHFA.

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Bank Releases New Zero Percent Down Mortgage Program

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac released a mortgage program allowing borrowers to put a down payment of a little as three percent, in December of last year. The program was set to target individuals with good credit, but low cash flow. This program has drawn much controversy, with some saying this kind of risky lending is what caused the financial crisis.

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Nearly Two Million Homeowners Offered Mortgage Solutions in 2014

The mortgage industry has completed about 23.2 million non-foreclosure solutions for homebuyers since 2007. Mortgage servicers have completed over 7.3 million total permanent loan modifications in that same time period. Approximately 5.9 million of those modifications were via proprietary programs and over 1.4 million were completed under HAMP.

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Beige Book Reports Mixed Residential Real Estate Conditions

Residential real estate activity increased moderately in the Richmond district. Realtors in Virginia and North Carolina reported increased sales, especially for higher end homes in North Carolina. Home sales increased in the St. Louis district on a year-over-year basis. Compared with the same period in 2013, December 2014 monthly home sales were up 5 percent in Louisville, 11 percent in Little Rock, and 29 percent in St. Louis.

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Citigroup to Sell OneMain to Springleaf for $42.5 Billion

Citigroup has been trying to sell OneMain since 2011 as a plan the bank has implemented to sell unwanted assets and focus on wealthier clients. OneMain is a part of Citi Holdings, which was created during the financial crisis to place assets that Citigroup wanted to divest or wind down. It provides loans to buy small-ticket items and meet unexpected expenses. The company posted a loss of $2 billion in 2010, but has since been profitable, with profits rising 7 percent to $415 million in nine months. OneMain has 1,140 branches in the U.S.

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Bad Credit, Excessive Debt, Low Income Cited as Top Reasons for FHA Loan Rejection

Before the recession about 15 percent of Americans had a FICO score less than 600, while after the recession about 25 percent of Americans had the same low score, according to a study released in 2010 by Deutsche Bank. More recently, the Urban Institute and Encore Capital Group's Consumer Credit Research Institute found that one-third of consumers with credit files had debt in collection. That report, which examined TransUnion credit data from 2013, found 77 million Americans have debt 180 days past due, with the average person having about $5,178 in credit card, utility bill, or medical bill debt.

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Educated, Wealthy Population Going Against Historic Trend by Heading to Urban Areas

Today, cities resemble a “new donut” pattern with a resurgence of downtown and historic centers, often driven by young adults. Young adult, ages 22 to 34, population has grown in every city in the country. This Millennial population has been shown to be interested in neighborhoods with walkability, and less interested in having a home with a big back yard or close to a good school district. Residents in the center of cities now tend to have a higher level of education than before, with new college grads moving to metropolitan areas. This influx of new residents has created a resurgence of development in cities.

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