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Daily Dose

FHFA Chief Discusses GSE Profits, Other Issues with Reporters

In a meeting with reporters on Wednesday, Mel Watt, former U.S. representative and chief of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) since December 2013, discussed a number of key issues facing the GSEs and the agency, touching on topics ranging from recently introduced low down payment programs to the often debated subject of principal reduction for struggling homeowners.

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BofA Loses Bid to Overturn ‘Hustle’ Verdict

Bank of America was ordered to pay a $1.27 billion penalty in July 2014 as a result of its alleged role in the "Hustle" case. The bank had been fighting to overturn that verdict since, claiming that the HSSL program ended prior to its acquisition of Countrywide.

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Mortgage Applications Rise to End January

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said Wednesday that mortgage loan applications rose a seasonally adjusted 1.3 percent for the week ending January 30. It was the third increase of the month, following a minor holiday-adjusted drop the previous week.

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Mortgage Fraud Risk Continues Downslide

Based on an analysis of loan applications passing through its own fraud detection technology, Interthinx said Tuesday that its national Mortgage Fraud Risk Index measured 98 in Q3 2014, down 2 percent from the quarter prior and 9 percent from the year-ago period.

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Fannie Mae’s Portfolio Shrinks in December

December's compound annualized rate decline of 26.4 percent for the gross mortgage portfolio was the eighth-highest rate for any one month since the Federal Housing Finance Agency's conservatorship of Fannie Mae began in September 2008. The highest rate of decline occurred in January 2010, when it dropped by 44.8 percent.

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Judge Sides with Wells Fargo in Servicing Settlement Case

In an opinion released Monday, U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman didn't present substantial evidence that Wells Fargo—one of five major servicers that originally entered into the deal with 49 state attorneys general—neglected its servicing obligations under the terms of the settlement.

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S&P Reaches Settlement on Pre-Crash RMBS Ratings

The Department of Justice sued S&P in February 2013, alleging that the credit ratings agency "knowingly and with the intent to defraud, devised, participated in, and executed a scheme to defraud investors" in collateralized debt obligations and residential mortgage-backed securities between 2004 and 2007.

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December Home Prices Up 5% Year-On-Year

In its most recent Home Price Index (HPI) release, CoreLogic reported that prices advanced 5.0 percent nationwide in December compared to the same month in 2013. The estimate includes REO transactions and short sales.

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Mortgage Demand Fades Despite Easing Standards

Loosening mortgage standards in the last few months failed to spur demand from borrowers, according to responses in the Federal Reserve's latest Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey. Jibing with another recent survey from Fannie Mae, larger banks were about twice as likely to report easier standards in any given category as smaller institutions.

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HUD Releases Plans for FY 2016 Budget

Included in the president's newest budget is $49.3 billion set aside for HUD, a $4 billion increase over last year. In a call with reporters, HUD Deputy Secretary Nani Coloretti explained that much of the budget will be used to undo some of the cuts made as the department experienced budget restraints as a result of sequestration.

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