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California Lender Fined Over Discrimination Claim

GFS Capital Holdings, formerly Greenlight Financial Services, settled a claim with HUD regarding discrimination of women on maternity leave. The company agreed to pay a total of $48,000 to individuals against which it allegedly discriminated. HUD investigated Greenlight after a family complained the company denied their refinance loan application because the wife was on maternity leave at the time.

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Report: Nationstar Temporarily Blocked from GSE Mortgages Last Year

A report released last week by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) outlined the possible risks that nonbank servicers could pose to the greater housing market. To illustrate a point, the OIG pointed to a specific instance where a nonbank servicer had fallen below the minimum threshold capital requirement required by Fannie Mae. The servicer was then prevented from acquiring the right to service Fannie Mae mortgages. Though the OIG did not name names, people familiar with the matter revealed to the Wall Street Journal that the servicer in question was Nationstar.

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Ginnie Mae on Track to Surpass Freddie

On Wednesday, the Urban Institute (UI) issued a report finding that, based on the latest numbers, Ginnie's book of business is now at $1.5 trillion—a rate of growth that has tripled over the last seven years. What this means is that at its current rate of growth, Ginnie Mae will soon surpass Freddie Mac as the silver medalist in the single-family mortgage securitization platform game, behind Fannie Mae.

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Mortgage Rates Dig In for Holiday Weekend

According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) product was 4.12 percent (0.5 point) for the week ending July 3. Rates remained down year-over-year for the second straight week, "which should provide some help with homebuyer affordability in many markets," said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for Freddie Mac.

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Housing Trends Show Broadening Recovery

According to Realtor.com, the median listing price of homes in May this year was $214,900, a rise of 8 percent compared to year-ago levels. "This May's housing market stands in significant contrast to last year in which price increases were less generalized and more concentrated in specific metropolitan areas," the company said. "This broad increase in price suggests a more evenly distributed recovery and a healthier national housing market."

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Prepayments, Purchase Originations Trend Up

Analyzing data as of the end of May, Black Knight Financial Services reported another gain in monthly prepayment activity—an indicator of refinancing—marking the third straight month of increases. At the same time, long-term fixed mortgage rates fell to 4.19 percent, their lowest level in more than half a year. Meanwhile, Black Knight also found that seasonal purchase origination activity has risen, with approximately 897,000 originations through April.

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NAR: HAWK Program Could Do More

In a letter sent to HUD, the National Association of Realtors reiterated its appreciation for the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) efforts to provide reduced mortgage insurance premiums to first-time homebuyers but complained about the high mortgage insurance premiums and counseling fees that come along.

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Agencies Issue Guidance on End-of-Draw HELOCs

On Wednesday, four federal financial regulatory agencies and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) issued risk management guidelines for financial institutions that need to be aware of the challenges borrowers may face in paying off their home equity lines of credit after coming out of a recession.

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