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Nonprime Arena Gains Another Competitor

According to a company release, Carrington has lowered its minimum credit requirements to a FICO score of 550 and expanded its guidelines on certain loan programs under the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Affairs (VA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), extending eligibility to more property types and reducing overlays.

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First Mortgage Debt Up to Highest Balance Since 2011


According to Equifax’s latest National Consumer Credit Trends Report, the total balance of first mortgages in February came up to $7.97 trillion, a 2.8 percent year-over-year increase and the highest balance since December 2011. “The decline in mortgage balances from accelerated amortization and foreclosure write-offs has finally been overcome by increases in mortgage debt due to home purchase lending,” said chief economist Amy Crews Cutts.

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Nearly $600M in MSRs Presented for Bidding

Out of Colorado, brokerage Interactive Mortgage Advisors announced two separate mortgage servicing rights (MSR) offerings totaling a combined $583.6 million. The first portfolio, valued at $89.7 million, is made up of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae loans that are five months seasoned. The other portfolio, a $493.9 million bulk Ginnie Mae offering, is made up entirely of recently originated Veterans Affairs loans.

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Sun Continues to Shine on Florida’s Housing Market

Home prices are rising; inventory is stabilizing; and the number of properties listed for sale is increasing, according to the latest data from Florida Realtors. “The majority of results for the residential market paint a picture of a normal growing market,” said John Tuccillo, chief economist for the group.

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Mortgage Risk Down Slightly; Remains Nearly Double Sustainable Levels

The American Enterprise Institute's National Mortgage Risk Index (NMRI), a measure of loans’ default risk under stressful conditions, retreated to 11.6 percent last month from January’s reading of 11.8 percent. To gauge where February’s index lies historically, 1990 vintage loans would have an estimated index value of 6 percent, while riskier 2007 loans would be up at 19 percent.

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Home Prices Flat in First of Week’s Reports

The Data & Analytics division of Black Knight Financial Services (BKFS) reported no monthly change in its Home Price Index (HPI) for January, underlining the question as to where other home price reports—including the monthly Case-Shiller Home Price Indices—will land for the year’s first month. BKFS’ latest report shows the index registering $232,000 in January, unchanged from the end of 2013. Year-on-year, the index was up 8 percent from $215,000.

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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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FHFA, Credit Suisse Reach $885M Agreement

According to separate releases from both FHFA and Credit Suisse, the bank will pay approximately $234 million to Fannie Mae and approximately $651 to Freddie Mac—$885 total. The settlement—the ninth out of 18 suits filed against banks by the FHFA in 2011—closes all claims against Credit Suisse in two lawsuits: FHFA v. Credit Suisse, et al. and FHFA v. Ally Financial Inc., et al.

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