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BofA, FHFA Settle in $9.3B Agreement

Bank of America has agreed to a multibillion settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to resolve allegations of securities fraud related to loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the height of the housing bubble. Under the agreement, BofA will make an aggregate payment of approximately $9.33 billion, $3.2 billion of which will go toward the repurchase of certain RMBS at fair market value.

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FHFA Price Index Up 0.5% in January

Following two other reports on home price changes in January, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its own House Price Index (HPI), pinning monthly growth at a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent. December’s index, meanwhile, was revised slightly downward to show a 0.7 percent increase. According to the agency, the most recent improvement marks the 23rd in the last 24 months.

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Housing Barometer: Recovery ‘Staggering’ Forward; Headwinds Persist

Recovery in the housing market is stumbling back to solid ground, thanks to a rise in home prices and existing home sales, as well as a drop in foreclosures, according to the latest Housing Barometer report released Wednesday by Trulia. However, growth in these sectors is dragging disproportionally weaker growth in young adult employment and stagnation in the new home construction sector in its wake.

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Mortgage Apps Down 3.5% on Soft Refinance Activity

A sharp drop in refinance application volume last week more than offset a pickup in purchase applications, resulting in a net loss, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported in its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. MBA’s Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage application volume, dropped 3.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending March 21. The decline followed a revised 0.2 percent increase the week prior.

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Servicing, Political Leaders Meet to Tackle Today’s Challenges

Policymakers and servicing leaders gathered Tuesday at the Newseum in the nation’s capital for the fifth annual Five Star Government Forum, an all-day event created to foster honest and open dialogue about the servicing industry’s most pressing challenges. In case you missed it, we captured a few photos highlighting the day’s events and the lineup of speakers—including some of the most influential names in housing and servicing today.

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DeMarco Announces Plans to Leave FHFA


After serving the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) for nearly six years, former acting director and current senior deputy director Edward DeMarco announced his intent to part ways with the agency at the end of April. DeMarco confirmed his departure plans in a letter directed to current agency director Mel Watt, saying, "I believe the time has come for me to seek other opportunities."

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Consumer Confidence Rebounds to Six-Year High

According to a release Tuesday, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index improved to 82.3 in the latest survey, up four points from February’s reading. It was the strongest index value since January 2008. “Overall, consumers expect the economy to continue improving and believe it may even pick up a little steam in the months ahead,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators for the Conference Board.

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New Home Sales Retreat After January Surge

According to reports released Tuesday by the Census Bureau and HUD, new home sales in February ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000, down 3.3 percent from the revised January rate of 455,000 (originally recorded at 468,000). It was the weakest sales pace since September 2013. Compared to February 2013, last month’s sales rate was down by about 5,000 (1.1 percent).

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