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Fannie Expands HomePath, Adds Prospect as Partner

Prospect Mortgage has been appointed as a new financing partner for Fannie Mae, as the government-sponsored enterprise takes steps to expand its HomePath Mortgage program. Through the collaboration with Fannie, Prospect will now be able to extend funding to borrowers who qualify for the mortgage loan initiative.

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Mortgage Firm Unveils Program to Help Brokers Help Vets

Presidential candidates often fall over themselves praising vets, but now a mortgage company aims to help brokers better help these wounded warriors find homes. Tucson, Arizona-based Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. announced Thursday that it planned to set up a "Boot Camp" training program. Its mission: To teach Fairway mortgage brokers and employees about the challenges facing newly returned vets and the homeownership opportunities available to those who wear the uniform.

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FDIC Searches for Investors to Buy Up Bad Assets

The FDIC wants you to help it unload its bad assets - and by you, we mean only investors. And by investors, the agency is searching for women and minorities in particular. According to a recent release, the FDIC will conduct a number of workshops for interested investors on how to go about buying assets from failed banks. The agency will hold these to-dos in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York across September and October. Workshops will touch on issues like structured sales transactions, pre-qualification processes, and details about the Small Investor Program and Investor Match Program.

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FHFA Proposes Increased G-fees in Some States

The Federal Housing Finance Agency plans to change the guarantee fees (g-fees) the GSEs charge on single-family mortgages. Starting in 2013, g-fees will be higher in some states than others, according to a notice sent to the Federal Register. As per the current national model, "borrowers in states with lower default-related carrying costs are effectively subsidizing borrowers in states with higher costs," the FHFA stated. The proposed method of adjusting the g-fees considers three foreclosure aspects.

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Closing Rates, Time to Close Rise in August: Ellie Mae

Closing rates and the time it takes to close on a residential mortgage increased in August, according to the most recent report from Ellie Mae. Ellie Mae estimates a closing rate of about 47.8 percent in August, up from 45.8 percent in July. The rate for purchase loans was 60.1 percent in August, up from 57.8 percent in July, marking the fourth consecutive increase. The closing rate for refinance loans decreased from 37.9 percent in July to 40.9 percent in August. The time it took to close a loan was 49 days in August, up just one day from July's closing time.

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Should Officials Do Away With Mortgage Interest Deduction?

Talking heads call the mortgage interest-rate deduction a sacrosanct giveaway for the tax code, a loophole as sacred for Americans as, say, Social Security or Medicare - and just as electric to politicians. But a new survey out from Zillow suggests that may not be the case anymore. According to Zillow - which notably conducted the survey with economists and real-estate experts instead of your average homeowners - 10 percent believe the mortgage interest-rate deduction should be thrown out as soon as possible, while 50 percent believe it ought to be phased out over time.

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Household Net Worth Fell in 2Q per Fed Report

Fed

Despite a $355 billion increase in the value of household real estate, household net worth fell $322 billion in the second quarter, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday in its quarterly Flow of Funds:http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/z1/Current/z1.pdf report.

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First-Time Jobless Claims Dip, Remain Elevated

First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell 3,000 to 382,000 for the week ended September 15, the Labor Department reported Thursday, topping market expectations. Economists had predicted a smaller about 373,000 first-time claims. Continuing claims - reported on a one-week lag - dropped 32,000 to 3,272,000 from the prior week's 3,304,000, revised from the originally reported 3,283,000. The report - tracking the nation's unemployment rate and job creation - is compiled based on payroll.

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Did Fannie Mae Pay Too Much for MSRs in BofA Deal?

As part of its High Touch Servicing Program, Fannie Mae entered a deal with Bank of America in July 2011 to purchase mortgage servicing rights for about 384,000 high-risk loans the GSE guaranteed. The Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General recently reviewed the deal and the program in general. The idea behind Fannie Mae's High Touch Servicing program is to purchase the servicing rights for portfolios of high-risk loans it guarantees and transfer them to specialty servicers to mitigate losses.

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