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Tag Archives: FHFA

B of A Moves to Dismiss Counsel for AIG

Continuing its legal wrangling with American International Group, Inc., Bank of America Corp. has filed a motion to dismiss Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan as the company's counsel for AIG's $10 billion lawsuit against the financial institution. In its move to disqualify the firm, BAC cited conflict of interest due to partner Marc Becker's previous involvement with the bank's chosen law firm, Munger, Tolles & Olson.

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Private Investment Pilot Program Gains Traction

Capitol Hill is buzzing with the news of a pilot program that would facilitate the redirection of private investments into the U.S. mortgage industry. The potential moves from the Obama administration and federal housing regulators represent a transition from a mortgage-backed securities market that is largely controlled by the government sponsored enterprises. Talk in Washington, D.C., indicates that as early as 2012, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would initiate the sale of portions of securities to specific private investors.

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Lawmakers Press Officials Over Mass Refinance Program

Sixteen lawmakers from both parties inked their names to a widely circulated letter Wednesday that called for the implementation of a massive refinance program first proposed by President Barack Obama. Addressing several high-ranking officials, the bipartisan group pressed in the letter for the elimination loan-to-value ratio caps, risk-based loan fees, and barriers like second lien holders. Supporters say an expanded refi program would allow for an unprecedented surge in refinancing activity.

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Reports: Obama Refinance Proposal Expected Soon

Following a better-than-expected jobs report Friday, emerging news reports suggested that the Obama administration could submit in full a controversial refinance proposal that sources say would allow eligible homeowners to refinance their mortgages at current rates. Government officials remain mum about exactly when officials and policymakers will see the proposal, but continue to offer snippets about their intentions for it. The one stumbling block for the proposal: the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

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What the Lower Conforming Loan Limits Mean

Making good on promises by policymakers from both parties, Congress allowed the $729,750 threshold for conforming loans with federal guarantees to expire Saturday, pinching high-end borrowers in a marginal number of counties and potentially leaving a swath of new market share for private bankers. Homebuyers looking for more than $625,000 in financing for their mortgage loans will accordingly fall short of eligibility requirements needed for federal insurance.

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FHFA Faulted for Role in Bad Settlements for GSEs

Freddie

The Federal Housing Finance Agency cut corners in the analysis it deployed to review and accept a $1.35-billion repurchase settlement from Bank of America over mortgage-backed securities for Freddie Mac, effectively ensuring that losses for the GSE would continue, according to a report released Tuesday by the agency's inspector general. The report concerns two buyback agreements between the mortgage giant and GSEs last year, with profit margins totaling $2.87 billion for the deal.

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Home Prices Hold Steady in July Despite Economic Headwinds

The rocky economic landscape could give way to a smoother housing sector if recent home prices signal anything, with a major Standard & Poor├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós/Case-Shiller index revealing Tuesday a marginal uptick in numbers over July. Economists chalked up the gains to a seasonal boost and suggested more stability may be on the way for a troubled housing economy. The indices reflected a 0.9-percent boon for measures of activity across 10 and 20 major metropolitan cities, a consecutive four-month increase.

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Fed: Lower Jumbo Loan Limits Unlikely to Crimp Markets

Ahead of lower limits for conforming jumbo loans, nearly assured in October as Congress disagrees even over stopgap spending bills, the Federal Reserve offered a revealing look at the market Friday by releasing a report on the health of the housing market. The consensus: falling limits will likely only nudge the jumbo loan market, not tip it over, as some critics claim. The Fed found that the current criteria for a jumbo fences in only 1.3 percent of all loans backed by GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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B of A Sells $880M Commercial Real-Estate Portfolio

Bank of America green-lighted another restructuring move Friday, with news breaking that the mortgage giant signed off on an $880-million selloff in commercial real-estate loans. Multiple news reports held that the portfolio, worth about $1 billion to a cluster of investors, will benefit from a bevy of discounts. Who benefits? According to multiple news outlets, a venture created by Canyon Capital Realty Advisors LLC, Invesco Ltd., and Square Mile Capital Management LLC will sop up the loans.

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Dodd-Frank Cheered, Jeered, as Moody’s Downgrades Big Banks

In a surprise move, Moody's Investors Service slashed credit ratings for mortgage giants Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo Wednesday afternoon, citing concerns that the federal government may not rush to pick up their remains and bail out the institutions in another liquidity crisis. Critics and advocates of the Dodd-Frank Act used the downgrades to alternately justify the legislation or undermine it in the national square. The downgrades arrive amid a slew of bad times for the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós largest mortgage lenders.

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